Moving To a Better State of Mind

We sometimes get caught up in painful vicious circles that never seemed to be resolved. For some it’s having the same argument over and over again with your spouse. Others might be so mired in self- doubt that despite all evidence of their talents they refuse to try anything new for fear of failure. We get stuck in a world of “I can’t do that” to the point of paralyzation and isolation. We wonder why this keeps happening to us and if it’s even possible to escape, how do we do it.

I’ve recently come to believe that we stay in an unhealthy state of mind such as recurring fear or shame even it’s painful. It’s not that we like it, but it’s familiar and has become our norm. Fear and shame or whatever our pain is has become home. It turns out it’s possible to move.

Duane Gordon, president of ADDA recently forwarded a letter from a brilliant college student with cerebral palsy asking for submissions of short stories for a student project. The project is an analogy of short story fiction written by people with disabilities in which the characters in the stories also have disabilities. Duane thought it would be a great idea for me to submit a story. My first thought was that is so cool! My second thought was I can’t do that!

When we spoke, I told him I didn’t think I could do this and he asked why. I replied that I didn’t think of my ADHD as a disability, just that my brain worked a little differently than others. He told me I did have a disability and that it was that I automatically thought I wasn’t able to do things that I could actually do very well. I didn’t like hearing that, but he was right.

I decided that moment I would submit a story. I’ve never written fiction before and I’ll probably start and stop a dozen times and finish it just before the deadline, but I’m doing it. I’m writing a short story!

Since being diagnosed with ADHD I’ve worked so very hard at recognizing and minimizing my negative thoughts about myself. I work diligently to search for my strengths and once I find them I sometimes even take the radical step of applying them to my everyday life.

I’m learning that it’s not just my negativity but those of people around me that are doing me harm. I’ve always been the first on everyone’s list to call and listen to complaints and gripes, like a sponge soaking up their overflow of angry thoughts and emotions. Well, this sponge is wrung out.

It’s a slow process but I’m finding ways to deflect and avoid these situations. If that’s not possible than I’m finding my voice to kindly and respectfully tell them I wish them well but I’ve reached my limit on negativity. It doesn’t go over big with some people and I’ve faced some ugly responses which hurts, but I’ll survive. I know my intentions and my heart and they are true and good and I don’t owe any explanations.

I’ve missed out on many of the things I’ve wanted most in my life because I told myself I was not capable or deserving of them. That state of mind is no longer a comfortable place to live. I have outgrown it and no matter how much purging and packing may hurt, I’m saying yes to moving forward.

    • student
    • January 26, 2018

    i have ADD. i was dx while doing my undergraduate degree. i have difficulty completing tasks, time management, low self esteem, and feeling as if i cannot accomplish my goals. with a support system made up of persons that understood ADD, i was able to complete university with a BA. while doing my Masters and later on PH.D., i stuggled and eventually withdrew from my PH.D. because i didn’t have the same or a support system in place. i often feel as if i cannot do new tasks and feel easily overwhelmed with that thought. it resulted in me quitting my job, university organizatio, and my Ph.D.

  1. Reply

    I have been exsperiencing the same struggles, mainly becasue I did not think being ADHD was a disablity. However, i have had some legal issues that were due to my disablity to concentrate, that finally out of being frustrated, I blurted out in front of my attorney ” I am sorry, I am ADHD and all the things I have been asked to do, is not fair becasue I am handicaped. I hate it and embarassed about it.” The attorney said” you most definatly do have disbility and by not omittting you are looking guilty, which by all mens you are not” . I have a pending DWI even after I was forced to to give blood which came back way below the legal limit. But I failled the Eye test where you must focucs. I told them that I could not do those test, becase of being ADHD. I passed all the other test and I was not even driving” I have just recently found hope in this case through God and actually just simply omitting that I cant do somthings as good as others due my disablity. Bottoem line is most of with ADHD have simply been getting by through a nontraditional way of coping and thinking.

    • Melissa Larson
    • August 28, 2017

    I wish it was as easy as just telling your brain enough and you could change. I do know people like that but I’m not. I also struggle with will power/motivation. I’m really trying to change. Thank you for your story. I hope you will see your value because you must be very special. Anyone who puts their worse struggles/qualities out for the world to see is amazing. I know it’s not to help yourself, so it has to be because you want someone else to struggle/hurt less. I have to say that you helped me because I’m struggling to except that adults having ADHD is real. I figured children grew out of it. I have been diagnosed and I felt kinda different. You made me realize that it is a disability. Thinking that way helped me realize the problem so I can have a platform to start building change from.
    ? THANK YOU & GOD BLESS! ✝️ ?

    • Betty
    • August 26, 2017

    Great story. I got tagged to do a presentation at our local CHADD chapter. I will try to be mindful of my own negativity.

    • Michelle Sinford
    • July 19, 2017

    PS Almost forgot, love the picture with all the positive traits!!!!! That would make a great anchor! MIchelle S in Maine

    • Michelle Sinford
    • July 19, 2017

    Wow.,…Patti!!!! Grea, great job!And on top of that, it’s like you interviewed ME and helped me verbalize MY story & my recent realizations. This SOOOOO ties in with my counseling session today and my session with my coach on Monday & last week’s session with my psych nurse!!!!! I just have a minute now but saw there weren’t any comments yet (and I don’t know how often there are as I’m often very behind in reading and then there’s the ADHD Expo going on) but bravo in capturing some VERY IMPT THOUGHTS and helping me sum up some thoughts to share with my coach & other providers that are just started surfacing. I hope to share more another time. I’m truly grateful!!!! You are truly right abt the negativity causing US harm.. Way too much to say here…And I love the anology with the sponge (yes, I’m the go-to person too)!!!!! .Also, thank you to Duane for making a very impt point that you included in the introduction to your article. Believe it applies to me as well & will need to explore. To our strengths & all the best to you & all of “our tribe”, Michelle S in Maine

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