Not everything is Progress, and that doesn’t matter

Not everything in life will be rainbows and butterflies, let’s face it.  Here I sit, in the dark of my house at night while the rest of my family sleeps.  Not just in the dark of my house, but also in the darkest place of my heart. 

I have the tough challenge of having to balance many things in my life.  I have a wife and two children with her, along with a daughter from a previous relationship.  I have to juggle my own imperfection with that of my life.  My oldest lives in two households with different rules and personalities.  My wife and I have different opinions on how to run our own household and how to raise three kids with different circumstances and values. We often find ourselves at an impass; and my emotions, my inability to see things the way most people see things, makes parenting more difficult than it should be.  

My parents are divorced and with each of them comes a unique set of difficulties and pleasures.  Annoyances and comforts.  Frustration, anger, and love.  I have a long distance and often strained,often complicated, but always worth it, relationship with my mother; and a geographically closer, simpler, yet often intimidating relationship with my father.  I can only hope to be half the parent either of them are to me.

My wife and I come from different backgrounds.  I am her city boy and she is my country girl.  I am complicated where she is not.  We can both be stubborn and I couldn’t have hoped for a better person to spend my life with; but marriage can be stressful.  Parenting can be stressful.  We don’t always see eye to eye, eithe because we disagree or because we just don’t understand where the other is coming from sometimes.

I think most people look to us bloggers for guidance, for hope.  To be fair, however, sometimes hope is hard to find.  Sometimes you have to accept that there are things in life over which you have very little control.  It could be your emotions, their emotions, the upbringing of your own children… and in the end you can’t always look to hope.  You simply have to do your best to love everyone in your life and trust that the best possible outcome will arise so long as you maintain that love and non-judgement.   

If you are a part of my life, be that part big or small; know that I have nothing but love for you, otherwise you would not be in my life.  I want nothing but the best for you, and there is no one I know who isn’t capable of finding their way to the best life they can have.  We may not always agree, and it may be my fault more often than not when things go wrong or we disagree. I accept that and thank you all for being in my life anyway.  Near or far, big or small; there is not a single person in my life I am not thankful for.  If you come to my blog for support, answers, or comfort; know that in love these things can be found. Find the love in your heart and share it.  It is there, I promise.

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My ADHD made me do it

I have witnessed that support groups can be either very helpful (supportive), or unfortunately very unforgiving.  We have all experienced discrimination from people who I lovingly refer to as Normies. We act out in school, talk out-of-turn, are called spaz and retard.  This is the world we know.  A person new the the diagnosis is easy to spot, as everything that happens to them is on account of their ADHD.  When you’re talking to an entire group of people with ADHD, you don’t have to explain. In fact, for a lot of people, it’s kind of annoying.  At least, that’s how it seems to me.  Sometimes I feel like an wizened old codger watching, reading the interactions of people so much newer to the game than I.  Other times, of course, I feel helpless without the people I’ve met in the ADHD community.

For me, gone are the days of “my ADHD made me.”  I am my ADHD. Which means I must be hyper aware of what I say, how I act.  Not easy, I dare say often next to impossible.  Hindsight, though. Hindsight’s a bitch.  Shoot off an email, then realize I said something the wrong way.  But my ADHD didn’t make me do that.  My impatience did.  

I digress.  With ADHD, we know discrimination.  We know inequality. But imagine being black or Muslim AND having ADHD, or any other mental illness.  Imagine being a lesbian or transgender, and having a disability which makes self control nearly impossible.  

What I witnessed was about someone not understanding something they read about immigrants (blaming their ADHD) and how they were spurned afterward.  ADHD didn’t cause this to not understand.  That would be ignorance.  Questioning it was the right thing, that’s how we learn.  ADHD caused this person to not think about the way they asked, which further displayed their ignorance.  THEN, they were unfriended and told off by someone of equal ignorance rather than that person taking the opportunity to educate their peers.   

So while so many people are blaming their actions on the trials of life caused by their skin color, or their mental illness, or their righteousness, ignorance breeds ignorance. Racism breeds racism. Discrimination begets discrimination.  Excuses traded for more excuses.  

Be aware of your ADHD  and act accordingly. Be aware of How your race, your disability, or your lifestyle might be judged or might keep you from understanding others. Understand your own situation and how best to adress it before entering into discourse, and think about how and why others might feel the way they do, as strongly as you feel the way you do.  Be open minded about the fact that your situation may provide you with better circumstances than others.  Others’ situations may put them in worse circumstances.  Race, religion, disability; they are all real. They all cause very real problems for people. Very different problems.  
I’m not sure this is written as clearly as it needs to be.  Some things are difficult to stay PC about.  You can’t just say your problems are worse than mine or anyone else’s.  You can’t just say you know someone’s pain because you have pain.  And you can’t hide behind your circumstances.  That’s the gist of it.

Wellness wagon: week 29.5

I’m finally starting to come out of my holiday slump. I had the day off today, so I went for a run this morning and finally took down my Christmas tree.  It’s only been up for 3 months…

I am heavier now than I was this time last year but it is already starting to come off again. I am still cigarette free.  Maybe this is the start of my tough mudder/ 13.1 training?

I just have to say that getting off my ass and getting stuff done today felt good.  I cleaned a bit, ran some errands, took down the Christmas tree, finished packing my Christmas package to my mom,  ran, played some video games, and right now I’m baking sriracha bacon tuna balls.  After that it’s swai filets in cream of mushroom sauce that’s goin in the oven for dinner, and while that’s being eaten, an apple crisp will go in for dessert.  

It’s been a good day.

Wellness wagon: falling off

Week 25ish.  I am still cigarette free.  Otherwise I’m not doing so well.  I know, I know.  How am I supposed to motivate and inspire…? Tell me about it.  I’m at a point where that’s going to be tough.  So many people with and without ADHD experience seasonal depression.  I haven’t been diagnosed with it, myself,but I wouldn’t be surprised.  

I know that if I go out and run a couple miles every morning.  I even tell myself this all day every day.  To those people who say to me “Andrew, you don’t understand. It’s not that easy,”  I say to you “I do understand. I haven’t run more than 1 day per week for almost 2 months. In fact I’ve gone several weeks at a time without a single run.”  That doesn’t make it any less true that a run will make me feel better.  

So right now I’m drinking and eating my way through the winter blahs along with so many people; feeling like crappy about it, and knowing that I can escape the fog anytime with healthy food anytime and exercise, yet no motivation to do either.

ADHD Review – Miss ADD: Transcending the Effects of ADHD in a Relationship

It’s time!  July’s ADHD review is in.  This month there were a few podcasts that resonated with me.  While I would never say any one is better than another, this month we’ll take a look at Justine Ruotolo’s “Miss ADD” podcast.  Justine has been an ADHD coach for 20 years.  She leads a couple of support groups in the L.A. area, and hers was the very first podcast/broadcast I ever participated in.

Miss ADD: Transcending the Effects of ADHD in a Relationship

Mary and Dave start by talking about how they met and fell in love.  Justine then asked how they realized ADHD was a thing, and that it might have been affecting their relationship.  How did Mary accept that David has ADHD?  By the way, their daughter has it too!  They are both certified behavioral analysts which really makes this interesting.  Our ADHD is a gift but it is not perfect and there are sometimes issues we have to overcome and the show explores how this is done.

 

Mary and David speak of the covenant of their marriage, and how prayer and their devotion to each other mix with their analytical approach and allow them to separate the symptoms from the person with ADHD. They also talk about raising their ADHD daughter using their faith and experiences to help.

 

There’s more, and you’ll have to listen to get it all!  I hope you enjoy it 🙂

 

ADHD Review: July Teaser

Here we are, prepping for July’s ADHD Review!  Without further ado here’s what I’ve listened to so far…

 

1st podcast: ADHD Rewired Ep122 w/ Alex Hofeldt of the Beautiful Dust Specks podcast.

Eric and Alex talk about a lot of pertinent material.  Alex makes connections between fields of thought and talks about the obstacles that ADHD brings to his life.  You will like this podcast if you can relate to never having a quiet mind, social awkwardness, seeing patterns and connections everywhere you look, not enjoying phone conversations, and forgetting peoples’ names; among other things.  The main theme of the show is friendship, specifically how we socialize and how friends interact with us (or don’t).

2nd podcast: Miss ADD: Transcending the Effects of ADHD in a Relationship

Justine Ruotolo talks to Mary and David about the effects of ADHD in a relationship.  Mary came to Justine’s support group one night to try to understand life with ADHD to better understand her husband and daughter and their ADHD.  I instantly related because I am married to someone without ADHD and so understanding executive function (or lack thereof) is very important in my own journey.  What is it like for a neurotypical spouse to sometimes feel like they are married to a child?  What is it like for an ADHD spouse to feel like they are married to a parent?  Find out, from this couple of 23 years.

 

3rd: See in ADHD 84: The Attention Deficit Hyperactive Advantage

Jennie talks to Corey about what it’s like finding yourself and accepting your ADHD.  Corey’s spoken word piece about ADHD can be found Here. Corey has done a great job coming to terms with his ADHD.  He’s dealt with judgement, medication, and now he’s living his life the way he chooses, embracing his ADHD.  His ADHA.  His Attention Deficit Hyperactive…  Advantage.

 

I don’t put anything in the teaser that is not worth listening to.  Please give these individuals the attention, shares, likes, and clicks they deserve.

Fear

7-4-2016

FEAR

 

Fear is a force to be reckoned with.

 

Growing up, my main motivation was the fear of letting down my team mates and my family.  I would beat myself up over grades and performance because I didn’t want others to beat me up over it.  I was a pretty good runner, and a pretty good student, but not really all that happy.

I was afraid also to make friends, and had a hard time keeping the friends I had, with a few very important exceptions.  In any kind of relationship, be it friend, family, or romantic, I realize that fear of letting the other party down, or even more so fear that I’ve already let them down drives me crazy.  If I think I’ve pissed off or annoyed a friend, I may not talk to that friend for months, secretly hoping they will say to me “Hey, Andrew, why haven’t you called?  Everything ok?  Let’s hang out!”  Of course, it really just looks like I’m avoiding that friend or those individuals and I look like the bear who shouldn’t be poked.

I wrote the other day about my temper having gotten the best of me one night, trying to get my kids ready for bed.  That night has been gnawing at me.  I am so afraid that I’ve royally screwed up that I can’t help but practically beg for ways to make things better.  Constantly asking my wife if she needs anything, taking the family to a move, trying harder to stay on top of the housework so there’s less for me to get on everyone else about; these are all ways I’m trying to work past my fear.  The anxiety is overwhelming, and I expect that any day, my girls will tell me they don’t like being around me.  That anxiety, that fear that I’m already in the doghouse and it’s just a matter of time before the locks on the house are changed, it’s terrible.  I have only myself to blame, right?  That’s what I keep telling myself.

 

I haven’t been running since last Wednesday.  I have been walking every day but I think that the inconsistency in my running is more detrimental than not exercising at all.  I have had a hard time staying on task and controlling my knee-jerk reactions.  I feel like everything is falling down around me.  I can only do my best to put on a happy face and just keep swimming.  Hopefully getting back into the routine after the holiday will help.  Otherwise, I am not sure how to stop being a nervous wreck.