Reply To: Work is So Draining

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I work from home, so I have a little more flexibility than most, which is a blessing and a curse for someone with ADHD. I tell everyone I know that I have a dysfunctional relationship with time so I completely know where you are coming from. However, there are several things I have done that have been very helpful, and I finally feel like I am getting my ‘poop in a pile’, as I so eloquently heard recently.

First, you need to find a counselor that works with people who have ADD/ADHD, and in particular, working adults. My counselor works with lawyers, doctors and people in sales; people who are very successful. She has done wonders for me. I tried just counseling to begin with, but my executive functioning (EF) was so poor, I couldn’t (and I mean COULD NOT) follow through with her amazing suggestions (if you haven’t done much reading on EF, I would highly recommend it; addressing some of those challenges will help a lot!). Once I found the *right* medication, I can actually implement the work that we have done over the last 9 months. In fact, I am going for one last maintenance appointment, and then I am done with counseling unless I need something.

Second, it sounds like when you come home, instead of calming the ‘revolving door of thoughts’, as I like to call them (many, in my case, negative), you are filling it with more stimulation, which can make it hard to actually relieve the stress. You may feel like screentime is helping you decompress because you are spacing out, but it is continuing the stimulation, which is not relaxing to your brain. I would suggest something without a screen; reading with soft instrumental music or nature sounds playing, doing something with your hands like cooking, gardening, sewing, knitting, etc., or what I have found that helps the most, meditating. In fact, learning how to meditate will help at work as well because you learn how to stop the negative talk and cognitive distortions (something my counselor helped with), and you will most certainly approach work commitments in a different way. I have been reading and taking a class on the Inner Matrix (the book is on Amazon), but I am sure there are other programs available to help. It is possible for someone with ADD/ADHD to learn how to slow their thoughts and make conscious decisions about how we deal with ourselves.

A year ago, I was a mom with three young girls who was barely managing from day-to-day. I was having level 10 anxiety attacks every day, staying up until 1 or 2 a.m. just to get my work done when I had plenty of time during the day (10 hours could feel like 2 minutes), and I was constantly on-edge and unhappy. I went to the doctor because of how bad I felt, and to my complete surprise, was diagnosed with severe ADHD.

There is hope. You can improve. You don’t need to stop working, or even slow down. Making some adjustments in how you approach your day (managing your executive function), and how you approach situations (in a meditative state, or state of compassion and love) you will have a more fulfilling and joyful life. You are in control of you, and you can make yourself into the best version of you! It does take hard work and some time, but if you are patient and do the hard work, you will be pleased with the results.