It’s not “Ambition Deficient Disorder”
Updated: Mar 11, 2022
Some days my day starts like this: run to Starbucks get my coffee, call 3 friends, clean the garage, paint all my baseboards in the house (more on that below), go to Home Depot (which is itself is like a stimulant drug for me), take a couple online courses, start an art project, work on my businesses, you get the idea. Then other days, I cannot self - motivate on any level and my mood is well…….dark.
If you read the above you may think, I have bouts of productivity, mania, depression, laziness, etc. But this is the dichotomy of living with the highs and lows a.k.a emotional dysregulation of ADHD. It has nothing to with lack of ambition, laziness or mania.
Here is the actual problem, in its simplest form, some days the brain is stimulated and some days, it’s just not. When it’s not, you have the aforementioned, lack of motivation, moodiness, procrastination, inattention, etc. And days when the brain is stimulated things are good….except when they’re not.
For instance, one day I started a small painting project, things are going great, I feel productive, happy, etc. UNTIL that “small project turns into painting the “whole” house. Fast forward, it is now 6PM, dogs and people want dinner, there is blue painter’s tape everywhere, no one can put any of their belongs down because of “wet paint” and in general my home looked like a crime scene. It was not pretty, oh and we had guests coming for dinner. If I didn’t know myself better, I would say I was having a manic episode. Come to learn this is not mania, it’s hyperfocus. And what happens when you hyper focus is you cannot “transition out” of what you are doing.
So here is the trick to managing this mind mess and self regulation. When you have ADHD you must self regulate. The scientific explanation for the madness above is actually all about the brain’s “Default Mode Network”. So, google this as I am not going to cut and paste this for you and throw it in this blog just to show you how smart and resourceful I am. Use your brain and go read about this yourself, it is actually quite fascinating.
I will leave you with a few tips on self regulation. When I feel like I need I just want to take to the bed and can’t get motivated on any level, I get up take a walk, play with my dogs, I do anything to get my brain moving to release some dopamine and serotonin. I’ll make a list, so detailed it’s stupid but it helps see below:
That's all for now!