Black Girl Lost Keys https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com The Real Key is Finding Yourself Thu, 08 Feb 2018 03:07:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i2.wp.com/www.blackgirllostkeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cropped-profilephoto1.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Black Girl Lost Keys https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com 32 32 82470631 5 Ways ADHD Relationships are Remarkable https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/adhd-relationships/ https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/adhd-relationships/#respond Fri, 02 Feb 2018 19:14:10 +0000 https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/?p=117041 Valentine’s day is fast approaching, and that has me thinking about love and  ADHD relationships. I think about love a lot, especially after enduring a divorce. I spent a lot of time after that divorce wondering if love was something I would ever find again. After all, it isn’t easy to be in love when […]

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Valentine’s day is fast approaching, and that has me thinking about love and  ADHD relationships. I think about love a lot, especially after enduring a divorce. I spent a lot of time after that divorce wondering if love was something I would ever find again. After all, it isn’t easy to be in love when you are messy, forgetful and chronically disorganized. I mean, I have a hard time finding my own belongings, how the hell am I supposed to find a partner?

Am I too complicated to love?

That brought me to another point about the ADHD relationship: dealing with so many symptoms over the years can leave you feeling perennially insecure. When you get into a relationship with someone, it is easy to wonder if they will be able to endure your particular brand of life.

I had to stop and realize that regardless of whether I have a disorder or not, that doesn’t define who I am as a person. ADHD doesn’t prevent me from loving, and being loved. Am I a complicated person? Absolutely. But good things don’t come easy, right?

Read: ADHD Symptoms In Adults Aren’t Character Flaws

ADHD relationships are complicated, but so are everyone else's relationships. In any love relationship, we need to focus on the positive to make it through together. Here are five reasons why any ADHD relationship can last!

Having ADHD doesn’t make you too complicated to love.

ADHD Relationships Are Remarkable

ADHD relationships are really remarkable when you think about it, because you’re taking people who have been hurt, and you’re giving and receiving love. Most people with ADHD can tell you that dealing with people is one of the most complicated parts of managing the disorder. People misinterpret and don’t understand us at times, and that can leave us feeling isolated and afraid. When you find someone who is able to understand and have compassion for that? Oh, it is absolutely incredible. That’s something nobody wants to let go.

Struggling through the ADHD relationship is a stereotype most people with the disorder are used to hearing. We hear that no one can tolerate our symptoms, that we are complicated, difficult, and hard to love.

Read: How An ADHD Diagnosis Transformed Me

People Complain About Their ADHD Relationship

Forums are full of spouses who complain about the many ways their ADHD partners disappoint them. We make mistakes from forgetting anniversaries to failing to split housework evenly. This isn’t helpful for the person who has ADHD who is looking for love or working to keep love alive. If anything, this contributes to our feelings of inadequacy and makes us wonder if we are truly capable of maintaining a healthy relationship with anyone.

Really, when it comes to relationship struggles, isn’t that what the entire world is doing? The divorce rates are climbing, people seem more selfish, and we are all confused about the reasons why. Contrary to popular belief, to be in a relationship with someone who has ADHD can be fulfilling and fun.

The Other Side Of The Story

It is easy to find all of the reasons why loving someone with ADHD is difficult. That’s only one side of the story, and quite frankly it isn’t helpful to only hear one side. The ADHD relationship can be hard, but it can also be a source of love, support, strength, and peace. Love is love, whether the person who you love has a disorder or not.

ADHD relationships are complicated, but so are everyone else's relationships. In any love relationship, we need to focus on the positive to make it through together. Here are five reasons why any ADHD relationship can last!

5 Ways ADHD Relationships Are Remarkable

You’ve heard enough about the bad parts of loving someone with ADHD. Let me show you five ways that ADHD relationships are remarkable.

  1. Empathy – People who are living with ADHD every day know what it feels like to be down on themselves. When you come home from a long day at work, beaten down and feeling like nobody cares for you, you can count on your ADHD partner to understand. If you’re having trouble with a friend, we’re more than capable of empathizing with those feelings. Being in an ADHD relationship gives you access to someone who is able to empathize with you. Your partner will encourage you through your tough times.
  2. Creativity – If you’re looking for someone who is going to keep you entertained, you’ve come to the right place. One of the hallmarks of the ADHD relationship is creativity. We will pull out all of the stops to get your attention, and delight you. Whether it is taking you on a romantic date, giving you an amazing gift, or coming up with a surprise you would never have considered, we will do it! We know sometimes we miss the mark, so when we can, we love to spoil our partners.
  3. Spontaneity – Relationships can sometimes get into a rut, and eventually, lose their connection. ADHD relationships are exciting. If you live for order, we might not be the person for you. If you enjoy spontaneity, we have it in spades. People with ADHD can take you on a ride to a romantic spot they found, show you their favorite after-hours spot, or whisk you off on a vacation at the spur of the moment. You won’t get bored, that’s for sure!
  4. Sensitivity – Everybody wants someone who is going to be sensitive and understanding. People with ADHD are incredibly sensitive and intuitive. You can talk to us about anything, and we’ll be sure to help you. If you need a shoulder to cry on, we have one. If you need to vent it out, we’ll be there to lend an ear (though excuse us if we fidget, and don’t think that means we don’t care).
  5. Loyalty – Because people with ADHD have been hurt by people’s criticism and judgments so many times, we learn to be very loyal to the people who care for us. If you are hoping to have a partner who will be devoted to you, don’t think that you won’t find that in an ADHD relationship. On the contrary, it is difficult not to feel a bond with someone who takes the time to understand our disorder and the complications it can bring to our lives.
ADHD Relationships are complicated

Just like everything else, ADHD relationships are complicated. That doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful. The problem with ADHD is that we oftentimes spend so much time focusing on the problems. We forget that people with ADHD are just that: we are people, not a problem to solve. Just like everyone else, we long to feel loved, wanted and admired. Though ADHD relationships aren’t easy, no relationship is.

For more on ADHD relationships, read:

If you’re ready to take control of your ADHD, read my ultimate guide to ADHD here!

What do you love most about YOUR relationship?

ADHD relationships are complicated, but so are everyone else's relationships. In any love relationship, we need to focus on the positive to make it through together. Here are five reasons why any ADHD relationship can last! ADHD relationships are complicated, but so are everyone else's relationships. In any love relationship, we need to focus on the positive to make it through together. Here are five reasons why any ADHD relationship can last! ADHD relationships are complicated, but so are everyone else's relationships. In any love relationship, we need to focus on the positive to make it through together. Here are five reasons why any ADHD relationship can last!

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Taking ADHD Medication Is A Complex Process https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/fighting-mental-illness-every-day-isnt-a-win/ https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/fighting-mental-illness-every-day-isnt-a-win/#comments Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:00:45 +0000 https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/?p=116071 “Taking ADHD Medication Gets Complicated At the Pharmacy” may contain affiliate links. I promise I won’t recommend anything I wouldn’t use myself.  Taking ADHD medication is helpful to the condition, but sometimes getting the prescription feels like an uphill battle. Fighting mental illness can be a little maddening sometimes. We’re getting to be pretty good […]

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“Taking ADHD Medication Gets Complicated At the Pharmacy” may contain affiliate links. I promise I won’t recommend anything I wouldn’t use myself. 

Taking ADHD medication is helpful to the condition, but sometimes getting the prescription feels like an uphill battle. Fighting mental illness can be a little maddening sometimes. We’re getting to be pretty good friends, so I’m going to tell you about my HUGE fail the other day.

Medication Fail

If you didn’t know this already, taking ADHD medication is expensive, and getting it prescribed is a hassle. The majority of ADHD medications are classified as stimulants and stimulants are controlled substances. Unfortunately, people like to abuse stimulants. That means every time I go to the pharmacy, it is a hassle. You have to take a physical prescription to the pharmacy, so for starters, I had to get to my doctor’s office. That means scheduling an appointment, remembering the appointment exists, and making the appointment on time. Hmmm, that’s not a challenge for anyone with ADHD, right?

Taking ADHD Medication = Pharmacy Nonsense

  • Once, there was a tear in the script, and though it was legible, it was not fillable.
  • Don’t get me started on insurance issues if the doctor changes your dose.
  • The pharmacy techs look at you as though you are a junkie the whole time you are waiting.
  • If you’re annoyed by the stunning amount of time and strict protocol that getting a simple prescription takes, you’re sure to SEEM like an addict.
  • I folded the script once and that was a problem.

THIS time though, I had everything right. I went to the doctor on time (in a snowstorm), got my prescription, and showed myself up at the pharmacy, very proud of my organization. Ready for this? The pharmacy could not fill my prescription. “Why can’t she fill it,” you ask? A Physician’s Assistant wrote it. “But wait, a Physician’s Assistant CAN prescribe” – yes, yes they can. A Physician’s Assistant has written prescriptions for my meds. I have been taking ADHD medication for quite some time, yet it is still an issue.

What changed?

Here’s what happened: I changed meds from a brand to a generic prescription. On the initial prescription, a physician must write it. That means my prescription could only be filled for three days worth of the medication I use to pay attention. After that, I must return to the doctor’s office and start this whole process again. So, I couldn’t get my medicine that day, because I had other appointments and needed to be there, not going back to the doctor’s office.

A HUGE Burden

Think about everything you know about ADHD. The dysfunctional executive function in the ADHD brain can make going through this process of getting to the doctor, picking up a physical prescription, and then hoping against hope that the pharmacy will actually fill it when you get there into a herculean task. This requires serious organization and time management!

While I understand the necessity of ensuring these medications are used safely, I often think that this places an undue burden on people who have ADHD. Taking ADHD medication just doesn’t have to be this complicated.

Because of these restrictions and complications, many people with ADHD go for weeks or months at a time without medication they desperately need.

And that’s IF they have the ability to fill their prescriptions in the first place.

Fighting The Battle

We’ve discussed how many people with ADHD are underemployed or unemployed because of their symptoms, right? Surely you don’t think we all have health insurance? Without treatment, whether it is medication or therapies to help us cope, many of us are fighting a huge battle against ADHD. Some days we win, some days we lose.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Well, because I wanted you to know that some days you’re on top of the world. You’ve got your symptoms under control, you’re accomplishing everything you want to accomplish, and everything is perfect. That story? That was a day when I was frustrated, and if I was keeping score, going through all of that work and walking away (somewhat) empty handed felt like a loss. I know that taking ADHD medication makes a difference in the way I function. Every day isn’t a win.

Time to get honest

Fighting mental Illness is a challenge. Honesty is so crucial in learning to manage these conditions. The problem is that when you combine rollercoaster emotions, hypersensitivity, and an impulsive nature, knowing your own mind can be a challenge. We have to be certain to move and direct our lives from a place that isn’t controlled by our symptoms.

There are days that win. Not every day is a win. We have become masters of illusion to a certain extent. I’m not afraid to admit, I have been extraordinarily depressed these past few months. I’ve struggled harder to keep my life from going off the rails than I ever have. I’ve spent a month in bed. Depression is no joke. ADHD is no joke. Anxiety is no joke.

I want you, among all of the other commitments you have made, to commit to yourself first. Choose to be honest with yourself. Check-in. That is your greatest chance of arresting these conditions before they get out of hand.

Bad days will come

Above all, do not be ashamed of your bad days. Stop. What you are fighting is a chronic illness that permeates every last facet of your life. You win some days, you lose others. Take the day off, even though you may not want to. You are your most precious resource. Sometimes to reclaim our sanity we have to take extreme measures. Once, I walked away from a job because every day I was there I had panic attacks which affected my performance and became a continual source of stress for me.

Was it hard financially? You bet your ass.

But it was the right thing for my well being at that time.

The only way you are going to come out on the other side of this unscathed is to get incredibly real. Start today. I’ll be right there with you.

Until next time,

René

P. S. Do you use Pinterest? Pin this post! If you really want to have fun, head over to the Black Girl Lost Keys Pinterest Page and check out the boards! There’s a ton of great info waiting for you!

Taking ADHD medication is helpful, but the process to fill those meds becomes complicated occasionally. Here's what happened at the pharmacy.
Taking ADHD medication is helpful, but the process to fill those meds becomes complicated occasionally. Here's what happened at the pharmacy. Taking ADHD medication is helpful, but the process to fill those meds becomes complicated occasionally. Here's what happened at the pharmacy.

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My New Year’s Resolution Is To Say No https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/my-new-years-resolution-is-to-say-no/ https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/my-new-years-resolution-is-to-say-no/#comments Wed, 17 Jan 2018 21:28:54 +0000 https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/?p=117007 My New Year’s Resolution Is To Say NO This post contains affiliate links to products that I think you won’t want to say no to. 🙂 OK, I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t have a problem with self-improvement in any way, but it should come naturally. I don’t need the […]

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My New Year’s Resolution Is To Say NO

This post contains affiliate links to products that I think you won’t want to say no to. 🙂

OK, I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t have a problem with self-improvement in any way, but it should come naturally. I don’t need the entire world to stand behind me when I decide to make some changes. If my weight isn’t where I want it to be, if I want to make a change, I’m not waiting until January. I’m going to make a change now. Even if now means at 1:30 AM when I have stuff to do the next day and should be sleeping. This year, however, my decision to make a change in my life has coincided with the New Year so I figured just this once I could play along. I committed to saying no this year. I’ll tell you why.

Saying yes is going to be my undoing

I would be retired, sipping on a cool drink and blogging to you from an undisclosed location if I could turn regret over saying yes into currency. Remember that impulsivity we talked about as a symptom of ADHD? Part of that impulsivity means that you are going to sometimes speak without thinking. Meaning that sometimes I find myself dealing with a case of saying yes in haste, and repenting at leisure. Are you with me there? Let’s talk about saying no!

Why saying no is hard

Like every person in the world, I enjoy making people happy. Nobody specifically enjoys seeing people frown unless they are a jerk ( I have those days too). So when you are talking to someone and they ask you for something, that saying no feels bad. ADHD people are sensitive anyway, so I think sometimes we make saying no and feeling bad about it, a bigger issue than what it really is. The person on the other end is busy trying to think of who else can do this favor for them while I’m castigating myself and giving them my apology dissertation. They don’t need it, and neither do I.

Why you need to say no

You know all of those unfinished projects you have? All of those things you want to do with your time? All of your prior engagements and commitments? It is time for you to take inventory of those. How many of those projects and commitments and engagements are YOURS? Erykah Badu sang a song called “Bag Lady” ( listen to it here ),  where she talked about women running around holding onto stuff that isn’t theirs. This causes big-time problems. Women are socialized to be pleasing, to make the people around us comfortable. It takes years to unlearn that social conditioning. Decide that while making others feel good is wonderful, your needs have to be met or you can’t meet anyone else’s. How much of the heartache and exhaustion we feel boils down to us being unwilling to say no?

Get comfortable with pissing people off

You’ve been the yes man (or lady) for many years now. There’s a certain comfort in that for people. You are their safety net, their backup plan, and their escape hatch (yes, my disorganized, overwhelmed, ADHD people. . . YOU are out here saving people). When you pull that away from someone by prioritizing yourself and your needs, they are NOT going to react well.

I know you want to believe that everyone is going to be excited about your changes and high five you when you start saying no. The funny thing is, they WILL until you say no to them. That’s when all of a sudden you’re going to find that they think you’re getting a little carried away with the “no” thing. You’ll want to make them happy, but don’t you DARE change that no to a yes. You’re going to have to learn to push through the discomfort of saying no. You may even lose friends. Trust me, if you want to find out who really loves you, there’s no better way than saying no.

Once you say no, you’ll see how much time you regain

You know how busy you are? Once you start saying no to people, you’re going to find that suddenly you have a bit of time that you never realized you have before. Maxine Waters tried to tell you guys, but you wouldn’t listen: you NEED to reclaim your time. Saying no allows us to see the stuff that we do for ourselves and ourselves alone or the necessary things we have to do for the people it is our responsibility to care for. Leave some time for yourself.

Don’t be a jerk about saying no

Don’t have your loved ones pissed off at me because you’re running around saying no to everyone. Here’s what you have to remember: when you’re setting boundaries, you don’t have to be a jerk. I get it, when you first realize that you have been saying yes to everything and being slightly taken advantage of, it is painful. Your feelings will be hurt and you may feel aggressively protective of yourself and your time. You have to remember that nobody has intentionally been taking advantage of you, they needed help and you said yes. Now, just as pleasantly as you said yes, you can say no.

Now you can say yes when you want to

Once you get your queue cleared of all the stupid crap you’ve gotten yourself into by saying yes, you can go back to saying yes when you want to. Yeah, I know this post is all about saying no, but there is nothing wrong with occasionally saying yes. After all, we DO want to help our friends, family, and neighbors. Don’t be a dumping ground for everyone’s unpleasant tasks.

Here’s when it is ok to say no:

  • When it places an undue burden on you: People who are asking for favors have no idea what is going on in your life. That means if you are committing to picking up someone else’s child on the other end of the earth, and you have to do that while trying to finish a deadline, walk the dogs, feed the fish and attend a phone conference, you may not be able to say yes to that.
  • If you don’t know your schedule: If you aren’t aware of what is going on in your own life, you HAVE to know that before you can help someone else with theirs. You have to get some kind of calendar going, I HATE calendars, but I had to make peace with them (click this to hear about that).
  • If it is going to cost you money that you don’t have: People with ADHD are notorious for being underemployed or unemployed entirely. You really have to carefully weigh any favor that is going to cost you money. Nobody can get blood from a turnip. If you’re being asked to do a favor that costs you money, carefully weigh out whether it is going to put you in a bad position. Remember, a favor can cause you mild inconvenience, but it shouldn’t actually put you in a bad position.
  • You just don’t want to – the only reason you really need: This is going to seem slightly revolutionary, but bear with me: you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Sit with that for a minute. I know you KNOW that already, but when is the last time you thought about it in conjunction with all of these things you’re committing to? Saying no is not being mean. It isn’t leaving someone in a lurch, they can ask someone else. Sometimes you just don’t want to because you’re enjoying your own life and you don’t want to get involved with what someone else needs in that moment. If nobody ever told you that was ok, I’m here to tell you: It is perfectly alright to say no to someone for any reason, or no reason at all. You’re welcome.

Practice saying no until you feel like a pro. I have faith in you. This is going to be the best year ever because you aren’t going to be gummed up with other people’s crap for once.

Until next time,

René

P. S. – If you’re still struggling, take a look at this awesome infographic I found, and give the BGLK Facebook Page a “Like” while you’re at it! Yay!

P.P.S. – Sometimes issues with saying no are rooted in codependency. If you’d like to learn more about that, go listen to or read Codependent no more. It’s a FANTASTIC book on the subject. 

P.P.P. S. – Last one, PROMISE! The one person you SHOULD be saying yes to is YOU. Shonda Rhimes did that for a year, and she wrote an AMAZING book about it. The Year Of Yes changed my life, and if you read it you may fall in love with saying yes to you too.

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The Girls Are NOT having Fun: Women Deal With ADHD Differently https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/women-deal-with-adhd-differently/ https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/women-deal-with-adhd-differently/#comments Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:30:01 +0000 http://blackgirllostkeys.com/?p=235 Society as a whole is hard on women. How women deal with ADHD is a lot different than how men and boys do. While men are encouraged to be themselves, we are often encouraged to conform, to color within the lines and to do so quietly. Somebody needs to call Cyndi Lauper: lots of girls […]

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Society as a whole is hard on women.

How women deal with ADHD is a lot different than how men and boys do. While men are encouraged to be themselves, we are often encouraged to conform, to color within the lines and to do so quietly. Somebody needs to call Cyndi Lauper: lots of girls aren’t having fun.

I’ve talked at length about the ADHD diagnosis for myself and what a lengthy process it was going from diagnosis to treatment, but believe me when I tell you it was a miracle that I was diagnosed in the first place.

Why are women being misdiagnosed?

There are a few reasons for this, one being that women talk more about their feelings than their symptoms. So instead of telling you that they are impulsive, they may tell you instead of how they felt after they said something that hurt someone’s feelings. Instead of telling you they can’t get organized, they might share with you how depressed trying to keep up with their ordinary lives makes them.

ADHD presents differently for some women

In children, boys are more frequently diagnosed because they show “classic” symptoms of hyperactivity, such as being unable to sit still; girls are more likely to show their hyperactivity by being chatterboxes, by interrupting, by being more emotional than the average child because social standards often dictate that they are not to behave wildly as the boys do. Unable to suppress hyperactivity, many women deal with ADHD by retreating into daydreams, fidget, and as aforementioned, talk and interrupt excessively.

Societal norms suck

Now back to those societal values we were talking about. Society says that as a woman I should be organizing my family, keeping a pristine home, and involved in a variety of activities, all while being cheery, positive and never saying no. In other words, femininity is often less defined by WHO we are in favor of WHAT we are supposed to be. If women deal with ADHD, they often struggle to meet these qualities that are considered feminine. Therefore, they spend a great deal of time feeling inadequate. I cannot tell you what kind of effect this can have on a woman’s self-esteem. We attach moral values to so many of these “standards” that we have set up for ourselves, such as:

I’m a poor housekeeper, therefore I am less of a woman than a woman who is an excellent housekeeper.

I’ll never be as great of an organizer as Susan; I really must be incompetent.

Other mothers do a much better job of keeping their patience with their children, while I’m always snapping at mine. I’m a terrible mother.

Waiting for recognition

We are constantly caught in the act of comparison and competition against each other for the right to call ourselves “good”. Good mother. Great wife. Wonderful sister. Loving daughter. We wait for the recognition of those who we serve and sacrifice for, often thanklessly, and we rarely get it.

Coming up short

We are measuring ourselves against these standards that may not be realistic for the lives we intend to lead. How can women deal with ADHD when they are preoccupied with expectations that are designed for them to fail? If you really want to promote feminism, get women to stop castigating themselves over dust bunnies and dirty dishes. When, for instance, have you ever heard a man state that he felt like less of a man because he couldn’t stop leaving socks on the floor? NEVER! If you are better at splitting atoms than you are at sweeping, why would you waste your time trying to turn yourself into Donna Reed?

Struggling with inadequacy

When women deal with ADHD, we also fall into another trap: because we feel so inadequate when we show up late or invite you into our sometimes messy homes, or lose our patience with you, we spend a great deal of time attempting to compensate in other ways. We chronically over commit to things that don’t make us happy. If there is a task to sign up for, a board to sit on, if you ask us to watch your five blind bulldogs we will probably say yes.

Read this: How ADHD Relationships Are Remarkable

We want to make it up to you

Why do we do that? Because we want to make it up to you. We are constantly apologizing for who we are not, while we never seem to demand you appreciate us for who we are. Then we drain our precious energy, our financial resources and our very sanity trying to please people who will ALWAYS find a reason to be dissatisfied. We fall into despair by wearing ourselves out trying to prove our devotion.

How Women Deal With ADHD

How does this tie in with ADHD? I’ll tell you. With the executive function issues many of us have ( executive function is impulse control, the ability to organize tasks and manage time and prioritize, etc), try as we might, we may never be perfect housekeepers, though it burns our soul to admit it. We may never be as patient with our children. Women with ADHD may never be able to balance our checkbook to the penny, we may never run every committee. Slowly women are killing ourselves trying to prove ourselves. For the sake of our sanity, we must judge our womanhood, our goodness by a simple standard: I will use this day to be the very best self that I can be, and I will continue to press towards improvement, even if I never fully complete the journey. Girls, go have fun.

Until next time,

René

P. S. If you’re getting serious about getting your ADHD symptoms under control, check out my Ultimate Guide to dealing with ADHD

 

After young boys, the most quickly growing population of people with ADHD is adult women. How do women deal with ADHD? What causes these diagnoses, and why don't we catch them earlier?After young boys, the most quickly growing population of people with ADHD is adult women. How do women deal with ADHD? What causes these diagnoses, and why don't we catch them earlier?After young boys, the most quickly growing population of people with ADHD is adult women. How do women deal with ADHD? What causes these diagnoses, and why don't we catch them earlier? After young boys, the most quickly growing population of people with ADHD is adult women. How do women deal with ADHD? What causes these diagnoses, and why don't we catch them earlier? After young boys, the most quickly growing population of people with ADHD is adult women. How do women deal with ADHD? What causes these diagnoses, and why don't we catch them earlier?

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ADHD and Obesity: Why The Weight Won’t GO! https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/adhd-and-obesity/ https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/adhd-and-obesity/#comments Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:06:39 +0000 https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/?p=116949 Chubby. Plus-Sized. Big Girl. Big Boned. I could fill a book with all of the descriptors that I have heard to describe a woman with some extra weight. Of all of the things I have discovered about weight loss, the link between ADHD and obesity was one of my favorites ( another was the percentage […]

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Chubby. Plus-Sized. Big Girl. Big Boned. I could fill a book with all of the descriptors that I have heard to describe a woman with some extra weight. Of all of the things I have discovered about weight loss, the link between ADHD and obesity was one of my favorites ( another was the percentage of people in jail with undiagnosed ADHD, but I digress). You see, I grew up with undiagnosed ADHD. Everything that I think of as me, my habits, my personality traits, and my preferences are something I have had to rethink.

Is it me or ADHD?

When I look at my past to attempt to make sense of what happened, I often find myself questioning, “is this me, or is it the ADHD?”

Do I really like to stay up late, or is it ADHD induced insomnia?

Am I really all over the place, or is it distractibility?

I’m always late. Is it just the way I am, or is this a symptom?

My life as a fat girl

So when I look at my life as a woman with ADHD, I can’t ignore the fact that while I was growing up with ADHD, I was also living my life as a fat woman. Don’t come on my post trying to tell me I’m not fat, I’m beautiful. They aren’t mutually exclusive, and this isn’t a cry for compliments. I LOVE the way I look, but the way I feel? Well, I don’t feel so great. I wanted to know if there was a link between gaining weight, struggling to keep it off and if there is a link, what the heck can be done about it?

Here’s What I learned

The information I found was pretty amazing. Not only is there a link between obesity and ADHD, it has been studied in several settings, and I am totally convinced that controlling ADHD symptoms may be the key in helping to get down to a healthier weight. Like most things for those of us with ADHD, there isn’t a simple answer, and the path to weight loss is going to be a little harder than it is for the neurotypical Joe.

ADHD and Obesity Share A Link Because of These Symptoms

  • Impulse Control Issues
    When you’re talking about binge anything, whether it is binge drinking, binge shopping, or binge eating, you can bet somebody with ADHD is struggling with those things. People with ADHD struggle with impulse control. When it comes to weight loss, this can be a problem. Weight loss requires a certain amount of denial when it comes to foods that are bad for you, and impulsivity gets in the way of your ability to say no. It should come as no surprise that ADHD and obesity go hand in hand hearing that alone, but don’t worry, there’s more.
  • Stress-induced eating
    Stressed out is my middle name. As we know, stress levels raise cortisol and other bad-for-you hormones, which lead to weight gain. Another big bonus to being stressed out is that some of us are stress eaters. When the stress levels go up, so does my food bill. I will literally inhale everything in sight the more stressed out I become. It shouldn’t be surprising that when I am feeling at my lowest emotionally, my weight usually suffers. Little did I know, the stress that life with ADHD can bring would also affect my waistline.
  • Insomnia
    One thing doctors definitely know is that when you cannot sleep at night, your body’s entire system of regulation goes out of whack. That means you are up all night, stressed out, and you’re lagging during the day. Do you know what people who are stressed out and cannot sleep do more than people who are not? You guessed it, we eat!
  • Executive function issues
    People are struggling with ADHD and obesity in part because of executive functioning issues. Executive function is what is required when you are trying to get the weight back off. You need organization ( to know what you’re supposed to be eating and when), time management ( those meals are not going to prep themselves), planning ( to make sure you’re purchasing the right foods), and of course, you need to pay attention. If you’re not paying attention while you’re eating, it is very easy to eat more than what you should. People with ADHD struggle with executive functions, so you can imagine that getting the weight off and keeping it off would be a serious challenge for us.
  • We love the dopamine
    ADHD is thought to be caused by a lack of dopamine. If you know anything about food, you know that eating carbs and sugar raise your dopamine levels. That means that your body, in an attempt to correct your ADHD could be telling you to eat the very foods that are causing you to gain weight. Oh, and trust me, fat people know about food and weight loss. Most of us have been trying to lose weight our entire lives. ADHD and obesity could very well be caused by our bodies attempting to heal one condition but causing another.
  • There is only “now” and “not now”
    Losing weight requires a sustained effort over a long period of time. The ADHD mind does not work like that. We divide time into two sections: now and not now. What does that mean for those struggling with ADHD and Obesity? It means that we struggle to make good decisions today that will help us with a future payoff. We don’t want to hear about the reward six months from now when we can reward ourselves immediately with a candy bar and get the dopamine payout.

Women with ADHD run a higher risk

Ladies with ADHD, not only do we have to deal with a pay gap and mansplaining, we also run a higher risk for obesity. In a study performed by the Mayo Clinic, it was discovered that children with ADHD ran a higher risk for obesity, with the risk for obesity carrying over into the mid-twenties for women. Women with ADHD ran a 41.6% risk of obesity versus a 19.2% risk for women without ADHD. That means that we as women have to be especially careful in our weight management techniques – I know girls, I know. You probably have had it up to here between hormonal changes affecting your ADHD, and now this too. I’m sorry.
source: http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(15)00770-3/fulltext#sec4)

You’re not doomed to carry extra weight

In short, no. Just like any other ADHD symptom or comorbidity, there is help for you. Take the time to treat your ADHD symptoms, and take your weight loss goals one day at a time. Losing the weight is going to be a challenge for you, you have been dealing with ADHD long enough. You already know that life, in general, is a challenge. Fortunately, we are up to the chase. As for me, I’m going to be taking some time this year to begin working the weight off, and I’ll be sharing with you as I learn more about what I can do to get the weight off and keep the weight off. ADHD and Obesity are NOT going to beat any of us.

Further Reading

If you’d like to learn more about the link between ADHD and obesity, here are some great places to start.

Psychology Today

Totally ADD

Everyday Health

Are you on a weight loss journey too? Let me know in the comments.

P. S. If you’re looking to join a great group for weight loss with lots of support, head over to this great FB group for tips, tricks, and recipes to start losing the weight for good!

There is a link between ADHD and Obesity and you are not the only person struggling with it. Read on to find out what puts you at a higher risk for obesity, and how you can begin working the weight off. This isn't an easy, but you got this! | Black Girl, Lost Keys. There is a link between ADHD and Obesity and you are not the only person struggling with it. Read on to find out what puts you at a higher risk for obesity, and how you can begin working the weight off. This isn't an easy, but you got this! | Black Girl, Lost Keys. There is a link between ADHD and Obesity and you are not the only person struggling with it. Read on to find out what puts you at a higher risk for obesity, and how you can begin working the weight off. This isn't an easy, but you got this! | Black Girl, Lost Keys.

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ADHD and Time: Getting Over CPT https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/adhd-and-time-getting-over-cpt/ https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/adhd-and-time-getting-over-cpt/#comments Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:47:09 +0000 https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/?p=116906 ADHD and time management has been a serious challenge for me. My life has been in upheaval for the past five or six years. See, in that time I’ve had two nervous breakdowns changed jobs four times got married got divorced got diagnosed changed diagnoses and yeah, it has been a lot. Learning how to […]

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ADHD and time management has been a serious challenge for me. My life has been in upheaval for the past five or six years. See, in that time I’ve had two nervous breakdowns changed jobs four times got married got divorced got diagnosed changed diagnoses and yeah, it has been a lot.

Learning how to respect the symptoms of a disorder I never knew I had has not been easy.

Questioning the way I have looked at the world over my lifetime has had to become a regular part of my life.

Why?

Because I have learned certain “personality traits” I took for granted are not personality traits at all: they are ADHD symptoms, and no symptom defines who I am as a person. Having said that, I needed to examine the relationship between ADHD and time.

ADHD and Time management is my biggest challenge

My biggest challenge in that retraining of the mind has been my relationship with time. You see, until recently, I believed that not being on time was just my destiny. I’ve been every kind of late a person can be: fashionably and unfashionably late, tardy, behind schedule, delayed, postponed — you get my drift. I believed that lateness was just a part of my quirky, zany personality ( which isn’t so zany after all — more on that later).

I thought lateness was a part of my identity

Not only did I believe that my lateness was just me, I believed it was a part of my ethnic identity, my heritage, even my genetics. My mother has always been late. My stepmother has always been late. You all have heard the jokes about CPT, right? About how black people live in their own timeline that runs behind everyone else? That really rung a bell with me. So now my lateness was a civil rights issue too, right? No, dealing with the ADHD and time management was the issue, and it was making me look uncivilized.

It wasn’t until I met a former boyfriend that I learned being late was a problem. A big one. You see, he was what I’ve termed a “clock watcher”, and he wasn’t down for my hippy-dippy all-you-need-is-love-and-to-show-up-whenever-you-see-fit bullshit. If I showed up a half hour late for a date, he was furious. If I was fifteen minutes behind, he was calling to see where I was. For the first time ever, I got the feeling that lateness was not working for me.

Lateness isn’t cute, it’s inconsiderate

You see, being late isn’t cute. It isn’t quirky and adorable. It’s just plain old inconsiderate. Keeping people waiting and wondering is not a personality trait, it is a personality flaw that makes the people around you insane. Don’t believe me? Step away from the blog and ask them. ADHD and time management is difficult to deal with, and I needed to fix this habit and fix it fast if I was going to stop irritating the people around me. Since I couldn’t resolve it on my own, I needed to sit down with someone who had great suggestions.

Calendars are NOT corny

“A calendar? Is that really necessary?” I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat.

I was talking with my ADHD coach, the infinitely patient Carolyn D’Argenio. The best part about working with Carolyn is she understands the way I work: I am a solution objector. I dismiss it, give all the reasons it won’t work and discount it. She hears me out, doesn’t take offense, and then tells me to do what she said.

Calendars Seemed Kinda Frumpy To Me

Calendars were like station wagons in my mind or a frumpy soccer mom in sweatpants. I had spent a long time crafting a self-image in my mind as a free-spirited, vivacious bohemian. Bohemians go where they want when they please. Bohemians emote their way to appointments, and if they miss them, oh well. They DON’T do calendars. Calendars = Corny.

“So how are you going to get places,” asked Carolyn. I really thought about that question, because although it was simple, it brought me to a deep realization. The answer? I wasn’t getting places.

Getting Nowhere Fast

I had doctor’s appointments I was missing, meetings I wanted to go to, and family events I had forgotten. I was spinning my wheels. See, when you don’t know where you are going, you just may end up going nowhere, literally.

This was going to require a major paradigm shift.

I hated paper calendars because I either lost them, forgot to write in them or couldn’t find a pen, then when I had a pen I couldn’t remember what I needed to write down.

I hated the electronic calendar on my phone because inevitably I would forget to look at it, and what the hell good does it do you to have a record of appointments you forget as soon as you use them?

It Was Never About The Calendar, It Was About Me

See, that’s the quandary a lot of us ADHD people find ourselves in. I hated calendars because they made me feel broken. It is hard enough to forget and lose everything, and try to convince the world that you are managing. It is another thing to admit that you can’t use a basic tool to help you remember where you are supposed to be and that you feel hopeless because of it. Calendars were never corny, calendars made me feel stupid and I didn’t want to deal with one more thing that made me feel ashamed of myself.

Here’s What I Did

So I got myself an app ( it’s called Alarmed –you can find it at http://yoctoville.com). I put in the appointment, what time, and any other notes that are necessary. My favorite part? The “nag me” feature. It sets a notification with an alarm to go off at intervals of my choosing in order to keep me from forgetting/getting distracted. My favorite nag setting is relentless because it goes off every minute until it is done! ADHD and time management are so much easier when you have great tools to help you out.

From Fear To Rocking It

I have gone from living in fear of time to knowing I’ll be able to make it to where I’m supposed to be. ADHD and time management isn’t easy to deal with. Do I mess up sometimes still? Sure, but now it’s not a regular occurrence. Now I don’t say I’m free on a night when my schedule is jam-packed, or commit myself to being in five different places on the same day (yes, yes I have done this. It was unpretty).

What do YOU need in a calendar? Do you need the alarmed reminders? Does writing it down help you to remember? Does writing in a pretty notebook make it more fun? Do you get flustered looking for a pen and forget what you were writing? All of these things have to be taken into consideration. Maybe you need a hybrid of both – whatever it is, go for it.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, any system is better than no system. Calendars are NOT corny. ADHD and time management are not easy issues to overcome, but you can do it. Keep working at it.

Until Next Time,

René

P. S. For those of you who do paper calendars, you HAVE to go to http://personal-planner.com – My cousin has the most AMAZING planner she completely personalized there. She even added coloring book pages!

ADHD and time management is a problem for many who suffer from the disorder. You CAN learn how to manage your time, you just have to learn to think differently about it. Here's how I did it!

ADHD and time management is a problem for many who suffer from the disorder. You CAN learn how to manage your time, you just have to learn to think differently about it. Here's how I did it! ADHD and time management is a problem for many who suffer from the disorder. You CAN learn how to manage your time, you just have to learn to think differently about it. Here's how I did it!

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Finding The Right Professional For ADHD Therapy https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/finding-professional-adhd-therapy/ https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/finding-professional-adhd-therapy/#comments Fri, 05 Jan 2018 22:58:07 +0000 https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/?p=116871 This ADHD therapy post contains affiliate links, none of which will cause you to need more therapy.  Part of managing ADHD is getting ADHD therapy, and you gotta go hustle a good therapist up.If you have ADHD, that means you more than likely have spent some time on somebody’s couch or office. Getting an official […]

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This ADHD therapy post contains affiliate links, none of which will cause you to need more therapy. 

Part of managing ADHD is getting ADHD therapy, and you gotta go hustle a good therapist up.If you have ADHD, that means you more than likely have spent some time on somebody’s couch or office. Getting an official ADHD diagnosis means you have to go find a doctor and answer a series of questions truthfully. Doesn’t that sound easy? You know by now it is never that easy.

I’ll put it to you this way; everybody has a mom, and moms look out for us. They keep us safe. Your mom probably told you not to go into everybody’s house. I’ll go a step further and tell you this: don’t just sit on everybody’s couch.

There is such a thing as BAD ADHD Therapy

ADHD is not a new disorder, but there sure is a lot of REALLY BAD information out there about it. After all, if you’ve read my story, you know that my pediatrician’s advice to my mother post diagnosis was “give her more responsibility.” Thanks a lot, doc… that’s absolutely the WORST advice that he could have given. ADHD is a neurological disorder, not a failing of parents to assign tasks. Since you’re wondering, I was assigned dishes. And I procrastinated on doing those dishes. Procrastinating on doing the dishes got me into a lot of trouble . . . I think I spent most of my teenage years grounded. So what I’m saying is this: just because someone is a professional, that doesn’t mean that they understand ADHD. Here is why it is VERY important that you take your time and find the right therapist to begin your ADHD therapy.

Therapy is GREAT

No, really. It IS great when you have someone in your corner who understands your disorder. Therapy can help you deal with lingering shame, problems in your family of origin, and teach you techniques to deal with ADHD and the comorbidities that come along with it. ADHD therapy is about so much more than your diagnosis, it is about getting you the tools that will help you begin living your life after the disorder stops you in your tracks.

Many do not understand ADHD

Yeah, I know we talked about this part already, but I’m mentioning it again. Successful ADHD therapy depends largely on you finding someone who is going to help you. Have you ever asked someone for directions who doesn’t know where the hell they are going? You got lost, didn’t you? ADHD therapy is like that. If you have a qualified professional who is giving you a bunch of nonsense, you are going to get very confused about what you need to do in order to manage the disorder.

You’re paying for this advice

Many people with ADHD are underemployed or unemployed. Symptoms, like distractibility and lateness, can make it very difficult for an employer to understand. That means you may not have a lot of money, and the last thing you want to do is spend that money on stupid advice that doesn’t work. Nobody likes wasting money, especially when you don’t have money to waste.

You wouldn’t ask a urologist to clean your teeth

Kinda gross metaphor, I know, but think about it! Your family doctor can diagnose you with ADHD, but they have to know a little bit of everything. Think of your family doctor as a jack of all trades. They will know where to steer you for guidance, but when it comes to a comprehensive understanding of ADHD? They may not have enough training (unless that is something they have specifically chosen to do, they don’t HAVE to have a ton of training about ADHD).

Let’s not leave our mental health specialists out of this: many therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists are trained to deal with a variety of disorders. ADHD is constantly being researched and there are still lots of myths floating around about how to deal with it. ADHD therapy that is going to help you requires someone who is going to be in the know, not someone who took a class twenty years ago and considers themselves an authority. Too much has changed, and you need treatment that is going to help you NOW.

So, what do I do to find a therapist?

I’m glad you asked. Here are a few great links. Find a professional who is well versed in ADHD therapy, and ready to help you begin life anew

ADDitude’s 10 Therapists Who do More Harm Than Good

CHADD’s ADHD Therapy Listing

Psych Central’s How To Pick An ADHD Therapist Who’s Right For You

Know Your Stuff

In addition, you want to make sure you know your stuff going into this appointment. I know you are not a professional, but you live every day with this disorder. Nobody understands ADHD as well as someone who is living with it. You want to make sure your therapist at the bare minimum meets these criteria before you begin ADHD therapy:

Critera for a good therapist

  • They believe the disorder is real and serious: Yes, even in the professional world, there is always that guy who read that stupid article about French children who don’t get ADHD. In case you were wondering, French children DO get ADHD . Having to even say that hurts my head. Talk to your therapist about their opinion on the disorder and get out of there if they try that whole “ADHD isn’t real” garbage.
  • A good therapist is a good listener: I have, unfortunately, sat in the office of a few therapists who were not right. ADHD therapy is going to involve you talking about YOUR symptoms and issues because it is a spectrum disorder. That means that just like fingerprints, nobody’s symptoms are all the same, and they don’t affect us all the same way. You don’t want someone on your team who is only going to drone on about how much they know and never let you get a word in edgewise. Remember, you are paying for this.
  • Don’t ever allow anyone to dismiss you: Because the symptoms of ADHD can sometimes look intentional, you are going to encounter people, people with medical degrees who should know better, who are going to dismiss you. This is where you need to be your own best friend. You are not crazy, you are not overreacting, you have a problem and you are paying for help to solve it. If you are working on ADHD therapy and the person who is treating you is dismissive and rude, don’t stay another second. Walk out. Yes, you CAN walk out. You’ve been through enough, you don’t have to endure that crap.

Get started

Beginning ADHD therapy is exciting and you are going to learn so much about yourself. You are going to learn tips, tools, and tricks. The tools are there to make your life work in a way you never imagined was possible. It is IMPERATIVE that you don’t let someone who is misinformed or just plain mean mess this up for you. Find an amazing therapist, and start on the ride of your life.

Until next time,

René

P. S. If you want to laugh and tear up a little, My Therapist Said, a fantastic book of poems written about a man and his therapist.

ADHD Therapy is necessary to begin managing the disorder. You can't do it all alone. The challenge is finding a therapist who is informed and up to speed on the disorder. Here's how to know you're choosing the correct therapist for your ADHD therapy. ADHD Therapy is necessary to begin managing the disorder. You can't do it all alone. The challenge is finding a therapist who is informed and up to speed on the disorder. Here's how to know you're choosing the correct therapist for your ADHD therapy. ADHD Therapy is necessary to begin managing the disorder. You can't do it all alone. The challenge is finding a therapist who is informed and up to speed on the disorder. Here's how to know you're choosing the correct therapist for your ADHD therapy.

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Overcoming Feelings Of Shame With ADHD https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/shame-the-devils-advocate/ https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/shame-the-devils-advocate/#comments Wed, 03 Jan 2018 08:25:59 +0000 http://blackgirllostkeys.com/?p=168 Overcoming Shame With ADHD contains affiliate links, which helps to keep the content coming.  A life with untreated ADHD is a life with many inconsistencies. We are more likely to have bad credit, wrecked marriages, messy houses and ruined careers. We have difficulty showing up on time, following through when we say we will, and […]

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Overcoming Shame With ADHD contains affiliate links, which helps to keep the content coming. 

A life with untreated ADHD is a life with many inconsistencies. We are more likely to have bad credit, wrecked marriages, messy houses and ruined careers. We have difficulty showing up on time, following through when we say we will, and being prepared. This is a burden not just on ourselves but the people we love too. A few of these failures is embarrassing and frustrating. A lifetime of them leads to many of us struggling: we fail out of schools, find ourselves in divorce courts, battle addictions and stand in the unemployment line.

A lifetime of learning slowly that you can’t trust yourself or allow anyone else to depend on you leads to an overwhelming, life stagnating sense of shame.

Shame and I are old frenemies

I’ve dealt with shame myself. I have had my share of issues: I dropped out of college in my junior year because I just couldn’t stand the struggle anymore. The constant endless fight every semester to meet the deadlines exhausted me. Failing to get things done properly depressed me. My grades never seemed to reflect my intelligence and I was so tired of never feeling like I was good enough, so I walked away. Then I felt ashamed for not “having what it took” to finish school.

I broke promises to people who I loved; I failed them in many ways. With my depression, I drank too much and spent money as soon as it went into my pocket. Once, I had so many overdraft fees against my checking account that I only had $50 dollars left of a $500 paycheck. I found new words to describe myself. Loser. Failure.

Telling Myself Bad Stories

I had great success in high school as a writer; now out of college with no prospects, I told myself new stories:

You’ll never amount to anything.
You’ll never become who you want to become.
You are all you will ever be.
People like you die alone.
Remember, you are worthless.

Having swallowed these stories down, I allowed my life to conform to the life of one who was worthless. I stopped caring what I looked like, I stopped cleaning my house, I stopped talking to people and stayed in my house on my couch waiting, hoping to die.

I Haven’t Been Alone

Reframing our beliefs can help relieve shame.

Here is where I’ve got to say, even though I have had a rough time learning to juggle these illnesses, I have been so fortunate in this life. I have never been alone in this fight.

  • My family, even if they didn’t understand has always been a phone call away.
  • I have friends who have provided me with support and encouraging words.
  • People have stepped in at the nick of time with the right word and completely saved me from disaster.
  • A stranger in London grabbed my hand in Trafalgar Square to tell me  I am beautiful and to hold on.
  • Information falls into my lap within hours of me needing it. It’s just how it works.

Depression left me wanting and wishing for my life to end. Depression is a parasite that can absorb every good thought, emotion or dream in your body and convert it into physical pain, mental anguish and apathy. It sometimes can seize you so quickly that before you realize it, a bad day turns into a month and you’re caught in a funk you can’t shake.

A new perspective on shame

What does this have to do with ADHD? Well after a lot of false starts, I think I’ve kind of got it down. It started when I came across this wonderful Podcast called “Overcoming ADHD and Shame: Why we feel it and how to manage it”  You can listen to it here. Here’s what I learned:

Dr. Ned Hallowell, an expert on the subject gives the distinction that shame is caused by us passing moral judgments on ourselves. Like this for instance: I can’t believe I didn’t get to work on time. I am totally irresponsible. If I lose my job, it’s because I deserved it. I just lack the discipline to get places on time. He further states:

[ ADHD is] not a failure of the will, it’s not a failure of discipline, it’s a neurological difference.

Click the pic to get this great book on distraction by Dr. Hallowell!

 He encourages his patients to get over their shame in order to deal with the disease head-on. He even goes as far as to suggest as long as we “wallow” in shame so to speak, we cannot put things in place in order to help us get to places on time, for instance. If you aren’t wasting your energy on shame, you can spend it on coming up with new skills. Hallowell indicates that shame is “maybe the most painful of all the symptoms and conditions associated with ADHD.”
He went on to tell the story of one of his friends who dealt with shame and it’s toxic effects:

“I have one friend who has actually won three Pulitzer Prizes who will not invite people into her office because of the piles of clutter. Despite her amazing achievements, she’s so ashamed of her inability to pick up.”

The doctor is onto something

I couldn’t agree with Dr. Hallowell more. As long as we are under the control of shame, we could conquer the world and never feel that we have done enough. Here I was managing this disorder, I fought my way through to the diagnosis on my own and began treatment and yet I couldn’t forgive myself for not having been perfect in the past. Shame kept me a prisoner.

I encourage you; no, I urge you: don’t let shame control your life a second longer. Do whatever it takes to forgive yourself. If people hold you responsible for things you have forgiven yourself for, make your apologies where you can, make it right if you are able and move on. Life is a fleeting moment in the passing of eternity. Don’t let it pass you by because you cannot recognize you are worthy.

Great comeback for that lazy thing. Click the link to get your own!

If you are feeling shame, try this to get some relief:

  1. Stop holding yourself to impossible standards: People with ADHD struggle with perfectionism. We want everything to go just right, and when it doesn’t, we get overwhelmed and shut down. Learn to make peace with good enough.
  2. Understand that you cannot change the past: If you made mistakes in your past, you can only apologize for them and move forward. There is no time machine, and you are allowed to grow just like everyone else. If someone cannot forgive you for past actions, that is not your responsibility.
  3. You are a work in progress: Everyone, whether or not they have ADHD, has some growing to do. That means you have to give yourself space to learn, and yes make mistakes. Learn to see these experiences as opportunities to grow, and keep moving forward.

You have your diagnosis, and you are finally moving forward. Get ready to live your life well. You can grow free of the symptoms, and get rid of the shame once and for all.

Until next time,

René

Untreated ADHD can leave you with feelings of shame after a lifetime of dealing with the fallout from symptoms. Here is how you overcome those feelings, and how you can live a life free of that shame. Untreated ADHD can leave you with feelings of shame after a lifetime of dealing with the fallout from symptoms. Here is how you overcome those feelings, and how you can live a life free of that shame.

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ADHD Symptoms In Adults Aren’t Character Flaws https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/adhd-symptoms-in-adults-arent-character-flaws/ Fri, 29 Dec 2017 07:38:52 +0000 https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/?p=116785 ADHD Symptoms in adults aren’t usually detectable until you get to know the person. That’s because they’re a little harder to spot for the adults than they are in children. Don’t believe for a second that the symptoms aren’t there, bubbling below the surface. As we grow older and mature, we learn how to disguise […]

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ADHD Symptoms in adults aren’t usually detectable until you get to know the person. That’s because they’re a little harder to spot for the adults than they are in children. Don’t believe for a second that the symptoms aren’t there, bubbling below the surface.

As we grow older and mature, we learn how to disguise our symptoms. Hyperactive children turn into adults who sit quietly and pretend to be attentive while their minds wander. We suppress that part of our personality.

Why do we suppress our personalities?

We do it to fit in with the rest of the world. Because many of us face rejection from our friends, families, and peers due to our symptoms, we learn to hide them. A typical conversation might go something like this:

ADHD Person: Geeze, I am having so much trouble managing my money. I get frustrated because my symptoms make it difficult to keep things organized and make payments on time.

Non-ADHD Person: How old are you, and you still have trouble managing your money? You really have to get better at this, nobody is going to do the hard work for you. You’re just going to have to buckle down and do the work.

This is where the conversation usually ends. People with ADHD are not irresponsible, they have a disorder. It is painful to hear these criticisms from people who you love.

Many of us live day to day, suppressing how difficult it is for us to make it through “basic” tasks because we are too embarrassed to admit to the people we love just how much we struggle with it.

So We Isolate

Over time, you won’t notice the ADHD symptoms in adults because the person won’t be there. For many of us, as we learn that our symptoms either annoy or draw ridicule, it becomes easier to spend time alone. Whether we are procrastinating, showing up late, or struggling to organize our lives, dealing with the symptoms are exhausting. That time alone lead to depression, which further isolates us. We stay away so we don’t have to feel ashamed or embarrassed about our symptoms.

Don’t Be So Quick To Judge

The qualities that people use to describe those of us with ADHD are usually incorrect. For instance, you’ve heard that we are considered lazy? Many people with symptoms of inattention are labeled as lazy dreamers when really they have ADHD symptoms bogging them down.

The results of being judged

Over time, people with ADHD take these qualities on and begin to believe them themselves, labeling themselves with negative qualities, such as lazy or stupid. It is important for us to learn which symptoms accompany which negative qualities so we can learn the truth about ourselves: the problem isn’t that we are stupid, or careless, or dull. The ADHD causes problems that we have to learn to solve. This realization can change your life if you allow it.

ADHD Symptoms In Adults (and Negative Terms Used To Describe Them)

Careless

People with ADHD are often accused of being careless, when in fact they care too much. Hyperfocus and perfectionistic tendencies can lead people with ADHD to focus for far too long on tasks, making them forget other projects and goals that need to be accomplished. Combine that with the need to please people so they won’t be irritated or annoyed with us, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Irresponsible

Every single person with ADHD has been called irresponsible at least once, and it doesn’t get any easier. We lose and misplace items, sometimes very important items. This can appear like irresponsibility to people who don’t know any better. Issues with executive function cause problems for people with ADHD can keep them from being able to organize and recall where items are.

Too Sensitive

I guess by now you know you’re sensitive, especially when someone’s criticism leave you feeling rejected. If you suffer from ADHD, you can also suffer from a comorbidity called “rejection-sensitive dysphoria.” RSD, as it is sometimes called, makes a person feel more stressed and upset during times of perceived rejection than the normal person, causing them to react in ways that may seem over the top to the person who triggered them.

Ignores Others

When I was a child, I would be busy looking off into the distance while people talked to me. It was a habit, always scanning the horizon, always looking around. There are theories that ADHD people used to be the hunters of the groups millennia ago, and times like that make me wonder. If you always seem preoccupied with something else when someone is talking, that is a symptom of inattentive ADHD, not ignoring someone.

Unreliable

Nothing is more frustrating as disappointing someone and being branded unreliable. Impulsivity can lead to making poor decisions with time and forgetfulness that can leave a person feeling like they will never get anything right.

Doesn’t Listen

Of all the ADHD symptoms in adults that I would rather not deal with, being told that I don’t listen annoys me the most. Here’s the thing: my mind is processing a million thoughts, and then you stop talking to me. I have to halt the circus in my head in order to pay attention to you. That means I may have to ask you to repeat yourself. Have some patience and allow me to get in sync with what you’re saying.

Flakey

Time blindness is another ADHD symptom in adults that I would gladly live without. Being able to tell the passage of time is an executive function. Remember, people with ADHD struggle with executive functions. That makes it difficult to tell the passage of time, and this symptom combined with a tendency to procrastinate makes for some interesting times, believe me.

ADHD Symptoms in Adults Aren’t Easy to Manage.

These symptoms are aggravating but you can do it. Learning how to manage your ADHD means that you can reduce the effects your symptoms have on your life. Let me know how you’re doing with the symptoms in the comments!

Until next time,
René

ADHD symptoms in adults are often classified as negative personality traits. Let's examine those, and put the naysayers in their place.

ADHD symptoms in adults are often classified as negative personality traits. Let's examine those, and put the naysayers in their place.

ADHD Symptoms In Adults Aren't Character Flaws

The post ADHD Symptoms In Adults Aren’t Character Flaws appeared first on Black Girl Lost Keys.

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Coping With The Holidays Makes For High Stress Levels https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/coping-holidays-makes-high-stress-levels/ https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/coping-holidays-makes-high-stress-levels/#comments Sun, 24 Dec 2017 05:39:17 +0000 https://www.blackgirllostkeys.com/?p=116728 Coping With The Holidays is another trial we have to bear. Coping with the holidays is another story when you have ADHD. They say the key to a successful holiday function is preparation; that must be on my other key ring. You know, the lost one. Every year they fool me! Holidays always begin with […]

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Coping With The Holidays is another trial we have to bear.

Coping with the holidays is another story when you have ADHD. They say the key to a successful holiday function is preparation; that must be on my other key ring. You know, the lost one.

Every year they fool me! Holidays always begin with so much promise. One minute you’re watching the commercials with the happy kids and bobbing your head to your favorite carols, the next you have torn the last of your edges out while you cry yourself to sleep. My holiday is considered a roaring success if I narrowly escape hanging myself in the lights, and don’t locate more than one “lost gift” from last year floating in the flotsam and jetsam. Coping with the holidays is a challenge for lots of people. This time of year can sometimes feel more like warding off impending doom than a celebration. Why?

Coping with the holidays is requires so much organization, time management, and emotional control. Try these tips to deck the halls in peace!

The ghost of Christmas Past . . .

Shiny things are calling me!

For starters, I’m too busy being excited and overstimulated. There’s shiny stuff! Shiny stuff EVERYWHERE!! All five senses are engaged: when you are busy tasting touching smelling looking and listening to everything at once, it’s easy to forget you were supposed to be home wrapping your own gifts three hours ago.

I can’t remember, therefore it doesn’t happen.

Additionally, there’s having to remember stuff. Organization and shit. I have procrastinated on my Christmas shopping so long that just the thought of a store makes me shudder. There are people to disappoint by the forgetting of the stuff. Just the thought of it all sends my anxiety through the roof! Pass the eggnog; no, just pass the rum. The whole bottle. That’s how I’ve been coping with the holidays for years, you caught me.

Talk to people???

Let’s not forget: socializing! My old friend (insert eye roll here). Some things improve with time, like wine, and comfy tees and cast iron pots. Socializing? Not so much. Rooms full of people, struggling to find something to say, not being awkward? Monitoring how much time I’ve spent escaping into the world of my phone? Shoot me, please.

We do it for love

Of course, by now you’re asking yourself “why”. Why do we insist on this holiday madness? We do it for the people we love, of course. When you see the first child smile or listen to your grandmother launch into one of her famous stories, it’ll be worth it. Traditions, even nerve-wracking ones, are (sometimes) the comfy jeans of life. That’s how we’re coping with the holidays. Traditions keep us going, like touchstones we can look back on during the year when we wonder why we tolerate these people. They’re well worn, well loved, and they always fit. Hang on, it’s almost over.

New Year” by RLHyde is licensed under CC BY-SA

You CAN succeed at coping with the holidays

  • Find a place to escape –  Remember, there is ALWAYS an escape route. Every time I get to a holiday gathering, the first thing I plot is my exit strategy. Aunt asking too many questions? Overstimulated from the loud people saying loud things. There is a room in the house where no one is. A room where you can take a few minutes to process, breathe and come out again. You know that room where everyone lays their coats? Oh, you know. Go find it, and hide.
  • Don’t entertain your toxic relatives – We could talk about not seeing toxic relatives at all, but that’s a whole different post. For now, if you know you’re going to be stuck in a room with your cousin who used to give you atomic wedgies, or your grandmother who asks intrusive questions, your nerves may be shot. Take some time in advance to mentally prepare for the onslaught: you already know what they’re going to ask, so prepare a response, and a follow-up response to shut them down.
  • Remember, it’s only once per year – If you don’t have to do something that often, you’ll find that it becomes just a little easier to tolerate. This holiday season is a speed bump you have to get over to get into the new year when everyone will go back to forgetting you exist unless they need something (see the previous statement on toxic relatives).
  • If you forget something, it is ok – Too often we forget that just like there are no perfect people, there are no perfect holidays. I know, I know. You want perfection. Instead, there will be cats knocking down ornaments. You want the children’s hair to stay perfect for your awesome Instagram shot. Take that pressure off of yourself. Expect something to go wrong, so it won’t be so painful when it happens.
  • Find the stuff you need to take along the day before you go – I cannot emphasize this enough: If you are traveling, the pressure of having to be on time will make you more forgetful than usual. Set a timer the night before, and use an hour to gather the things you need and put them in the car. . . if you have a family, do not let them near the car. . . they will take things out, and you will not have them. ADHD folks struggle with planning, but you have to get ahead of it. Read this post about learning to plan with ADHD, it might help.
  • Get a general gift for the person you forgot – Oh, you forgot them. Unfortunately, they won’t forget you, and you’ll be embarrassed unless you try this trick in advance. Sure, we want to live in a world where you remembered everything and you are perfect and you never ever make a mistake. Let’s get real! You have a neurological disorder that makes you forget/lose things. Buy a bottle of wine for an adult, and a great board game for a kid. Wrap them, put a name tag on them and leave the “to” blank until you need to fill it in. You’ll thank me later.
  • Have fun – The whole purpose of the holiday can be lost in a flurry of anxiety and stress. Take a deep breath, and remember that you’re here to have fun. Holidays aren’t about the gifts or the people who will annoy you, or your arrival time. Coping with the holidays becomes so much easier when you commit to having a good time, despite the crap that is bound to happen.

Still struggling at coping with the holidays? I get it. Here are some more resources to help you get there:

I wish you a very Merry whatever it is that you celebrate. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people who you care for this season if you need extra support. Coping with the holidays IS stressful, but you can make it. Let me know your favorite tip for holiday stress-busting in the comments! May your days be less anxious, may you not lose your lists, tape, or scissors.

Until next time,

René

P. S. If you find yourself in need of a laugh, watch this video of Patti Labelle singing my favorite Christmas Carol at the White House. Spoiler alert: somebody messed up, BAD!

Coping with the holidays is requires so much organization, time management, and emotional control. Try these tips to deck the halls in peace! Coping with the holidays is requires so much organization, time management, and emotional control. Try these tips to deck the halls in peace! Coping with the holidays is requires so much organization, time management, and emotional control. Try these tips to deck the halls in peace!

The post Coping With The Holidays Makes For High Stress Levels appeared first on Black Girl Lost Keys.

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