Reply To: I feel like I’m faking (word vomit ahead)

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I SOOOOOO related to your comments!! I have learned to be kind to myself and the biggest block to my success is in fulfilling others’ expectations. You’re starting a process of how to adapt your life so it fits you, whether you get that diagnosis or not. The diagnosis only gets you meds and insurances to pay for it. Even after starting meds, systems that work for you must be put in place. It’s not magic and it won’t make you “normal”. None of us can tell you WHAT to do, everyone with AD(H)D (or without, for that matter) needs to learn and identify their strengths and weaknesses and learn how to use them to their advantage….and YES there ARE advantages! In the beginning, just name your top priorities and then just do the best on those. Use lists and alarms, have friends call you with reminders, set your clocks ahead, etc. Sit in your pajamas all day in a dirty house if the small numerous rituals and other “things I ‘should’ do” are overwhelming. Not every day. Just on the days you need to focus–cut out those distractions. Turn off the phone and the TV and the e-mail. Tell people you’re unavailable. Use games and music to motivate you. I have a whole LIST of things that may be silly but they work for me–for instance: I am going to wash dishes for every commercial when I am watching a program. You’d be surprised how quick I jump to do it when that chore is in 2-3 minute blocks so I don’t miss my program! (Better yet, invest in DVR technology so you can pause/rewind live TV and then won’t miss anything if you just have to finish those last 3 forks!) After I had to re-wash numerous loads of laundry (and throw some away because of the mildew) I started setting a timer which I keep right at the basement door for that purpose. Try that for your soda in the freezer–keep a magnetic one right on the freezer door! And yes, I still forget to set the timer, but even if I remember it 3 out of 4 times, I’m better off than I was. And if the dishes don’t get done that night, I drain the water (or let some things soak) and try again the next day. I have kept my pill box and even car keys in my refrigerator where every morning I go in to get my drink before I head out of the door. There is no governmental or finite law that says there is a standard for what you do, how often you do it, or when you do it. The word “SHOULD” needs to be evaluated every time you use it. Who made these rules that things “should” be done this way? Does that person think like you do? Do they have your same obligations in life? Do they have your strengths and weaknesses? If people criticize, just tell them, it wasn’t on the agenda for this week. Or this month. Or this afternoon. The other thing is-we ALL do make mistakes, like forgetting an important birthday. We do have to sometimes apologize and make amends. As you begin to quit beating up on yourself for feeling inadequate, you will be surprised how many people start to accept you as you are. But you need to accept yourself first, and every day, every hour, every minute is a gift to do that. Keep a list of 2-3 awesome things you did that day even if it is just taking the stairs instead of the elevator, giving a compliment to someone, or cleaning the toilet. Keep a list of and surround yourself with the joy-giving things in your life. I personally enjoy certain smells, songs, and can see beauty in many things that exhilarate me when most people just walk on by. So I made a playlist in my I-Tunes folder called “JOYLIST” and listen to those songs when I need to feel great! My favorite tool at my office is a stuffed cat grinning ear to ear in a smirk that also shines with contentment–he makes problems seem to look a lot smaller when I truly take a moment to look at him. Be yourself. YOU ARE GREAT!!! and you will get there….. 😉