Archives for December, 2012
It's the last day of 2012. I don't know how you feel about that, but personally - I'm glad. Lots of great things happened for me this year, but to be honest, in many other ways it was gruelling. As 2012 draws to a close, I am uttering a huge, hearty, "The End." To mark the occasion, I've decided to post a reprise of The End to Procrastination - a post that will help you turn endings into something positive. You can use this tool in 2013 to get you motivated, help you press on to the next goal, and have a hearty laugh. Enjoy!
Usually, I dread roadtrips. The driving I like. It's the socializing at the other end that scares me. Even though I love the people I'm visiting and cherish our visits, after 46 years of undiagnosed social faux pas, there's still a little hangover of residual worry about what might happen. I'm getting better at social occasions; but the pain of social ineptitude is not completely forgotten. Besides, it's Christmastime. I'd much rather be stuffing my face with my sister's shortbread than my own mouth. In spite of this, while preparing for my three-hour trek I realized that I was not fearful at all. I was supremely charged. Then I realized why: her kids. ADHD baggage Don't get me wrong, I love my sister. I like her a lot too. Still, my sister and I have a history. Being sisters with someone like me was not easy, and sometimes, although much has changed, that history is palpable.
As the year draws to a close, I've been reflecting on the year that's passed and what I'd like to bring with me into the New Year, and what I'd like to leave behind. This is hard to do in a house as chaotic as mine. Reflection, thinking, and contemplation are seldom achieved when one's concentration must remain focused on the basic necessity of not bruising one's shins on the hard edge of a plastic milk crate as one weaves around boxes just to get to the designated contemplation nook. Should one scrape one's leg, the air becomes blue with more base expression, having mainly to do with physical pain: an atmosphere decidedly inconducive to quiet contemplation and more elevated thinking. So here it is What I'm saying is: I’m still not unpacked. Yes, I've lived in my new house for 3 months now. As I slowly settle in, unpacking a box here and there, I’ve begun to realize the horrible truth of the situation.
As the year draws to a close, I’d like to thank those of you who have taken the time to make ADHD from A to Zoë a part of your 2012. I’m especially grateful to those who’ve shared their comments and stories, collectively making this blog is so much richer and meaningful for me and many others. This year was an especially challenging one for many of us. For me, there were both personal and professional challenges, but the year ended on a high note as I completed my upcoming memoir for New Harbinger Publications, which I look forward to sharing with you next fall. As I compiled this year’s ADHD from A to Zoë Top 10 post review, I kept in mind that Psych Central will be hosting its first annual conference this coming June. As I prepare my workshops and presentations, I’ll keep in mind the topics that are top of mind for you. I hope to see you at the conference; it would be wonderful to meet, learn, and share in person! As you read or re-visit the posts below, I hope you’ll laugh, feel inspired, feel support and feel that you are not alone. You’re not; you are always welcome here at ADHD from A to Zoë.
So it’s Christmas but all I can think about is that it feels like it’s already over. And that’s not a bad thing: this year I’ve already received the two best gifts I could possibly think of. No, it wasn’t two Chippendale dancers. (What’s the fun in that? They’d just unwrap themselves.) I’m talking about the kind of gift that you don’t expect, didn’t ask for, but is something you secretly hoped for all along but had (almost) given up on. Nope. Wrong again: nobody’s bought me a pre-paid year with an awesome ADHD coach.
I sat in the Indian Visa and Consular Services centre in Toronto, Ontario, admiring the colorful posters of India adorning the walls. As I waited for my turn to submit my Tourist Visa application, I imagined what it might be like to actually be in India. Was I about to plunge myself into a massive two-week emotional and sensory overload? Perhaps. While living in Toronto, the light, noise, and air pollution; crime, crowds, and ambient anger which permeated the city (and to which I was highly attuned given my hypersensitivity), reduced me to a chronically overwhelmed mess. After four years, I ran away to the country where I (blissfully) remain.
photo credit: saxoncampbell Ever wonder why your favorite Christmas Carols are your favorites? Thinking about that the other day I discovered the reasons why, over the years, certain yuletide tunes appealed to my ADHD self. Jingle Bells I don’t know about you, but when I was little, singing “alternative” lyrics to Jingle Bells was the sign of a rebel. And who amongst us with ADHD (especially those of us in the blurtatious a.k.a. verbally impulsive camp) can’t relate to that? Bonus points if you were brave enough to sing “Jingle Bells, Santa smells…” in front of a teacher or parent. (Guess who got the most bonus points?) (There’s no point in being jealous; you’ll never catch up to me now. Pin your hopes on your ADHD kids.)
Before I read Elaine Aron’s book, The Highly Sensitive Person, I felt like a freak for being so hypersensitive. Learning about the combined hypersensitivities that come with ADHD and being an HSP has helped me to reframe my perspective in a positive way. Recently, I found reason to give thanks for my hypersensitivities. I’m finding new ways to appreciate the gifts of hypersensitivities, and I'm beginning to understand how they’ve shaped who I am today. These examples might help you to appreciate, rather than regret, your own unique physical and emotional sensitivities.
Now that I have my ADHD (more or less) under control, who am I? I’m not that girl who was always late; who forgot appointments; who was anxious and overwhelmed most of the time; who worried about when she’d shove her foot in her mouth or, you know – all that stuff. But without my pre-diagnosis self, the one I lived with for nearly 47 years, I’m not quite sure who this new person is. Is my life better since ADHD diagnosis and treatment? Oh yes. Definitely, yes. I’m still me. But I’m a different me.