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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.
The ADHD Lawyer
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Sequel to this blog post: “Let’s break this pattern down” Coming soon to The AHDH Lawyer Blog