During a conversation with a friend today I was told “Being timed is not good for my mental health.” She was talking about trying to get something done in a set amount of time. And she was also talking about the stress and anxiety that being timed causes. And I agreed with her.
I can empathize. ADHD causes monumental time management issues. We have difficulty estimating how long a task will take. Then we have difficulty keeping track of time spent.
We also have difficulty keeping on track and on task. This just exacerbates the first two issues … greatly. How can you estimate how long it takes to do something if you don’t know what else you’ll end up doing, don’t know what will distract you or for how long?
And how do you know how long you took to do something if you can’t figure out how much of the time spent was actually spent on the task in question? That’s if you remember when you started or finished in the first place.
Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to be okay with the way we are. Sometimes we need to accept that a day is not a good day. I’ve had days where I’ve felt that I needed to tie myself off and just wait it out. Those are the days when I know I’ll make no headway in getting better. On those days I feel that if I try to go forward I’ll lose ground, fall back. I’m better digging in and holding my position.
On any day, good, bad, whatever, I work hard to accept myself. I often need to say “Hey, this is okay for me for today. If it isn’t okay with others that’s their problem.”
I have enough on my plate just doing the best I can for me. I don’t need to please others. I don’t need to conform to their idea of mental health. If they’re so good, they should try to figure out a way to tolerate me, quietly. And then they can stop trying to make me intolerant of them.
I don’t need judgement, but I can use support. I don’t need direction, but if you want to help me you’ll need direction.
And if you don’t want to help me, stand back. And don’t ask me to explain where I’m headed, I’ve got my own mental health destination in mind.
And don’t give me time limits. My friend is right, being timed isn’t good for our mental health, not hers, not mine.
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Last reviewed: 6 Jul 2012