What does it take to make someone with ADHD happy?
Well, that depends on the person. We’re not much alike.
That is to say that the commonalities we share have little to do with what we like or enjoy.
But they sure do seem to have lots to do with what makes us unhappy.
It’s like this, I can often make myself happy by simply trying not to let my ADHD make me unhappy, by not accepting ADHD stress’s desire to run my life.
It doesn’t always work, but it’s always worth trying.
So … how?
First, stress is the worst and the best thing for me. Good stress is when I challenge myself to go beyond, do better, accomplish more.
Bad stress comes mostly from within as well, when I let things bother me, when I let them gather in a crowd and start chanting negative slogans at me while I try to sleep or work or even just relax.
Sometimes people in the real world join in with the things in my head and try to stress me. Sometimes they bring the things to put in my head. They can’t see in my head, so they don’t know there’s no room for that stuff there.
I’ve not snapped or exploded at anyone in a long time, so I’d say that’s progress.
Deal or whine
I’ve also discovered that it’s often easier to listen to people and their problems and then address them responsively rather than re-actively.
Dealing with stuff as soon as you have the opportunity to is always the best policy, because stress left bottled up inside you will ferment and eventually you have to open that stress up and it could well explode like the cork off a bottle of very fizzy champagne.
And when that happens, you usually realize, too late, that you were pointing the bottle at someone.
You’ll put an eye out …
That was something I heard from my grandmother on an almost daily basis. She was always amazed at the ways I found to entertain myself, and always worried about what the result could be.
She was a bit of a worrier, but she did recognize how little help worrying actually was in the grand scheme of things.
I am fond of saying, “Don’t borrow tomorrow’s trouble.” I say it to myself more than I say it out loud, but I’ll tell anyone who’s worrying about the future the same thing. I think my granny would approve of that saying, especially in light of the cork popping analogy.
If you’re looking for my advice, I make myself happy by dealing with stress as soon as I can. But when I can’t deal with it right away, I make sure that I recognize the pressure that could build up, and vent it in any way I can.
And if anyone got the idea that I deal with it by popping a cork and drinking my cares away, nope. That will relieve the stress only for as long as the bottle lasts and then you’ve got the stress right back and a hangover to deal with too.
Step into stress confidently, and respond, don’t react, in the most productive way you can manage.
That’s my advice. That’s what I do. What do you do?