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Dis-Stressed ADHD

Find the right stress …

Have you been left at the alter? Have you been dumped when you thought things were going well?

Have you lost a loved one? Family member that was close? Your partner?

I’ve experienced a couple of these things.

And there’s an interesting effect that occurs in the life of a person with ADHD when things like this happens.

I’m not saying …

Yeah, I’m not telling you it’s limited to these things.

Fail a year of your education. Lose your job. Invest in a business and have it go under. All these things and more …

The commonality here is stress. Bad stress and lots of it is what we’re talking about.

I’ve told you this before

Stress exacerbates ADHD symptoms.

But again, it’s the bad stress.

What’s good stress?

Good stress is the thing you experience when you feel challenged at something you enjoy doing.

For instance, I love to curl, you know, that game we Canadians play on ice? No, the other one, the one with rocks but no skates.

And when I’m curling, I feel the pressure of the game, I feel the stress. And it makes me happy, brings out the best in me.

But …

Back in December of 2006, my mother was diagnosed with Cancer. Her prospects were not good, and the Cancer prevailed. In September of 2007 she passed away.

At the time, my mother-in-law was staying with us, and she had developed dementia. It grew steadily worse, and it robbed me of the time I needed to grieve my mother’s passing.

It was around this time that I became aware of my ADHD. I now believe that the stress I was under had exacerbated my symptoms to a point beyond their ability to remain invisible, even to me, the unobservant and distracted person in question.

That wasn’t all

In 2009, my mother-in-law also passed away. My wife had serious health issues and she had been hanging on, struggling in order to be there for her mother.

But those issues, once the stress of our mothers’ ailments and passing subsided, rather than easing up for her, became the focus of her attentions, and in the end she could not manage to deal with them.

In 2011, I lost my wife. My stress continued. Losing someone close every other year was hard to deal with. Let me tell you, I was not looking forward to 2013.

But 2013 came

It came and went with little trouble.

I was still struggling, doing things as they needed doing, rather than in advance.

And I was missing appointments, forgetting to pay bills. I was dealing, poorly, with stress.

2013, 2015, 2017 …

All these odd numbered years came and went with events that were maybe somewhat stressful, but not as stressful as those other years. And the even numbered years were no different.

And now, it’s 2019. My health isn’t perfect, but it isn’t as bad as it could be either.

And the road of my life has turned back toward the sunshine, I have a new life and a new partner and a new direction to pursue.

And is there stress?

Yes. There is stress.

But it is curling stress.

It is the challenge of taking on things I am excited to take on. It is the good stress, the stress that drives us to accomplish, to succeed.

And will I succeed?

Funny thing, success. I’m succeeding so long as I keep going. Life is a journey, not a destination. As long as I’m living, I’m succeeding.

I appreciate that that sounds a little holistic and new age voodoo-ish-y, but just when do you stop and say, I’ve succeeded?

And when you stop and say that, are you done? Is that success?


I’ve managed to dis-stress my life of bad stress … currently. It might return, I don’t know what’s in store for me, I never have known.

But I know I have a better view of how things work. And I will keep my eyes open, pay attention, mark my progress.

And currently, if I were to take a guess, I’d say I’ve succeeded in creating a life that has just the right amount of good stress for me.

Dis-stress success, that works for me.

Dis-Stressed ADHD

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2019). Dis-Stressed ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Mar 2019
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