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My ADHD Coaching Journey: 5

I DON'T NEED OR WANT ADHD MEDICATION!!

We were sitting in a coffee shop for my first Living ADDventure® ADHD Coaching session. Not the best place to be when you are constantly crying but because we had agreed to put our personal relationship on hold for the duration of the Coaching doing the sessions at my home was not an option and Dave's office was 50kms away. A coffee shop halfway between was our agreed compromise.

I had seen my psychiatrist and told him I didn't want Ritalin or Concerta at this stage and told Dave that for the first time in my life I was enjoying being the "real whacky me" and I didn't want to take meds that would control my mind. If you have been down this ADHD road you have no doubt said or heard the same thing from ADDers in your life.

For most of my life I had lived in fear - fear of getting into trouble, fear of making mistakes, fear of looking stupid but now I was single again supposedly enjoying my midlife madness where I could do what I want without anyone telling me what to do.

Read more: My ADHD Coaching Journey: 5

My ADHD Coaching Journey: 7

Midlife Madness

Pat BackpackingMy ADHD journey started 6 or 7 years before I met Dave. I did not know I had ADHD and neither I nor my family had the tools to understand and deal with the issues and changes I was going through.

At 45 I was declared peri-menopausal and put onto Hormone Replacement Therapy and anti-depressants for the first time. I have since learned that the mid 40s is one of the "crash points" for people with ADHD. Grade 11, early 20s, late 20s are other significant times when ADDers go all fall down.

I had been a workaholic and I was totally co-dependent on my (ex)husband and children. I had spent my life desperately trying to "do it all". I was exhausted and angry. There must be more to life than this. A few close friends and family were ill or had died. I felt like an animal trapped in a cage. We lived on a large plot with a vast expanse of lawn in the front where I would sit cross-legged watching my dog chase the Lapwings and plan my escape.

I hated who I had become. From having been compliant and a total people pleaser I had changed into a woman who fought with everyone and then sobbed when no-one was looking. Typical hormonal behaviour you might say. Yes, that is what I thought too and to a degree that is right. However looking back over my life this was the culmination of years of undiagnosed and unmanaged ADHD with co-dependency a common close companion.

Read more: My ADHD Coaching Journey: 7

My ADHD Coaching Journey: 8

Developing Core Principles

My End of Life Party

Pat authenticWho Do I Want To Be?

How do I want to be remembered when I die?

In order to answer these questions I needed to establish what my Core Principles are. They will guide me through the rest of my life. All future decisions about what I choose to do or say will be based on these Principles.

Yes, I had principles but the big problem was that they were not mine. They were instilled in me as a child and which I carried through into adulthood without questioning them. Some of them were good but as I hit my mid 40s and I started to question the way I was living my life I got increasingly uncomfortable.

In reality they were not truly principles but rather a set of rules that were imposed by my parents, older siblings, the church and school.

Having lived a life of fear of authority I tried to live a "good" life terrified of breaking these rules, avoiding conflict at all costs and judged others depending on how they fitted into my narrow minded lifestyle.

Read more: My ADHD Coaching Journey: 8

My ADHD Coaching Journey: 9

Divorce: We need time

broken heartHumans love scandal and tragedy as long as they are not directly involved. It takes their minds off their own problems and if it makes them look better than someone else all the better.

It has become increasingly evident on Social Media that everyone is an expert on every topic and advice is freely given whether invited or not.

Divorce is recognised as the second most stressful event after death. When you have been married for several decades you are not just divorcing your spouse. There are children, in-laws, extended family and mutual friends who are affected too. Planned futures and finances are shattered.

Not even the most impulsive person wakes up one morning and decides to get divorced. It is much easier to fall in lust and rush off and get married. There are usually months and years of unhappiness, trying to make the relationship work and it is very seldom that only one party is at fault. It takes two to tie the knot and two to break it.

We teach people how to treat us.

The months leading up to the divorce are fraught with moving home, coping with children who are terrified of being abandoned and often blaming themselves for their parents breakup, fighting over who gets what, selling precious family items to "liquidate the assets".

Most of us don't give ourselves any time to grieve.

Read more: My ADHD Coaching Journey: 9

My ADHD Coaching Journey: 11

Doing to the world - It is not all about me

ADHD is full of paradoxes and this post illustrates one of the common ones. We do good things for the wrong reasons.

One of the differences between ADHD Coaching and other forms of Coaching is teaching the person with ADHD to stop focusing on themselves but to focus on others. Life revolves around us and we are totally self absorbed. This was a concept I really struggled with. I had spent my life doing good for others focusing all my attention on their needs rather than my own.

So how could I be self absorbed?

Read more: My ADHD Coaching Journey: 11