May 4, 2023

The Perils of a Sunny Morning When Living With ADHD

It was a bright, sunny Wednesday morning and Samantha was sitting on the couch with a cup of freshly brewed peppermint tea resting between her crossed legs. Breathing in deeply, she closed her eyes and rested her head on the back of the couch feeling the warmth of the sun on her arm.

But, then she started to hear the banging and crunching reach her house, and lifting her head, she wasn't surprised by the scene. Gray was jumping between the perches on the cat castle in the window, her eyes wide with excitement. And Earl, eyes filled with concern, was looking between Gray and Samantha, clearly unsure if he should run and hide!  

Samantha teased, 'Oh, it's just her weekly date with her garbage truck boyfriend, Earl', and when he responded with a curious trill, Samantha couldn’t help but agree and said, 'Yep, your sister sure is funny!'.

Samantha sat, smiling wide while taking sips of tea for the next few minutes. Then, as the crunching, beeping, and whirring became a distant hum, all three of them settled into their own little place in the sun. Samantha knew she had to get ready for work soon, but, hypnotized by a tsunami of purrs, she stretched out on the couch, telling herself it would be just five minutes.

Lying there, though, thoughts were drifting in and out of her mind so fast that before she could finish one, another was taking over. Now, the nervous energy started bubbling up, so when she felt the tickle of the sun in her eye, she sat up with a jolt. "Here we go," she said while lifting herself off the couch.

Then, she realized it was her least favorite time of the day. She wasn't a clean freak, but the harsh angle of the morning sun made it impossible for her to ignore the reality that we live in a universe of dust, dead skin, and other microorganisms that she'd rather not think about.

Plus, she was pretty sure that Dust Bunny Palooza happened right here in her living room! And while she wanted to blame the Dust Bunny party for the crumb-filled plates and empty mineral water cans strewn across multiple surfaces, she knew she was the only one to blame for that. Not to mention the winter hat sitting in the corner (from the storm two months ago) and three different piles waiting to be delivered to other areas of the house.

Plopping herself back down on the couch, she groaned, staying like that for at least a minute while considering the consequences of not going into work. "Ella would be there in a few hours anyways," she thought. "It's not like I'll make my life savings in a morning! And what? I'll miss two customers max." But Earl wasn't having any of it, and when she felt his whiskers and cold, wet nose on her cheek, she turned to look into his concerned eyes and answered, "Fine, Ugh. You're so bossy!"

So, with her stomach sinking and a self-pitying growl, she got up, determined to eat and get out the door on time, not even letting the piano bench she tripped over in the middle of the living room distract her. She needed breakfast, she needed medication, and... "Nope," she said to herself, "I do not need to wash the dishes!" And she almost didn't!

Then, turning towards the cupboard doors to grab her oatmeal, she noticed the time on the stove. It said 8:48 am. She paused, she tilted her head to the side, and it was then, with a surge of energy, that she grabbed her rubber gloves from under the sink and started on the pile in the sink.

She knew that as long as she was out the door by 9:45, she'd be there on time. She'd have to walk fast, but she could do it. She almost made it too.

The first time she walked out the door, it was 9:48. She was wearing a musty dress she pulled from the pile of laundry and didn't have time to brush her hair, but just as she made it down the last step of her house, she remembered that she needed to grab the inventory files her bookkeeper asked her for three, or maybe four, weeks ago.

So, it was officially 9:53 when she locked the door behind her, certain she had everything she needed. So, with her medication in one hand and a protein bar in the other (breakfast), she started dialing her sister. She needed to call her, and now was as good a time as any.


When she got to her teashop, 14 minutes late, she was out of breath and overflowing with so much energy that she was struggling to get the key into the keyhole. When she finally made it in and had a second to collect herself, she was almost giddy and started laughing, unable to contain her excitement about all the ideas she and her sister had about the shop!

So, ignoring the little voice in the back of her head telling her to grow up when seeing the time on the clock, she breathed in and looked around, feeling a sense of pride at what she had created. She loved everything about this place, from the soothing seafoam blue of the walls to the chandelier on the ceiling and the natural light from the big window in front of the seating area. Today, she was particularly impressed with Ella's display for the coming long weekend.

Her heart slowed while breathing in the smell of the place. All the teas mixed together created a sort of magic, which made her smile and filled her with joy. She picked the perfect summertime tea, a fruity rooibos, before turning towards her reflection in the glass so that she could put her hair in a braid, hoping it would help hide her greasy hair.

It wasn't much later, when she was attempting her third braid while writing a note about something she forgot to order yesterday, that the bell above the door dinged, making her jump and yelp. Looking up, she saw that it was Joseph, which made her smile spread across her face.

Joseph was one of her favorites, and not just because he bought nearly $100 of tea every week or two. He had been a regular since she opened two years earlier, and over time, his weekly visits were something she looked forward to because he always had a good story to share with her. And today, she would soon learn, was no different.

What is this?

Welcome to the first of many stories about Samantha. So far, you've learned some things about her, like how she owns a teashop, dislikes the opening shift, has a sister, and shares her home with two cats. You've also met Joseph, her favorite regular! However, there is still more to discover.

For instance, Samantha manages her ADHD symptoms quite well most of the time. But sometimes, something happens, like the disruption to her schedule in this story, to make things more challenging for her.

For me, experiences like this don't always have happy endings, and I'm sure yours don't either. Samantha's won't always either. However, these stories are meant to be a cozy retreat, a place to find solace and perhaps even a smile when things are the most grim. While I want to keep it real, I also want to give us a place to experience our dream of being more positive and gentle with ourselves, even in the face of failure.

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