Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Attempting to tolerate the unbearable

Daniel sat in his car, listening to his mother yell, and cry, and quote scripture as she punctuated her condemnations with professions of love. He had spent uncountable nights crying over the choice he was being forced to make. And although the pain remained acute, he was unable to shed any more tears. All that remained was a nearly audible tearing sensation.

He gazed through the window, next to where he had parked his car. "She says she loves me," he thought, "but she doesn't even know me. And when I try to show her who I am, she gets angry. I suppose she's worried she'll lose me."

The tearing feeling grew stronger.

Daniel did love his mother, and more than an average parent/child relationship, he felt he understood her. From an early age he was his mother's confidant. He had spent his whole life getting inside her head and her heart; he loved the artistic strength that was her personal bedrock. More and more though, Daniel realized his mother would not be reciprocating that attention. She seemed almost exclusively interested in the ways he mirrored her.

For the majority of his life this state of affairs had seemed natural, she was after all a holy woman. She had shared many of her sacred experiences, like the time Daniel and his siblings had come from the preexistence to ask the blessing of being born to her, or the time Christ had appeared to her in the temple and promised her an elect place in heaven, or all the times angels and prophets had ministered to her in her home.

Daniel had fully dissociated by this point.

The sound of his mother's voice and the minutes flowed incomprehensibly past him. Eventually her cadence slowed and her volume decreased: she had worn herself out. As Daniel hung up the phone and got out of his car, he saw that the sun was setting. He climbed the stairs to his apartment wondering how he was going to get through another day of this. Without eating dinner Daniel climbed into bed. He lay there numbly in the dark unable to sleep. He wasn't lucid enough to form coherent thoughts, but the hot pain in his heart was at the center of his attention and in the back of his mind, a tearing sensation that grew with each breath.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pointless Exercise

Here I sit again, not understanding why I have to write.  There is nothing for me to say.  I do not have an "unique" perspective.  Sure, I've been through some shit, but so have many other.  My pain is not a valuable and uncommon experience, nor am I able to eloquently convey my internal state.  I am a hack who pretends to be an artist, but without a compelling viewpoint and with no voice.  That is why I don't write, that is why I don't paint. I love doing these things, but I can not do them well.

I'm not sure why my therapist wants me to engage in this pointless exercise.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Spinning plates

I find myself reevaluating my entire life. When I made that mistake was it ADHD? How about this habit? So much if what I considered personality or moral failings might turn it to be interested ADHD. My strategy up till now has been to try harder and harder to force myself to keep strict schedules and to try and control everythin. This has the effect of ratcheting up my anxiety and making me feel incredibly bad about myself when I continue to fail.

A long running metaphor I've used to explain my experience is that I'm spinning plates. Just the basic maintenance work of daily life feels unmanageable. I can force myself to do it for a while, but I eventually my willpower fails and I sink into a depression. The plates come crashing down in a hail of self loathing.

If it's ADHD and not just my own personal failing, then maybe I can find coping strategies. And by managing my ADHD I'll finally be able to have a manageable life.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Hyperactive - Impulsive ADHD

- often fidgets with outer tasks hands or squirmed in seat.

I've seen someone talk about doodling as a form of this which I do all the time. I drum with my fingers and play finger games. I don't like staying seated for looking periods and like to sit in strange positions like cross-legged.
Applies currently and much more so in childhood (work, home, school, social).

- often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected (e.g., leaves his or her place in the classroom, in the office or other workplace, or in other situations that require remaining in place.

I used to choose a seat at the edge of room so I could stand without getting in anyone's way.
Applies currently and in childhood (school, work).

- often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate (e.g., in adolescents or adults, may be limited to feeling restless).

I feel so restless, like all the time. Mom says I used to run around all the time as a kid.
Applies currently and in childhood (work, school, home, social).

- often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly.

I don't think so.

- is often "on the go" acting as if "driven by a motor" (e.g., is unable to be or uncomfortable being still for extended time, as in restaurants, meetings; may be experienced by others as being restless or difficult to keep up with).

Kinda? I am certainly uncomfortable sitting still for long periods of time, but I mostly fidget or multitask, or play games in my head.
Not sure if this applies.

- often talks excessively.

When I start talking, I talk a lot.
Applies currently and in childhood (home, school, work, social).

- often blurts out answers before questions have been completed (e.g., completes people's sentences; cannot wait for turn in conversation).

Sigh, yeah. I'm always completing people's sentences and I've been told repeatedly that I butt in.
Applies currently and in childhood (school, work, home, social).

- often has difficulty awaiting turn (e.g., while waiting in line).

Not really.

- often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g. butts into conversations, games, or activities. may start using other people's things without asking or receiving permission; for adolescents and adults, may intrude into or take over what others are doing).

I do have a problem with butting into conversations, and as a kid i often used things without asking permission. With friends and family I do tend to insert myself into conversations and activities.
Applies currently and in childhood if doing it with friends, acquaintances and family counts (home, work, social).


TOTAL:
6- Applies
1 - Not sure
2 - Does not apply

Inattentive ADHD

So the Dr thinks I might have ADHD and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that. So here's my idea, I take a look at all the diagnostic criteria and try to parse if it currently applies, if I had this symptom in childhood, in what contexts it applies (home, school, work, social) and any coping strategies I've developed to deal with the symptom. I'm gonna start with the inattentive criteria first.

- often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or during other activities (e.g. overlooks or misses details, work is inaccurate).

Examples: spelling and grammatical errors, formatting errors, forgetting to take tags off clothes, and simple math errors. I am constanyly going back to a text, or a post or comment on Facebook or Reddit and noticing mistakes that I end up editing (mostly to late). Coping strategies: try to force myself to double and triple check work, and use automated checking tools like spell check.
Applies currently and in childhood (home, work, school).

- often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities (e.g., has difficulty remaining focused during lectures, conversations, or lengthy reading).

This one is more difficult. I do have a hard time focusing on somethings, like lectures, reading material I am not particularly interested in, or even just sitting and watching TV. I don't have a problem generally staying engaged in one on one conversations. Coping strategies: doing multiple things at once, like with my phone while watching TV, or doodling.
Applies currently and in childhood (home, work, school, social).

- often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (e.g., mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of any obvious distraction).

Does not apply.

- often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish school work, chores, or duties in the work place (e.g., starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked).

I feel like I do this a lot with art projects and writing. Also was a problem at work with bigger projects. Not sure if I do it with chores, have a harder time starting but once I get going it's easier. Coping strategies: none really
Currently applies to big projects and applied more across the board when I was a kid (school, work, home).

- often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities (e.g., difficulty managing sequential tasks; difficulty keeping materials and belongings in order; messy, disorganized work; has poor time management; fails to meet deadlines).

I tend to do the interesting stuff and put off or just ignore the mundane tasks. I find it especially difficult to prioritize. I frequent do work last minute and often miss deadlines. I am regularly late for social engagements. Coping strategies: Covey- type checklists with each task subdivided into other timed tasks. Timers and alarms to force mess to get out of the door on time.
Applies currently and in childhood (work, home, school, social).

- often avoids or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (e.g. schoolwork or homework; for older adolescents and adults, preparing reports, completing forms, reviewing lengthy papers).

OMG, reports are the bane of my existence, they make me angry and I avoid and procrastinate. I also avoided homework and as education became more demanding I did worse and worse in large part because of my avoidances of homework. Coping strategies: art work I started forcing myself to do reports right off the bat or at a scheduled time (with an alarm). I also automate forms and turn them into templates.
Applies currently and in childhood (home, work, school).

- often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).

Constantly losing my phone, pens, papers, etc. Coping strategies: I don't lose my wallet anymore because I combined it with my phone, and I can just say, "Hey Siri," top find my phone. I hang up my keys as soon as I get in the house, also belt clip for keys. Put all work in my bag so it lives there. I get a bit obsessive about everything having a home so i don't lose it.
Applies currently and in childhood (home, work, social).

- is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli (e.g., for older adolescents and adults may include unrelated thoughts).

I do tend to channel surf and go down internet rabbit holes, abandoning one line of investigation for something new that's also interesting. I also have lots of random thoughts, trend to get caught up in tangents in conversation. Will notice something that needs to be done and I abandon what I'm currently working on top take care of it real quick (not infrequently leads to further tangents). Coping strategies: limiting distractions.
Applies currently and in childhood (home, work, school, social).

- is often forgetful in daily activities (e.g., doing chores, running errands; for older adolescents and adults, returning calls, paying bills, keeping appointments).

I will forget what I went to the store to buy, to pay my bills and to make appointments. I will forget about needing to do a chore. Coping strategies: lists, alarms and reminders, also keeping it right in front of me so I remember to do it.
Applies currently and in childhood (home, work, school, social).


TOTAL:
5 - Applies fully
3 - Applies somewhat
1 - Does not apply

Monday, May 8, 2017

Still hating this

I dont want to be writing this blog.

This image is from some homework my tgerapist wanted me to do. She is trying to help me get away from black and white thinking, so she asked me to conceptualize my relationship with my mother as a spectrum instead of only two choices: forgiveness or rejection.

I struggled with what could be in between those two choices until I saw that it was a false dichotomy. It's not even a spectrum with opposites at either end. I could choose to do neither, or both, and that breaks up my whole way of seeing my relationship with her. Instead of labeling her either a villain or a sick woman in need of help, I'm forced to look at every point where our live's touch and decide how I want to proceed on a case by case basis.

Upon closer examination it seems these dichotomies are built into the basic code of my OS. It's how I decide what's right and wrong, what's moral and immoral. I don't have to struggle with how to respond to any little situation, because if I can label something then how I act is already predetermined based on that label. Furthermore, labels have associations. The more I can put people and situations into clearly defined boxes, the mister sure I am of the world and the more control I feel I have.

In times of trauma I tend to tighten up those definitions and hold to them more rigidly.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Therapy Homework

My therapist wants me to "blog about my unique life experiences." I'm not sure if this is to make me realize that my complaints about people not understanding me are exaggerated since I'll only write trite drivel, or if she's trying to help me express myself. I guess we'll see.

Maintaining myself

It's been fairly easy in this hermit lifestyle to maintain a sense of myself, even if I wasn't sure what I wanted it of life. Now th...