Have you ever felt that everything you do requires an explanation? What I mean is that you feel the overwhelming need to explain why you did something the way that you did? Even without being questioned about what you did? This, my friends, is yet another part of my ADHD life. But here is the kicker . . .the answer goes much deeper than the term ADHD.
April 18, 2022
If you type in the the terms “ADHD science” in a search engine, a plethora of information will return, and the kicker is the information returned on your command will vary according to where you are located in our amazingly vast Universe. It just blows my mind. Try it out out. What kind of information returns from the search?? How do you know if such information is valid? Do you understand what scientific research is? Is it the same ot different from evidence-based research? Do you know and underatand how it is applied in the field, and how to utilize it? My unsolicited suggestion – learn what evidence-based research is and then learn more about science topic research in general. And finally, how to sift out what you are looking for . . . ESPECIALLY when it related to ADHD.
One of the biggest trademark issues I face when it comes to activating my ADHD symptoms is ridicule. Ridicule – or how I receive it, mockery – is a tremendous emotional trigger for me. For example, I’m asked to do a task by someone and I immediately feel self-inflicted pressure by default. My self-inflicted pressure causes me to believe the person is, or is becoming, impatient (negative misattribution – I’ll cover that in a future post [if I remember]). At this juncture, I’m swarmed with feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, incompetence, and I begin to [internally] panic. Next, frustration kicks into high gear – notice this scenario; it’s self-created. The other person (or people) has shown one iota of, or even alluded to, impatience. This thought-pattern is my automatic response-mechanism. It stems from my upbringing – NOT ONE MEMBER OF MY HOUSEHOLD HAD A MODICUM OF PATIENCE (which to this day, holds true)! I digress. Where are my coping mechanisms when I need them? What happened to my practiced behavior modifications? Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. I actually get to a point of consistent progress until . . . the mockery unveils. Let the [ADHD emotional breakdown] games begin! Anger begins to set in. Rather than becoming mindful at that moment, I go into full-blown defense mode: “I got it . . . give me a sec . . . Almost there . . . no, thanks, [I don’t need your help! PLEASE it’s going to distract even more than I already am!!!! STOOOPPP] . . . ” The Phoenix rises and my exhausting diatribe of explanation emerges.
Fortunately for me (and my counterparts), I am becoming more self-aware when faced with these types of situations. While I am not in the least bit immune to ridicule, I am unequivocally aware of the thoughts and emotions I experience as a result of it. I recognize that I am highly sensitive to mockery and the reasons behind my heightened sensitivity. Please do not misunderstand the weight of my message – I am not always successful at controlling the ADHD beast within me. Modifying my reactionary behavior is a life-long journey that takes blood, sweat and tears to implement and is fails most of the time. But I don’t give it. Read that again. I DON’T GIVE UP! I say to myself, it’s not the critic who counts . . . then I google Theodore Roosevelt’s famous quote:
It’s Not The Critic Who Counts!
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
ADHD is a Full-Time Job!
Living with ADHD is a full-time job. It’s perpetual work. I work my butt off and do whatever it takes to turn my ADHD symptoms into superpowers. Half full or half empty? Either option still gives you something tangible – it’s up to you to decide how you will take advantage of that commodity.
Rejection is one of the most difficult emotions to handle. Rejection can be catastrophic for an ADHDer’s emotional health. Feeling dismissed or slighted affects self-esteem, and makes us feel alone and unwanted. I believe rejection and abandonment go hand in hand and, is a toxic formula for emotional chaos, unless it is dealt with compassionately and mindfully. As ADHDers, we allow the power of our emotions to control us and, the power of rejection can turn into an addiction. How? It turns into an addiction because we become fixated on the emotional effect of feeling unwanted, unworthy, and abandoned and become addicted to it. In essence, we hyperfocus on the negative feelings that rejection projects on us and blurs out any possibility of controlling our emotions. If we allow rejection to manifest into obsession, we cannot prevent self-sabotage.
When we become aware of the thoughts and emotions behind the rejection, we can manifest the power to accept rejection and use it to strengthen our sense of self. Feelings are not facts. We can turn that pain into power if we notice the pain, understand why we feel the pain, embrace it, then let it go, we can shift our perspective to feel more self-possessed by paying close attention to our inner critic.
Do you ever feel like no one hears you . . . I mean really HEARS you? I feel this way every single day of my life. When it comes to talking about something, I have this innate need to thoroughly explain my point, my take, my perception – whatever I’m trying to convey – in order to feel understood. I expect undivided attention, without interruption of course, otherwise I get derailed and forget what I am saying which then sends me into a tizzy of sorts, and my emotions erupt like Mount Vesuvius!!!
I love using the word brevity, but rarely can apply to my own articulations. How do I deter my emotions from overpowering my intelligence? I’ll let you know when I figure it out. Just kidding. My next blog post will address specific coping mechanisms for over-explaining, which I aspire and intend to master. The one coping mechanism I use daily are the 3 Cs of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
C1 – Catch: I [try to] identify the thought that came before the emotion;
C2 – Check: I [try to] reflect on how accurate ans useful the thought is; and
C3 – Change: I [try yo] change the thought to a more accurate or helpful thought as needed.
How do you deal with over-explaining? Do you catch it and try to implement a behavior modification? Please share your thoughts/comments below.
We all have imperfections. And that’s ok because without those amazing, unique, fantastic, crazy, challenging, difficult, crystal-clear imperfections, we wouldn’t be who we are!
This statement applies to every aspect of life, especially an ADHD life. Most importantly, it helps to rewire your thought-process. Why? Because if you embrace your imperfections, your response resonates not only to yourself but to everyone around you. By willingly accepting your imperfections, you send the message that you are human. How you respond to your ‘defect’, ‘fault’, ‘flaw’, or ‘deficiency’ (you get the point) rather than your reaction to it, conveys how you rewire your weakness to strength. You show vulnerability which in turn shows strength. And that my friend is inspiring.
We are perfectly flawed. Be proud of that amazing attribute!
You are a human being and are allowed to be imperfect, and you are allowed to be flawed. There is a lot of beauty in your imperfections, in your uniqueness.