I had a realization that at least for the past year or so, it’s probably not ADHD that’s been getting in my way. I mean…realistically, ADHD is ALWAYS getting in the way somehow, but anxiety has been posing bigger, thicker, goopier problems for me. More specifically, anxiety-fueled fear.
Anxiety is powerful and has the ability to nearly completely flatline my thinking. It puts me into lizard-brain mode, where the focus is on survival and that’s about it. But I’m not a lizard. I’m a human. I have higher level thought processes to attend to, and even though I have ADHD (which can re-route or short circuit some of those higher level thought processes at times), that doesn’t mean I can’t execute them.
But it’s a curious thing, this anxiety I’ve been battling. When I run up against it…it fills me with grief. That’s the only way I can think of to describe it. Hopelessness is another word that almost works. But…grief feels more accurate. I’m not sure what it is that I might be grieving. And it stops me in my tracks. It prevents forward motion. I curl in around what’s left of my weary heart, and I recoil.
The normal state of my mind is to focus on too many details at once. Just add ADHD and it’s hard for me to edit them all out. The trick them becomes organizing my thoughts in a way that allows me to digest pieces of the details at a time. Medication helps with this – because it lets me shut some of them out, temporarily, and I can just work on what’s in front of me. When this anxiety kicks in…everything around me looks like a lump. I cannot see the details. I just see mountains, surrounding me. I am unable to think at all…nevermind hyperactively. Silent grief takes over. I distract myself somehow, to try to pull away from what feels like a failure.
I’ve had a hard time accepting this state…because it’s just not “me”. It’s not how my brain usually works. It’s a newer phenomenon. It’s made me feel defective, over an over.
Well…I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s nothing to be done but to push through it, if at all possible. The thing is, pushing myself to face it might help me to decipher that foreign feeling of nameless grief.
Little by little I need to chip away at the mountain…to see what I find within it.