I can’t drown.
Well, I shouldn’t drown, I’m perfectly capable of doing it. All I need to do is to panic, or get knocked out with my face in the water.
But if I’m in water over my head, and I’m exhausted, all I need to do is lay back and float. I’m buoyant.
I know people who sink, they have to keep moving in order to stay on the surface, but me, I can get away with just relaxing, usually.
When it comes to water and swimming, there’s no trick. You’re either buoyant or you aren’t.
But when it comes to ADHD, buoyancy is a learned trait.
And it starts with not panicking.
I know that things are going to hell in a hand basket. I’ve been there. I’m well aware of what you’re going through.
But take a deep breath and then ask yourself this question … “If I don’t panic, will things be worse?”
What’s your answer?
Right, how could things be worse?
When I first started practicing the “don’t panic” thing, it quickly became apparent that people were used to me panicking and if I didn’t, they took that to mean that I didn’t care.
So that was the answer to “Could it be worse?” Yes, it could.
But could I fix that?
Ha. Yes, I could.
If people thought I didn’t care, I needed to assure them that I did. But panicking is not concern or care.
And showing concern is easier to do when when working on solutions to situations.
And reciprocally …
Working on solutions to situations is far easier to do when you are concerned … and far harder to do when you are panicked.
So keeping calm, showing concern, and working on effective solutions when ADHD overwhelms are much better practices than panicking ever was.
And the great thing about these practices is that they can be learned.
Well, yes, you start today, but it will take some time. Coping strategies have to become habits to be effective.
And the trick to learning coping strategies is remembering them and remembering to practice them.
Make a note!
In this case, like sinking in water, being overwhelmed by ADHD and life is the setup and panicking is what will take you down into the depths.
So not panicking is kind of like when I don’t panic in water. I just relax, and though I’m concerned, my best bet is to put my head back and float until I get my breath again.
When it all comes apart, explodes in your hands, overwhelms you, just remember … don’t panic, find a way to stay afloat.