Sunday, September 13, 2015

Is your neurology your worth?

Look at that, I said I should write on my blog a week ago and I'm writing on my blog. Boom. I can do anything.

I have been struggling intensely with self worth in light of the challenges ADD presents me with and the often unhealthy ways I cope with those challenges. I was extremely grateful recently to unload these struggles on a close friend of mine and in that conversation I systematized the issues into three categories.

1. Neurological/brain traits. Without any intervention or "psyching out" getting in the way, the reality of my neurology lends to frequent expression of the behaviors described in the diagnostic criteria of ADHD. (I'm not a fan of the fact that this page features a photo of a bunch of kids, and then has a tiny footnote that "ADHD often persists into adulthood"). At the end of the day, I am scattered, forgetful, distractible and bad with details. Yuck.

2. Avoidance. I considered calling this fear, but that's not really a good emotional description. I don't often (or ever) feel fear as an emotion. I do have a really reflexive habit of avoiding things that are hard for my neurological makeup. Focused reading, engaging with minute and complex details, keeping a consistent schedule and forming good habits. Without some magical instance of willpower, I often push away from doing tasks that involve those skills. It's annoying.

3. Horrid negativity. This is, in essence, The Negative Nah. That (also reflexive) tendency to reject doing something purely for the purpose of making myself feel worse and reinforcing the distorted negative view of myself. Lately, the Negative Nah has often taken the form of this line from that blog post:

"Nah, fuck you you worthless piece of shit who should die."

As I am on a long term work trip, I've tried to establish a schedule of good habits like exercise, reading, meditation etc. Not only has that fallen woefully apart, I increasingly find myself falling into scenario No 2. (avoidance) at work. This has made me increasingly paranoid about how others view my work and how that affects my career.

It has been shitty. Honestly shitty. It's been very up and down too. Once a week or every two weeks I will come up from underwater and feel like everything might be OK. I'll clean up my hotel room, get a haircut, cook a meal and feel like I'm in control of life again. Unfortunately what goes up must come down.

I'm away from home and in a temporary situation and finding a mental health professional to work with seems inefficient if my situation is transitional.

I also have been experiencing frequent mental fatigue. I have been taking ADD medication pretty consistently (the days when I don't take it are noticeably worse). But even with the medication, 4-5pm rolls around and I have an extremely hard time focusing, starting something new, or even knowing what to do next.

I want to explore taking a second pill mid-day, but honestly remembering to take one pill daily is a feat! I also would need to see my doctor to modify my prescription to have qantity for that.

This post was supposed to be about how your worth is NOT determined by your neurology or the psychological situation you find yourself in.

I am trying super hard to step back and realize that a lot of my negative ruminations are not in sync with reality. My paranoia and doubt isn't realistic, and is most definitely not helpful.

For the moment I'm simply grateful to have this anonymous blog to write about it. That's why I started it.

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