I just realized why social media can be so draining. I’ve been kidding myself that the only harm of spending too much time online is that it’s a colossal time waster and gateway to procrastination and avoidance. I just realized the deeper harm lurking beneath the surface.
The whole Facebook experience is an emotional minefield and I didn’t even know it.
Every time I login and there’s no personal message I die a little. If a cherished post isn’t liked or even noticed it’s a letdown. If others hijack a comment stream I feel steamrollered. If 92 people in a private group have responded to a comment I’m overwhelmed and completely incapable of joining the fray even if I want to. Then I feel irrelevant and disengaged. I think, Why am I even a member of this group if I’m not contributing?
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
- Maya Angelou
Before I knew about ADHD, I often felt like a failure. Instead of summiting the mountain, I was more likely to fly into it (flying without an air traffic controller will do that to you).
After my diagnosis, I understood that I was working with a different brain and a highly sensitive nervous system. I also realized that the popularized notions of success were set by the dominant culture, in other words, by non-ADHD brains.
I needed to find my own definition of success and ways to achieve it; otherwise, I’d be doomed to perpetually slam into mountains.
I’ve been off my ADHD stimulant medication for about two weeks now.
When I started taking meds, I promised myself that one day I’d get off them. It looks like that day is here.
I didn’t plan it, exactly. My prescription ran out and my doctor was on holidays so I couldn’t get it renewed.
The medication hasn’t been as effective over the past few years as it had been, so, after about two weeks with no major disasters, I decided to make my move.
Given that some adults don’t respond to ADHD medications (notably Dr. Ned Hallowell, co-author of Driven to Distraction among them) I figure there must be a way to do this.
Truth be told, I’m perfectly willing to go back on meds if my experiment fails.
Suddenly, impeccable professional that I am, I burst into tears. And no, it’s not because I’m jealous (I am; but that’s not why I’m crying).
A study published on March 3, 2014 in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma shows 30% of adults with ADHD reporting physical abuse before the age of 18 (as opposed to 7% of the general population). The researchers conclude that there’s a strong association between childhood abuse and ADHD.
Sadly, I’m not surprised. This was on my list of as-yet unproven theories about ADHD. I talked about some of the reasons why kids with ADHD were at higher risk of being abused in my post Spanking Hurts ADHD Kids More Than You Think, Part I.
My theory takes this link a little further. I’m convinced that not only is there a link between childhood abuse and ADHD, but it’s likely that your ADHD symptoms are more severe and more intractable if you experience both, especially if you’re not diagnosed until late in life.
In ADHD and Gullibility – Part I I shared an incident where I nearly got caught by a telephone scam artist. Those of us with ADHD might be smart, but unfortunately that doesn’t inoculate us against being taken advantage of.
In today’s post I’ll explain why we can be sitting ducks for practical jokers, scammers, and con-artists, and what to do about it.
As kids, a lot of us with ADHD were either drowning in social awkwardness; having too much fun splashing in the pool; or too busy fantasizing about sailing the seven seas to have learned to read social cues.
I’ve been noticing a growing anxiety over the past few months, especially when I open my email. It wasn’t until I got away from my desk to a quiet, contemplative place (also known as the library) that I realized what was happening.
Last year, I signed up for newsletters, free webinars, courses, and other offerings from ADHD experts. After all, managing your ADHD is a full-time job, right? Paradoxically, things were already going well. So well, I didn’t have time to read, let alone participate in most of the forthcoming e-mails’ invitations.
Every time I ignored an expert’s e-mail, I felt guilty, incompetent, and worried that I’d missed the ADHD tip of the century! I’d inadvertently recreated my pre-diagnosis sense of failure. Once again, I just couldn’t keep up.
I’d voluntarily subscribed. The problem was, I’d never stopped to ask why.
In Yoga and ADHD Treatment – Part I, I talked about some similarities between the discipline of yoga and ADHD treatment. Today, I’ll cover some specific yoga components that might be helpful in managing ADHD symptoms.
Be prepared for some surprises!
Besides wearing comfy, funky Lululemon clothes (with the notable exception of the see-through pants, that’s just not a good look for me), I gained a lot of positive benefits from my experience as a member of a Kripalu Yoga Centre oh-so-many years ago.
Last year, I stepped up my commitment to yoga practice. For inspiration, I picked up a book called The Yoga of the Yogi, written by Kausthub Desikachar.
Desikachar’s book fuelled my hypothesis that yoga has the potential to be tremendously helpful to those of us with the Gift.
The popularized notion of yoga leads us to believe that it’s merely a form of exercise where we turn ourselves into human pretzels and balloon animals. As fun as that sounds, yoga is much more than that, and its primary focus is the mind, not the body.
yoga is to direct the mind on a chosen focus and maintain that focus without distraction
- from the Yoga Sutra by historic yoga master Patanjali, as quoted in The Yoga of the Yogi
I was heading into the Christmas season calm, cool, and collected. Note that I said, “was.”
So how did things go so terribly wrong?
Let me tell you. Through a simple act of kindness, that’s how.
I helped a neighbor dig out after a snowstorm, and she rewarded me by leaving a 15-pound frozen turkey hanging on my side door.