What will others think if I tell them I’m actually confused when they all seem to know what’s going on?
We can be hanging out together like always and suddenly I feel disoriented and nothing makes sense. It can even be a little scary.
This, or something like it, happening is a common fear of people with neurodiversity. Sometimes there are many conversations happening at once. Some folks talk fast.
Any number of things can overload your brain circuits and cause a temporary short circuit.
Sometimes my brain can keep up but sometimes it doesn’t kick in. Your brain can be like that unreliable car you have to push to get it started.
If only you knew when those times were going to be. Alas, they’re unpredictable. You may fear others discovering your vulnerability.
If you have this fear often one thing to consider is your social circle.
Nit picky, teasing, trash talking types may be less likely to express empathy and extend you grace during these moments.
People who themselves are more accepting of their own mistakes. Those who handle disappointment with flexibility instead of anger. These are the people you want around you.
There’s a reason swimmers choose water instead of oil. The environment you put yourself in to try and be your best matters.
It’s difficult to meet your needs and be at your best when hanging with people you don’t feel safe enough with to ask for what you need.
A few things to consider. Your current circle may have no idea of your struggles and may surprise you.
You could take a chance and speak up to see if they step up.
If they don’t, you take the necessary steps to bring new people into your life to add more water to your pool.
The answer should never be a life of keeping your needs to yourself because of a lack of those who understand.
When I’m presented with a positive opportunity my first response is fear.
My self-talk begins generating a list of reasons why my health won’t allow it, why I couldn’t possibly make the time for it and blahdy, blah, blah!
Yes! There’s a part of me that still feels like an imposter, is afraid to be seen and is afraid of failing with an audience.
The key is to keep that voice in the peanut gallery instead of as Chairman of the Board.
I help you step by step (as I’ve learned to do) to gain power over that voice so it’s smaller and easier to brush aside.
Part of the process is countering the fear with compassionate self-talk.
I remind myself I offer nothing more than my best at any given moment.
That I will be human throughout and make no promises beyond what I’m confident I can deliver.
I will not accept responsibility for something someone needs from me unless it is communicated directly to me. Telepathy is not a gift of mine.
Though I enjoy travel I’m not available for any guilt trips.
I will decline all efforts to compel me to feel shame.
I declare now that I am good enough and no human has the power to deem it otherwise.
Once I’m grounded and empowered in my values and my humanity, I can respond from that place instead of fear.
Let’s work on your empowering voice.
My birthday has been a source of hurt and resentment for my entire life.
I was born on December 25. For as long as I can remember, the fact it was my birthday was something that got in the way of everyone’s Christmas.
I felt invisible in my family and a birthday is one day you hope everyone notices you.
It was tradition to go to my grandparents house to meet up with aunts, uncles and cousins.
My mother did her best to encourage family and even my siblings to take notice.
The fact they needed to be reminded year after year added to my already feeling like an outsider.
When I became a parent the attention naturally shifted to my boys.
I began noticing myself feeling angry each year as my birthday got closer. Feeling guarded and wanting to be left alone.
For many Christmas’s I agreed to a cake Cath was generous enough to bake but I was left with a feeling of guilt.
Like I was in the way and burdening her on my own birthday. Gee, wonder where that came from.
Now comes this week. Cath and the boys had the idea of doing Christmas on Christmas Eve and just Christmas being for my birthday.
In my almost 51 years of life I’ve never had that offer.
I went through feelings of confusion, anger, resistance, sadness and finally today I cried.
I realized I didn’t know how to enjoy my birthday. I also realized I was sick of having them ruined every year.
This year we’re going to start a new tradition. I’m eager to see how it feels for once.
You want to do everything yourself, I understand.
The thing is, you’re not good at everything and that’s okay. Neither is anyone else.
Not everyone is born to be the quarterback or prima ballerina.
You have gifts and gaps. Your gifts make you an asset for those with a gap in that area and vice versa.
One of the most authentic ways for us to connect with each other is in that vulnerable moment when you ask another soul to lend you their gift to make your life a little better.
You deny yourself that amazing experience when you refuse to ask for help.
Whether it’s to help you fix something, walk you through a recipe, give advice or just listen.
The energy you receive from a supportive relationship is empowering as though belief in yourself was given a RedBull.
It’s also a great reminder someone has your back.
Being a solo act is no bueno. It’s a lonely existence when you believe success only counts when it’s you alone.
As someone living with ADHD, what looks like a lack of motivation may be resistance to the pain of progress.
Our failure rate is much higher than for the average person because of our executive functioning glitches.
We also receive significantly more criticism as a result.
So if you decide to set and pursue goals it can often feel like you’re choosing to be a glutton for failure and criticism.
If the successes don’t feel big enough for you to counter balance the negativity it may not seem worth it to you.
A few ideas.
It’s important to take on things where you can set the pace for yourself. Keep your frustration level low and do your best to enjoy the process. Slow and steady is your motto.
Find a mentor who can be a voice of reason and encouragement. You’ll need someone to help keep you from sabotaging yourself. To keep you grounded in the present.
Learn not to place as much attention on the time and effort between successes. Learn to enjoy the process as well as the success.
When you no longer fear the discomfort of the work involved in getting from A-Z the resistance subsides.
Then it’s easier to see yourself taking action and your motivation stirs.
Just remember, motivation requires a daily recommitment to doing the work to making what you desire a reality.
That focus creates your motivation to keep going.