Happy Monday? I guess?
Good morning. You know that feeling, when you’ve been excited for something for a while, and then when it finally rolls around, your ADHD brain responds with the least motivation it could possibly (not) muster? Yeah, that’s my brain today.
You see, it’s October. Finally. I love Halloween, and fall, so I’ve been looking forward to this month, and especially to setting up this month’s spread in my bullet journal, for months. And yet, today is October 1st, and I haven’t even unwrapped my new notebook (the final one for 2018), let alone started setting up the spread. I’m just so utterly demotivated this morning, I’m not sure how I’ll get anything done, at all.
This sucks. I mean, seriously, why does my ADHD brain get to just ruin stuff for me like that? How is that fair?
The answer is, of course, it isn’t. And also, don’t bother asking. Because this is one of the many aspects of ADHD (and/or depression), that people will enthusiastically chalk up to your just being lazy. Which, you know, bullshit.
Let me explain this a little bit: I hate feeling like this. It feels like my brain is just up there, in my skull, going “Yeah, I know you want to do that thing, I can see that, but, you know, we’ll just not do that. How about we stay on the couch all day, pondering the question what on earth is keeping us from doing the thing? What are ya saying? No? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. So we’ll just do my thing. Okay. Enjoy!” and then does the equivalent of leaving a conversation on WhatsApp.
So, seeing as I have a few years of experience with that crap, I try my best to get my brain working anyway. Which is exhausting. The number one thing that helps me get going, is to literally get going. So I’ve been trying to incorporate a little bit of walking into my morning routine. You know, being outside, getting some fresh air, seeing the lovely changes that fall is bringing to my surroundings, getting my body moving. Should be helpful, right?
And it is, to a degree. You see, this morning, I took a walk, picked up a few acorns, took a few pictures. When I got home, I was maybe a teensy, tiny little bit more motivated, I was even feeling more awake. But actually getting to the point of writing this was still a struggle.
For one, my brain wasn’t really feeling like writing anymore by the time I got back. It had felt like it a little, while I was outside, but back here, there are books to be read, and other things to do. So I had to kind of override my brain on this, which is always so much fun. I’m now sitting on my couch (because there is no way I’m going to get my brain to get work done at my desk this morning), and typing this, so success. But also, I’m still feeling awfully tired, and my bain keeps going off track, making it hard for me to figure out what I want to say, and which words to use to do it.
If you think that sounds like I’m making it up, here’s an idea: Pick a day when you haven’t slept well. Sit down on your couch, with your laptop. Turn the TV on, and turn it up, so there’s lots of noise. Now take your phone, and play some music, also nice and loud. Find someone who can help you with this, by randomly turning lights on an off around you. Or test the smoke alarm. Also, open the windows, so it gets cold, and there is additional noise you can’t control. Maybe add in something that smells funny, too. Now turn your laptop on, find an a website that does desktop notification, and turn them on. Got all that? Now try to write a few paragraphs, detailing why you think that my experience isn’t valid. But please, no unsupported claims. Read up on my disorder (and yes, I mean while you have all that distracting stuff going on). Does that sound like fun? Nope.
Of course, you could argue that what I discribed in that last paragraph isn’t actually what I experience when I’m sitting in a relatively quiet room and trying to work. And you would be right about that. I take medication, so I don’t actually experience any and all little sounds as a huge distraction. But that’s not the point. What I’m describing isn’t what I experience on the outside. That, my dear friends, is approximately what it feels like when I’m trying to work even though my brain isn’t cooperating. Because my brain has lots of other ideas for what I should be doing, and keeps pushing them on me. It’s a constant struggle, it requires a ton of effort, it’s frustrating and exhausting.
So. Am I now going to spend my day moping around about the fact that my ADHD is making my life exhausting?
I think that is the important part for people, but maybe even more importantly for ourselves, to remember: There are very few people, who actually do that. Mope around instead of doing something, I mean. So if you tell someone that you can’t do something because of your ADHD, remember that. You’re not using your ADHD as an excuse to get out of doing something you don’t want to.
You have to deal with all of that stuff, and you’re living your life anyway. You’re constantly trying, and working, and negotiating with your brain. So if at some point, you decide that you can’t do a certain thing, because it’s just too hard? That is a good thing! And I’m not saying that it’s a good thing you can’t do something here, but it’s a fact that we all have our limits, and accepting them is a good thing. Other people don’t struggle all day, every day, to meet standards that don’t take their actual life into account at all, so why should we? (If you’re going “But everybody struggles, 40 hour weeks aren’t natural yada yada yada…” right now: Congratulations, you figured that out! Also, go complain about that somewhere else, because it’s not the point here.)
Okay. So. I have now lost track of where I was initally going with this post. Thanks, brain. But anyway, I think we should all be able to cut ourselves some slack every now and again. Neurotypicals should think a little more before they blame our symptoms on our personalities. Getting your body moving is one of the few ways I know to help get out of the endless demotivation/indecision hole, when your brain doesn’t want to get out of it. And I actually wrote more than a thousand words this morning, and even though I’ll have to review how many of them actually make any sense, that’s pretty good, considering how hard it was to even get started.