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.

The Return of the ADHD Review

I came across a podcast I just had to listen to because it was about the relationship between exercise and the brain, exercise as treatment for ADHD.  I have had an ongoing series in this blog about wellness and the struggle to maintain fitness and I try to throw in there from time to time how my mental health is affected.

Justine Ruotolo talks with Dr John Ratey about exercise and how it improves the Neuroplasticity  of our minds.  Justine and Dr. Ratey talk about rigorous exercise of the body as well as meditation (exercise of the mind) and how our brain is similar to a muscle.  Activities such as dance, martial arts, gymnastics, soccer… exercise that requires constant change of position, all help with brain health.  Dr. Ratey starts by talking about a patient he had in 1981 who had been a marathon runner.  The runner suffered an injury and subsequent depression, and began exhibiting signs of ADD.  His whole life he had essentially been self medicating with exercise.  They also talk about exercise to manage behavior in children by activating their brains instead of putting them on time out.  Exercise is great for all ages and for many disorders or dysfunctions, exercise could help with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

 

Treating with exercise is what I want to do. Exercise increases receptors of dopamine and norepinephrine, and is good for all of us, not just for treating mental of physical illness but for applying our brain and body the way they are designed to be used.  Too easily we get sucked into other dopamine triggers like video games, alcohol, etc., which can damage our brains instead of strengthen them.  Exercise is great for treating aggression, depression, self discipline, self respect, as well as developing our neuroplasticity.

If you want to listen to the podcast, you can find it here.  For more about Justine Ruotolo, click here.

Recommended reading related to this topic:

Spark

 

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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.

Why Can’t you Just Listen?!

Why Can't You Just

It was so frustrating, growing up with the constant “Why can’t you just listen?”  or “Just do what you’re told!”  I used to cringe when I heard teachers or parents address their kids this way.

Now I’m that parent.  I have three kids, and these words should have special meaning to me.  The other night, I was so fed up with the kids not doing what they were told and doing so much general kid stuff instead of just sitting and eating dinner or, later, getting their room picked up before bed.  I found myself yelling at them constantly, louder and angrier each time. Now I’m cringing at myself.  I am putting myself in the shoes of my wife in the other room and imagining what it must have sounded like to her.  I let my temper get the best of me.  Me.  The guy who should be the first to not flip his lid or lose patience, because I’ve been that kid on the receiving end.  Disgusting. Continue reading

ADHD Review: Attention Talk Radio

Having finally graduated college, it’s time to turn my attention to learning more about the ADHD community and various aspects of ADHD.  I now listen to several podcasts by ADHD coaches and personalities.  Here is the first installment of what I hope will become a monthly feature of my blog, highlighting a specific podcast, blog, or book each month which brought something new about ADHD to my attention.  You can find a sampling of June’s selection of podcasts, etc., here.

To kick it off, I would like to share Jeff Copper’s “Attention Talk Radio“, specifically Jeff’s may 25th 2016 episode regarding masturbation and sexual tendencies in relation to ADHD.  Being married to a neurotypical woman, I was immediately wondering why the potential for different sexual tendencies due to ADHD had never come up in my marriage.  Jeff’s guest, Dr. Ari Tuckman, discusses the tendency for masturbation to be higher in both genders for individuals with ADHD than those without.  Aside from the obvious potential for survey influence, Jeff and Dr. Tuckman focus on what it is about ADHD which might cause this to be the case; from people with ADHD simply being more comfortable sexually to dopamine release and my favorite new word: Procrasturbate.  They discuss the research as well as the actual benefits of sex and masturbation, and even the issue of paying attention to sexual interactions and premature/prolonged experiences.

I don’t want to spoil the whole episode so go listen to it!  Learn how masturbation and sex can relate to mindfulness, focus, and of course, Paying Attention to Attention; as Dr. Tuckman and Jeff Copper have a candid and often humorous conversation on something of a taboo topic.

 

More info on Dr. Tuckman and ADHD can be found HERE.

Guilt, self loathing, and forgiveness

Sometimes, facing the guilt of constant ADHD moments can be overwhelming.  It can be difficult to forgive yourself, and it can be difficult to accept the forgiveness of others because of your self-proclaimed stupidity and the subsequent guilt.  This is one of those times.

I went to Disney World last week, and Wednesday morning I was supposed to have a relaxing date with my wife as we had breakfast reservations at “Be our Guest“.  We took a cab to the hotel nearest the Magic Kingdom and were going to walk around the lagoon to the restaurant in the park.  Unfortunately, I had taken my phone out to charge in the cab, and left it behind when we got out!

So I called and they said the cabby would be back in about 5 minutes to drop the phone off.  I told my wife to go ahead without me so we would make the reservation, and I’d follow once I got my phone (I kept her phone so I could call again if necessary).  20 minutes later, no cab.  Continue reading