Reply To: 20 years of treatment failure: is there hope?

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I’ve never been able to afford treatment of any kind, so I’ve had to become the master of finding ways to cope. Since I can do nothing about the overall issues, I focus on concrete solutions to individual behaviors. For example, once I learned that I had ADD, and understood what was making me late, I came up with some solutions. Maybe some of them will help with you concerns about being late.

1. Always establish a set time to leave, and make sure that time to leave is at least half an hour before I really need to leave to arrive on time. That way, when I’m 15 minutes behind, I still get there a little early. I also get there less stressed. It takes me half an hour to work. I give myself an hour — plenty of time to dawdle, take a few photos, hang out with the rattlesnakes in the lobby for a few minutes.

2. If I’m ready early, I do not allow myself to start anything (even looking at an email) in the remaining time. Instead, I wash one or two dishes, or sweep the floor — any one of those tasks that only take a minute or two but are so easy to put off. I won’t be distracted and tempted to linger at those tasks — and I feel like I’ve accomplished something to boot.

3.I Pay attention to my tendency to get distracted by minor crises (can’t find my sunglasses, knocked over a stack of mail), and tell myself, aloud if necessary, “The scattered mail will still be there later. Right now, I need to get out the door.”

I’ll still occasionally run behind because of the things that are out of my control, but I’m not finding myself feeling humiliated by having to say, “Sorry I’m late again!! It’s the ADD thing!” Now it’s just, “Sorry! Tortoise pooped all over his breakfast at the last minute and I had to make him a fresh one,” and I can laugh it off, because everyone has mornings like that now and then.