Thursday, 10 December 2015

Weight-shifting

Earlier this week I was in tears about getting my son to school late, again; meeting my friend for lunch late, again; and generally continuing to suck at life, again. I was walking around with a terrible sense of shame. I felt like one of those cartoon figures walking around under a raincloud, except the raincloud wasn't above me; it was my brain. Yesterday morning was more of the same.
But something started to shift.
Oddly enough I think the change started while I was pulling garbage out of my car in a donut store parking lot. I was late for an appointment at an auto-body shop. It was a pre-repair assessment of an insurance claim that I'd made two years ago, so I was a little nervous that they might balk on the basis that I'd waited so long to get the work done. For no reason, except that it took me two years to get around to it. Some people don't get that. I'd planned to be extra-well dressed and groomed, totally presentable and in no way resembling the sort of shifty person who might be trying to do something... shifty.
I'm not shifty. I am, however, totally disorganized, overwhelmed, and shockingly unmotivated. I guess I nailed that look, since I had bed-head and no make-up, which is not a good look on a forty-something mom.
Any how, in my effort to appear presentable and encourage the collision shop to the repairs that my insurer had agreed to fund two years earlier (and just generally preserve the ragged edges of my self-esteem), I stopped at the donut store parking lot to clear all the garbage out of my car. As I carried multiple handfuls of crumpled cups, snotty Kleenex, and God-knows-what-else from my car to the garbage, under the bored eyes of the drive-thru lane, I was mildly aware of the police car parked behind me. "No, officers," I brain-messaged them, "I'm really not discarding evidence of a crime here... Trespassing maybe, but I promise, I'll be right back here to buy coffee as soon as I can."
Somewhere in that humbling process the fresh air, activity, shameful thoughts, and slightly-less-gross car interior, started to distract me from the shameful thoughts of the past few days.
When I got to the body shop, the long line-up made me feel less-bad about being at least 15 minutes late. The place was full of worried customers and exceptionally calm and friendly service people. Smart business model. No one's happy about needing collision repair. (If it weren't so predatory, opening a bar opposite a collision shop might be a great idea.)
More outside hustle and bustle shuttling to the rental car place and back and then wrestling all the crap in the back of my SUV into the tiny rental car. You know, the dirty dry-cleaning. The two lampshades I've been meaning to drop off at the thrift shop because they're fine, but not fine in my house (and I finally got them off of my dining room table and into my car this week). And the two child car seats I've been hauling around for two years, because they're unusable post-accident but if I can just find my receipts and deliver the car seats to the right government safety agency they'll reimburse me...they say. Seriously, I ask myself -- they'll need to fix the body of my car from the inside? Why wasn't I informed about this?
Finally, 45 minutes later, I'm in an immaculate, tiny rental car, full of my crap, and I'm free! Free except for my crap. Back to the donut shop for breakfast and some calls to figure out where to unload these child car seats. I do have the receipt in my wallet. Google tells me that the automatic reimbursement program was discontinued a year after my accident. Hmm...  I sit on hold for a while until my tea is done and then hang up. Because... that's who I am???
Whatever, I'm, "on a roll." True, I had accomplished nothing, but that's how I felt. Which is a far more productive feeling than usual, so I'm going with it. I resist the temptation to drive straight to the thrift store and stick with my plan (I know!!! This never happens!!!) to deliver a health-insurance form to my psychiatrist's office. I open the form and realize that I have to complete the first two parts. I make two calls to get info that I need to complete my parts. I complete them, add a note to my doc, and deliver it, three months after receipt. I am relieved. I may be reimbursed for hundreds of dollars in prescription medication sometime this year. I need the money. Badly.
Next stop: thrift shop. It's mid-Chanukah, three weeks before Christmas, there's a light snow, and I'm not the only one at the donation doors. We're all parked at crazy angles, like we rushed there to defuse a bomb or something... and we smile crazily at each other after unloading -- We did it! We unloaded some of our crap! We feel good!
So good that I remembered and did not even avoid dropping off the dry-cleaning.
So, yes, I still had two unusable infant child seats wedged in the rental's hatchback, but my psychic load was a little bit lighter. Exactly two lampshades, one bag of clothes, a form worth several hundred dollars, and the start of an old car repair lighter.
Anyway, then I got home, I got waylaid (that means I lay down and reacted to whatever had arrived in my email inbox), I didn't do the important work that I'd promised my husband I'd do, and the auto-body shop forgot(?) to call me when my car was ready, so I had to drag my son along for the rental-return-and-car-pick-up process, dinner was late, and I was late for the PTA meeting, where I volunteered for yet another task (why the #&*% can't I think before words come out of my mouth)...but, but, but, the good vibe from accomplishing just a few little tasks, it endured, beaten and bruised, but still faintly glowing.
And so today, though my son was late again, and I hang my head in shame about that, and I really want to do the right things, I also wanted to take 5 minutes to note how mood-changing it was to accomplish just a few little things.
That was at least an hour ago, and it's past 10:30 already, so I better get at it. Today, I am cleaning my office. It's a biggie. And buried within it are financial docs that we really, really need. (Involuntary sigh.) Wish me luck. I'm going in there, for a good, long, productive haul. I think i can, I think i can... 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Just a log book on the web with a song 20151110

Tuesday. My day started off great. I had a shower! Early! I felt so good I even made up a song in the shower. It went something* like this:

It's going to be a good day; it's going to be a great day!
It's going to be a good day, 'cause I got up early!

I stretched my bones out. Now I'm in the shower. 
It's going to be a great day, 'cause I'm on top of it. 

Whether it's a hot day, or whether it's a cold day,
It doesn't matter, 'cause it's a long day.

If it's a slow day, or if it's crazy, 
It's going to be a good day. I'm not lazy!**

Obviously I'm not a poet. More importantly, I haven't exactly lived up to the promise of that moment yet today. Although I did get my son to school early!
Since then, I've cut and filed my nails and cuticles, which was not on my to do list (but did need doing).
Okay, enough of this, I'm off to accomplish good things... which always fills me with the dreaded thought that I'm not going to accomplish all the things(!!!), shudder, but... where the fuck was I? Breathe breathe breathe. I'm going to accomplish a few important things.
I'm going to wash and then hang the cold laundry.
I might do the dishes.
I'm going to deposit a cheque and pay a bill.
I'm going to pay some other bills.
I'm going to the dentist.
I'm going to work on my group therapy homework.
I'm going to pick up my son and make supper.
And I'm going to make tiramisu for my friend's party tonight.
So I better find the recipe and buy the ingredients too.



*Literally, because I really don't remember exactly how it goes.
**This phrase disturbs me, but I picked lazy because it rhymes with crazy. The point of the verse was that even if I don't get a lot done, it will still be a good day.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Just a log book on the web 20151109

Doing what I can to avoid the lure of the internet. What's so compelling about it anyway? No porn, no gaming, no gambling, whatever. I ditched Facebook (so much interesting information!). Down to Pinterest which is full of dull promoted pins anyway.
It's avoidance, but it's also compelling. That's the surprising part. Either way, it's best avoided. 
You know you have AD/HD when... you're distracted by the length of your nails on your crappy MacBook Pro (ha) keyboard.  
I pulled up the blog post this morning all pumped up to write to help me focus productively this morning. 
First problem: email notifications. 
I'll probably regret this because my mindless chatter makes me cringe, but at this point I'll try anything. 
OK. It's 10:05. I have to leave for a group therapy appt. at 1:00. I'll pick up my son straight after school and I promised to play Minecraft with him, but I also have to feed him supper by 4:30 so he can make it to a 5:30 activity on time. Apropos of... I should clean up the kitchen this morning. But I also have banking to do (oh yeah), and reading and homework for my group therapy. Crap. Screw it. The banking can wait one more day, most of it anyway. We're so far in the hole; what's a little more interest...
In future after Thursday's group therapy I'm going to start my reading on Friday morning. Block that off in your weekly schedule: Tuesday and Friday mornings for therapy homework. 
2'45" left. 2'15" after a shower, at most. I should do laundry too, and I still need to work on my calendar, pay the overdue bills, etc. (oh God the office, taxes, cupboards, etc.). 
Exhale. 
Group therapy is the priority. 
Have a shower and get out of here and get to work. That is all. Make french toast for supper (because it's easy). Clean the kitchen later. Clear last night's dishes and pull up the table cloth and the dining room will be good as new, except a few crumbs. 
Just shower and gather and go.
......
Nov. 10
Well, that didn't work so well. I jumped straight from there to googling something about planting beneath cedar trees (no joke), because that was urgent, this being six months from planting season and all. Exhale. I did, however, get showered and do some work before my group and got to the group on time. So that was good. Better than it could have been.

Moved to tears by my own clutter

[Something I wrote a few weeks ago but didn't post at the time.]

That happened today. [i.e. I was moved to tears by my own clutter... and the sense that it's not getting any better and the fear that it won't.] Not the first time. Not the last, probably, but trying to do something about it.
I got a burst of energy from an unlikely source: kicked around on the internet until I was running late for the exercise class I'd agreed to start today -- and thought, "f#%* that class; I need to clean this house!"
Apparently if I'm behind in enough areas, I can procrastinate one (or more) to tackle another.
Seized the moment to strip the sheets; load the washer; hang some shirts; and take 2 cans of paint from the deck to the basement.
Aside:
Those 2 cans of paint have been sitting on our deck for about 2 months.
And to think I've been telling myself that I need a POOL because we didn't use our backyard this summer. Face the reality sister (yes, I just addressed my self as a sister, which is a sibling that I don't have, but could really use... anyway, moving on... right... where was I? ...the reality... oh, yeah). The reality is that I didn't use our backyard all summer because I couldn't stand to be out there reminded of my complete inability to put away the crap on my deck, let alone pull the weeds out of the ground. The many, many weeds. 
Anyway, I'm rambling on. 
[Yes, but it's interesting how writing for a few minutes can bring to light something obvious that I've overlooked for months. I really should re-read King Lear, least-enjoyed literature of my high school education.]
The point of this post was to track my accomplishments today.
Here's the thing... It might be motivating for me to track my accomplishments. I'm embarrassed by this, but right now I'll try anything to help get me out of this slump. So here goes, starting with what I already did...
  • Stripped the sheets (our bed)
  • Loaded the washer
  • Hung two shirts -- threw the rest back into the laundry because they're wrinkly
  • Took 2 cans of paint from the deck to the basement
  • Threw out an old duvet cover
  • Vented to husband re (self-inflicted) chaos and inability to cope with said chaos. Husband vented back, angrily, about his inability to cope with my venting at him. He appeared to be on the verge of a heart attack. 
  • Called my psychiatrist's office, intending to vent at her for a change. She, of course, does not answer her own phone. Made an appointment for tomorrow morning. WROTE IT DOWN(!).
  • Asked husband to PLEASE stop dropping whatever he brings into our home right at the entryway. Clutter at the entryway is making me fucking crazy, filling me with shame, and prompts me to close the curtains. The shady shame makes me feel worse.
  • Located psychologist's appointment card and wrote it on my calendar too (the day after tomorrow). 
  • Looked up and wrote down 4 other appointments.  

Friday, 6 November 2015

Keeping it real and stopping the swirls

I plan to write more often, just to spill some of these thoughts out of my brain and onto a page... or screen.
Typical weekday here, which I'll share to invite all those who would bash me. No, no, I'm not actually going to sign this and send it to anyone who knows me... I might be crazy (and who would know, because really, what is crazy?), but I'm not into pain.
But yes... The type of day that I'm trying hard to put behind me!
  • Woke up at 7. 
  • Husband initiated physical activity. (Actually that's not typical.) Weighed options: good wife vs. get up early and be productive. Beloved husband tolerates all sorts of unproductiveness on my part: he wins. 
  • Checked emails and weather (still in bed).
  • Got up about 8. Made breakfast for my son ("DS") and helped him review words for a spelling test today. 
  • Left the kitchen to shower. 8:10 already. Decided not enough time to shower. Decided to instead go on Pinterest and then make his lunch. (Yes, I scorn my poor decisions.)
  • 8:28 Got up, gathered DS's clothes, and told him that it's almost time to go to school. DS howled in protest, predictably (watching a video). Got him more food, more milk, prompted him to dress, made his lunch, ate a little breakfast myself, prompted him to brush his teeth, etc. 
  • Drove DS to school, arriving just after the first bell. 
  • Broke the school rules by dropping DS off across the street from the school. Observed by another member of the PTA Executive, who gave me a mournful look. 
  • Came in, texted my accountability buddy re my intention to shower in 10 minutes, and started scrolling Pinterest.
  • Despite my accountability buddy's reply, my good intention, and a lack of fun or inspiring pins in my Pinterest feed (enough already with the suggested pins, Pinterest -- you're ruining your product), more than an hour passed before I got up again. 
  • Unpacked a suitcase and put dirty clothes in the laundry hamper. Carried it part of the way to the basement, and then had second thoughts. (Who does that?)
  • Medicated. Showered, shaved, brushed, flossed, and removed chipped nail polish. Moisturized. Dressed. 
  • You know it, Pinterest. 
  • Made tea and grabbed a granola bar for lunch.
  • Sat down at my desk and powered up the laptop. Came to Blogger and read an inspiring and expressive post...and started to write this.
  • 1:30, here I am. 
So, why did I want to write all that? Well, I feel calmer now. Less distracted by the piles all around me and throughout my house.
I'm overwhelmed, frankly. The internet is my respite, distraction, but there are much healthier distractions. Meditation, say. Or exercise. 
Okay. My goals today are:
  1. Consolidate all my calendars (fridge, portable, digital), school notes, appointment cards, etc. into one portable, paper calendar. 
  2. Make myself a daily & weekly schedule. 
Everything else, all the chaos that swirls around me, and the bills, and the reading and exercises for my depression group, and the note to DS's teacher, and rescheduling my hair appointment... you will have to wait. Which is so, so hard. 
That is, doing any thing knowing that there are so many things (yes, I see you waving there overdue taxes) jumping up and down (yes, you too overflowing kitchen cupboards) and hanging off my back, weighing me down and grappling for my attention... is shockingly difficult. Go away all of you, before I switch gears again. I mean, surely I should pay the overdue bills first... Ugh. No. Calendar, you are first, and in you, a to-do list, because without you I continue to be tossed about, utterly unmoored. You too, note to DS's teacher, she doesn't want you on a Friday afternoon anyway...
So this is AD/HD and me. This constricting feeling in my throat...
Ah. A friend texts an invite for coffee. A sweet extension from someone who cares, someone whose father is ill. Someone I'll say no to, again, with regret, because I must do what I must do, despite regret and guilt and concern and the desire to be a friend and to have a friend...
I hear you now, naysayers -- or is that my inner voice? -- 'stop moping, stop whining, and get a life...' 
Just keeping it real here, trying to get myself on track. Feeling that swollen throat and that knotted stomach. Taking a deep breath and going for the calendar. Let's make this happen, self. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

This is where I get stuck

Okay, this is perhaps one of several places where I get stuck, but for right now, this is the sticking point (and no, I don't mean that in the Shakespearean sense, nor do I know what that means... "Screw your courage to the sticking point..." whatever dude).

Ah, nothing like an AD/HD opening sentence.

So where was I? Stuck.

Oh yeah. I came home 30 minutes ago. I had almost two hours of uninterrupted time ahead of me. Now I'm have 30 minutes less time, and I still haven't decided what to do. WHAT TO DO! WHAT TO DOOOO???????? This is not, obviously (for anyone with AD/HD), due to a lack of things to do. This is due to a glut of already overdue things to do.

Shall I fold laundry/wash laundry/start supper/work on that project/make my bed/clean my closet/pay that bill (probably)/start using a daily appointment book/make a to do list/or even, yes, clean my office and do my filing so that I can, yes, file my taxes, which were due six months ago. Or finish cleaning out my kitchen cupboards. Read and do the mental health exercises I've received.

Screw it. Filing for the win. It's so discouraging because I can't finish it in a day, but I do still have an uninterrupted hour so let's see how much I can do in an hour.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

I know it... so don't blow it.

I keep remaking the same mistakes. 
Is a mistake a lesson if you make it again? How many lessons does one person need? In the interest of not continuing to beat myself up (maybe I am learning something), I'm not going to answer that question. Oh, alright brain, you can't help it, can you? "A lot."  "Too many."  Got it. That'll do. 

Where was I?

Oh, yes. A list of lessons learned. Some things that I know, so I can stop trying. Please, stop. The result is not going to change. 

1. Caffeine makes me feel miserable with my medications. 

If I take the medications alone, no obvious side effects, at least at my current ineffectively tiny dose of AD/HD Rx. 

If I have caffeine, however, even the small amount in a small Steeped Tea, I'll start to feel awful. Visibly shaky. No matter how much you want it, self, just say no to caffeine. It's a choice: medication or a little cup of tea. You know that the medications help, more than the tea, so ditch the tea and stick with the meds. It's okay. You can do this. A caffeine-free existence is totally fine. It's even simple: no caffeine, ever. (Well, except in chocolate.) 

Thus: Life rule no. 1: I don't drink caffeinated beverages. Ever. 

Okay. Good. Going cold turkey on caffeinated beverages. I guess this empty cup to my right was my last Steeped Tea ever. Well that sucks. And the final sip was... cold and bitter. Seems about right.

2. ....2. What the hell was two?

Man, these jitters are BAD. (See 1., above.) I'm shaking so badly that it's hard to type. I'm eating some lunch in the hope that it helps, but seeing as I had breakfast at the same time as the tea, I'm not optimistic. Remember this feeling, self, and just say no to caffeine.

Being the stubborn person that I am, I keep thinking, "but maybe it's just tea that's the problem. Maybe it's just this brand of tea. Maybe coffee, at least, is okay." Not bloody likely. Besides, decaf coffee is perfectly fine and widely available. 

The tea, in any event, in combination with my meds, is NOT OKAY. See Life rule no. 1, above, and keep repeating it whenever the temptation saunters by. "I don't drink caffeinated beverages. Ever."
"I don't drink caffeinated beverages. Ever." 
"I don't drink caffeinated beverages. Ever." 
Once more for good measure: "I don't drink caffeinated beverages. Ever." No, I don't. Not anymore. 

...so what was no. 2? Oh yeah... 

2. Forget about electronic organizers {a.k.a. demons}, and embrace a paper organizer {a.k.a. a loving God}. 

Every time I try a new app that's supposedly the saviour of us AD/HD "types" (for lack of a better term, because we're certainly not "patients" and there isn't even agreement that we're "sufferers"... and yes I should've just said "those with AD/HD" or something like that... How can this not be suffering?!), it doesn't save me. (It, being the highly-rated organizational app de jour.) The would-be saviour app doesn't even help me. It just distracts me, and drags me down a little farther, delays my recovery (or rather, my development) a little more. So, self, remember that. Just say no to electronic calendars, to-do lists, and their ilk. Stick with paper. Maybe even a to-do list made in Word and printed on paper. But nothing on-line, because inserting a checkmark symbol is not the same, and you've never (rarely?) been distracted by picking up a pencil. (Note to Apple: You can keep your iPencil to yourself.) 

Life rule no. 2: Calendars and to-do lists on paper, only. 

And on a related but less black-and-white note...

3. For the love of all that is good in your life, stay off the internet. 

Perhaps I should needlepoint that onto a throw cushion. (That's a joke. I have no time for needlepoint, although I'm sure that needlepointing was a superior past-time, very possibly due for a revival. There it is: I'll give up Facebook for needlepoint. I'll send autobiographical cushions to my distant loved ones by snail mail, once per year. Yes, I know, that could catch on. Don't steal my idea. I see you there. Please.)

Needlepoint or not, I could seriously use a nice, big sign to this effect. 

Life rule no. 3: For the love of all that is good in your life, stay off the internet, most of the time. 

4. You, and everyone else in the world, can only do one thing at a time. 

It's true, and I'm not going to waste this time arguing about it. 
Life rule no. 4: You can only do one thing at a time.

5. There are only 24 hours in every day.

...and no matter how much I wish that I could stop time and steal a little more, I can't, and neither can you. Even Facebook and Pinterest don't have that power. Really. It's just sad and even, well, delusional, to hope otherwise. I know. It really is, though. Yeah. Milk chocolate, maybe? Just a little? 

Life rule no. 5: There are only 24 hours in every day. And it's okay.