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Not Celebrating

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Is it time to celebrate?

Having ADHD means that you often feel like a failure.

Part of that is the old getting distracted thing, it’s hard to succeed at something you get distracted from.

Another part is procrastination.

The procrastination problem

The real trouble with procrastination is that to the outside observer it looks like you just can’t be bothered. What they can’t see is the anxiety and turmoil that some tasks cause for us.

Yes, the problems we perceive to be attached to the job are likely exaggerated, but knowing that does not reduce the anxiety they create in us.

We’re not being lazy, we have the chemical equivalent of traumatic fear, and as ridiculous as that may seem, even to us, it is reality.

Things we like

Doing things we like also is a problem. Even if they are things that need doing, and that are our responsibility, because we like them, we do not perceive them as success when we complete them.

In fact, doing things we enjoy often make us feel guilty.

I’ve tried adding them to lists of things I’ve done in a day and they always seem like filler. I feel like they don’t belong there, that I’m “padding the invoice” as it were.

But my partner, bless her, often lists off the things I like to do as if they were amazing accomplishments when I try to complain that I got nothing done all day long.

And when we do succeed …

Whenever I finish something that I thought was significant while I was doing it or leading up to starting it, I can never celebrate that as a success.

I either took too long to do it in my opinion, or it was done so quickly I feel like I shouldn’t have considered it to be such a big deal in the first place.

The party is off

Celebrating success should be for really important things, and I don’t do important things.

Or it should be for difficult things, and I feel like the things I do are either not that difficult, or I’ve made them difficult when they shouldn’t have been.

So why should there be any celebration?

Not to change the subject, but …

We’re in the middle of a long stretch of seemingly perfect days, warm, sunny, halcyon days of summer. And you get used to them.

So to with the ADHD mind do I get used to perceiving things in a certain way. And with each passing day I drift more and more toward believing that I do nothing worthy of celebration.

And the things I do and have done for sixty years now are starting to blur together. And I feel like success should not look blurry.

And yet

Dammit, I’m 61 years old, I have ADHD, and I’m doing okay.

Is that not success of a sort?

In fact, is that not success of my sort? Of the best sort, even?

And should I not be pleased with that?

So, why am I not celebrating? I’d like to see an NT do this ADHD success thing as well as I have.

Not celebrating, indeed. Let the party begin!

Not Celebrating

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. (2020). Not Celebrating. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 2 Jul 2020
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