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ADHD in Women

Letting people down

Sometimes the guilt of not being able to do the things I want to do is overwhelming.  I wanted to meet with my daughter and my grandkids today but I couldn’t get out of my own way.  It was this or that distraction and the DAY got away from me.  It’s so frustrating. I feel and AM letting others down.  I have to do better than this or I will just be brought down so far I can’t get out. It can be horrible to be me…


I have found myself in the same mess.  At the point where I had finally had enough of my own craziness, I decided to really look at what was in my life that was eating up my time an energy.  I mean, I took a serious look.  I began by saying “No” to things that would cause me to leave important things undone.

I began working out a “Daily Plan of Attack for each day.  My list started with “First Things” o tht the most essential things always got done.  From there I developed a prioritized list of things that should be done before they became “urgent”.  It is like fire prevention.  Take the source of the risk out of the way and there is no fire to fight.  I typically planned for my afternoons to be “open” so that I had time to do the things tat I wanted to do, which also left time for things that were not usually “scheduled”.  The end of each Daily Plan held a list called “Last Things” that I did so that my mornings started off well and would set the tone for the rest of the day.

It takes time.  It takes patience.  It take practice.  But my life improved.  Things got even better when I let those aroun me know that I was having problems and asked them to “humor” me while I worked out the snags an snarls in my plan.

Find the tools you need to help you along the way.  For me the best tool is my planner.  After that are the technology tools:  laptop, smartphone, tablet, and such.  I found an accountability buddy to work with during the early stages, too.  That improved my sense of responsibility.  Finally, I stopped playing the “Blame Game”. 

I have found that living life “deliberately” causes far fewer disasters to occur that end up hurting those whom I did not ever wish to hurt, including myself.

I fell off my plan a number of times.  Gave myself the “Get up and start again” speech, and kept doing that until I had the new methods down.

It isn’t easy to make drastic changes as an adult, but no one else can make those changes in us.  W have to want change.  We have to seek change.  We have to cause change.  If we want what we want, then we have to do the work needed to get what we want.

I hope that helps.  Keep what works and just lose the rest.

Let us know how you are doing, okay?

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Aug 21, 2014 at 11:10pm

I can relate to letting people down but mostly, I let myself down. I have tried so hard to order my day and take suggestions from what has worked for others. I feel like a hamster on a wheel. Always running but getting nothing accomplished.  I am not a good list person, whether with an app or whiteboard or paper and pen. I start writing, then I realize I am being too vague and then I get confused about how much detail I am supposed to write. If I do finish a list, I rarely refer back to it so it doesn’t help. I recently sought out a new psychiatrist so I can be re-evaluated.  I have been on the same medication, Adderall, for over three years. My life was extremely different three years ago… Married with three kids. Now I am separated and live alone, so I don’t have anyone to help me stay on schedule. ADD has a lot to do with my failed marriage but that’s a whole other post! I make excuses to other people as to why I let them down but to myself, I know the truth. I desperately want to have a calm and orderly life but I don’t think my brain will ever work that way. My new psychiatrist is incredible and listened and asked a lot of questions to evaluate. It was obvious to her that Adderall was not helping me at all. I am now taking Focalin XR so I hope I will see improvement. Today was awesome so I hope it continues. I am sharing this in case others might consider finding a new doctor and getting a new opinion.

Posted by FlowerGarden on Aug 22, 2014 at 5:47am

Hi jetergirl!

Your post immediately reminded me of a webinar on with expert, Ari Tuckman, on Time Blindness. It’s easy to get swallowed up in a black hole of time when you have ADHD. You can listen to the archive or read the transcript here: He offered many, many great strategies.

Good luck!
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 22, 2014 at 3:51pm

I appreciate all the advise.  I have to stop making quick, off the cuff plans at night for the next morning.  I honestly cannot predict how I will feel each day.  I have improved my diet.  Lots of fruits and veggies.  Vitamins and plenty of water.  I have lost 20lbs.  Still exhausted more than I can stand. Blood work all good.  I DO think a GP change is in order.  But I am not one to go through a battery of tests anyway.  It always comes back to the language I use in speaking to myself…Kindness and compassion go a long , long way in healing.

Posted by jetergirl on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:38pm

I can completely relate to feeling bad about letting people down. I usually remember to do the task/favor for others and I often briefly plan for it and imagine possible outcomes But I would make a detrimental mistake along the way. Something unexpected would come up and my common sense seems to be lacking. My fear is that people think I’m lazy or don’t care, when the truth is I care tremendously and want to do right by them and want to be there to support them.
I’m finding cognitive therapy helpful in coping with the feelings of guilt and anxiety towards letting people down. I agree that kindness to ourselves goes a really long way and can make us more present in the task at hand. However, I’m still working on the other piece of the equation, the piece that causes me to make so many careless mistakes in the first place.

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 at 9:12pm

I totally understand! I see the disappointment when people tgink I use ADD as an excuse, but I just don’t remember.

Posted by puppylover on Aug 26, 2014 at 9:58pm

Jetergirl, Changing GPs should not be a problem.  Ask for a copy of the most recent two sets of lab results and make an appointment with another doctor.  I recently had to do this.  My new doctor is interested in what has already been tried so that he can look at what has not been tried. 

Have you tried using sticky notes on the mirror in the bathroom or on cabinet doors in the kitchen?  I do that when my routine is being changed for something.  It is a great way for me to get back on track with what I had planned. 

I splurge on Post-It Notes because they work for me.  I have a wide assortment of colors and even some with shapes or graphics that make me smile.  Oh!  That “voice” in my head that is telling me that an adult should not need prompts to get her on track each day?  I finally got it to stop when the notes do what they were supposed to do.

Starting a new medication results in new sticky notes.  I keep a log for new meds in my planner, but the note will remind me to log my results.

Is my route to somewhere being changed due to construction?  I put up a note reminding me to use the alternate route. 

I hope some of that is helpful.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Aug 28, 2014 at 11:11am

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