Humor? Struggling with ADHD can be very serious business. For a period of time I believed that I had ADHD. However, years later I discovered that instead I have Celiac Disease. It turns out that undiscovered Celiac Disease can, due to the lack of nutrition, give you the symptoms of ADHD. Now that I am eating correctly and absorbing the nutrients I need again, my symptoms have subsided.
Boy it was tough before I found out though. I thought I was losing my mind! Misplacing multiple things a day, losing track of time, fighting off feelings of depression, and anxiety attacks. All these things made it very difficult for me to just function. I became an impatient mom and a very reactive wife. Life was difficult and serious.
Thank goodness I had help discovering that humor and laughing can help the situation.
On my 2nd CD I wrote a couple songs of humor about ADHD. I did so not to make fun of it, because it’s not funny, but to use humor as a survival tool. When I discovered these songs helped me smile, I realized that they could help others too!
These songs were written to help people with ADHD or those people who live with someone who has it. Help? How in the world could a song help? Well, humor is a great coping mechanism. Life can start feeling pretty darn serious when you misplace important documents, or your car keys, when time is of the essence. Anxiety starts to build and you begin to question yourself, your intelligence, and your trustworthiness. That is not a good feeling. The more you start to doubt yourself the more distracted you become which causes you to actually misplace even more things. It just becomes a downward spiral!
I wrote these songs to help you and me take a deep breath, shake it off, and pull ourselves off the floor of frustration. Humor can do that, and who doesn’t want some humor?
Now whether you have ADHD or any other chronic health issues that takes its toll and makes daily life a bit challenging, a good laugh can positively impact your day. Chemicals in your brain release serotonin when we laugh. In addition to feeling better, serotonin helps you think clearer. When we relax we can remember things we couldn’t or problem solve something we thought was impossible. We can become patient and persistent longer.
When we get upset it actually hinders our ability to think logically and instead we react which often makes the situation we are in worse. So stop, take a step away from the situation, listen to a silly tune and then try again.
Humor, Meet Life
I use the songs to help me stay lighthearted when I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with life. Otherwise I just can easily get depressed. Going down the path of depression is no laughing matter and you want to nip it in the bud ASAP. Depression blinds us from all that is good about ourselves. We end up feeling small, insecure, and out of control. Sometimes it can come out in forms of anger that attack or are passive aggressive. Other times it can come out as neglect towards those you love most.
Reach for the light, the light of humor and you can become a light for others!
Be gracious with yourself and those you love through laughter!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get downright discouraged about stuff. I work really hard and things just don’t always go the way I had hoped. There are times that I think for all the effort I have put in it should work but life doesn’t hand out A’s for effort. (Bummer huh?) Can you relate?
However, I have observed in myself and others that our attitude towards everything we put effort into does matter! I love watching the Olympics and seeing people giving everything they’ve got. But what I really love are the stories behind the athlete. It’s not the winners that grab my attention. My heartstrings are tugged when I know the challenges a person overcame just to get to participate in the Olympics. It’s their attitude that ultimately got them to where they are. A person can be awesome at something but when things don’t go just their way, take on a sour attitude, and actually sabotage their own dreams.
Now I don’t know about you but I can get pretty stuck sometimes emotionally. I get a picture in my head and that is what I want to accomplish, period! When things don’t go as I plan, like anyone, I have a choice to make, either get ticked or step back and get creative. This, of course, is easier said than done. Sometimes I get really passionate about stuff. But being a donkey’s behind doesn’t get me anywhere! I have to talk myself out of feeling like I have every right to have a big old pitty party highlighted with lovely outbursts of frustration and a few colorful words.
Being a songwriter I have found that writing a song about life’s speed bumps is a great way to go! A few years ago I wrote a song called, The Construction Man Blues, because there was so much construction going on that I couldn’t start recording my third CD. It’s one of my favorites!
A few months later I was on my way to a gig, when my iPhone map-app sent me to a construction site instead of the Coffee Studio. I was honked off at first and figured it wouldn’t be worth writing because it would be a bit too colorful to share (ahem, unhelpful attitude). But then I figured out it could be a fun topic and I got creative (better attitude).
Ironically, the delay of recording my 3rd CD has allowed me the time and the life experiences I needed to be able to write several new songs. These news songs I think are some of my best material yet! The CD is going to have a nice mix of folk and blues when it is done. These are my two favorite styles.
Remember, attitude is everything. It can move you forward or drag you down. It’s solely up to you!
What moments in your life have required you to shift your attitude?
Add to the conversation (below)! We’ll be glad you did.
Being your own cheerleader is most important!…and actually, necessary. Your view of yourself and your self talk is the most powerful input you will ever get.
Often I will discover or have it pointed out to me some routine I didn’t finish that negatively impacted someone. We call it in my house, an “open loop.” I open windows in the a.m. to cool down the house but I forget to close them before the sun comes around, so the house is twice as hot as it would have been. I feed the cats but forget to put away the catfood afterward. (I will get back to the catfood in my part-2 blog.) These are the kind of loops that are easiest to leave open because they involve timing but not much thought. I can be thinking about something completely different as I do these things so I may get distracted and pick up on a thought in the middle of my task. Oi!
Here is what I mean:
The windows – If I don’t set a timer for the closing of the windows I will most likely forget. There have been times I have remembered early and thought to myself, ‘ it’s too early…I will come back to it’ with every intention of doing so. Convinced I will, I go on with my day but end up completely forgetting. I am better off doing something either immediately when I think of it or I need to set a timer. Really those are my two options. It’s tricky though because doing it immediately may keep you from accomplishing something else you had planned to do. It’s good to pause and check first. If nothing will be impacted, then go for it!
Anyway, back to my original thought – being persistent. I accidentally tick people off, whether I know it or not. All I can do is apologize and do my best at being aware of my open loops. (Timers can be a helpful tool. Just remember to not pound yourself if you forget the timer, too. Beating yourself up just makes the rest of the day worse.)
Let people express their frustration so they know you care about their feelings. Whether you mean to do things or not, they are hurt, so let them know you love them by listening.
Try not to internalize their words of anger as attacks on who you are, it’s just what you have done. Now, yes it can be hard to separate those two but if you do you will be able to think more clearly and problem solve how to make the situation better. If you let other people’s anger completely overcome you it will distract you, and just make things worse.
You aren’t stupid, you aren’t an idiot, so just listen compassionately, keep your head on straight and be open to the fact that you just might come up with a creative idea to help improve the situation so it won’t happen quite as often. Be persistent with being persistent. 😉
What routines do you find challenging to complete? Please share. We may be able to help.
A few years ago I learned that I have ADHD. There are many different types of ADHD, so they don’t all look the same. My flavor is one that is often overlooked. Some describe it as the quiet, good girl version, however, boys often have this version of it too. I was one of those kids who either day-dreamed much of the time or was distracted by the movements and quiet interactions in the classroom.
Unfortunately, what also can come with that is a quiet lonely internal battle with anxiety. Looking back I can now recognize anxiety in my childhood mannerisms. I chewed my fingernails something fierce and often the inside of my lips. When watching TV my mom more than once had to gently encourage my hands to open up from clenched fists.
As an adult, I felt like this monster was slowly taking me over, kind of like “The Blob”, one of my daughters favorite old movie villains. I always had this underlying feeling of being uptight, but when I made mistakes my anxiety would increase exponentially!
New Forest, New Squirrels
Moving to Boise definitely pushed my anxiety level up a few notches. We had been living in a small town, Yakima, in Washington state, for 10 plus years. It was very easy to get around and family was not too far away in any direction. My mother-in-law lived about 7 houses down so I had her support whenever I needed it. Moving far away from everything familiar and everyone I knew shook me up. To magnify matters, Boise was at least 3 times bigger than Yakima! Yikes!
It was during Boise’s school system’s spring break that we moved. Within days of moving I had to take my precious little first grader to a brand new school filled with strangers…and then I was supposed to leave her there for the whole day!
When my anxiety would completely wear me out, then I would suffer from depression and loneliness. This was a really dark time.
Before I came to understand that ADHD was the source of my troubles, I wrote a song to try to help quiet me down. I would go for walks in the morning along the river and I would sing it to myself. Some days it helped more than others. At least for the period of time that I was walking and singing, I would eventually feel a little calmer.
I hope this song brings comfort to you as you listen to it.
Engage here. Do you ever struggle with anxiety? Is ADHD part of your life? What do you do to calm yourself down? Do you need help addressing this issue in your life?
Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did! Invite a friend to Prepare For Rain today!
Now as I mentioned in my last blog I had two, count them, two, incidents when I managed to turn my cook book into my “cooked book.” I could have gotten really frustrated with myself over that, bashed myself over all the “what ifs” and pretty much been very negative inside, and thus very much un-fun to be around. It’s important to recognize, “Oh, wow! That could have gone really bad, but thank God it didn’t!” and then tuck that little nugget of knowledge in your noggin for next time. As long as you do that at some point in the day, then let go, move on and possibly laugh at the ridiculous situation you managed to create all by yourself!
Laughter triggers a key chemical that is important for all of us. However, an individual with ADHD truly needs a good dose of laughter every day to help balance out the chemicals in their brain. Folks with ADHD are low in the chemical, serotonin. This chemical helps keep spirits up, clears our minds for thinking, and gives us the enthusiasm and energy to keep moving forward. When we get disgusted with ourselves we have more trouble thinking clearly and often make more mistakes in the process.
As a family, it is important to talk about the frustrations and let the one with ADHD know about how they are impacting the rest of the family. However, yelling at the one with ADHD will only make them feel worse. What they do is not on purpose and often isn’t even conscious in their decision-making. Yelling at them may or may not help them remember your feelings but it will definitely leave a painful memory that isn’t forgotten. Often, they will be more likely to make the mistakes again because they are so concerned about not having you get so mad again. If you can make it clear how much the ADHDers behavior hurts or frustrates you, while also in the back of your head acknowledging that it wasn’t done maliciously, there is a better chance that you will get to say what you need to say and also actually be heard.
On the other side of the equation, it is important that the one with ADHD is dialed in enough to know that we can be a little too inwardly focused and not see how we impact those around us. For the health of the family, we must choose to listen to the experiences of our families and then strive to keep the family members feelings at the surface of our conscience as we make choices throughout the day.
Our feelings count…and so do theirs! If you are interested in learning more about ADHD click the word support. You will find a page with some excellent books that deal specifically with ADHD for all ages in the family.
Do you, or someone in your circle of family or friends, deal with a chronic issue, like ADHD? What resources have you found helpful? Are there communication tips you’d like to share?