ADHD: My story; Symptoms; Treatments
Thoughts, feelings, experiences, and pictures that illuminate ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
This oil painting I did explores the mind when I'm both "all over the place", and yet it all connects. Painting and art can mask ADHD because, as stated in the DSM-5, signs of the disorder may be minimal or absent when the individual is receiving frequent rewards for appropriate behavior, ... is engaged in especially interesting activities, has consistent external stimulation. Painting. Painting. And wait for it... painting. Painting the above picture is perfect for an ADHD state of mind because it allows the painter to consistently receive rewards when you apply color, and change forms on the canvas. Painting gives you an outlet (finally) for concentration. Painting shows you evidence of concentration so you defy what the external world constantly says to you. What the world says can feel degrading, i.e that you can't focus, you can't pay attentive during conversation, and can't "finish anything".
You can't focus.
You can't pay attention.
People can't rely on you.
You may be a people pleaser, and you try to please everyone. All at once.
You can't finish anything because you get easily distracted with the next thing.
You don't see things through.
You don't consider the consequences to your decisions
I had a professor who thought I had ADHD. It hurt my feelings. I've been running away from this disorder. This diagnosis for years. I haven't been officially diagnosed, but it resonates. A lot.
When you abandon your needs, and do favors for others you make a pattern where you abandon yourself. You abandon your needs in one moment, you won't care. You won't notice because you haven't built up a stack of abandoned needs yet. The people around you won't notice you abandon yourself. They will continue to take your resources. Your time. Your energy. What they see as your love. You can abandon yourself for so long. You reach a point where you abandon your needs so long, that you have no other choice but to stop giving more to others than you give to yourself. You deplete you because you hand it to others without question. This leads you to a breaking point. If you could give forever and not break, you would. But you do break. You collapse. You don't literally collapse. Sometimes you literally collapse. But your breaking point will show when you scream. Either inside or outside. Your heart screams. Your heart says, STOP GIVING TO OTHERS. YOU NEED TO GIVE TO ME NOW. You come to your senses when you realize that if you don't start to take care of yourself, you will burn out.
You realize you could give A LOT more with your business idea. But because you have to stop giving to people so you can give to your business, you fail. You abandon your plans to start a business, nurture the business, and see it through to success. Because you just can't stand seeing someone in your environment suffer. Let them suffer. There are plenty of other people who can fill your role. Trust me. You're not that special to them. And if you are, then they will be doomed the moment you start to REALLY meet your needs full time.
To succeed fully, you need to abandon all the voices who ask you to do things for them in the moment. You need to abandon your loved ones' needs for company. Forget them for now. If they are yours, they will be there after you're done meeting your needs. Attend to your vision. You resent everyone around you because instead of giving your idea a chance, you put out small fires instead of tending to the big fire alive in your heart. You abandon yourself so you can listen to your partner. You stop listening to your ideas, and you listen to their ideas. You stop making your art, and you look at their art. You resent the people closest to you because they are the first ones you turn to after you abandon yourself. They suspend your time when your needs claw at your heart. Don't tell them to fuck off. Instead, communicate what you need. Do not waver. Be solid. Be consistent and advocate for your needs. Do not apologize. If you need a bath - take a bath. If you need to sleep. Sleep. If you need to eat. Eat. Do not deny yourself what you need in the moment. When you deny your needs long enough, your needs become so loud, that you abandon everyone who was relying on you for your unsustainable source of attention.
You unmet needs talk to you with rashes on your skin. Your unmet needs make you angry at the people who love you. You become angry at yourself. These "selfless people" are most likely to develop cancer (G Mate, 2022)
Attend to your needs. Notice when you abandon yourself. Speak up. Practice being calm. Do not compromise when you need to keep your spirits high. Your health high. Keep your body fully charged. Keep your phone fully charged. Keep your life fully charged. Abandon everyone and everything that asks you to abandon yourself. They may be mad at you at first. Explain to them that you need to give to yourself if you ever plan to give to them consistently. If they don't understand, then let them go. If they are meant to be yours, they will be yours for life when you make a NEW pattern of being fully charged. Nonstop. From now, until you are an unshakeable pillar of needs that are met. Do not compromise with your needs.
I leave you with this painting. All the paint strokes point back to the center. There's a lot going on, but the central focus on the center helps the painter or the viewer see that all directions of the efforts point back to the center. All focus looks towards the center.
Author: Andrew Kaminski