Off the Cuff
This is the first week I haven’t pulled it together or committed ANY time to prepare, plan, research or do ANY solid work toward this weekend’s blogpost until the day of — today, Sunday (the day I post). Needless to say, this is going to be random and off the cuff. It’s also going to be an exercise in forgiving myself. Which is difficult to do. With the way my ADHD brain is wired, it’s so much easier to be hard on myself for what I’m seeing as a “fail” than forgiving myself the imperfection. At the same time, I know that found within acceptance is freedom. So, I’m doing all I can to NOT let those thoughts of inadequacy consume me, steal away my weekend, or ransack my commitment to this blog.
Creating this blog and faithfully maintaining my weekly posts has been challenging. Some weekends I’m up until nearly midnight on Sunday before I’m able to hit the publish button. Even with lots of planning, lots of intention. Occasionally I wrap it up over the course of the week, and am ready before the weekend hits — allowing the post to marinate for a day or two before it goes live. Not this weekend. Not even close.
Nonetheless, writing this blog is something I’m really passionate about. And yes, I could just let it go, not post — let myself completely off the hook, procrastinate, or just let myself post “someday” or when I “get around to it.” But, there’s something in me that worries if I break the pattern, I’ll never get back to it. And I don’t want to risk that. I see this blog as keeping a promise to myself, to my new tribe and to anyone out there still struggling to figure out that this unidentified “thing” going on within them might actually be ADHD. So I’m choosing to write anyway (without a plan, without a net).
What If + If Only = Panic
It’s been a stressful week for a number of reasons, but primarily money-related ones. When you work for yourself, you have financial ups and downs. It goes with the territory. You come to expect it. Although this may be true, I don’t know if you EVER get used to it. I certainly haven’t. And right now, there’s not a lot coming in. And that’s been the situation for a few months now. It feels like we’re grinding to a halt, nearing a cliff we could fall off any second now … whether we really are or not. And it’s hard not to inwardly blame myself; simultaneously, it’s hard not to outwardly blame the undiagnosed ADHD for the current pickle we’re in.
My anxiety has been progressively growing in direct correlation to our ever diminishing income. And so has my panic. Learning that ADHD is tangled up in our lives, has revealed that we have a substantial chance now for real healing, validation, understanding and veritable progress like never before. A part of me is raging furious that something as petty as money problems could be threatening our family’s potential and blocking all that good stuff.
If our financial status were a non-issue, I’d probably be on Cloud 9. I imagine I’d be able to fully appreciate the gift of knowing my ADHD is a thing. (Not that ADHD is a gift, but knowing you have ADHD is). I struggle to access that gratitude, because I find myself constantly and regretfully thinking in terms of “if only.” If only we’d known about the ADHD sooner, we could’ve avoided the financial slump we’re in. We could have and most assuredly would have made different decisions along the way. I get panicked, thinking we found out too late to make a difference. I know that’s not entirely rational, but the feeling feels completely real. Granting myself self-care or focusing on me or “my things” feels indulgent and like it’s the last thing I should doing right now. Truthfully though, it’s probably more crucial now than ever.
In reality, if I crawl inside my shell of fear about our financial future like a hermit crab or freeze up with regret over the past … if I continue to be mad at myself for not being somebody else — someone “more competent” — especially, at a time like this … I’ll be good to no one. So … considering this and making observation of my barely existent and completely inconsistent meditative practice over the past few months … I decided to change that starting now.
Meditation has been a godsend to me in the past, and the hope here is that it can keep me grounded in the present moment, keep my spirits up and keep my mind clear. I’ve put the oxygen mask on — and have successfully meditated for 2 days in a row — yesterday and today. It’s a start. It’s something. Now, my challenge is to stick with it. I used my Insight Timer app to track my progress as I listened to a 25-minute guided meditation directed toward overcoming overthinking (both days). Additionally, I used a candle flame for a visual anchor for the first time, which I really liked. With just these 2 days behind me, knock-on-wood, I feel a little more resilient already.
Acceptance Is Freedom
I really want to be dedicated to keeping up the practice of meditation. When I meditated (consistently for 6 months) 20 years ago, it was one of the most positive life changing events I’ve ever experienced. It literally gave me the first breath of real pause I’d ever had and was the first time in my life I’d learned that if I wasn’t relaxing I was doing it wrong. Growing up, I was taught the opposite … that the only mode of survival was watching over your shoulder with constant vigilance.
Meditation taught me to step back, to step up into the sky from a platform of peace and acceptance where I could witness my thoughts and emotions at a distance floating peacefully by, instead of being down on the ground where they blazed toward me making me feel responsible for everything. There is freedom in that acceptance. And there’s much more chance of positively affecting my future outcome if I’m not tied up in knots upon knots of fear and regret.