Tag Archives: ADHD

Practicing what I preach

My sister is angry about being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Do you remember being angry when you were diagnosed?

I assume it’s a common reaction. Assumptions – although necessary at times – are often incorrect. Therefore, I’m testing that assumption of mine.

As for myself, I don’t recall being angry – not initially. I do remember being in denial a week after being discharged from the hospital. That didn’t last.

Stone cold reality refuted my delusion of having complete pancreatic functionality. I soon accepted the circumstances I found myself in, and went with the flow.

At some point I began fighting against the current.

Loneliness. Alienation. That’s what I remember feeling early on. Perhaps those emotions morphed into anger. That’s just speculation though.

I am certain that I did go through a period where I was extremely angry. Most of this anger was due to school though – at least, that is what I attributed it to.

Having spent the majority of my school career with undiagnosed ADHD, I chronically fell (woefully) short of my own expectations – in addition to the expectations of others. My potential remained untapped. Teachers constantly reminded me of that fact. In a word, I struggled.

Naturally, I was angry.

Why was I struggling in school?! What was wrong with me? Why had I fallen through the cracks of the system for so long?! Why don’t administrators and teachers care about helping students who are in the greatest need of help? These were my thoughts…

In retrospect, I can see how these  thoughts catalyzed my anger.  I can also see how my type 1 diabetes might have aggravated the situation I found myself in. Again, this is speculation.

I communicated my emotions only on rare occasions. These instances were the exception, not the rule.

The causes of my lack of communication were numerous, not the least of which being the inherent difficulty of expressing one’s emotions. Perhaps diabetes compounded this difficulty.

As I mentioned earlier, diabetes made me feel alienated. Describing what it’s like living with this chronic disease is futile. The communication gap cannot be bridged completely.

You are marooned on a barren island. Whether you survive is – at least in part – in your hands. Will you adapt to your environment or will you let your environment destroy you? The answer is in your hands.

Amidst a sea of uncertainty, one thing’s for sure: you are alone in your struggles.

Nobody else understands what it is like having to go through life with diabetes. Nobody else can understand.

This is how I felt. I feel this way no more.

This post = me following the advice that I gave to some one else on tudiabetes
This post = me following the advice that I gave to some one else on tudiabetes

Anger, left unchecked, will destroy you. This realization – although seemingly insignificant at the time – was a turning point. It led me to seek change.

In  order to mitigate my anger (and other counterproductive emotions) I began:

  • practicing mindfulness meditation;
  • exercising (there were other reasons as well);
  • writing as a form of therapy;
  • absorbing myself in music

This is what I can think of off the top of my head.

These practices have enriched my life.

My anger has subsided.

I have come to learn that negative circumstances are transitory.

I have realized that there are positives and negatives to all situations. The world doesn’t exist in black and white.

There is always something to complain about.

There is always something to be grateful for.

 

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Coping with stress: how do you cope?

My baby
My baby

After months of collecting dust, last week I finally decided drop my Yamaha acoustic guitar off at Guitar Center in order to get it restrung/have its truss rod fixed.  I regret not having this done sooner.

My procrastination deprived me of a powerful means of coping with stress. Given my situation, my procrastination could have cost me dearly.

Taking a proactive approach to managing stress is of paramount importance to me. In addition to living with type 1 diabetes, I also have to deal with ADHD and insomnia. All three of these conditions cause a great deal of stress. I’ve always been acutely aware of this, and have, for as long as I can remember, sought more productive ways to deal with it.

Some of the ways that I’ve tried to manage stress include: writing, reading, listening to music, meditation (zazen), playing the guitar, and exercising. All of these have helped me lower my stress levels to an extent. Unfortunately, however, they haven’t always helped me enough – especially when I was a teen.

Given my situation, I’m alway’s open to suggestions on coping with stress. Feel free to share how you cope with stress in the comments section below.

A very windy (winding) road indeed – Why you shouldn’t write titles when low

“A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail…” – Wikipedia

Happy New Years Eve!

When I woke up this morning, I had no clue what I was going to write. Looking for inspiration, I took to the internets and searched “new years resolutions” on the Google. (Excuse my excessive use of Bushisms)

The first website I clicked on was Wikipedia (an awkward place to try to find inspiration), and I found the quote that’s at the beginning of this post. This quote served as the first impetus for this post.

Originally, I planned on titling this “will you be among the 12%?” and I was going to touch upon some of the reasons we fail to achieve our goals, and explore some ways in which we might prevent that from happening. (very original)

Now, back to the google search I mentioned earlier.

With a vague idea of what I wanted to write about, I searched “goal setting” in order to find more inspiration. I found what I was looking for…

image

After reading “Why goal setting doesn’t work” by Ray Williams on Psychology Today, I began to question my assumptions about why we fail to fullfill our goals.

My topic had changed, and I began critically analyzing some of my assumptions.

While I was in the middle of writing on my new topic for today, a phrase came to mind: “moving beyond New Years resolutions”. I liked this phrase, so I decided to change my topic once again. (gotta love ADHD)

The intro to this post ends here. 

Like most of my other intro’s on this blog, I began by choosing something random to write about – whatever comes to mind – and proceeded to write about it.

At this point, I could potentially proceed a number of way. I could:

  • turn this into a discussion on decision making in general
  • preach the importance of sticking to one plan of action
  • rant about my inability to stay focused today
  • be a-you-know-what and abruptly end theirs post here
  • etc.

Instead, I’ve decided to try to return to what I originally wanted to do with this post, and, somehow, tie it in with the topic of New Years resolutions.

My attitude is this: if you make it to where you had resolved to go in the beginning, then all of the diversions you take on your life’s path don’t really matter.

When we get blown off course, it’s okay. The real problem is when we decide to not try to get back on course.

Perhaps the reason why only 12% of people succeed at accomplishing their New Years resolution is because 88% of us tend to give up after being blown off course…

This post didn’t proceed as I had originally expected. I still, however, accomplished some of what I set out to do. In addition, I:

  • admitted to not always finding it easy to write, despite my talent;
  • offer a glimpse into my approach to writing these posts;
  • express some ideas that can be used for future posts.
  • didn’t let my ADHD not get in the way of my goals.

Flipping the Birdie to Perfectionism

ADHD is being particularly meddlesome today. I can’t stay focused. As soon as I focus on something, my mind starts to wonder elsewhere. I’m not even able to absorb myself into the act of writing. I’m struggling to write, and it’s not do to a lack of ideas. Rather, there’s an overabundance of them.

I say this to bring to light a fact about blogging: it doesn’t always come easy. Oftentimes, a lot of work goes on “behind the scene’s.” What the reader is left with is a heavily polished product. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. I just don’t want my blog to be like that.

I want to have a blog that takes a more avant-garde approach… yet, I want readers – a lot of them. These two aims can and will clash.

I don’t want to allow any facade’s to be erected. I want my imperfections as a writer to shine through. This contrary to my own perfectionism, my societies unhealthy obsession with perfection, and, sometimes, writing conventions. I do this not as an end in itself, but as a statement.

Perfectionism isn’t good for anybody. For people with type 1 diabetes it’s particularly bad. [distracted by snow] Prior to being distractedly, I did have a complete thought – and I still remember it – but I’m not going to complete it. [briefly distracted by nothing in particular].

I’m not leaving that thought incomplete in order to be an asshole. I’m leaving it incomplete in order to given you a taste of what it’s like to have ADHD. Look on the bright side: you don’t have to deal with a mind that’s so unfocused…so easily distracted.

Anyways…I to get some more coffee and get back to putting finishing touches on the post I’ve been trying to get done. You’ll see that one later.

PS this short post (somehow) took 48 minutes to complete

Happy Holiday’s

On the eve of Christmas, I’d like to wish all of you a blessed time with those you love!

For me, this day has an added significance: it is the eve of my diaversity. This time of year is one of great gratitude: I’m grateful to be alive. I’m grateful that my family weren’t subjected to the pain caused by losing me at a joyous time of year. This thought is what…hurts me the most.

This thought rips me out of my self-centerdness. My thoughts, my concerns… These things no longer preoccupy my mind. I’m now permeated by feelings of compassion, sympathy…

It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of living with this disease that we forget… we forget that this disease hurts us all. True, we do recall this from time to time, but, honestly, how often is it on our minds?

And isn’t this true of our lives as a whole? We get so caught up in our own endeavors – work, school, our goals, chores, etc. – that we forget to step back and truly show our feelings to those we have strong feelings of love towards?

I’m guilty of all of these things. My ego, my pride… Not even these can cover that up. I’m a deeply compassionate person (thank you diabetes and ADHD), but what’s it worth? Do I show it? Is my compassion – at least some of the time – mere form without substance?

Compassion: this is what the world needs more of. Living with type 1 diabetes has showed me that. Having to struggle through school (despite my high intelligence) thanks to having ADHD has showed me that. We have a crippling compassion deficit, and my actions don’t always make this deficit any better… and there is nothing that can excuse that.

A great human tragedy is that while each of us lives in our own private hell, we all act as each others gatekeeper’s.

Why I Write

In the 21st century, the daily grind of life threatens to make us all grow dull. We are torn by a multitude of competing demands: by our innermost desires, by the demands society places upon us, etc. We are over-saturated: by information, by endless noise, by a flurry of activities, etc. We are all, to varying extents, caught up by this deluge, and swept away from our innermost selves. We’re all at imminent risk of losing our bearings.

For some of us, these difficulties are exponentially greater. As a person who happens to have type 1 diabetes and ADHD, this is especially true. Diabetes adds a  unique set of demands – ones that are ever-present – and my ADHD sharpens the all too common tendency to get caught up in and distracted by trivialities. It is all too easy for me to lose sight of what matters most to me. It is all too easy for me to lose sight of who I am at the most fundamental level. Introspective writing is my remedy to this.

In order to write, I need to concentrate. All external things are left at the door, opening up a space for me to delve deep into myself. Deep introspection is now a possibility. I am left alone: my thoughts, feelings, actions, etc. are before me in a way that isn’t possible when distracted. To prepare oneself to write is also to prepare oneself for introspection.

My method of writing helps my introspection in another way: it forces me to be self-honest. For me to write, I have to silence the inner critic, and let my thoughts and feelings flow. Improvement can come latter. Editing comes later. The first step is to simply write. Self-honesty flows from this method. Over-thinking is diminished.

In introspective writing, what lies within becomes manifest.  So long as the fruit of my introspection remains in my head, it quickly becomes rotten; I easily lose sight of the insights that I’ve gained. Introspective writing remedies this. Being made manifest, the fruit of my introspection is available to me in my time of need. When I’ve become lost in the demands of life, and I’m hungry for insight, it is there for me.

These are, for me, the most valuable reasons to write. They aren’t the only reasons I write, but they are the one’s with the greatest cash-value. These benefits permeate the rest of my life. It helps me to both discover and remember who I am, what my priorities are, etc. In a word, introspective writing is the ark that saves me from the deluge.