by Amia Phillips, MA, P-LPC, Reiki
Hi! My name is Amia, and I have ADCD, Attention Deficit Cleaning Disorder. ADCD is when you start to clean one thing but get distracted by another thing that needs to be cleaned, causing you to somehow bounce around to entirely different jobs, then you find yourself doing a lot of other different things. Before you know it, you’re left wondering what you were doing in the first place! Yup, that’s me. Hi!
No but seriously, I’m Amia and I have ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperfocus Disorder. I didn’t get diagnosed until later in my adult years and let me tell you if you ever felt like a black sheep or out of place, let’s band together and start a cool and funky group! Even though having ADHD can be like a balancing act on a tightrope for me, I’m learning beautiful things along the way, how to build myself up for success and give myself grace.
Having ADHD can feel like exhilarating spurts of energy coursing throughout your entire body; however, at the same time it can feel like you’re swimming through tumultuous waters that you can’t seem to get the hang of. Even today, I still go through days where I feel this way. Throughout my life I’ve felt like an outsider wherever I went. I felt like an outsider while in school, with my family and even friends. For example, I would have trouble not knowing how I would handle or come up with certain tasks and activities to partake in to be able to socialize with them, to their standards. Neurotypical standards, that is. During my Undiagnosed days, I felt like an alien, and still sometimes do, as if I am doing something wrong in this neurotypical world that had so many rules and expectations that you had to live by. And Boy! Let me tell you it was rough living up to those expectations and having to keep a façade of my unmanaged and undiagnosed ADHD. I felt as though my brain was being forced to complete tasks that lived up to those expectations, like a train going down on the wrong side of the tracks. It never felt fluid to me. I remember people asking me over the years, “Why are you so lazy? Why don’t you interact with other folks? Why do you keep zoning out? Why do you keep forgetting things as though you have Alzheimer’s?” People even made jokes that I had ADHD, but I joked back and denied that I couldn’t have it because I didn’t “fit the description” of an ADHD-er, whatever that meant. Little did I know it was the furthest from the truth because ADHD has a big wide spectrum on its wheel and it looks different for everyone. ADHD doesn’t have a specific tone to it.
When I was diagnosed with ADHD in my mid to late 20s, everything made sense. It was like looking through a crystal-clear mirror that hadn’t been cleaned in years! I was elated and wanted to let everyone know. Learning this diagnosis, I am slowly coming to terms with my disorder but still navigating waters that are sometimes tumultuous; nevertheless, worth exploring. It has its ups and downs; at times I think it’s a curse when I have my meltdowns but love it when I’m dancing to the beat of my own drum. Word of advice, never let people, society, social media, or YOURSELF deter you away from the beautiful person you are inside and out.
Throughout my experience of learning of how to navigate through a neurotypical world, I learned some helpful tools to bring me inner peace and steadiness:
As a spiritual person, I love using mindful techniques and resources to help me relax and ease my ADHD symptoms. Meditating is a beautiful practice that helps calm the mind, while acknowledging things that pop up and letting them float away. Meditation doesn’t have to be long or sitting down, you can do whatever makes you feel most comfortable at any time such as washing the dishes or taking a shower. Another mindful technique that goes along with this is Breathe work. Breathe work allows you to steady your breathing and calm your heightened senses and overwhelming thoughts when things become too stressful, or when we are flooded with too much stimulation.
Take Breaks & Go with the Flow!
I can’t stress this enough, TAKE YOUR BREAKS!! Do not overwhelm yourself with a lot of tasks that will drain your energy. If you can only complete one task today or hangout with one friend, that’s okay. Never force yourself to do things that don’t align with your highest good. It feels like a train stuck on the wrong side of the tracks, reassess and think it over. I remember my friend telling me to just go with flow when I have tasks to do, never overload yourself.
Always have grace, at times it can be hard to give that to yourself but the more you practice patience and grace, the more it will come with ease. Understand that we are mere human beings with a whole lot of Neuro-spiceness added to us and we are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. The more that you are kind to yourself and listen within, the more INNERstanding you will receive about yourself. Never give up on yourself, it will take some time but have grace. Understand the hurt inside and heal it with love.
We got this Neuro-spicy gang! I’m looking forward to starting our band together soon! Sending you healing love!