Reply To: How do you cope?

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#106772
Spaceboy 99
Participant

Hey again!

Ok, so this is much more helpful 🙂

I’m gonna skim over some of your points, and go into detail on others.

Ok, so obviously making your kids tidy isn’t an option 😛 You MAY have to live with having a SLIGHTLY messy house until junior grows up, unfortunately.

With your husband, how much does he actually understand about your condition? For that matter, how much do YOU understand about it? It’s a very common misconception that people with ADHD ‘Just need to try harder’. ADHD is caused by insufficient dopamine production in the brain. Not having enough of the ‘reward chemical’ in our brains makes us distractible and gives us spotty attention, because our brain is always looking for whatever is the most stimulating, instead of what’s the most important. You can’t try harder at producing chemicals in your brain 😛 There are some good YouTube resources on ADHD. I especially like the channel ‘HowToADHD’, and there are some good introductory videos on there, including ‘What Can I Tell You About ADHD’ and ‘How To Help Someone With ADHD’. They’d probably be good places to start for your Husband.

On your part, I know it’s extremely frustrating when people JUST DON’T GET IT, but TRY to be understanding of the fact that it’s really difficult for neurotypicals (‘normal’ people) to know what it’s like to be inside our heads. It’s an experience that’s RADICALLY different to their own. With his ideas for keeping the house in order, does he not follow through because he feels like you’re not following through either? Do you agree that his ideas are actually good? With ADHD, you have to structure your plans around the person with ADHD, not the other way around. With division of labour, would it be better for you if you BOTH had an equal hand in doing EVERY task, or is it better for you if he takes care of some tasks, and you take care of the rest? While you do need to take him and his feelings into account, it’s no good taking his feelings into account all the way, and then nothing ever getting done. Then NEITHER of you is happy.

With your meds, if you’ve been trying multiple different ones, that’s a little less encouraging, but bear in mind that there ARE about 50 different kinds. Once you find the ones that work for you, you’ll be golden. But the health coverage issue is a major concern. ADHD meds are only affective as long as you take them, and consistency is key. I don’t know much about US healthcare, but is there any way you could switch your provider or something so that you could get ADHD meds? Not medicating your ADHD is like not medicating allergies, or the flu, or an infection. They’re not just pills that make your life a little easier, they’re pills that make it possible for you to LIVE normally. In a lot of ways they’re as essential as food.

Motivation to get started is a tricky one. There are some articles on here I know are useful, but I can’t remember what any of them are called. Some methods you could try are timetabling, so you know that on Monday you have to clean the kitchen, Tuesday the living room, and so on. Alternatively, on Monday you could Vacuum the house, Tuesday you could Dust, Wednesday you could do Laundry, etc. Whatever way you decide to do it, it’s important to break up the task into manageable pieces, and to MONOTASK. Don’t start vacuuming, realise that there’s a pile of something that needs tidying, so you stop to tidy, then remember that you left the oven on, then clean the dishes… to infinity. If you’re vacuuming and there’s a pile of stuff, vacuum around the pile. Tidy the pile later. Write it down on a piece of paper if you like, to do AFTER you’re finished vacuuming. The space under the pile can get vacuumed next week 😛

Regarding cooking, if your son has a healthy meal, can’t you cook twice as much and eat the same thing he does? Another good thing to come to grips with is what EXACTLY about getting started overwhelms you? Is it the large list of things that need to be done before you can begin? Is it how very long it seems like it’s going to take? Are you afraid of getting started, only to find out that you have 50,000 other things you need to do? What steps can you take to minimise the stress of these activities? With cooking, for example, could you do meal prep? Could you chop and peel and cut all the ingredients you need for the week’s meals on Sunday, possibly with help from your husband? Could you make up massive portions of stew, pasta, rice, curry, once or twice a month and freeze them so you only need to reheat meals each day? Could you make very large portions of your meals so that instead of needing to cook seven times a week, you only need to cook three times, and you have leftovers every second day? While these techniques won’t help you start and won’t make the tasks any less daunting, having to do them LESS will reduce your stress overall.

With the maintaining, like I say, monotasking is your friend. I know it’s hard, and it’s doubly hard without medication, but limiting your focus to one activity or one room will make it a lot easier, as long as the house is in order to begin with.

As a final suggestion, is there anything you can do that would make certain stressful tasks go away? For example, I constantly forget and forgot to vacuum. To save the arguments, we bought a robot vacuum cleaner (but it has to be one with a camera, and you have to be careful that there’s nothing the robot can damage), which takes care of 90% of the work. I still didn’t do the remaining 10%, so we bought a cordless vacuum cleaner that hangs on the wall right in front of the door into our apartment. I see it every day when I walk in, and the first thing I think is ‘does anything need to be vacuumed’? Also, it being RIGHT THERE makes me more likely to use it if I spill or drop something, or if I suddenly see a dust bunny. Things like this can massively reduce the amount of effort you need to use to actually START or ACCOMPLISH a task, and they’re worth looking into. After all, what’s worth more- money, or your marriage?

I hope your talk with the psychiatrist goes well. Hopefully you can come up with some decent coping strategies. In the meantime, I really hope that what I’ve written here helps you 🙂 Best of luck!