Picture this: Life as an ADHD adult is like driving down a scenic but winding road. It’s beautiful, full of surprises, and you’ve got your trusty GPS (your routines) guiding you. But suddenly, a herd of cows (aka unexpected events) decides to take a leisurely stroll in front of you. My herd of cows? My in-laws visiting last week, followed by a bout of illness. Yikes.
Ever tried driving through a cow? Me neither. And you shouldn’t. 😆
Now, you and I aren’t just regular drivers, though. Our ADHD brains often mean we get lost even with the GPS. So when cows (in-laws) decide to block our path, and then we get a flat tire (getting sick) at the same time, it feels like a sign to just…give up driving for a while.
Five days post the in-law stampede, I’m still looking at my car (my focus), wondering how to rev it back up. If you’re nodding along, let’s ride this journey out together. Here is a list I’ve created to help myself
- Accept the Detour: Before anything else, acknowledge the interruption. There’s no shame in being thrown off by unexpected events. Heck, if I had a dime for every time my routine got derailed, I’d…well, I’d have a lot of dimes.
- Charting the Course: When I’m veering off track, I rewrite my list of destinations (aka goals). It’s like resetting my GPS, reminding myself of where I want to go.
- Double-Decker Driving: Sometimes, I choose two things to focus on, so I can switch lanes when one feels too crowded or just plain boring. A scenic route on one, express lane on the other!
- Rally Your Pit Crew: Reach out to your friends or a support group. Sometimes, just voicing our struggles can lead to solutions. Like a friend once told me, “It’s okay to ask for directions, even if you’re not lost.”
- Embrace Flexibility: Your GPS (routine) is there to guide you, not chain you. Sometimes, it’s okay to take the scenic route or try a new path. This is something I have to remind myself of often!
- Celebrate the Journey: Every mile you drive, every cow you navigate around is a testament to your resilience. Give yourself a pat on the back.
- Slow and Steady: Some days, easing into the journey is the way to go. Instead of a marathon drive, I tell myself a short 2-3 hour trip is enough. And guess what? It usually is.
- Start Small: Remember when you first learned to drive? You didn’t hit the freeway immediately, did you? In the same way, ease back into your routine. Maybe start with answering emails or decluttering your workspace. Baby steps.
Life’s road will always be full of unexpected cows, detours, and flat tires. But remember, fellow ADHD adult, we’ve got this. We might take a few more turns, but it’ll be one heck of an adventure.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some cows to steer around. And remember: When in doubt, just keep driving.
Life with ADHD is like navigating a winding road, where unexpected events (like surprise visits or illnesses) are obstacles in our path. Our ADHD often makes us feel lost, even with guides to help us. After a tough couple of weeks with unexpected setbacks, I’ve reflected on ways to steer back to focus:
- Accept & Reset: Acknowledge detours and realign your goals.
- Diverse Focus: Have a couple of tasks to switch between, based on mood or interest.
- Seek Support: Talking about your struggles can lead to insights.
- Stay Flexible & Celebrate: Your routines are guidelines, and every hurdle overcome is a win.
- Ease In: Sometimes, it’s okay to take things slow or start with smaller tasks.
The journey might be filled with challenges, but it’s the resilience and adventures that make it worthwhile. As fellow ADHDers, it’s essential to remember: keep moving, and embrace the ride.