Monday, March 13, 2017

Now that Oregon is seeing hints of spring, I have to conclude that I basically spent the months of January, February, and part of March in a bit of a stupor. I am beginning to come out of it. This may have been the first year that practically everyone I know has been hanging by a thread, waiting for spring. It has been a dreadful and long winter. The blooming plants are at least a month behind where we were last year.

I just hate Oregon winters. Every fall I feel absolutely desperate to stay afloat, to cope through the winter. In addition to the dreary weather, I had to go off of Zoloft in December. It was causing a lot of digestive problems, which I am still trying to fix. No, I did not opt to stay on the medication merry-go-round, although Zoloft had helped me tremendously in some ways. I have my reasons. So, between that the weather this time of year, I feel that I am walking through mud with a backpack full of bricks.

I wish I had something better to say, but I want to leave an honest record of this winter, and it is what it is. I will be able to look back and say that I'm getting better, or getting worse, next year. The good news is that spring is on the horizon. We have had some nice days and today, although there was no direct sun, it was fairly warm. My daughter and I went to the river and I stood in the sand with my bare feet. The water was freezing! It's nice to know that some relief from this dreadful weather is on the way.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I live in Oregon. Summer is over. I'm trying not to fall back into the hole of depression that I have often found myself in, but it's a real challenge. One thing that I started doing is keeping a bullet journal. I admit, I know little about it. I'll learn as I go, I suppose. It's already helping me stay on top of things.

Another thing I've been making an effort to do - connect with nature. Instead of hibernating, my daughter and I have made friends with the trees in the local park. This has been very helpful. I don't know how unusual this is, but we feel that we can connect with trees on some level and their energy seems to benefit us. Now, we aren't actually hugging the trees, but we lean on them or stand nearby with a hand on a tree. It's been a fascinating experience!

One thing I've done is name the trees. It seems the first thing I do when I meet a tree is come up with a name for them. The names do not change later. Once I was mistaken about which tree I was visiting, and the name "Fred" popped into my head. "Fred?" I thought. But that isn't the right name! However, I had chosen the wrong tree! So... It seems ridiculous. I can't even pretend to understand this, but it's interesting.

I'm also keeping my eyes peeled every day for things that need to be done, and for the beauty of the fall season. I'm trying to stay focused and to keep busy. I hope that it works, But it can't hurt, that's for sure.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Quest

What a long absence! Oh well... I'm back! I've been thinking about writing about depression, since this is something that many with AD/HD have to deal with, myself included. I don't even know when it started. As a young girl (maybe about the age of 10 or 11) I started shutting down. Depression, you see, is not sadness. It's basically about not feeling - not feeling the highs or the lows. I remember when I was at that "tween" age, one of my most often used phrases was, "Why should I?" I purposely developed a persona that was indifferent to many things.

When I was in my late 20's, I was diagnosed with AD/HD. In addition to a stimulant, I started taking Zoloft. However, during my pregnancy in 2004, I stopped taking prescription drugs. This was because there was new information that SSRIs were, in fact, not as safe for babies in utero as was previously thought. I stopped taking Zoloft, and I felt that I was falling into a big hole. I spent the next 11 years struggling to function. It wasn't a constant struggle, but as the years went by, it seemed to get more difficult. What started out as seasonal depression eventually became year-round, with perhaps a small break in spring. Some hard knocks made it even harder to get by.

After trying to manage my depression with supplements, last year I had to conclude that I had as yet failed to find a solution AND I was running out of time. If I didn't do something drastic soon, I was likely headed for a major depressive episode. So I decided to start taking Zoloft again. I started taking it in November of 2015. I can't say that I'm entirely pleased. There are side effects. I have gained weight, and have had various digestive issues. But overall, my life has improved.

Today I was looking a Facebook photo. A man was riding horses on the beach with his wife. I said to my daughter, "I wonder how much it would cost to ride horses on the beach? That would be amazing!" My daughter looked at me suspiciously. "You weren't like this before," she said.

She's right. I would have scoffed at the suggestion, mostly because the very idea would have overwhelmed me.

"But girls just want to have fun," I said.

I'm not sure whether I'll need Zoloft long-term, but I need it now. I think of it as my training wheels. I need it now because I'm trying to learn new skills. I need to change which thoughts I focus on, and Zoloft makes it easier to focus on the positive.

I recently had the privilege of reading two journals that my grandfather Orville left behind for my mom when he died. Alas, the family legacy of depression clearly stems from him. He wrote some journal entries while in the grip of deep depression. At times, he was in a deep, deep hole. In fact, in the last entry, his emotions were very negative. It was November of 1991. Summing up his troubles, he wrote: "It seems there are some mental adjustments which I can't make and problems I can't resolve."

He was 22 years older than I am now when he wrote those words. I imagine that he was sitting in the living room across from the wood stove in his old-fashioned upholstered rocking chair, which backed up to the corner of the room. (He liked to have his back to a wall.) He was trying to think his way out of his depression, being consumed with issues that offered no resolution. My heart breaks for him because I know exactly how it feels. Even sadder, he had less than four months to live, but he didn't know it. He died in February of 1992 of an aortic aneurysm.

If there is one good thing that can come from all of his suffering, it is this: to the best of my ability, I'm going to opt out of his quest. For many years, I have spent much of my alone time trying to do the same thing he was doing. But some things in this life cannot be made to be OK, no matter how hard we think on it. Some problems cannot be resolved by our own efforts. So, after life's disappointments have been properly grieved, the only thing left to do is to change the channel.

I know it's going to be slow going, and I'm going to make mistakes along the way. But I'm working on my sense of gratitude, because gratitude and negativity can't coexist. While the nice weather holds, I'm going to try going to the river in the evening. I'll take the time to sit in the backyard at night, holding my cat. (Holding my cat! That may be a subject for another blog entry.) I'll be working in my yard. And maybe I'll even ride horses at the beach. (Eh, maybe NEXT year!) Also, when I catch myself trying to solve any of those unsolvable problems, I will do my best to redirect my thinking. Obviously, there is a lot to this. Moving on will be a struggle. But I feel that moving on is one puzzle I CAN solve, in time. So for now, I'm moving forward with my Zoloft training wheels. Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

External Structures for AD/HD

I just read an excellent article about willpower here: Click to see the Psychology Today article.

The concept described in this article is basically the same thing that AD/HD coaches use with their clients - that of creating an external environment which will support the client.

So many people with AD/HD think of themselves as lazy, but usually that's not really true. When they have the right supports in place, it becomes much easier for the individual to function, AD/HD or not.

So check out the article, and do some brainstorming - what helpful supports do you already have in place? Can you think of ways to build on the supports you already have, or try putting something similar in place in another area of your life?

For me, the biggest and most important thing is a datebook or calendar, which I refer to often. This is where I make my lists and keep track of all kinds of things. Without a calendar (and I have been without it at times) I drift without getting much done. Simply using a calendar brings AWARENESS. And awareness is my friend.

Sunday, December 05, 2010


I was just thinking about a conversation I had with my AD/HD coach several years ago. I was telling him how anxiety provoking it was to have to function in the world, feeling that my brain wasn't functioning at the same level as those around me. What he told me has helped me many times over the years, especially when my anxiety issues come back.

"They don't know!" he said. Which here means that, as long as I don't talk about it, chances are they won't figure out that only one side of my brain is working today.

While on one hand, the disadvantage of having an invisible disability is that no one can really tell, and therefore no one makes allowances for it, perhaps it works both ways. There is an advantage in being able to hide your "invisible" disability. Sometimes that's a good thing. It can make life easier in some ways.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Means Whereby

Now I'm going to get obscure... this is a "stay with me here" moment if there ever was one. Ever hear of the Alexander Technique? According to Wikipedia, "the Alexander technique is an alternative medicine and educational discipline focusing on bodily coordination, including psychological principles of awareness. It is applied for purposes of recovering freedom of movement, in the mastery of performing arts, and for general self-improvement affecting poise, impulse control and attention."

Blah, blah, blah.... I know. I can hardly read it myself. But it's so cool!

When I read the book called "Body Learning," about the Alexander technique, I was amazed at the way that the principles in the book echoed what I had learned about living with AD/HD. Keep in mind, the book is not about AD/HD, however I am taking some points from the book and applying them to AD/HD.

The most important points I got are summed up in two terms: means-whereby and endgaining.

Far too often, AD/HD people find themselves endgaining - they find themselves using unhealthy coping "skills" in order to get the job done. They get it done, but oh, they pay for it. This way of getting it done is quicker, perhaps, but often results in problems because of the way it is done.

On the other hand, focusing on the means-whereby, we are more concerned with the way we do an activity than we are about the result. This cuts down on inefficiencies and makes things easier to do.

Focusing on the means-whereby is what I like to do. It's how I get most of the big things done. And it's how AD/HD individuals should be coached.

AD/HD people find themselves looking for help because they have goals, but they need support to reach them. That's why coaching works so well. And the best coaches focus on the means-whereby. They don't forget about the goal, but they know that the big goal shouldn't be the main focus.

The client needs smaller, actionable goals. They also need to analyze their daily life and their environment to look for ways to maximize their effectiveness. That is putting the means-whereby into practice.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I have nothing to say. If you vote for me, all your wildest dreams will come true.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I'm watching my sister's 2 daughters, 3 and 8 years old. They are coloring with my 3 year old daugther. I just overheard a conversation: I'm coloring you. What color do you want your hair? "Purple." OH, something is already purple. You'll have to pick another color. Which one do you want, orange or green? "Orange."

This is the kind of conversation you never have as an adult. I just love how kids are not hampered by reality.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Well, as I usually say, "It's been awhile"...

Ginger and I have decided to take an indefinite hiatus on the ADD Coaching. Maybe we'll have another go at it at a later date. Family issues have put the site on unofficial hold for a long time, and things will probably stay the same for the foreseeable future.

And since it doesn't make much sense to keep paying for the sites at, we're going to be making some changes. We would like to keep our articles on the web somewhere but we haven't figured out the details.

It's regrettable but sometimes you just have to admit that it's not working and change direction. Either that, or continue to feel guilty and burdened (doesn't change the fact that you're still doing nothing). It's sad that it didn't develop as we would have liked, but life takes turns of its own.

I will continue to post to the blog, but since Ginger hasn't posted to her blog for like, 3 years, I wouldn't bother checking that...LOL.

Anyway, it's been great hearing your comments and getting the occasional email. It's definitely been worth it to know that we have helped some people by sharing our experiences. The concept for came from an AD/HD support group meeting we went to. We wanted to duplicate that feeling you get when you realize you're not alone and that there are people who really understand. If we have done that much for you, then we've accomplished what we set out to do.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Taxes Get People

This is old but I thought it was funny. I was trying to remember which tax software had the "You Got People" - so I typed in "taxes got people" in Google. And I got back: Did you mean: taxes get people ?

Yeah. I guess that is what I meant.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blogging About Other Blogs

Yay! There are a couple of new blogs that you might want to check out.

Thoughts on AD/HD and Marriage, by Dr. Ned Hallowell and Melissa Orlov. Of course they are writing a book and looking to tap into the AD/HD community for the text of said book. I also wouldn't be surprised if Melissa Orlov was doing most of the work, and Dr. Hallowell is just lending his name to the project. That's the way to do it! So go to the blog, and give them your two cents. I am hoping that this book will be useful.

The other one is Dr. Amen's Brain Blog, Ginger and I really like Dr Amen. I don't know why some in the ADD community and in Psychiatry are so against his work. I have read articles by some who don't like him but it seems to me that they feel threatened and just want to discredit him. Any attempt I have seen to do so just seems like sour grapes to me.

Politics. (And this is where the tangent begins)... Hartmann vs. Barkley? I tend to agree with Barkley that AD/HD is not an advantage. At first when I read Hartmann's argument that AD/HD is an advantage (Hunter in a Farmer's World), I agreed with it. But as my knowledge about AD/HD broadened, I began to think differently.

Yes, ADDers have great qualities, but the problem, for me, lies in confusing the person with the disorder of AD/HD - which exists over the top of that person, so to speak.

I was most convinced that AD/HD is not an advantage when I was pregnant and went off my meds... let me tell you, having all of my symptoms back conferred no special advantages to me. With meds, I was able to achieve more in all areas of my life. Without them, I was back where I started. Not good. Luckily I had learned some skills and work-arounds, but it was the toughest time in my life - to have reached a higher level of funtioning and then to give up that "edge" I had gained by taking medication. To go back to an unmedicated state. I'm sorry, but you can't tell me that AD/HD is a gift. If it was, I'd be first in line to take it back to the store!

People get confused and think that since the AD/HD is a part of their daily experience, they have AD/HD to thank for certain good characteristics they have: creativity, quick thinking in a crisis, etc. They think that the great things they do are as a result of the AD/HD. Before coming to this conclusion, though, you need to determine where AD/HD ends and YOU begin.

The ones who can push through thier difficulties may seem to be sucessful because of their AD/HD, when in fact, it is likely in spite of it. Perhaps their AD/HD is mild, they have a strong inner drive, and/or they are able to set up adequate support systems.

How the "Grief Cycle" ties into all of this is interesting. This is the process that we all go through as we accept what it means to have AD/HD. I see the "AD/HD is a strength" thinking as a part of the grief cycle. Denial / Bargaining.

As long as we believe that AD/HD is a strength, then we can continue to make deals with ourselves. We can put off making the difficult decision about whether or not to medicate. (I'm not saying that everybody with AD/HD should take meds, that's a personal decision.) We can put off coming to terms with the real limitations that we deal with every day. And that can actually make us less successful in life.

So, I'll get off my soapbox. Maybe I think too much.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Study Sheds Light on Why Kids Grow Out of ADHD

Well, you've probably seen it in the news by now. When I first heard it I thought, "That can't be right. Up to half of AD/HD kids grow out of it by the time they reach adulthood? AD/HD is just a developmental delay? I Googled it and even NPR has a story about it, complete with a video illustrating brain development. NPR? It must be true!

Well, it may not be so easy to sort out what this study really means. As you can read here, "the lead author of the school study was somewhat mystified that his research ... was being discussed in the same breath with ADHD at all. The study, he said, wasn’t “about clinical levels of attention problems.”

Now that the story has made the rounds, and stories have been written about the stories about it, it may have set the AD/HD community back by several years. Many people will feel even less entitled to seek treatment since the "leap" that many people will make is that there's a good chance that ADHD will just clear up on its own.

But, hey, I say we keep it because it's a good headline. Nobody likes a headline that reads, "AD/HD? Study Says Your Kids Will Probably Have it 'Till the Day They Die." (Snarky humor is my #1 coping skill. You should see what I delete before I post!)

I admit, it's not very hopeful to keep the opinion that, basically, AD/HD does not (usually) go away. As fun as it sounds to grow out of having AD/HD, you should definitely want to take care to note the difference between hope and, you know, gullibility. This is soft data and more research needs to be done in order to link the initial findings with outcomes. So for now, it changes nothing. Except, perhaps, people's perceptions about seeking treatment.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

No one will ever know how many ADD marriages have broken up over housework that didn't get done. One of my married clients had a full time job, and a child who had ADD, ODD, and more. She was too overwhelmed to do more than the basic household chores. She felt she was always behind on everything.

After she got a housekeeper (a mere $54 a week), she blossomed. It was just enough weight being taken off her shoulders - it enabled her to do the things that were further down on her to-do list. With the basic chores being done every week, she was finally able to do the things around the house that she'd always meant to do (painting the downstairs, etc). She was even able to take more time for herself. The whole family was happier, too.

That's why I'm recommending this book:

A Housekeeper Is Cheaper Than a Divorce: Why You Can Afford to Hire Help and How to Get It, by Kathy Fitzgerald Sherman.

Love the title! It's something to think about. And if you've always wanted to have a housekeeper but didn't know how to find a good one, this book will be helpful.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Our house is still for sale but there is an offer on it, subject to the person selling thier own house. We aren't too excited about the offer but we're hoping that, if they don't sell thier house, they may go ahead and buy ours so they don't lose it.

Now that we've been working on our house for months, it's everything I've always wanted it to be. Almost every little problem has been fixed. There's granite in the kitchen and bathrooms. The yard is landscaped. Well, half of the yard. We are an ADD family so you're not going to get everything done. But it's starting to not feel like a home somehow. It's too tidy and perfect. I've never lived that way.

I feel weird not leaving the house in some disarray when I have to go somewhere. When I get back it's so tidy I'm afraid to move. It's not just me. If my toddler gets a few toys out, she looks at them on the floor and says, "I made a mess." Yes. Three stuffed animals. The horror.

Since the house doesn't have a sale "pending," it isn't off the market. Another buyer could make an offer and then the current buyers would have 72 hours to make good on thier offer. So, it's still being shown. Every time it's shown, I go into some state of "boggle".

And since it's been shown so often, I now understand the semipermanent state of boggle of ADDers who are selling/moving. I think that my coach training has helped me, however I can't get over how strange it is to be the coach, watching myself experience the textbook ADD "boggle". I understand and recognize it but I can't stop it. At the end of the day I'm still an ADDer like all of my clients. The only thing that can be done is to use the same techniques that work for every other ADDer. I don't get any special exceptions just because I know how all of this works.

I can't help but wonder how bad I might feel about myself if I didn't know about ADD boggle. I have a tendency to have unrealistic, high expectations for myself. To combine that with lower than normal functioning is a recipe for depression.

For those who aren't familiar with ADD boggle, it's basically too much stress causing you to shut down. I may not have described the nuances of it but that's basically it. Some people get cranky, some people get more spacey, the list goes on. Functioning is impaired. Not in all aspects. For example, you might be able to "escape" the boggle by leaving the situation at home and going to work... However, if you have already "boggled" earlier that day, then your functioning for the rest of the day will suffer.

I have become an expert at recognizing boggle in myself. I've come to recognize a physical sensation that, sometimes, I can feel coming on. If I have the ability to stop doing what's causing the boggle, and wait until later to resume the activity, then I can still have a normal day. Boggle happens when I'm startled (can we show your house in 15 minutes?), or if I study something that I don't have an avid interest in. I can read a few paragraphs, underline, make a few notes, but I have to stop after a few paragraphs. If I don't, then my brain will melt and that will be that. I also boggle after 45 minutes of sustained attention to conversation.

But luckily, I have found a way around having to do that. If there's music playing, I can read and study anything for as long as I need to. I discovered that when I was attending support group meetings. I would always leave the meetings with what I called "brain burn" - LOL. After 45-50 minutes of sustained attention, I am so boggled, it feels like there's some kind of loud piercing alarm going off, except that I don't actually hear anything.

The support group meetings would last for an hour or more. I was torn. Should I disrupt the gathering by leaving at 40 minutes (thereby assuring that I'd get out of there OK)? I could have. But I never did.

Then during one of those meetings, there was a radio playing in the corner of the room, and I walked out of there feeing just fine. That's when I figured out that music helps me to overcome boggle. It does not matter what kind of music. I think that music even helps my brain to function more normally. I am less distractable when there's music playing. I am able to converse with more ease. I have more "brilliant ideas" when there's music playing.

To each his own, but you may find that music helps you (or ADDers in your family) with your daily functioning too.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Street Credibility

If you click on the title you can see George Michael saying he's got street credibility. I've been thinking about that and laughing and laughing.

Lately I've been working really hard on getting ready to put the house up for sale and packing in preparation for moving. Then I stuff the boxes in the shed. I should probably just throw all of that stuff away. Maybe I'll do it when I'm unpacking.

Yeah, we're really going to move this time. Assuming that we can sell our house. We will stay in the same area.

My parents have been working much harder than I have been. They painted my house. They are great. They have way more energy than I do for some reason.

In the midst off all of this I lost my planner. After retracing my steps, calling people, and searching everywhere, over and over, I finally found it. (In a laundry basket under some clothes.) Just a snapshot of the chaos that reigns. I've got to reign it in.... Ah, it should be a piece of cake. *snicker*

This is why your systems have got to be air tight when you're going through a transition. The planner goes where it goes and it can't go anywhere else. Unless you want to lose it forever.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wal-Mart $4 prescriptions

Now you can get certain medications for $4 at Wal-Mart, whether you have insurance or not. If the link doesn't work, just go to and click on Pharmacy on the left. Look for Generic Drug Program on the Pharmacy page.

The program isn't perfect but it's bound to help a lot of people afford their meds.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

ADD Challenges

I just want to mention that is now offering a new curriculum on The Challenges Inventory. This is a way of assessing ADHD as the sum of all its parts, rather than just seeing the presenting symptoms. One symptom exacerbates or causes another symptom, so attacking the symptom and thinking you are going to get somewhere - that's the pitfall of coaching ADHD individuals without The Challeges Inventory. It's a test that coaches can use to save time in identifying which challenges their clients have, and the REAL causes of these challenges (not always what you think)! I think it's pure genius!

Madelyn-Griffith Haynie spent over a decade compiling and developing this information. The classes are available to the public, and you don't have to invest thousands of dollars to get the classes that you want, because you can pay for just the classes you want.

Just have to give this endorsement because I really believe in this method.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Communication is so important

Today my daughter said "It's poopoo, it's milk." She's been saying it every day for the last 3 or 4 days. I'm not sure what it means. She started out saying "Poopoo is milk," but now she seems like she's getting a little closer to making sense. These are the kinds of things that kids say that leave parents scratching their heads. But as the kids pick up a little more English, they start making more and more sense. I've witnessed many puzzling phrases suddenly come into focus - oh, that's what you were saying!

So I guess I have to wait for awhile before we have some good communication with my daughter, but it's coming along.

Between her and my husband, I feel understood.....with great effort. Like today, I was telling my husband about a woman who wrote a popular book when her daughter was 6 weeks old. "Six. Weeks. Old. I could never have done that. Of course, some people luck out and have kids that sleep through the night - but not us!"

At this point he answered me, "I like kids." Sort of defensive.

"What?" I said.

"You said that we didn't like kids, but I do."

"No, I said that some people luck out and have kids that sleep through the night, but not us..."


You know, it's nice to be understood.

And if you were looking for a funny blog, well, let me refer you to The Secret Public Journal is funny. Haha.

Friday, August 18, 2006

So I've been watching a lot of Blue's Clues lately. It's about a mentally challenged man who apparently lives on Social Security. He talks to his furniture and animals, and goes on great adventures with his dog Blue, where they feature new and exciting products (special notebooks, thinking chairs, etc) to sell as part of the Blue's Clues merchandising plan.

All right, maybe I'm a little cynical. I mean, what's the point of having a cartoon if you're not going to sell stuff as a result? I suppose that I do the same thing in a way. After all, the whole point of my writing ADD-related articles is to attract clients to my coaching practice. If I happen to end up with a line of action figures - well, that's not going to happen.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Nothing is Safe

I have an 18-month old daughter. Up until now, our child-proofing strategy has been to move things out of her reach. Now, there is nothing out of her reach. She is currently climbing up my right side, saying, Oh, Oh Look! and grabbing the computer mouse.

Nothing is safe.

Now, there's a reason why I don't spend many hours working - I want to spend lots of time with her. But there are times, like when I haven't had enough sleep because she's decided to wake up multiple times in the night, when I really just want her to leave me alone. The tricky part is, if she does leave me alone it only means that there will be a price to pay when I hunt her down. Sometimes I can actually see her doing something that she shouldn't. Maybe I'll let her get away with it, maybe I won't. If she's leaving me alone, then I have to weigh the benefits of that against how hard it will be to clean up or fix later. There is always a price to pay for a moment of peace.

For example, I was folding some laundry (assuming that she was not getting into anything) and when I was done, I found her with a Pepsi can, squeezing it at intervals to make a really neat noise.

She had spilled Pepsi on the vinyl floor, and her socks were soaking wet. I took the can away and, since her hands free, she leaned over and rubbed her hands in the spilled Pepsi. Then I had the lose-lose situation: if I clean her hands, the floor will still be dirty and I may or may not be able to get her to keep away from touching it. If I clean the floor, her hands will still be dirty and I may not be able to keep her from touching the floor....

A few days ago, we were outside and I let her go off into a fenced part of the yard, no need for me to watch her THAT closely, right??? I could see her, I was talking to my mom, blah blah.... when I walked over to where she was, she had a snail and was digging it out of it's shell. She had slime on her shirt, her hands, her mouth. Ugh.

There are moments in every mom's life when you just wish there was someone else to handle it. You almost say, hey, who's gonna take care of that? But it's all yours!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Home Sweet Home

My parents sold their house last month, and ended up moving an RV into our back yard, where they are currently living. Of couse, they will not be there forever. They will find a new house eventually.

This has been a transition for me, but I think I dealt with it pretty well. For now, I have my mom close by and she can watch my kid for me once in awhile - and I don't even have to drive across town. I think it may be hard for me not to abuse this privelege.

As for my coaching schedule, doesn't anyone want Wednesday at 3:00 Pacific? Whatever could be wrong with it? I can't seem to fill it. So think about it, people.

In other news, I have gotten into American Idol, of all things. I just find Taylor Hicks fascinating for some reason. At least, there are only 3 more shows left in the season. Then I can get on with my life. Never in a million years did I think I would ever vote for anyone on American Idol. But there I am, with my home and cell phone, voting away. What is wrong with me? Well, I am so sick of getting all excited about a singer only to find out that there is something about him that repels me later. I am hoping that Taylor is someone I can just listen to without having to worry about "what does this song really mean?" - and maybe, just maybe, he won't get arrested for lewd conduct in a public bathroom somewhere. Maybe he won't start adding swear words to his songs just for effect.

We'll see....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

You know when you haven't seen a new blog entry here for awhile that I've either fallen off the face of the earth (well, it happens sometimes) or that I've gotten really busy! I don't remember which one it was!

I just saw a book that looks interesting: Never Be Late Again

I am one of those people who shows up about 2 minutes late. I just pretend that I don't know I'm late, that's my solution and it works OK most of the time. (I am a champion of full-out mediocrity in almost every setting!) BUT of course there is the accompanying stress. The way my massage therapist says, "Is it really hot outside or something?" because I'm kind of hot from running down the block to his office. I could do without that sort of remark. Maybe I'll buy this book!

Now I'm going to say something really un-coachlike (like I ever say anything coach-like on the Internet). I've been taking this product called Emergen-C and it's really, really, really helped my anxiety disorder. I am currently not taking my prescriptions because of the baby, and I've missed Zoloft! But now I think that I may not even need it! I think it's because of all the B Vitamins in Emergen-C. I have taken B Vitamins before, but these are working better for me, obviously.

Now, having said that, I have to do a disclaimer because my new liability insurance policy has not started yet. Just because I have had good results, that does not mean that you should run out and buy Emergen-C and go off your antidepressant. Always check with your doctor before you start taking a new supplement and never go off prescription drugs without consulting your doctor first. (See, MGH, I was paying attention in class!)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Disorganization and Fires

Well, the organizing trade went pretty well. Ginger's office is in much better shape, thanks to me, and my computer is a little more organized, thanks to her. I still use the "search" feature to find a lot of stuff, because I still don't know what she did - and she's far from done, hehe. Neither am I done with her office....but the "big day" is over with - the first day, where you find yourself assessing the degree of the problem and trying to make some visible improvement.

I am recovering from the flu. I think it's got me more than a little off-center because I have set two fires in my kitchen (accidents) in the last two days, and tried to set another one by "steaming" broccolli with no water. I think I should stay out of the kitchen for a good long while. Pizza, anyone? Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store? Ah, the house smells like burned broccolli.

If you haven't got your flu shot this year, get it - I should have but it's too late for me. The flu is really bad this year. I've heard this from lots of people. Even if there is mercury (thimerisol) in the shots, I should have got it anyway. I used to get a shot several times a year that I later found out had thimerisol in it and I didn't die from that, so I suppose I could get a shot with mercury in it once more for old times sake. Maybe next year.

The baby seems to have avoided the flu somehow. She is starting to walk and her favorite hobby is making little bits of cheese disappear by rubbing them on the carpet. It's true that if you work hard and are patient, little bits of cheese just disintegrate into nothing and you can hardly tell that cheese ever stood on that spot.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Trading Spaces

Ginger and I are planning to take our symbiotic-ness to yet another level. Now we're going to organize each other's stuff. This comes from an accumulation of problems that we've both had: her office, which causes her feelings of overwhelm at this point, and my computer, which is incredibly disorganized. It didn't start out that way, but over time, I changed computers, over and over, until it has reached the currently annoying level of disorganization.

A good illustration of what has happened to my computer files over the years: Imagine that you moved repeatedly but never really unpacked. You could find your stuff by digging through the boxes, and if there was something you couldn't find, you just bought another one. This is what I have done to my computer.

With each hard drive erase & restoration, I've had to move all of my files to one file folder so that my husband wouldn't have a list of things to save for me. He would just save the folder and do the erase & restore. Well, I never bothered to put things back the way they had been - never unpacked, so to speak.

Then there's my email inbox - I don't know how to set up subfolders, so everything is still there from about 1997 on. Some are still in Outlook from when I quit using it 2 or 3 years ago. Apparently there are ways of organizing email other than by date. Hmmm.

So as you can see, Ginger has her work cut out for her. But this is something that will be fun and easy for her, I think. Oh, I just remembered the digital photos I have saved to my hard drive. Many of them are duplicates, in various folders. Uh-oh. Poor Ginger.

Of course, I may start feeling sorry for myself once I see her office! I'm hoping that she's just blown it out of proportion in her mind. Maybe there's just a little mess in there, and since she hasn't dealt with it in such a long time, it's grown in her mind....well, there's a chance that that's true!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Breathing: a Useful Activity

I get this newsletter from Women to Women, it had a link to an interesting article:

It's my guess that shallow breathing is fairly common among ADDers, although I have no evidence to back it up (as usual). This article will explain how important breathing is - breathing deeply is one of the top things that you can do to improve your functioning and it doesn't cost a thing.

The importance of proper breathing is also mentioned in the book, Moving Beyond ADHD, which I am still trying to read all the way through.

Maybe this is one reason that exercise is so beneficial? It gets you breathing! Imagine that by not breathing properly, we are giving ourselves the same health risks (maybe to a lesser degree) that someone with sleep apnea has: increased risk of insulin resistance or type 2 Diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

It's got to be just as important to breathe properly during the day as it is at night.

So try to notice when you are holding your breath (this happens to me when I feel anxious, and I'm not sure if it's holding my breath that causes me to feel anxious or if feeling anxious causes me to hold my breath), and notice when you are taking shallow breaths. Then try to breathe more deeply!

You know I write half of this blog just so that I have a place to put reminders for myself!

Take Care,


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Organizational "Bright Spots"

We all know that ADDers aren't known for being tidy, overall. Of course, there are the "overfocused" ADDers whose environments look neat and tidy. But open a closet door and you'll discover the chaos that lurks within.

Ginger and I were talking about how, even in the most chaotic home, you'll always find some place where there is organization. For instance, her makeup is always organized. For me, it's my purse. I used to clean my purse by dumping all of the contents out onto the floor, every 6 months or so. Then I would sort and pick up the stuff, and then I would have to vacuum because of all the little bits of lint and etc.

But now, I just constantly take trash out of my purse. Instead of stuff accumulating, it stays clean. Instead of having small items floating around in there, I have a small zipper pouch that holds those items so they don't cause chaos by just being in there.

So those are our "bright spots"... what are yours? Feel free to share by posting a comment!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Hallway

I can't make it down the hallway and back without getting lost. I need to get some receipts out of my wallet and bring them back to the computer. Every time I go, end up getting distracted on the way. I put some laundry away or something. Then I come back to the desk because I'm supposed to be working at the computer. Well here I am, with no receipts to enter. I must head down the hallway again. Hopefully I will be successful this time.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Long and Mostly Irrelevant

I am reading yet another book about Making ADD Go Away. This sort of book seems to be very popular. More stories of miraculous recoveries - all you have to do is refuse to believe that there is something wrong with you and center and ground yourself. Breathe properly. Correct your posture. The book is called Moving Beyond ADHD. I've also read "Stopping ADHD" (ADD is caused by a reflex and you must crawl and do exercises to cure it - I never did the exercises.) And I've read two books called "Healing ADD" (various ideas in each).

This latest book is interesting, and might even be somewhat useful, don't get me wrong. I'm always interested in this sort of thing, but not because I think it will cure my ADD. I'm always looking for tricks to improve my performance, especially since I'm not taking medication right now (still breastfeeding).

I think that some of the ideas from these books are useful, and some give people false hope. I spent years trying to find the Big Fix, and I never found it. But I funtion a lot better now than I used to, and even though I'm temporarily not on meds, I function better now than I did before I started taking meds. This is because of skills that I have picked up, mostly from coaching. Yes, coaches have coaches. Coaching works - so doesn't that make sense?

What else has helped?

  1. I have shifted my thoughtss from "what's wrong with me" - to "what's different". In coaching, you look at what is, and work from there. So by not allowing yourself to think in terms of what you "should" be able to do, you can get more done. This is because you aren't placing high expectations on yourself. You can actually get more done because you don't have all of that "should" crud holding you back.
  2. Nutrition. If I skip breakfast, eat junk food, or eat sugar, I will pay. It affects my mental functioning.
  3. Exercise. It increases circulation throughout the body, including the brain. Those SPECT brain scans that show areas of underfuctioning in the brain are showing areas of poor blood flow. It makes sense that moving around would help increase circulation in the brain. Not to mention, it helps to moderate the insulin response, so your efforts in nutrition will be boosted if you exercise
  4. Supplements.

But I still haven't found a cure. Maybe a "cure for everyone" is impossible because we are actually treating some personality traits as disease. Think of creativity and time-awareness as being linked. If you can picture that there is a 100% potential for someone to be creative, but that means that there will be NO time-awareness, 0% time-awareness, in other words (this is just a fake example), then a person could be 75% creative and 25% time-aware. The percentages would have to add up to 100% and to add to one would take away from the other. I tend to think that people's traits are linked to other traits in this way (keeping in mind that this is a fake example).

The reason I think this? My own personal experience with dyslexic symptoms. I have a friend, Ginger, who some of you know..... she's dyslexic. She likes to take everything she finds and turn it inside out, upside down, cut it up and put it back together a different way. This is the way she thinks. So you may understand that when she reads, the letters don't stay where they ought to. Her brain is still doing it's thing.

Well, when I spend a lot of time with her, her thinking patterns wear off on me and I start to actually see letters in the wrong order, and to transpose numbers I write. Strange, huh?

My point is that everyone can change the way they think. And maybe some people are "good" at one thing (back to my fake 75%/25% split again) that must correspond to something else that they are "bad" at. And if they can figure out how to be better at "time-awareness" they may find that they are less creative. Don't quote me because I'm no scientist. This is just what I suspect.

The more I read about personality types, the more I am convinced that at least sometimes, we are diagnosing personality traits as ADD. I think that all of the personality types have ADDers, but that some types are easily diagnosed as ADD, the ENFP being one of them. Some types are rare enough to fit into the percentages of ADD diagnosis without drastically affecting the estimates of how many people have ADD. You can read about personality types here:

It's important to figure out which part of you is you, and which part is AD/HD. Distinguish personality traits from symptoms.

At this point, this post has turned into a rant! It has no end in sight, so I'd better quit now.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Writing Project and Finding Change

Happy to report that I've been able to sleep, and therefore able to think, write and etc. I've been working on several web pages with Ginger, page that we're thinking about adding to our site. They are interconnected so that if/when we post them, they'll have to be published together. But, we are writing so much that we are thinking about the possibility of turning it into a booklet or e-booklet. So we'll see what happens with it. For now, we just keep writing.

I found an interesting blog written by a guy who goes around finding change, tells the story of how he found each coin, and keeps a running tally since Jan 19, 1998. You might think it's boring, but for some reason I find it fascinating. Maybe it's just because there is actually a guy out there who not only thought of doing this, but that he's able to keep up with the blog. He writes every day!

Monday, October 17, 2005

I still have this foggy existence from not sleeping much... as far as the web site, we are trying to get some updates on, and, I promise we will have new stuff soon. I've learned not to give any dates, though. ;-)

I think that we will be offering a teleclass in the next year. That is in the works. Let us know, what topic(s) would you be most likely to attend if we gave a teleclass? Just reply to this post!