Making Peace with ADHD: Priorities and Acceptance

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November 2018 Newsletter

 

Dear readers,

Hope you are well this season. I especially hope that you have avoided the illnesses that have struck my own family this past month.

It’s been rough.  I was only sick for a week, but my mother and husband have both had pneumonia.  My husband spent ten days in the hospital and Mom was both hospitalized and in Rehab to regain her strength and balance for weeks longer. All I had to do is visit once a day and bring them things that they wanted, and now take them to all the follow-up Doctor visits, but that has been just about all that I can handle.

Worry, feeling alone, and changes to my schedule and routines all took their toll. I missed the coaching groups and body double sessions that keep me on track producing a newsletter each month. Fortunately, my basic habits and routines DID remain in place. The bills got paid, the laundry got done, I ate regularly if not always well, and did the dishes. I even trusted in the Doctors and nurses and managed to sleep well. THAT would NOT have happened in the years prior to my diagnosis at forty years of age. Still, I have judged myself for not handling the stress well and have been ashamed of my lack of productivity.

This month I am inspired by two articles dealing with grief and acceptance of ADHD.  In “Can you Make Peace with your Child’s Differences?,” parent coach Elaine Taylor-Klaus reminds us, “To support our “complex” kids in their growth and development, we often need to shift those images we created when they were little, changing our expectations to meet the child we have, not the child we thought we would have. Of course, that means changing our dreams for ourselves, as well.”

Coach Elaine is NOT alone in these feelings of somehow “failing” at parenting.  Her article is directed at parents, but many adults also mourn their own lost years – the failures, intermittent successes, and self-doubt caused by the disorder.

Coach Lou Brown tells her story of how understanding the many ways that undiagnosed ADHD has impacted her life has helped her deal with the grieving process in “Coming to Terms with ADHD,”  Moving forward, one small step at a time, she has developed a self-acceptance that has helped her create a better life for herself and her son.

Why is it that our quest for “normal” has left such deep scars? I believe that it may just be because in many ways ADHD is a problem with productivity.  We have moved work into a place of priority in our lives. That which we struggle with the most has become our measurement for our own self-worth.

As I was feeling bad about everything I HADN’T gotten done last month, I happened upon a note in my husband’s doctor’s office that changed my ADDitude for the better.

Doctor Craddock says:

“Priorities”

  1. Yourself
  2. Your family
  3. Your friends
  4. Work

Perhaps I didn’t fail to meet my obligations after all. I just had others that were of higher PRIORITY.

To determine your own priorities, I like a recent post by Jaclyn Paul of the ADHD Homestead, What’s Working Lately: Small Hearts. Its subtitle is self-explanatory: Use small goals and simple tools to create good habits and achieve your dreams with Adult ADHD.  Jaclyn has a number of ideas for managing your goals by using schedules adjusted for your energy levels and previous commitments, as well through building tiny habits that lead to routines that promote growth.

Our video this month is How to (Explain) ADHD. At 7 ½-minutes, these facts from Understood.org and descriptive metaphors submitted by the community are well worth your time.

 

 

Enjoy. Take care and be well,

Joan Jager

ADD freeSources.net

 

Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash – Modified on Canva.com