“Do not be afraid to color outside the lines. Take risks and do not be afraid to fail. Know that when the world knocks you down, the best revenge is to get up and continue forging ahead.Do not be afraid to be different or to stand up for what's right. Never quiet your voice to make someone else feel comfortable. No one remembers the person that fits in. It's the one who stands out that people will not be able to forget.”
--Nancy Arroyo Ruffin
I JUST got back from my 2015 Comedy Hypnosis SUmmer Tour and immediately got gobsmacked with the flu. Being trapped in bed has its perks, you get to actually think!
Notes and thoughts from my bed…Being sick is a good time for reflection.
As I am laying here thinking, I realize that I have never shared this about myself: I have ADHD.
Yep, my mind moves at a million frames a second. It has taken an enormous amount of effort to be able to get control of it over the years. By trial and error, I have discovered all kinds of neat tricks to get refocused and use the elements of ADHD that are actually assets, but there are some things that never change and I am okay with that too. I misplace my glasses, phone and keys, and often can't remember why I walked into a room. And so what??
People with ADD or ADHD are often extremely creative people and usually very giving and open. We are sometimes misunderstood, misdiagnosed or never diagnosed at all.
It's just that the "bright shiny objects" can be distracting, and most everything can be a bright shiny object, or as my friend Scott says... "Squirrel!!" I have to constantly focus and refocus to stay on track with things in order to see them through to completion, especially if there are things going on causing me stress outside of the norm.
For someone who deals with this, I am proud to say that I have managed to accomplish quite a bit and never at the sacrifice of anyone else.
I have been Captain of my ship with my Chief Officer being our Almighty God, guiding me and championing me to each and every beginning and finish line. We have a wonderful partnership and love each other a lot.
But recently, under some very severe and real stress, I was having a rough couple of days focusing, when I had a friend very sharply snap at me (as if I was a child) "YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO PAY ATTENTION!!"
I immediately felt like the 5 year old standing in my parents living room. I can think of other times and places I'd rather go back to.
It was a startling moment. I stood there trying to understand it. No apology was forthcoming. It never came, I'm guessing I wasn't focused enough for her comfort level. I shut down immediately. After poking my head out of my shell, I immediately started to access how I was feeling. I find it's always best to get out of the thinking mind and into the feelings. You start to understand what's happening and make note of it as a learning curve for the future.
I have noticed that with age, I can easily let this mouth open and something awful but truthful will come out, so I have learned not to let my emotions run the show. Mind management is everything and that's why I am in it. The best teachers teach what they know.
I am happy, I have a good life, I am well accomplished, I am blessed, so why did this upset me so much?
Within a few hours, it came to me. I know I didn't deserve any person in my face over anything, and also because it was rude and inappropriate.
*sigh* You never know a persons struggles.
It seems ADD is on the rise these days. I meet and speak with hundreds of people every Summer after my shows. Anxiety and frustration from ADD is the thing I see and hear about the most. Maybe it's because we live in such a sound-bite world. Everything moves so fast. We are accessible 24/7 and never feel like we can really turn off our cell phones, computers and the like.
And, As my sister-in-law Carrie says, "Instant gratification isn't fast enough."
We don't get to go home after work and take a break until the next morning anymore, because people expect to be able to reach us all the time. Worse, we feel somehow obligated to comply with this madness. I have gotten good at taking my time and getting back to someone when I feel like it, or have the time, whichever comes first. Unless of course, it's urgent, and I will be the judge of that :)
So back to the moment of clarity...
If you know someone with ADD, please be patient with them. We are doing our best and the need for others to control the situation isn't helping. You see, when someone make a comment like that, all it does is shut another down.
Being a forever student of the mind, becoming a hypnotist and learning how this incredible Gift called our mind works, has allowed me to exponentially help not only myself, but others as well. It is no mystery as to why people love the experience of hypnosis because for once, that chattering mind stops and refocuses on something fun or meaningful. People, including me, get to wake up to life at its fullest.
People with any level of ADD or ADHD want to do better, and more often than not are doing their best. Any hardships we have to walk through need to count for something. ADD has made me a more patient and compassionate human being. It's also the hallmark of most great entrepreneurs, how about that!? If I were "normal" you probably wouldn't be reading this (or any of my books) watching my shows or wearing my makeup!
If it is you who is facing challenges such as this, or OCD or any other label, I understand you. It's okay to let people know how you feel. In fact, one of my favorite things I like to do when I am with a group of friends at dinner is ask them, "Okay everyone, we all have one, so... what is your OCD? I'll go first".. and I do.
At first, people feel awkward, and then walls come down and the stories start spilling out and we are all laughing about our wonderful oddities. Knowing we are not as different as we think we are helps us laugh at something that may have caused us a great deal of pain and anxiety when we were younger. Forget about it.
There is good news for all of us. It can work for you if you aren't "normal" you just have to know how to guide it. My good friend and well-known Doctor of Psychiatry and Author Dr. Dale Archer has written a ground breaking book about just that, titled, Better Than Normal, how what makes you different, can make you exceptional.
Did you hear that? We're exceptional! Embrace it! Yay! SQUIRREL!!
Love For Sure,
BTW... what's your OCD?