Coaching is said to be one of the most beneficial non-pharmaceutical approaches to treating ADHD. While I know of countless ADHD coaches, I can’t think of one person I know who has one.
I am therefore offering myself up as a guinea pig.
I’m not quite sure what I expect from coaching (which, when I think about it, is probably an indication that I need one). I’m thinking it will be something along the lines of paying someone to nag me, not unlike when my mom used to yell at me to “pick up my room,” but without the yelling.
I’m also fantasizing a coach as being like a non-ADHD friend who comes over and sits beside you while you finally tackle the boxes you’ve been lugging around for 35 years. In my fantasy, instead of picking through the box item by item, my coach demands that I chuck the whole thing into the fire pit and be done with it.
Unfortunately, my imagination imitates real life in that even in my fantasy, I can’t bring myself to do it.
Still, I do expect to get more organized. I’m writing this post, for example, based on scribbles on scraps of paper from a bedside pad. I flipped over one sheet and nearly typed up a dream by mistake (now don’t get excited; it was just something about riding a bike and collapsing from heat exhaustion).
My coach is a new practitioner. He’s got some nifty forms and great-looking letterhead. He surprised me today by sending an e-mail form asking what my goals are for our next session.
Goals? I hadn’t thought about it. Damn, he’s good. He’s already made his point. I need to stop my seat-of-the-pants stream-of-consciousness style of living, and think things through already. This is decidedly not my strong suit.
Generally I get as far as making a list of tasks for that day, ignoring the list, then doing whatever seems pressing at the moment only to leave the list until the end of the day, repeat. This is punctuated by frequent, longing glances towards my white board which sits on the floor of my office (I haven’t gotten around to hanging it yet).
We’ve had our first session. Instead of his usual gameplan, we dove right into some challenges I was having with my work. Or perhaps I steamrollered him into abandoning his usual session one gameplan: I’m not sure which. I can be pretty convincing.
I was surprised that the content of our discussion was quite emotional, with me working through some issues that had me triggered.
He listened. He was a great listener.
Prior to our first coaching session, I’d been in the midst of a work crisis. I stopped and thought, “What would Mark do? What would Mark say?” This time, my imagination paid off: just pretending my coach was giving me sage advice was enough to make me pause, calm down, think it through, and then make my move.
So what do I do when the coaching is over? Is it ever over? Or does one become dependent on a coach? These are the things I don’t know.
Or, is the coaching like training wheels (see what I did there) that I can eventually be behind?
I have no idea.
I guess all shall be revealed in time.
I’ll report back from the trenches again when I’ve had a few more sessions under my belt, and when I can answer some of these questions.
Have you had an ADHD coach?
What about you? Have you had an ADHD coach? What was it like? Was it worth it? How long did you work together? Were there long-term benefits and residual new habits that you developed as a result? Please share, I’m longing to know.