There is the belief out there that ADHD isn’t real.  There is also the belief that people with ADHD use it an excuse for bad behavior.  And in some cases, I think that belief is true.  It was for me at least.

The problem was I didn’t know I was using it as an excuse.  I’ve done a lot of work and have learned that despite my ADHD, there is always a way to succeed.  Success just may come using the “long way”.

I’ve been reading a lot of personal development books, the most recent the 10X Rule by Grant Cardone, and it helped me clarify this thought that we use our ADHD as an excuse.

As an adult, I am responsible for my actions regardless of whatever emotional or physical state I may be in.  No one has control over me.  Another person may be the catalyst that causes a trigger but the trigger is mine and I have to make a choice about how I react.

You are probably yelling at me right now….

But I don’t have a choice that I am so hyperactive.

I don’t have control over the fact that I get so emotionally charged.

I truly don’t mean to forget my purse at the movie theater

And all those things are true AND they are all excuses.  Here is what I mean.

I am hyperactive and fidget in meetings.  My ADHD makes me fidget and makes me unable to sit still for very long.  What can I do about this?  Well, I can talk to my manager and ask if it’s okay to stand.  I can bring a fidget of some sort into the meeting to help me focus.  I can do stairs for 10 minutes before the meeting to burn off some energy.

I have a choice.  I can take action and figure out a way to minimize the “itchiness” in my skin.  OR I can say, well I can’t help that I fidget, I have ADHD.

See what I mean? An excuse.

Let’s take the the purse example next.  Again, I have a choice.  I can accept (or get frustrated) that these things happen to me and inconvenience myself every time I go out OR I can figure out a different way.  I can keep my purse on my lap.  I can get something to attach the purse to me that’s long but will pull when I get up and try to walk away.  I can leave the stupid purse at home and get a fanny pack.  Eew!

By the way, I forget shit all over the place.  I recently left my phone on a Jurassic Park shoot-em up video game at our local arcade.  I was so lucky it was still there when I got back (after driving all the way home mind you).

is adhd an excuse?

I bet you’re thinking that while those are great ideas, how do you take control of the emotional part?  I’d like to see you come up with a solution for that!

Well, you are somewhat right.  The emotional piece is crazy difficult and takes a lot of work and a lot of practice.  First thing you should know is when you have a crazy emotional reaction it is most likely not because of whatever is going on right in front of you but something that happened to you when you were like 7 or something.  (I know this because I’ve done a shit ton of therapy and coaching around this very thing.)

Regardless, the trigger is like a firework going off in your head.  How can you stop a firework from going off and exploding into the sky?? Well, you need to smother the fuse before it hits the firework.  I’ll tell you how I do it to give you an example.

Blue Eyes and I have a rule.  If either one of us starts to get to an emotional level 3 (well, this is really for me) then we have to leave the room.  A 3 people!!! A 3 between 1 and 10.  Can you imagine how hard that was when we first implemented this????  I remember the suggestion to us and was like…. there is no way.  But by that point I was learning that if I really wanted something, I could do it despite my ADHD.

This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to overcome.  My thought process around this is dense enough for another whole post.  The bottom line is I was able to change my reaction to the trigger.  Not only do I try and avoid lighting the fuse but split second reaction is now to leave the room instead of rage at my husband. I don’t always succeed but it’s a vast improvement.

Even though we may say ADHD isn’t an excuse, we are still using it as a way out.  A way out of working hard to make things better in our lives and our loved ones.  The reasons isn’t that we have ADHD it’s the we haven’t thought of another way.  A way to do things differently.

I wouldn’t push this idea if I didn’t 100% truly believe that we are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.  I write this post today to tell you that there is another way.  And sometimes until someone puts it in front of your face, you don’t know that there is another way.  Forest for the trees and all that.

Is all of this harder for us than for Nuerotypicals? Yes! And we should feel incredibly proud of ourselves when we accomplish goals such as DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY!

I’d love hear your thoughts on this subject.  I really hope I got the point across because I do not want to diminish the struggle we all face.  We seriously do struggle.  And we are capable.

So much love to you all,

Happy

What’s distracting me?

I’m completely obsessed with my shampoo and my new side gig.  I’m trying to figure out a way to convince my ADHD tribe to join me as I feel MLM is an amazing opportunity for those of us that want to thrive and don’t in a conventional work setting.  Check out this post I wrote, the Top 10 Reasons Network Marketing is Awesome for ADHD.

What’s distracting you?

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2 Comments

  1. Can I pose a question to make you think a little harder about the emotional side of this? See the more I read about how the science of the part of the brain that controls emotions works (or dosent work) for a person with ADHD, the more I realize that each person with ADHD experiences ADHD to different degrees. So the rate at which a person who is severely affected by ADHD can fly off the handle is much faster than a person who isn’t quite as severely affected. Myself for example, I can’t even identify my emotions till after everything is all said and done. It pops up so quickly I don’t have time to identify what “level” I’m at! I truly think this is a medical reason for some of us. I’m not saying you are wrong. Just maybe there is more to the actual physical makeup of our brain that causes us to act out the way we do. Sometimes the only fix is medication and constant therapy. It sucks I know, but if it’s an actual genetic physical difference in our brain there’s that side of the argument that a true reason is not an excuse!

    • Happy Reply

      I think you make a really valid point. It is going to be much harder for someone who has a more severe case of ADHD. Let me give some more insight into my experience. My husband and I didn’t come to this solution on our own. We had been going to a relationship coach for a few months. A coach that really made us look at ourselves. My husband so negatively effected by my outburst (that I 100% truly thought I had no control over) that our marriage was hanging on by a thread. (Obviously there was a lot more but this part was huge). I was given the challenge and I knew that if I didn’t get control over this part of me, I was going to lose my husband. I had to train myself that when the emotion pops I had to leave the room. I make it sound simple in the post but I promise it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. And it took a really long time and a lot of tears. Even still, I may not be as severely effected as others in this area making the shift easier for me than it would have been for others. I just want to point out that despite how much we think we can’t do, if we just shift to say “maybe” or if the stakes are high enough, we can succeed. I’m so sorry you have to deal with that quick emotional trigger. It sucks so hard. Don’t give up on yourself. My solution may not be your solution. Maybe you need the other party to give you a hand signal or something that let’s you know you have escalated. Regardless, there is always something you can do to help your current situation. I truly believe that.

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