Posts Tagged ‘ADD’

Doe behind my home 🙂

When I close my eyes and imagine the future, I see a brick house, surrounded by a sparse wood, or near a lake or pond, preferably on a hill or near some mountains…but I can’t have everything. 😉

Inside that house I see comfortable living room with my future kids watching a movie, eating popcorn with their friends. I see a large kitchen, a little messy, but set up for good use, perhaps with the remnants of a good meal waiting to be placed in the dishwasher I don’t have yet.

I see a master bedroom, french doors open to the outdoors where a small, private patio awaits my attention. A fire-pit, two large outdoor chairs, and a small table make the space feel cozy.

There I sit, Husband nearby, simmering cup of tea and computer in hand, immersed in my work, cool breeze playing with my hair. Perhaps the fire is going, perhaps I’m wrapped in a throw, perhaps this small outdoor room is simply off the kitchen, but that is where you’ll find me. Always writing, always where I can see outside.

There was a time I imagined these things, and threw out the idea. I wanted to live in Colorado, near a rushing river. Or I saw myself in the mountains of Montana, roughing that cold winter for the stunning summer to follow.

Perhaps no matter where you are it’s necessary to rough the winter and live for the summer. Don’t we all have cold winters? Even down here in Texas it freezes sometimes, deserts are bitterly cold at night, and the truth is I’m not sure if I could chill with snow.

For the first time in my life I’m not fighting my idea of the future. I’m still transitioning, but aren’t we all? Who in the world isn’t in a state of transition?

Maybe I just like where my life is heading. I like that I am in control of my surroundings, I like that I’m in control of my ADD, and I like that I’m finding peace in something I love.

Maybe all I needed this whole time was to believe in myself. Look what happened when I gave it all up.

As I type, fat deer are running across the field behind my house. As always I’m on the porch, enjoying the weather. Soon it will be 100 degrees and the mosquitoes will chase me back in, for now I’ll enjoy the pleasant weather and praise God we have it.

Until next time…

Advertisements

One major problem in married adults with ADD/ADHD is that those of us with ADD/ADHD sometimes are blind to the plight of our spouse.

We See the World Differently

Recently, I discovered a difference in my husband and I that shocked me.

You see, I have my whole life planned out. I know exactly what I want, I set goals to try to reach them, and I will fight until I meet the goal I set for myself. Anything not in that plan upsets me.

My husband on the other hand, is content, always. He doesn’t like to plan his life. He calls me a “dreamer” and considers himself to “live in the now”. Thinking ahead is pointless to him, because it isn’t what is happening.

It Causes Frustrations

This past week I was hired as a ghost writer; my first real job writing. I was so excited. I desired the occupation of “writer” since I was a youngster. Blame JK Rowling, George Orwell, and perhaps a hair of the ten-thousand other books I’ve devoured in my lifetime.

This new job of mine is a side thing, it pays well and I am in no way quitting my teaching job… but I plan to eventually. Hopefully, I will eventually have my own business and take over the world (well, that may be planning too far ahead).

My lovely husband, who is fundamentally different than me, did not see this in the same light as me.

First he couldn’t understand how I could ever make any money writing. Naturally, I was fully up-to-date on the latest and greatest research and told him the going rate. He still refused to believe me, saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

That would be that live in the now mindset.

Then, when I was so excited and showed him that I could make money writing, he suddenly had a new worry.

“How are you going to do taxes?”

Valid question. I set off immediately to figure that out, calling the best expert I know and researching, researching, researching. In less than 24 hours after he posed that question, I set up a folder for receipts, I opened a separate checking account, I found billing templates and information, and I was ready to write.

I then told Jake about how it all worked.

He flat-out told me he didn’t think I could do it.

I was devastated. At first.

I don’t think he believes that, exactly. I didn’t believe his apology after I became quite angry and hurt at his words; especially since I was working so hard to accomplish my goals.

What I think happened is that I wasn’t sensitive to the way he views the world.

His coping skills are separate than mine. My ADD/ADHD brain that was in hyper-drive and was rushing to and fro frantically trying to carry out a future goal overwhelmed him.

In all reality, I think he was upset that things were changing. That the plan he envisioned (which is one of things never being any different than they are now) is not something he can control by simply living.

A home-grown business requires planning, it requires thought processes to figure out where you have to go from here. Perhaps that overwhelms him, just as not knowing can overwhelm me.

He works with my faults and differences.

Now maybe I need to learn how to work with his.

It is my business after all, he doesn’t tell me every aspect of his job, maybe I simply shouldn’t tell him every aspect of mine.

“I took care of it.”

That is probably the only thing he was looking for. Instead he got the who, what, when, where, why, how, and all the details in between—information overload. My brain wants that information, his rejects it.

Learning differences is the key trait in trying to make a marriage work, especially in adults with ADD/ADHD. Understanding what I did wrong is the way to change it. Such is life.

Lesson learned.

There is this thing called boggling with ADD/ADHD (and maybe some of you regular folks as well).

Boggling is where one’s brain power shuts down completely. It is where frustrations occur and ADD/ADHD kids start walking in circles in an attempt to complete some task (that may never be completed!)

Anyway, this is my Boggle story!

I have perhaps failed to mention that I am a decent musician. It’s by no means something I do as anything more but a hobby, but I’m not too shabby.

In fact, I play that sexy saxophone fairly well, I dapple with guitar chords (okay, I can play quite a few songs, and read tabs), I tinker on the piano (mostly by ear, though I’m fully capable of reading the music), and I’m a downright pro at that little plastic flute you probably had to learn in the 5th grade. I know all the fingerings and even figured out how to play the theme song to The Titanic, yup, the very one that is touted as coming out in 3-D pretty soon.

That being said, there is one instrument I have wanted to play forever and always. The Fiddle. Oh, what a sleek instrument! How many times have I drooled over a flirty fiddle player on stage, crooked grin and sharp looks.

Not to mention the sound! Oh how beautiful is a fiddle singing in the middle of a rock-song? And what is Southern Country (specifically Texas Country) or blue-grass without a fiddle?

My adoration of fiddlers aside, I had a chance to fiddle with a fiddle yesterday. It was glorious!

Here’s the story:

On our way home from town my husband proposes we invite his young cousin over to show us his new “toy”.

I wasn’t too excited at first, it was getting late and I had to be at work the following morning, but I caved at the thought of getting to tamper with a fiddle, an opportunity I had never had before.

This cousin of his, Trestin, came by at around 8:00 pm, fiddle in hand. I was enthralled the second it came out of the case. He held it up and showed us what he could do, busting out a few notes and proudly displaying a small sense of accomplishment at his week’s worth of self-taught practice.

After a few moments, Jake and I took turns playing; laughing as we sought for the right amount of pressure to slide the bow across the strings and learned about rosin, a distinct lack of frets, and the difference in a fiddle and a guitar.

In less than ten minutes I had looked up information and played the scale for the key of G, still seeking the right amount of bow pressure, I began to get frustrated. I gave the fiddle back to my husband and his cousin to play for a few moments.

Upon taking the fiddle back, I promptly figured out the easiest song I know to play. It’s probably the first song I ever play on a new instrument, “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”

In less than an hour, I had pulled up sheet music to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and “Amazing Grace,” but it doesn’t end there; I also figured out how to play them.

I stunned the boys in the room. In that time frame my poor husband quit playing altogether claiming that he “doesn’t play with people who suck.” His cousin learned the songs as I taught them to him.

I make it sound so easy here! In truth, my ADD/ADHD got in the way…oh about every five minutes.

I would get extremely frustrated with my inability to play fluently and have to give up the fiddle and teach what I learned for a few moments. The result of this was astounding, not only did I learn faster, but by taking short breaks from one type of learning (doing) and instead using another type of learning (teaching) I prevented myself from Boggling.

I learned a valuable lesson! Focus on what I can do, rather than attempt more than I can deal with at one time. Short, frequent bursts of learning intermittent with short, frequent breaks can really help prevent boggling from occurring in the ADD/ADHD brain!

The Most idiotic thing I did this week?

Sprayed myself with Pledge furniture polish thinking it was OFF! bug spray.

:-/

Isn’t ADD fun?

Share with me! What is something stupid you’ve done that is worth laughing at?

I have been so good these last two weeks working with coach Dana Rayburn . I’m quite proud of my accomplishments.

1. My bathroom is still tidy and clean.
2. This blogging thing is going well.
3. My kitchen has stayed tidy (an overflow of that “be mature” and “just do it” mantra).
4. My laundry, perhaps from keeping my bathroom tidy, is almost all done.

So today I took on another task. Since I’m off all week this week, I decided I wasn’t going anywhere or doing anything for at least part of the week.

My goal was to use part of this week to get my house clean before school (work) starts again next Monday.

The “just do it” mantra took over today and I’m afraid I may have overdone it a bit.

Here’s what happened:

We have no space in our house. It’s say, 125 years old. We’re lucky that the previous renters put in closets, even if they are only 4 square feet…

Anyway, so there is no “master” in this house. It’s built in a square, two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen. There is no space for things like a dining table, and cabinet space is severely limited. All this is packed into a 900 sq foot home.

Well, lack of space for clothing is probably 1/4 of my issues with organizing, washing, and folding laundry. Truth be told, there is nowhere to put most of it as the hubs and I have been sharing a tiny dresser and the two tiny closets. So when his mother asked if we wanted another, much bigger dresser, we jumped on the opportunity.

But let’s talk about what a new dresser means! It means space for clothes, but it also means a rearranging of furniture in our tiny bedroom. Do-able, right?

Wrong. I haven’t rearranged furniture in nearly a year. The husband HATES when I rearrange furniture. He literally can’t stand the idea of changing his routine to function in a new space. So I’ve been compliment and left things “as are” for quite some times (no, seriously, moving things around has caused some of the most ridiculous fights ever).

When I came in and noticed the new dresser I was ecstatic, “you’re gonna have to help me move the dressers around.” I told him.

Nope, he wasn’t gonna help me do nothin’! So, today, I “just did it”.

Oh.

My.

God.

How long has it been since I cleaned this room? A decade? No wonder my allergies were taking over my life! It was horrendous! What turned out being a simple rearranging of furniture fell into full-fledged spring cleaning of our room. I mean, I washed windows, walls, curtains, fan blades, vacuumed enough to empty the filter three times, and scrubbed down the new and old dresser to make them shine. I also threw out an entire bag of trash…

And I’m not done yet.

Sure, the room is clean, but now I have to replace things like photographs, a jewelry box, go through my drawers to put clothes in the new dresser, organize those clothes, go through the old bedside tables that no longer fit in the room and move them to the back bedroom.

Oh crap! That will require me to move that room around too.

*sigh*

I have a feeling I overdid it today…

Thanks for allowing me a break.

*walks off mumbling*

“Be mature. Just do it. Be mature. Just do it. Be mature. Just do it. Be mature. Just do it.”

20120212-202239.jpg

In dog training, one thing I work on religiously is threshold training.

Essentially it works like this: I place them in a stressful situation during training, and we work at “threshold.” A threshold is the point where they are uncomfortable, but not totally stressed and overwhelmed. The point in this training is to get the dogs comfortable with an uncomfortable situation before it overwhelms them. Then the trainer click/treats even the smallest steps toward progress until they are ready to move on.

Let me give an example.

Ask yourself: can your dog be in a down-stay, off lead, while someone drops a piece of steak on the ground and a squirrel simultaneously decides to race within catching distance of your dog? No?

Well, here is how to teach that.

1. Train a sit in the house.
2. Train a down in the house.
3. Train a sit-stay in the house.
4. Train a down-stay in the house.
5. Train a down-stay and “leave-it” in the house.
6. Work on duration of “stay” in the house until dog can stay for up to 5 minutes.
7. Move to a secured yard, on lead.
8. Work on sit-stay outside.
9. Create instances where dog has to ignore food and/or other animals.
10. Work on duration, on lead, in yard with distractions.
11. Remove lead.
12. Work on duration, off-lead, in yard.
13. Work on duration, off-lead, in yard with distractions.
14. Replace lead, take dog to a new “spot” like a park.
15. Repeat steps 8-13, changing location until dog can behave in a predictable way, every time.

Obviously, this process takes time. Months to years for some dogs, days for others. But this is how champions are made. All those dogs you watch that balance on tight ropes and bring a ball to their master while howling the happy birthday tune and wagging their tail like its fun worked at threshold to learn every step of that training process.

This highly scientific method of training is very, very successful.

Why? Because it takes place step by step, bit by bit. It satiates the dogs internal fear of a situation by slowly praising them for every, single positive outcome.

If trainers step out of that realm of workable threshold something crazy happens. The dog refuses to work. He gets upset, begins barking, shows visible signs of being overwhelmed, and paces. There will be no “sit” out of Fido even though he can do it EVERY time in your kitchen. Why? Because he is overwhelmed. He has not been taught what to do when that steak falls or a squirrel races by. To not try desperately to grasp those things is quite likely against his instincts.

Why then do we not use these same methods on students, or those we supervise? Would it not be a more reliable form of teaching and training?

Too often I hear that we will punish people for their faults, every little thing they do wrong. Place them in a tough spot. Change or be changed! That’s the law around here! That is how humanity works, after all, right?

Imagine if instead of using fear and punishment to teach, we used positive reinforcement. What if instead of fear mongering we won respect and taught in a fun, steady way, working at threshold and on a one-on-one basis. How would people respond?

I bet our world would change in 1,000 ways.

The Funny Things :D

Posted: February 12, 2012 in Humor, Mental Health
Tags: , , ,

If you don’t laugh about it, you’d cry. Right?

I feel that way all the time.

So I figured I’d write a post about some of the funniest things I’ve done that were caused by ADD.

My favorite story involves me taking my keys out if my purse to go to the bank. Then I had to drive the twenty miles back to work (where I placed my purse back in its little cubby hole before tromping to my car) to get my purse, an item I’m never without. Then I drive back to the bank, 40 miles round trip…

Another time I got all the way dressed and forgot to put on foundation before the usual eyeshadow, mascara, and blush. It took me nearly ten minutes to figure out why on earth my face was so pale.

Or how about how I forget to grab a towel every time I shower? You’d think I’d learn by now. My wonderfully, awesome, amazing, wonderful, super, great husband actually is so used to this lapse in judgement that he puts towels out for me every time I hop in the tub.

How has he learned and I haven’t?

20120211-204224.jpg

That wonderful man! Thank God for people who know. What on earth would I do without him?

Drip dry?