Archives for July, 2012
I’m not a webinar junkie, honest. But I do love them. This week, I realized I go for more than just the information. And some of the benefits surprised me. All week, ADHD coach Laurie Dupar hosted her 2nd annual (the “annual” part is me presumptuously hoping she’ll do it again next year!) ADHD Telesummit. I'm sending a big shout-out to Laurie and all her presenters. Laurie did a fine job of assembling a great variety of speakers. Once again, the event was free, and there were downloadable handouts to follow along with for some of the sessions (hugely helpful in keeping me alert). I’ve been reflecting on what I learned at the Telesummit, and at webinars so far this year. Sure, there’s lots of repetition; but even for someone who’s well-versed in all things ADHD, new and surprising info can pop up.
I once lived on a 150-acre farm. Although the property was resplendent in its natural beauty, here and there along the hiking path were remnants of the property's history. On the right was a huge, rusted metal wagon wheel ring; several meters along on the left, an abandoned kitchen sink nestled amongst the jewelweed. During one such walk, I spontaneously started to narrate, "...and on our right we see an example of the first primitive hula-hoop, used by farm kids during their rare moments of leisure..." I continued to riff, making up stories, anecdotes, and histories for each abandoned object. I made up names and properties for plants. I was on a roll.
It's been dawning on me for about a week now that the library book I so dutifully renewed must be coming due. But how would I know? I lost the renewal slip. I tried to log in to the library's website, guessed my PIN number and: Pzhhhzzzzt… sorry, but thanks for playing! I called the library. Sure enough, my book was due a week ago. Is it just me, or is this never-ending humidity wearing on everyone’s nerves? Here I am complaining about a library fine, when all week there’s been news of dozens of innocent people being killed or injured by random gun violence all across North America. In the grand scheme of things, I’m a very lucky woman. Still, the pummeling bad news combined with the oppressive weather have got me functioning at the level of a drunken slug; I’m not just slow-moving, I’m slowly getting nowhere. I may not be able to solve the problem of random shootings by crazed gunmen, but I definitely need to solve the problem of being overwhelmed and unfocused.
For me, last night’s webinar with Dr. Elisha Goldstein was another signpost on the way to ADHD recovery. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Goldstein when his latest book The Now Effect, was launched. He’s also a fellow blogger here at Psych Central (Mindfulness & Psychotherapy). The webinar, which I hosted on behalf of Psych Central, was called 7 Steps to the Stress-Less Brain: The Now Effect. Things were going along swimmingly until about 18 minutes into the session.
In Part I of my interview with Jonathan Chesner, author of "ADHD in HD - Brains Gone Wild," Jonathan talked about ADHD in school, embarrassing blurts, and why he wrote "ADHD in HD." Here's his take on ADHD in relationships, his favorite and least fav symptom, and his #1 tip for people with ADHD. Zoë: How has ADHD manifested in your romantic relationships, in both good and bad ways? Jonathan: The good way is that I can be very energetic and random, very fun and spontaneous which is attractive to people. So that's good, and that always helps. Zoë: Okay. So what are the more negative ways that it can get in the way in relationships for you?
ADHD in HD - Brains Gone Wild is a wild ride for a wild brain - or, as 28 year-old author Jonathan Chesner would call it, a "special brain." Like mine. And maybe yours. Chesner (who was diagnosed at age 9) claims ADHD in HD is the ADHD book to slay all other ADHD books. It just might be when it comes to a book for teens who'd rather walk the family dog and pick up after it than read. With wacky illustrations and bite-sized stories, Chesner's book includes everything from distraction to dating; school to snacks. Chesner lives in Los Angeles, California. He's an actor, surfer, artist, and entrepreneur (no surprise there on any count). I was so blown away (or, as he would say, "stoked") by Chesner's positive-yet-realistic take on ADHD that I called him up to see if I could find out how he got so savvy about ADHD. Join me for a chat with the brain behind the book, ADHD in HD - Brains Gone Wild. Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Secure Your Seatbelts!
Along with the daily challenges of living with ADHD, many of us also have the genetic trait of being highly sensitive people (HSP’s). The double-whammy of these got the better of me last week. Here are the strategies I used to turn it around. Maybe you too will find these tips helpful when life gets overwhelming. 1. Check my thoughts and emotions. Challenge: Record high temperatures all week. Grass is dying; plants are wilting. The fruit trees were killed in March by a freak thaw followed by a killing frost. I love our planet and the evidence all around me tells me it's dying.
When I was about 13, the chimney in our family home caught fire (and no, it wasn’t my fault). My mom became hysterical. "Call the fire department," I said. She kept screaming and running around the house. I followed, repeating, "Call the fire department." I called the fire department. I’ve always jumped in at accident scenes. I’m calm, focused and know what’s needed. Natural-born first responders I used to have no idea why this was so. Now I know that this is common amongst people with ADHD. The high level of stimulation in emergency situations focuses us, giving us the clarity and presence of mind that lets us act quickly and efficiently while others are freaking out. I’m sure my hyper-focus also kicks in, allowing me to ignore the chaos and focus on the victim and their needs.
Happy Independence Day! As a Canadian, I celebrated Canada Day on July 1st. While I'm vaguely aware of the historical context of the American Independence Day holiday, I wanted to think about independence and what that means in terms of ADHD. I don't know about you, but as a self-respecting person with ADHD, independence is near and dear to my heart. Imposter syndrome I've heard repeatedly throughout my lifetime, "You're so independent!" Prior to my ADHD diagnosis, my independence was often a facade. Appearing independent was a cover-up for a life that was quickly unraveling. While I looked independent on the outside, I desperately needed help but was too afraid (and too ashamed) to ask for it. It was only after my ADHD diagnosis and treatment that I had a chance at genuine, authentic independence.