When I was younger, I often found myself in situations that were nigh on to intolerable. Lineups come to mind, waiting rooms of course, chores that seemed endless; all would work me into a state of agitation that made the occasion impossible to deal with.
Yet, in my youth, I seemed to have the answer. I would reach a point where I would think I was going to explode … and I would stop. I would take myself out of the picture mentally, zoom out, as it were, and look at a bigger picture, a greater world.
The view I would look at was a view of the whole day, one in which I could see the lineup dispersing, the office attached to the waiting room being done with those of us waiting, or the intolerable job being over with for the day if not completely.
From this vantage point I could see other things happening, going home, supper, an evening out or time spent with family. I’d start to plan my free time, think about the book on my night stand that I was reading, anticipate activities, friends, food, conversations, even television shows.
Sounds like daydreaming, I know, but if I were working, I continued to work while I pondered the future. If anything, I worked better, no longer being as stressed or depressed by the task.
These days things are different. I long ago learned how to throw myself into what I am doing, to find the good in a situation. I’ll look for opportunities to do better when I’m working, I’ll strike up conversations in waiting rooms or lineups. If all else fails, I’ll just think of things I’m thankful for, things I’m planning to do or just things I’m proud of. I’ve matured.
I’m not saying I’ve found the cure for becoming jumpy and agitated, I can still get occasionally stressed and worked up in those “hurry up and wait!” situations. But I usually see that it’s coming. I am mindful enough to recognize it and deal with it. I’ll plan for it. I take my laptop to doctor’s appointments, keep a book in my bag, always have a pen and a notepad with me, and have a Sudoku app on my phone and another one on my tablet.
I attribute some of my ability to restrain my agitation to my medication, and some of it to experience. And I also can tell you that, although we had no idea about ADHD when I was a child, my mother, my grandmother and my grandfather gave me many of the skills to cope with this. My grandmother was a teacher, one of the better ones. My grandfather and my mother? Well, there’s a reason they say ADHD is a highly heritable disease, I wish they were here to hear about the amazing progress that has been made in the area of a disorder they were unaware of but dealt with on a day to day basis.
These tricks I’ve told you about, the things I’ve discussed here today, they are my means of coping with those tedious situations that crop up. They may or may work for you, or they may not, but they do work for me. In fact, some of this blog post was written at my doctors office.
Oh, and my blood pressure? It’s fine now … thanks for asking.
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Last reviewed: 28 Oct 2012