Reply To: Does anyone else self-sabotage?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Adults Does anyone else self-sabotage? Reply To: Does anyone else self-sabotage?


“My challenge is I hate being told what to do, even if it’s me saying it.”


It does sometimes feel like there’s a second person in my brain who is intentionally trying to sabotage me, and I hate that guy. I recently came into a lot of money due to the fact that a company I worked for a long time ago, and which I had stock in, got sold–I’m talking many tens of thousands of dollars, which was a godsend because I was totally broke. And while my friends who had worked with me at the time were celebrating, I just got depressed because I knew I was going to just spend it all, and there seemed to be nothing I could do about it.

And yet, whenever my brain (or a family member) said “hey, while you still have a good half of your money, please, put it all away in this account over here that you can’t touch and then you won’t be tempted to spend it all,” suddenly I became the other guy and I’m like “Don’t tell me what to do! If my money is in an account where I can’t touch it, that means I don’t even really have money! What’s the point of that?”

And so now practically all the money’s gone. I didn’t even get any fancy new stuff out of it. It’s just gone.

Gone, just like my writing career, my relationships, my other career as a QA Engineer, my connection with my friends, my band …

It’s weird, because therapists say there is a concept of “locus of control” in psychology. As a younger person, I often blamed the world for the mistakes I was making due to my ADD. “Oh, why are they so uptight about being to work EXACTLY at 9 a.m.?” Or “The point is to find bugs in the software, not to just make a lot of documentation about it.” Or “I paid quadruple the credit card bill three months ago, so why do I have a late fee now?”

Now that I’ve been diagnosed, I realize that I was mad at the world for their very rational and understandable opinions on my work and behavior. People DO need signifiers to let them know you care and let them know you’re doing the work and that you’re meeting your obligations, etc. (Except the credit card people–they can go to hell.)

So I have gotten better about not placing the “locus of control” outside of myself. I am the one making my destiny here–and yet I don’t feel like the locus of control is internal, either. It feels like there is a gremlin inside my brain that knows JUST when to tweak things to my disadvantage at a moment when I’m focusing on something else.

Oops, and he’s at it again, because I’m writing on an ADD forum and I’m actually supposed be working….