Feelings

The Worst That Can Happen: ADHD and Anxiety

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Have you ever heard that saying? That 90% of what we worry about doesn’t end up happening.

I had heard it and when I really thought about it, I agreed. It was comforting to consider.

This blog post is not about that. Today I want to share about the 10% of not great stuff that DOES happen. 

By now you may know that I’m a mom with adhd and I have a son who also has adhd. It can make for some #funtimes (no really).

My son was 20, driving and often out late. I had spent at least 4 years worrying about what could happen while he was out. Freaking myself out. Fretting over the possibilities and my utter lack of control. Then it happened, one of the things I feared most.

I have always had a low lying anxiety for most of my life. Always just a little bit nervous or worried about things that “could” happen. As a child it was things that may happen to me. As a mom it became things that may happen to my kids.

As my son moved into the driving stage I noticed my anxiety increase.

What if he broke down on the side of the road? What if he drove too fast and wrecked? What if he didn’t pay attention to the lights? What if he crashed and ended up in a ditch? (I think this one was passed down from my mom and my teenage days)

What if, what if, what if?

It was a very fearful place to be in. As parents we try to do all of the things, hours of practice driving, track the phone so we know if they’re almost home, pray, pray, pray.

One night I went to bed at my usual time of 9:30, while my husband stayed up until what is typically close to Midnight before he heads to bed. After being asleep for a few hours, I woke up at 2:15am and noticed the bed was empty. I thought to myself “that’s strange” and felt a little curious. Just a hint of nerves.

I got up and peered over the stair rail. No husband on the couch. Hmm, that’s strange. 

I went downstairs to look for him. No husband to be seen. I checked the counter for his phone. No phone. Hmm, this is strange.

I was half asleep, but starting to panic. Telling myself “don’t panic, don’t panic”.

I checked the key rack for hubby’s keys. No keys. I mean NO KEYS. My son’s were not there either. 

I decided to look out of the front window to check the driveway for my son’s car - no car in the driveway. My brain decided to freak out a little bit.  My heart did a tap dance in my chest.

I called my husband. No answer. I called my son. No answer. I’m in full blown panic attack now. I can feel my heart pounding and racing. I feel light headed.

My phone rings and it’s my husband calling. He says the words “I’m at the Emergency room. Jami’s been burned. It’s bad.” Then silence. My brain exploded. I think “no, no, no, please God”.

My son then gets on the phone and says “mom I’m ok. They’re putting stuff on my face and hands and sending me home.” This is the moment I will remember…my brain took over and got very logical. It thought “he’s coming home. That’s a good sign.” I felt relieved, and waited.

He came home about an hour later. Hands bandaged. Face covered in what looked like vaseline (the stuff they use on firefighters to help with the pain and keep the skin moist). I cried. Tears of joy that he was alive.

Don’t get me wrong. He was not fine, but was going to be ok.

He had experienced a flash burn to the face while cooking at a friends house and putting water on a grease fire. He ended up with 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face and hands.

We ended up seeing a burn specialist the next day in San Francisco where they gave us the incredibly good news that he should heal up just fine over the course of a year.

The part that I have noticed now, a full year later is this. 

I worried for 4 years ahead of time, about “the worst that could happen” and felt awful.

Then, what I could imagine as the “worst that could happen” actually happened. My son was burned, and I felt awful for 48 hours.

Go figure. It wasn’t fun. But to be honest both were uncomfortable. All of the worrying I did beforehand did not prevent the injury from occuring.

The worry and discomfort ahead of time lasted for 4 years and was optional. 

The actual thing that I was worried could happen, DID happen and the discomfort lasted 48 hours.

This is how it works. You can worry ahead of time and suffer, or you can experience the discomfort when and if something happens and leave the suffering ahead of time alone.

If you’d like to learn more about how to manage your mind and anxious feelings, book a free consultation and let’s talk. You can start feeling better today.

ADHD and Intuition: When To Go With Your Gut

Day 24: Intuition

Do you listen to your gut?

I don’t mean do you hear your stomach gurgle when you’re hungry.

I mean do you pay attention to those inner thoughts of yours?

When something just feels right, do you go with it, or do you stop yourself?

I have always had a strong intuition. I don’t always know why or how, but sometimes I just feel in my gut that something is right and I go with it.

Caution! When you have ADHD tendencies, this can also be labeled as impulsivity.

Here’s a few ways that I check in with myself and decide when to go with the flow and when to say no.

1) What’s the potential cost? Literally what will it cost me if I’m wrong? I like to consider this before making a final decision. I’ve ended up with more websites than I care to admit to because honestly it’s $11.99 via GoDaddy to purchase some virtual real estate for an idea and that is worth the risk in my book. The cost if I change my mind is low and if I decide to go with my idea I have what I need to get started.

2) Gut or desire? Sometimes when I really want something with my mind, it can be hard to hear my heart. I need to sit with it awhile and be honest with myself. I need to ask myself “is this something that I just really, really want, or is it something that I genuinely feel is the right move from a gut instinct?” The two are very different in the way they feel. A gut instinct feels grounding and solid and certain to me. A desire feels hopeful, and exciting and much more “airy” if that’s a thing?

3) Impulsive or decisive? If I feel like I have to decide now and there’s no waiting, it feels impulsive. If I can give myself the space of 24-48 hours to consider and think about something before I commit it feels much more decisive. More intentional.

I believe that when we learn to pay attention to our intuition it can truly be a gift to us. It can be a skill that we hone. When we study and learn what intuition feels like, we can use it to guide us in the direction that we go.

When we don’t take the time to notice what it feels like for us, and really recognizing how it shows up, we can easily pretend that it’s something that it’s not. When this happens, it can take us off course and lead us down a path of distraction.

Tell me, is your intuitive muscle strong? How do you know when what you’re feeling is intuition or desire? Join me over on my Facebook page and share your thoughts.

~Shaun


ADHD and Emotions: Feel Your Way Forward

Day 17: Feelings

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“ Emotions can get in the way or get you on the way. “ -Mavis Mazhura

Emotional Regulation can be challenging when you have ADHD tendencies.

You can have a tendency to feel strongly. It can be difficult to manage your emotions. Today I want to talk about how you can feel your way forward, rather than staying stuck.

You can take back the reigns when it comes to your feelings and practice managing them. It’s a skill.

The past two days I’ve been focused on the 5 step tool that I use with my clients that’s called The Model. It’s a framework that’s based on universal truths and was created by Brooke Castillo.

There’s an acronym to help you remember it. C-T-F-A-R. Each letter represents one of the 5 steps in order.

Step 1 is Circumstances. If you didn’t read the post that talked about how we define circumstances for purposes of using the model hop on over to that post here.

Step 2 is Thoughts. We looked at how a thought is just a sentence in our brain. You can read more about that here.

Today we’re going to focus on Step 3, which is Feelings. When we’re using The Model, we’re going to describe a feeling as a one word emotion that you can feel in your body.

Some examples of common feelings are happy, sad, excited, nervous, overwhelmed, distracted, or confused.

There are thousands of feelings available to us.

When we think a thought, it generates a feeling in our body.

For example, the thought “she shouldn’t talk to me like that” can generate the feeling of anger. For others it may generate the feeling of sad. For still others it may create the feeling confused.

What we think about something creates how we feel.

Growing up we often learn that other people cause us to feel upset. That other people can hurt our feelings. It’s just not true.

Here’s an example, someone can say something about us and we will have no idea it was said, and we will not feel any kind of way about it.

Once we find out we feel hurt, or mad or disappointed, and we tend to think it’s because of what they said. Because what they said was hurtful.

If that were true, we would feel hurt the moment it came out of their mouth. The actual act of someone talking about us doesn’t make us feel bad.

It’s the thoughts that we think once we find out that something was said, that make us feel bad.

Thoughts like:

  • “That’s not very nice.”

  • “They shouldn’t say things like that.”

  • “I would never say that.”

  • “That’s the rudest thing I ever heard.”

  • “I thought they were my friend.”

These thoughts (and others) then generate our feelings.

The good news here is that if you are creating the feelings, that means you can also stop creating them.

This gives you 100% license over your emotional life. When we allow ourselves to believe that our emotions are caused by others actions or words, it’s such a disempowering place to be.

Why? Because it takes things completely out of our hands!

When we take full responsibility for how we feel, we are operating from a place of what’s called Emotional Adulthood. When we believe that others are causing our feelings, we’re operating from a place of emotional childhood.

Where in your life are you giving your personal power away to others? Where do you feel at the mercy of what someone else says?

When we feel a negative emotion, we’re likely to get a negative result. When we feel a positive emotion, we’re likely to get a positive result.

The first step is just to become aware of what it is that we’re feeling and why.

~Shaun

If you’ve been thinking about booking a free consultation and haven’t yet, let’s do it. Learn how to stop the feelings of overwhelm, procrastination, bored, unfocused and generate more useful feelings for yourself. It’s not easy, but it’ll be worth it.