Archives for December, 2011
I've been enjoying the "Top 10" lists of my fellow bloggers, so I decided to take stock of what rocked ADHD from A to Zoë visitors in 2011. Judging from the top 3 titles, we're a touchy-feely bunch with a practical side, and we love to laugh. The top 3 spots are funny, pragmatic, and sexy, in that order. The remainder of the list follows suit. We're also philosophical and reflective (Posts #6 and #7). A pretty well-rounded bunch, if you ask me!
Enough already with the Christmas lights! Don't get me wrong; at first, I enjoyed the magazine-worthy display of holiday lights in the photo. This is good, 'cause they're just across the street from me, four houses down. Usually, I revel in the Rockwellian atmosphere of my cozy little neighborhood. My neighbors' unparalleled enthusiasm for seasonal festivities is a wonder to behold: they'll vamp it up for Valentine's; create super-spooky houses for Halloween; and share mutual-driveway grill-a-thons in the summer.
That does it. I'm going to give a "Reframing Christmas" workshop! I woke up this morning, December 25, forgetting it was Christmas for a few minutes. Soon after, I was dancing in my kitchen. Of course I'm mellow. Of course I'm sad about a dear relative's recent passing, but I'm also happy and having a relaxed, gentle day. Is it Christmas? I keep forgetting. I'm practicing staying in the moment. Here's my moment: I'm alive. I'm breathing. I have sweet, funny, kind, intelligent and wonderful brothers whom I love and can support through their (and our) loss. I have a dear sister who has two amazing kids I've had the privilege of watching grow up. I have dear friends who shower me with love and support and laughter; who challenge me and engage me intellectually all year long. Is it Christmas? Oh ya. I forgot.
...Especially to those of you who are alone; who feel alone; or who would rather be alone right now. If you're like me, it's been a rough year. Not all bad, but definitely a lot of trauma and challenges. Mine ended up with another death in the family, but also with good news from my new publisher - they loved my first 4 chapters! I'm sure I'm not the only one... Here's to anyone who is alone; who feels alone; or who wishes they were alone right now. A lot of us struggle at this time of year to keep afloat emotionally. I wasn't going to write a post today; then I realized that, considering what Psych Central is all about, surely I'm not the only one home alone (in my case, by choice); and I'm pretty certain that there are those of you out there feeling alone (not by choice); or even wishing you could be alone right now.
I can't believe this is my penultimate (or possibly the last) Pet Peeve of 2011. On the bright side (the "thumbs up" side), it's Pet Peeve #44. When I was about 8 years old, a very funky grey-haired aunt of mine came visiting. This aunt loved to laugh, which is good because her smile and her big white teeth would light up the room. Her laughter was like bells, a beautiful soundtrack to accompany her warm, safe, auntie smile. Anyway, this particular aunt sat me and my sister down one evening and performed pretend magic tricks. I have no idea why, but years later I remember thinking at the time that she was some sort of gypsy. And sure enough, she told me that 4 was my lucky number. I've believed it ever since. Why? Because she said so. (Wish I had that much street cred...).
Try as I might, I just can’t find my funny bone. God knows, I’ve tried. There have been a couple of funny moments, though. Like the time I found myself absently staring into a snow globe trying to predict the future. I’d had a terrible cold for several days, and finally tried to suppress my cough with evil cough syrup (something I never, ever use). Giving in to my ADHD traits of addictive personality and inability to think things through, I took not one - but three - teaspoons at once (it was a bad cough, I irrationally reasoned).
I've been feeling pretty nostalgic this Christmas. In particular, I'm remembering what it was like being a hyperactive little girl with undiagnosed ADHD. Based on on my research and my experience as an adult with ADHD, I'd like to suggest the following gifts that parents can give to their ADHD kids, both during the holidays and throughout the year. I know these gifts aren’t “one size fits all,” but I’m pretty sure most of them would have been great for me. Maybe some (or all) of them would be good for your son or daughter, too.
It’s obvious in my town, and elsewhere, that a lot of people have a lot less to spend over the holidays this year. Foodbanks are unable to meet the swelling demand; retail stores are empty or nearly so. This year, I've heard a lot more grumbling about the weather or the economy. It seems that there's a generally heightened level of grumpiness. I’d like to offer an alternative: why don't we fill up our bellies with gratitude? In the face of adversity, why not focus on abundance? (Hell, I'm always up for bucking the status quo!) While contemplating this idea, I found myself grateful for all kinds of things. I’d like to share some of them with you in the hopes of helping you jump-start your own list, not of things you want for Christmas; but of what you already DO have – big or small. It’s a matter of opening our eyes and seeing what’s around us.
If you're like me, you've thought about your Christmas (Yule, Hanukkah, Solstice, Whatever...) shopping, but haven't in fact made much of a dent in it yet. That's ok. There's still time if you act fast! If you're thinking about gifts for someone with ADHD, or for the parents of someone with ADHD, here are my Top 10 Gift Picks for 2011 - but DON'T procrastinate! Order today!
In my ongoing quest to develop a more healthy self-identity, I’ve recently revisited the idea that I’m a control freak. I’ve been called, and referred to myself as a control freak for as long as I can remember. I often justified this label with psychological arguments such as: I was adopted at four months old, an event over which I had no control but which shaped my life in profound ways, therefore I had to compensate for this early experience of being out of control. The theory seemed sound enough, based on research for my book Adoption Reunions.