#ADHD: Invisible Self/Magnified Other

One of my very favorite ADHD plagues, is the phenomenon where I can organize other people really well…in fact I get paid to do that…and can’t organize myself worth half a shit.

I’m having one of THOSE days. BIG SIGH.

At the moment, I’m actually looking up some materials on how to deal with some organizational issues that we have at our other office. It’s sometimes challenging to get everyone in the office using the same system. And often, there’s the one person who just can’t seem to get on board. What to do, in a situation like that?

Well, you can fire them. That’s always an option when someone isn’t able to meet the requirements of the job. However, as a person with ADHD, I try to be sensitive to the fact that everyone’s brain is not exactly alike. Sometimes you have to think about the bottom line – is your greater concern the process, or the end result. I know that it depends on the situation, and in this particular situation that I’m trying to solve, the process really isn’t that important. We just need the result. I’ve come up with some helpful ways to address the issue we are having with that employee.

However, I should confess that my own desk looks like a bomb went off, things are all mixed together right now that shouldn’t be, and I am avoiding my own organizational tasks. I am my own problem child.

If I frame this in the context of ADHD, I come to these questions: Why are my own organizational tasks uninteresting to me, even while I enjoy organizing other people. Why do I place myself on my mental “unimportant” list and my coworkers on my “important” list? Why am I invisible to myself?

Is it because I have emotional baggage surrounding dealing with my own shit, but I have no emotional attachment to other people’s shit? Possible. Likely.

Is it because dealing with my own shit would require me to prioritize my own shit…and that’s stressful for a person with impaired executive functions? Possible.

Is it because I enjoy helping other people, even at the expense of my own sanity? Possible. Probable. Yeah.

Is it because creating a little chaos for myself makes me feel more alive? Yeah. Doubtless.

But now that I have what I need to get this other person organized…I’m still left to deal with myself.



2 thoughts on “#ADHD: Invisible Self/Magnified Other

  1. I have the same problem and I think about this a lot. I think the emotional attachment is an important component. I also feel like its overwhelming because of the one thing leading to another situation. Someone else’s stuff doesn’t have to be usable to me, whereas I know how I need it to work. Also is harder to walk away and harder to say “done. ”

    This drives me crazy and I’m trying to look at my own situation more dispassionately, which had worked a little. Sigh.

  2. Hi Katy,
    I’m working on a film “Hidden Faces- Women and ADHD”. You can read more about it and me at

    I would really like to interview you for the film. In your blog you touch on so many of the real life day to day experiences. That is the type of articulation I am looking for with my film. I want to educate not only women who have ADHD, but their doctors, their families, etc. ADHD has had some tragic result sir some people. For most of us with a late diagnosis is is simply the way we are. Learning that we are not the only one who has always been a bit different, struggled to stay interested in things that had grown old, tried 150 million different things and still enjoy trying yet another… is okay, and by God it’s interesting.
    Anyway, will you please contact me so I can tell you more about the film beyond what I have posted at
    Virginia Ryker,Producer
    Wildly Media, LLC

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