Moira shares experiences and examples from the last three years, including healing from a brain injury, about how we can rebuild trust in ourselves by using our own lived experiences to make decisions in our own best interests (she may have shot herself in the foot a few times in the past). She discusses ways to build an ADHD Friendly Lifestyle using both our strengths and challenges to help create a world that works for, not against us, tossing us a few reminders along the way about what we can do when (not if!) we forget to do the things.
Moira Maybin 00:10
Having ADHD takes ongoing support, reminders, and time to be able to make the choices that fit our unique brain strengths and challenges. So we can live the life we want, that is satisfying and sustainable. On today's episode, we're discussing parts of an ADHD friendly lifestyle, to use our own lived experiences, to make decisions in our own best interest to see what and how we can do things in a kinder, more compassionate way. And a reminder about how it's not if we will forget to do the things that help us. But when.
Moira Maybin 00:49
Welcome to the ADHD friendly lifestyle, part of the ADHD reWired Podcast Network. I'm your host, Moira Maybin a woman, Mom, educator, and I have Late diagnosed ADHD. This is the place to practice getting rid of guilt or shame and spending more time with our strengths and passions. There are things that I wish I had known about my ADHD sooner that are allowing me to make different decisions to make my life more ADHD friendly, and I want to share them with you. For shownotes, including next steps, resources and articles on this topic, visit ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com.
Moira Maybin 01:30
In today's world, the expectations are high for how we move through the world and what we are expected to smoothly manage. There's cooking cleaning, laundry, shopping, personal and home upkeep, and maintenance. If we have children, the expectations roles and things we're responsible for appointments, education, activities, transportation, the social director can seem endless. Women typically have greater expectations on and for themselves in all these areas. Typically, we are also responsible for the family social calendar, get-togethers, birthdays, holidays, vacations, friendships, probably even date nights to now we need to navigate all of this while trying to stay safe and healthy during a pandemic. Oh, yes. And we're also known as the sandwich generation with aging parents who need increasing care to Don't forget there's either having, putting on hold, or recalling from the distant past a job or career. Hmm. This list is scary. tiring, overwhelming. What did we leave off? Oh, yeah, absolutely anything to do with our well-being, or the time and energy it takes to have ADHD. With so many obligations, goals, and competing interests, it seems obvious and predictable, that we would tend to neglect our health, our nutrition, sleep, and physical activity. If something has got to give, let's have it be something that we can try and hide from the world. We then become disconnected from our needs, our bodies, and our minds going into survival mode. Here's a heartwarming, okay, really honest quote, from a research study on the impact of a late diagnosis of ADHD, having a late or miss diagnosis is also associated with difficulties and being consistent as a parent having problems in managing jobs and household conflicts at home, school or work, reduce the quality of life, and an increased risk of divorce and single parenting. Wow, what a cheery prospect. Does that reality sound familiar? Yes. Does it have to be that way? No. I totally relate to the difficulties with being consistent as a parent. Because with two kids with ADHD, I can be so freaking exhausted and spent, that I just can't even get the energy to deal with something. Having a spouse who has been regularly away for work for their entire lives, has meant many weeks of parenting on my own. Now that they're both teenagers and dad is away. Even with food in the house, and a meal picked, dinners often don't happen. And everyone fends for themselves. Cereal toast leftovers, bad times get missed. And the three of us with ADHD tend to splinter off into our own realities. I guess I'm checking myself. While they may not be as often as I'd like they get to school on time with homework done. And we get through the week. So we survive that word again. I don't know what you I don't want to feel like I'm just trying to survive. I can accept that for short time. But in the long term. I want to feel satisfied with my life at a minimum. And I want to feel like I'm thriving. If you were going to pause now and I don't really want you to pause now because I want you to keep listening to the episode. But could you consider your relief ship to your health? What would it be? Where does your health fall in your values? Do you ignore it? What about feeling like you're satisfied with your life? Are there aspects that require attention or care? How close to burnout are you? Do you need more rest and rejuvenation? We often experience time in two ways now or not now, it's so easy to put taking care of ourselves and health in the not now category until we are impacted by a poor health condition directly in the face. having ADHD brings unique health challenges to be able to deal with that requires an understanding of our ADHD along with cultivating trust within ourselves, to use our own lived experiences to inform our decisions that are in our best interests. To sum that up, we need to create a world to live in that works for us.
Moira Maybin 06:00
While we are busy tending to others, and our responsibilities we can neglect to take care of our health and needs, then so many of us compare ourselves to others thinking that if they can do it, so should we and then we push harder, but at an expense to our health. What if we stopped the unfair comparisons and judgments? Can we consider trying different, which may be uncomfortable? But do we want it to keep going the way it's been going? What if we questioned our societal expectations for ourselves and others? When I was diagnosed four years ago, I had an extremely hopeful year, that abruptly ended when I fell off a cliff at the end of summer, right before I was to start a job that I had waited eight years to get. And I never got to do it. The three years since have been very challenging. And many times hope is in short supply. Spending these last three years, repeatedly struggling until I am forced to accept what is physically, emotionally, mentally, has required a lot of growth, much of which has been painful. I examine if my habits or behaviors are helping me or not, I must question myself consistently and deeply because I am quite good at convincing myself and others, that what is being asked of me, or what I want to do is in my best interest. Remember, I don't like waiting, I have a hard time asking for help. I'm disconnected from my body and I suck at self-care. So it'll come as no surprise that I often wasn't up to or in fact, harming myself trying to do whatever the thing was, it always comes at the expense of my healing or well-being. I hate being in that position. But honestly, it wasn't any different than what I had done for decades. Now it was just more obvious and the cost was higher. What I did learn was that the time for the feedback loop to occur was getting shorter. And I could see what wasn't working in a shorter timeframe. And before less damage was done to me, this doesn't mean that it was all bad, and how I spent my time, just a part of my success includes a lot of trial and error, and many failures. Something else interesting also happened. Many of us can have thoughts or beliefs about how some of our habits or behaviors. They're just societal expectations are messages that we take on, that they're bad for us and serve no valuable purpose. For me, that would include letting myself follow my thoughts and ideas, exploring them with the help of Google, or watching TV. Having a brain injury helped me reconsider these two things, and let go of what other people might think. Because for me, they're actually useful tools, and part of both an ADHD friendly lifestyle, and my healing. I'm sure many of you know about people with brain injuries, struggling with sounds, lights, movements, things that we can often find on a TV. Staying in a dark room isn't recommended anymore for giving your brain including visual and auditory systems time to heal is important. For me, what I could tolerate would change. And for a while, I could listen to podcasts and books either resting or when I could walk or be outside. I couldn't manage screens for a while. But then something happened. My brain wanted to run faster than I could handle. And I spent so much time trying to manage my thinking that I was either exhausted or had headaches. Two things helped increase my stimulant medication and watching TV. I needed to watch certain shows that would keep my brain just engaged enough that it wasn't overheating, or trying to do other things. And that way, it was able to rest. It was easier at that point in reading. I wasn't up to that my traditional harness for my brain to slow down and to rest. This means that I took frequent TV breaks during the day. I had to refrain that taking downtime watching TV at 830 in the morning isn't bad but necessary. At any time of day, because I now can feel my brain not working well. For those of you who worry about getting stuck with something like this, two things would happen. If I get stuck there, it's because I'm tired, or I need to go to bed. Or I'm avoiding doing something I don't want to do, which is a different problem that requires a different solution. But when I needed it for a brain break, I would start to feel better. And I would start to think about doing other things. Because that's what my brain was ready for. Noticing without judgment has been an important part. New self-awareness, particularly to me, like this happened during that time, and was formative in my recovery, and has helped me ultimately create a life that is more friendly and less hostile, having the time and ability to question and then let go of other societal expectations, or the past is making the present more peaceful.
Moira Maybin 11:03
Becoming involved in group coaching as a participant. And then as a coach is one of the most important things that I've done for myself and my ADHD. ADHD reWired Coaching and Accountability program was created by people with ADHD for people with ADHD, and everyone involved has ADHD. We've already started our 26th season of our award winning online coaching and accountability groups, and it's my fourth season as a coach. This means we are adding people to our winter interest list. If you're wondering what group coaching with accountability is, and what it can do for you, you're in the right place to learn more, go to ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com slash coach to learn more. ADHD reWired the 27th season of online coaching and accountability groups are going to be starting in early January and going to the middle of March. My section is ideal for those early starters on the west coast. And those who want to do group early in the day, because we meet at 6am Pacific. There are other times available with Coach Roxie and founder Eric Tivers. If you've been waiting to get your name on the interest list, go directly to coachingrewired.com, and click on the blue button there to have your name added to the interest list. For the first time, we're holding our kickoff registration event on Saturday, October 30. That date again is Saturday, October 30. At 10am Pacific noon, central registration is by invitation only, you need to have your name on the interest list to get invited. And to stay up to date. Go to coachingrewired.com to get on the interest list. Not sure what to expect. Let's listen to our past members about what they had to share about their experiences in our coaching groups.
The most significant part of a group or just meeting the other members that you know, I've gotten to know 11 other people from really diverse backgrounds who have so many of the same past experiences as I've had, and learning about them. And working together has really made me feel a sense of community and connection with people deeper than people that I've known for a long time. And another significant part of coaching for me is the relationships I did form with my 18 I've met three really intelligent and successful women who've shared so many of the same ADHD experiences as I have. And during our mastermind sessions have provided a format for us to think deeply about really significant problems, and being able to bring our own unique perspective to helping each other work through some of those things that some clarity. I know that I shorted That was amazing.
For me, it was because my diagnosis was so recent. Before coaching, I was really just looking to learn more and I'm like tricks and tools to make life easier. Because I felt okay, now I have a diagnosis. That's why life is so hard. And I think what was so important about the last 10 weeks is that I realized life's not necessarily hard because of the ADHD it's hard because I put too much on my plate. It would be hard for anybody that opened me up to like finding balance and it's not just affecting work, but it impacts everything. And everything's important, like my home life and my family are just as important, if not more, I need to focus on that too. So I think figuring that out has been pretty big
before This group, I felt really stuck, like I was just spinning my tires and not getting anywhere, just living life and going through the motions, but I'm in the same spot. But now, I still get stuck. But I've got a winch in my car now, and I can pull myself back out. You know, if I can't I know who I can call to help get the car out. And maybe still a long way to go. But I had the tools to get there now. Our next registration event is Saturday, October 30, at 10am, Pacific noon Central, go to coachingrewired.com and click on the blue button.
Moira Maybin 15:29
Welcome back. Here's something else to consider. What if we don't need fixing? What if who we are and how we are, can exist in this world in a way that is satisfying and does no harm to others? What if we took our whole self and focused on both our strengths and our differences, and how they can work for us? I know I'm different. I've always known that. Now I understand it and why? When I am surrounded by neurotypical people, sometimes I feel disconnected and dissimilar. And there were times in my life when neurotypical people were all I had, and that was hard. I just would feel alone in and out of sync. I'd hide in the bathroom to get breaks. Nowadays, I'm able to surround myself with people who support being in the world in a way that works for me. So I get both reinforced for how I want to live. And I laugh a lot. Because we find these differences entertaining, even when we are not trying to be entertaining. What was once a source of sadness or despair, is now a never-ending well of humor. When we add in my imagination running wild for both good or evil, I can come up with so many what-ifs or possibilities that I could easily derail a conversation, meeting, podcast, you name it all in the name of getting a giggle. This very active brain feels compelled to think through or plan for as many thoughts as I can. But there's not enough time in the day for that. And while it's the same thought process that leads to great ideas, it can also lead to great anxiety. Fortunately, I'm leaving the anxiety behind with mindfulness, and a more ADHD friendly lifestyle. Worry, or not trusting myself? Because I've gotten things wrong so many times means it's familiar to question doubt, value more highly other people's perspectives, worry about offending, or even banging into people unintentionally. Wow, that's an exhausting list. I know having those thoughts have made me a more observant and compassionate person. I also know that I'm harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. So instead of thinking that that part of me needs changing or fixing, I'm reframing my thinking. And it's quiet had many of those thoughts. Now I operate on the premise that I know I am a good person, and that if someone knows me, they know value kindness, compassion, communication and understanding. So if I say or do something that doesn't land that way, there must have been a misunderstanding or miscommunication. I wouldn't intentionally be hurtful or do harm. If the other person doesn't understand that, then they don't know me. This has allowed me to stop worrying so much about so many things. I have used my past experiences to make decisions on how I see myself. And that helps me view myself in a kinder, more compassionate, and I think realistic light. Except maybe when I'm sitting in the Zoom Room by myself, then I'll still wonder if I'm in the right place at the right time. A way to grow trust within ourselves is to accept that we will forget to do the things that help us have fewer hard days. It's one thing to say, let's use our past lived experiences to help figure out what works for the best. It's another to actually remember them, then do them. I love being outside. Now I would never accept a job that meant I couldn't see outside or go outside during the day. yet. There's been countless times I would plan on spending time outdoors, but instead I spent years looking outside. Why you ask what kept me in? Well, I would do something called proximity prioritization. If something was in close proximity to me, I would prioritize that, or you in front of my nose, you've got my attention. I could spend days indoors, when I would fully intend to go outside each of those days. The pattern has played out all over my world. So how did I change it? Well, after my diagnosis and learning more about ADHD, I was able to talk about it and the struggle with those I trusted and who also understood ADHD. Now I had a name for it. Proximity prioritization. Next posted notes to myself in the places I would likely get sidetracked that either said, Go outside, or proximity prioritization.
Moira Maybin 20:10
I also put going outside on my daily list. With all these things the frequency increased. For my weird type of fun. I also talked to other people with ADHD and ask them did they notice how they felt when they went outside? We would even try it together. Notice how we feel, think go outside, and stand still, I would notice sounds air movement, light that I didn't see before. They did too. They said they felt better. We smile knowingly at each other, like we had solved a great mystery. Seriously. In the winter, where I live on the west or west coast of Canada, I made sure I had waterproof everything. So I can still go outside and be comfortable. When I forget. And I do and I get outside I have that same experience every time. My mind, body and soul. Take a moment to shout out at me. Hey, you notice this it's nice, right? Get more of that. I can even use that in a small way to help myself get back into doing the things when I forget how important it is. I've just had a bad cold and stopped going outside again. After doing the school run. I love the feel of the air. So I spontaneously decided to spend 15 minutes, clearing the driveway of needles and leaves. And I told myself it was part of the return process to being outdoors more. no judgment, no expectations, and it was awesome. What small things bring you happiness. How can you remind yourself to do them. This is where we're gonna stop for today. I'm going to continue next week exploring ways we have the power to create and build an ADHD friendly lifestyle that works for us.
Moira Maybin 22:00
Okay, you've done the hard work by staying to the end, your reward. Here are the main takeaways today's episode. Part of having an ADHD friendly lifestyle means building a trust in our own lived experiences, to make decisions in our own best interests. Focusing on ourselves as a whole person, our strength and our challenges. Is there a way to be kinder and more compassionate to our whole self? gets when not if we will forget to do things that help us so having small ways to remind us like my post it notes for proximity prioritization to go outside. I hope you've enjoyed today's show, and we'd love to hear your thoughts. To get in touch you can write me an email at ask at ADHD friendly lifestyle.com. connect with me on my website, Instagram, and Facebook at ADHD friendly lifestyle or twitter at ADHD FL. Every episode has a website page with show notes transcripts next steps resources and articles related to the topic. To get these visit ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com. If you'd like to support the podcast, the best way is to subscribe on the podcast player of your choice and by taking the time to rate and review it there for ADHD reWired Podcast Network has four other podcasts for your listening pleasure. On Hacking your ADHD Will Curb gives tips tools and insights. Brendan Mahan hosts ADHD Essentials focusing on parenting and education. MJ is expanding the conversation around ADHD diversity and mental health on ADHD Diversified. And EricTivers hosts ADHD reWired with in depth stories and interviews. If you have never been a room, either personally or virtually, with a group of ADHDers, you are missing out on a special treasure. I invite you to join all of us on the second Tuesday of every month at 10:30am. Pacific for our live Q&A. To sign up, go to ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com/about and scroll down to the green register button. So that's the second Tuesday of every month you can join us for our live Q&A. Go to my website, ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com/about and when you're at the live Q&A, be sure to let me know you're there because of the podcast. Thanks for listening. See you later.