Depression is ruining my life.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

There is a YouTube channel hosted by a woman with ADHD called How to ADHD. You might as well start with her earliest video and watch them in order. In the early ones she explains about the less hyperactive presentations of ADHD. My ADHD presented in the less hyperactive form as well. For the most part anyway.

I’m also a late in life diagnosee of ADHD.

The book Driven to Distraction is worth checking out as well, especially for folks who got a diagnosis late in life or if you think you might have ADHD but have never been diagnosed.

I'm going to read that book, as the one thing that's holding me back (and taking me on intercontinental guilt trips) it's my complete inability to really focus on something I find tedious. Maybe ADD fits for me, maybe not, but I really need to find out. And at age 39 I seem to be at the Goodjer median age for a diagnosis too

dejanzie wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

There is a YouTube channel hosted by a woman with ADHD called How to ADHD. You might as well start with her earliest video and watch them in order. In the early ones she explains about the less hyperactive presentations of ADHD. My ADHD presented in the less hyperactive form as well. For the most part anyway.

I’m also a late in life diagnosee of ADHD.

The book Driven to Distraction is worth checking out as well, especially for folks who got a diagnosis late in life or if you think you might have ADHD but have never been diagnosed.

I'm going to read that book, as the one thing that's holding me back (and taking me on intercontinental guilt trips) it's my complete inability to really focus on something I find tedious. Maybe ADD fits for me, maybe not, but I really need to find out. And at age 39 I seem to be at the Goodjer median age for a diagnosis too :lol:

There's an audiobook version if that's helpful! I also think the ongoing pandemic (and general worldwide political situation) has quietly put a lot of people, even those without ADHD, into a permanent fight or flight mode that makes focus incredibly hard. Speaking for myself, I've found maintaining focus on reading and research suddenly challenging, even when I'm interested/invested in the subject matter.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
dejanzie wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

There is a YouTube channel hosted by a woman with ADHD called How to ADHD. You might as well start with her earliest video and watch them in order. In the early ones she explains about the less hyperactive presentations of ADHD. My ADHD presented in the less hyperactive form as well. For the most part anyway.

I’m also a late in life diagnosee of ADHD.

The book Driven to Distraction is worth checking out as well, especially for folks who got a diagnosis late in life or if you think you might have ADHD but have never been diagnosed.

I'm going to read that book, as the one thing that's holding me back (and taking me on intercontinental guilt trips) it's my complete inability to really focus on something I find tedious. Maybe ADD fits for me, maybe not, but I really need to find out. And at age 39 I seem to be at the Goodjer median age for a diagnosis too :lol:

There's an audiobook version if that's helpful! I also think the ongoing pandemic (and general worldwide political situation) has quietly put a lot of people, even those without ADHD, into a permanent fight or flight mode that makes focus incredibly hard. Speaking for myself, I've found maintaining focus on reading and research suddenly challenging, even when I'm interested/invested in the subject matter.

Just checked, the Driven to Distraction audiobook on Audible.com is 1 hour 58 minutes, and costs $13.27 outside of a monthly membership. So, if like me, you just don't wanna read books anymore, this might be the outlet for you.

Second post, as to change context.

I watching someone on the YouTubes and they mentioned a charity that is called Checkpoint, which is “a charity that provides mental health resources for gamers and the gaming community”.

Definitely going to be spending some time sifting through their site.

The three books my psychologist recommended after our first meeting, well before a formal diagnosis were:
Driven to Distraction
Delivered from Distraction
Mastering Your Adult ADHD - Client Workbook by Safren, Sprich, et al.

I haven't gotten to the first two yet, but I trust the source of the recommendation.
I have been using the client workbook and it's been a great resource. Clear, concise, easy to follow, and seems to anticipate common issues that ADHD folks have - and providing tools to address them. It's meant to be used in conjuction with therapy, so I dont know how useful it would be as a stand alone book.

I'd be happy to share other resources I've found/been using/written down to follow up on later. Either via PM, or as a spoilered message here.

garion333 wrote:

All those years of "I'm stupid at math" or "why can't I get anything done unless it's an emergency?" really adds up. Coming into awareness that you aren't a failure at oh so many things and instead have this challenging brain situation was a godsend for her self esteem.

I highly recommend considering ADHD meds (stimulant or not) on top of the Setraline, but that's up to you all.

HUGE SIMPLE HELP POINT WITH ADHD:

If someone reminds you that you're doing something wrong and it's ADHD-related, like overreacting to a comment or talking out of turn in a conversation, instead of saying "sorry" you can say "thanks for the reminder". It's a HUGE help to both the person with ADHD and the person doing the reminding.

That's a very powerful tool with kids, especially (since they need more reminders than most adults with ADHD). It'll keep them from feeling beat down all the time.

^This is so useful! I am undiagnosed ADHD but it fits my issues perfectly. It's so easy to look at the trials in my life and think of myself as a loser and a failure no matter what the reality is.

Regarding apologizing, some young people on a ZOOM class pounced on me recently for apologizing, and one of them shared this graphic which I thought was helpful.

Zwickle wrote:

The three books my psychologist recommended after our first meeting, well before a formal diagnosis were:
Driven to Distraction
Delivered from Distraction
Mastering Your Adult ADHD - Client Workbook by Safren, Sprich, et al.

Thanks. I will check out all of those. I think I will go ahead and buy the work book right now.

Natus wrote:
garion333 wrote:

All those years of "I'm stupid at math" or "why can't I get anything done unless it's an emergency?" really adds up. Coming into awareness that you aren't a failure at oh so many things and instead have this challenging brain situation was a godsend for her self esteem.

I highly recommend considering ADHD meds (stimulant or not) on top of the Setraline, but that's up to you all.

HUGE SIMPLE HELP POINT WITH ADHD:

If someone reminds you that you're doing something wrong and it's ADHD-related, like overreacting to a comment or talking out of turn in a conversation, instead of saying "sorry" you can say "thanks for the reminder". It's a HUGE help to both the person with ADHD and the person doing the reminding.

That's a very powerful tool with kids, especially (since they need more reminders than most adults with ADHD). It'll keep them from feeling beat down all the time.

^This is so useful! I am undiagnosed ADHD but it fits my issues perfectly. It's so easy to look at the trials in my life and think of myself as a loser and a failure no matter what the reality is.

Regarding apologizing, some young people on a ZOOM class pounced on me recently for apologizing, and one of them shared this graphic which I thought was helpful.

Natus, I just wanted to say that graphic you linked to on Thank You instead of Sorry is bloody fantastic.
These two spoke to me so much I wanted to put them here:
IMAGE(https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5394c188e4b0bc5c2930f2e7/1587524757300-IW9PBIIOWW13XVRISK7F/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kCgnvV5wRj1TYbRAtrds_wRZw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZamWLI2zvYWH8K3-s_4yszcp2ryTI0HqTOaaUohrI8PIqbG3Z4IYdymM1f_9yBUHC7BubxYDzoWzpc77fPmUrlIKMshLAGzx4R3EDFOm1kBS/stop-saying-sorry-say-thank-you-comic-yao-xiao-4.jpg?format=1000w)
IMAGE(https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5394c188e4b0bc5c2930f2e7/1587524756636-HZSQTICMSET9GVR9I98U/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kFKvMW9VJfDeqObaPee5lh9Zw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZamWLI2zvYWH8K3-s_4yszcp2ryTI0HqTOaaUohrI8PI4AX-gGAo9EPCnRnjjbv4tOIOmA5ig56Jp0hUbElAJRoKMshLAGzx4R3EDFOm1kBS/stop-saying-sorry-say-thank-you-comic-yao-xiao-2.jpg?format=1000w)
So, Thank You.

That is pretty brilliant!

Yes, thank you Natus for linking that comic. I could definitely relate and am working on shifting how I express those sentiments.

I've also been using "Thank you for reminding me" with my daughter and she seems to have really taken to it, so thank you Garrion. We both use it, and my wife quickly adopted it as well.

In big personal news, it is clear I am about to become unemployed. I have been falling well short of my billable hours goals for pretty much all of 2020. I've discussed my struggles with my boss a couple of times over the last ~8 months, although I didn't know precisely what I was dealing with until recently. He's been understanding and has tried to keep from putting additional pressure on me, although the other partners at the firm have been complaining to him regularly about my lack of productivity. It appears he's reached his limit.

Earlier this week he met with me and essentially said (respectfully) that he can't keep protecting me, and asked if I thought I could do the job. I floated the idea of working part time, but that doesn't appear to be a feasible option. It's pretty clear he doesn't think it's working. I'm not fired, but it's basically right at the brink.

It is not a surprise to me, as I've been expecting/anticipating and preemptively suffering with anxiety about being fired since around June of 2020. The only surprise is in the exact timing, as this wasn't tied to a particular event or mistake.

It's a blow and a disappointment, because I've never lost a job before or been unable to get work done in this manner. And I genuinely have made significant progress, especially in the last 2 months after I got my ADHD diagnosis and started on Adderall. I think those changes aren't yet obvious to them (because there's so little interaction) and haven't yet made a noticeable difference in my billable hours.

In short, my progress seems to be too little, too late for this job.

Bluntly, this job was always transitional for me. The work isn't engaging and the office lacked the structure and camaraderie that I have thrived with in the past. The lack of camaraderie was apparent before the pandemic, and became worse afterwards. In the last couple of weeks I had just seriously started the job search process and reached out to a career coach.

I don't look forward to being unemployed, as I've floundered in the past with the total lack of structure. Job searching is extremely difficult for me, as it is full of executive functioning decisions which I'm not good at (apparently this is common for people with ADHD, but I never knew why or how to articulate it before). This time I at least have some resources and awareness of why it is extra challenging for me.

I've worked as a lawyer for the last decade and I'm not sure I want to practice law anymore. I don't know what I want to do next, so it will require a lot of reflection.

Zwickle wrote:

In big personal news, it is clear I am about to become unemployed. I have been falling well short of my billable hours goals for pretty much all of 2020. I've discussed my struggles with my boss a couple of times over the last ~8 months, although I didn't know precisely what I was dealing with until recently. He's been understanding and has tried to keep from putting additional pressure on me, although the other partners at the firm have been complaining to him regularly about my lack of productivity. It appears he's reached his limit.

Earlier this week he met with me and essentially said (respectfully) that he can't keep protecting me, and asked if I thought I could do the job. I floated the idea of working part time, but that doesn't appear to be a feasible option. It's pretty clear he doesn't think it's working. I'm not fired, but it's basically right at the brink.

Maybe it isn't an option where you work, but your boss should have brought up the option of short- term disability. You wouldn't be billing hours and taking time from other people, and you would still be employed, with insurance, no resume-gaps and all that. It's not a perfect solution, and it could well still end the way you fear, but it should buy you some time - plus time not working is very helpful to rebalance your self. I went through it a decade ago, not as a lawyer, though.

Personal story, likely skippable.

Spoiler:

I was in pretty bad shape, mentally. I need to be able to concentrate to do my job, and while I was losing focus on work for a while, I hadn't really noticed how bad it had gotten. My marriage was in trouble (it's hard to be a good partner when you don't really want to live), and I wasn't able to be a good father. I tried making dares to myself to force me to be productive, like "finish these three bug fixes or you have to crash your car on the way home" kind of things - really healthy. Thankfully, I went to see someone. It's kind of funny that I can't recall how it happened. I don't think I had the frame of mind to make an appointment, or even to get to one someone would have made for me. I don't think I was sent for suicidal ideation, but I sure as hell was idealizing some suicide. Anyway, the doctor basically wrote me a short-term disability claim, saying I couldn't work for 6 weeks. The insurance paid me 66% of my salary for the time, and applied a LOT of pressure to come back after every week past the second. It wasn't a cure-all, when I went back to work they offered to put me on a performance improvement plan (it was a Don Corleone sort of offer), and it was pretty much engineered to get rid of me (I got assigned a small team's abandoned task and was given 1 month to finish what they didn't get done in 6 months - found that out later). It gave them coverage to fire me for cause, rather than fire me for being sick (technically illegal, even in America), but I got lucky and got laid off before they got me to resign. I'm honestly still pretty bitter that after almost ten years with the company no one ever suggested in annual reviews that my work was slipping, or that a sudden decrease in productivity didn't raise any alarms. What is the point of annual reviews, or managers, if these things don't happen?

Anyway, see if your doctor can get you disabled, and see if your boss can work with HR to make sure you (both) don't get screwed. I'm pulling for you, friend.

I should apologise. I am apologising. I posted and then I ghosted. At least in relation to this thread. Others too. It's a coping mechanism. When I feel vulnerable. When I feel ashamed. When I feel unimportant. You know. Still. It's not cool. I apologise. I've been trying, with moderate success, to check back in, with threads, with private messages, with life. Thus. This.

Also. Time. What the hell! Where does it go. I lose track so easily.

ThatGuy42 wrote:

RnRClown, we're here for you, buddy.

This type of posting is exactly what this topic is for. We all need a place to voice what's going on with ourselves, our problems, our concerns, our fears, and to share both our successes and failures. Don't worry if it's meandering, or unclear. The point is that you were strong enough to write it all out, and hit "Post". That step alone is very, very difficult and you've done a spectacular job here of getting a lot of the turmoil you're feeling out into the world. I sincerely hope you feel a minor weight lifted off of you just by getting this out there.

"The steps you take don't need to be big. They just need to take you in the right direction.” So, find your next step, no matter how small, and take it.

Remember. You are heard. You matter. You are loved.

Thank you, ThatGuy42!

This thread has been a great aid in the past. It became nigh on unfathomable just how important at varying stages. I try not to clutter it up or to trivialize matters. I sometimes worry with my obsessive moments. I sometimes worry with how I can be vague. What is too often. What is too much. What if I want to take back. Can I ever go all-in. Can I keep an even keel.

The right steps at the right time. I try to focus on that.

Robear wrote:

Quite true. It's what we're here for, to listen, and offer unsolicited (or solicited advice. Drop by anytime, we'll keep the light on.

Cheers, Robear!

It has quite a profound effect to know someone is listening, caring, contributing. I wish I was better at contributing support. Maybe in time.

RawkGWJ wrote:

RnR,
Do you take meds for depression? What you’re describing reminds me of how I was feeling before meds. It also reminds me of my son before meds, as well as my son when he recently stoped his meds without telling us. He’s started taking them again and he’s doing much better.

I can commiserate with you on the isolation. At work, everyone is pro Trump and being so close to the election it’s a common topic of casual discussion. I just can’t. Trump makes me want to vomit. Even my closer friends at work are pissing me off lately. And I’m pissing them off too I bet.

This leads me to just not talk to anyone other than “hi. bye.” We’re all drivers and most of us talk via cell phone during our 10+ hour shifts. For months now, I hardly talked to anyone. Maybe one 1/2 hour conversation per week if even that. Nobody calls me. I’m the one who has to reach out. It gets to the point where I become very anxious when a conversation goes longer than a few seconds.

I would love to become closer friends with the few black drivers I work with. I know they’re not bitching about the dems in the same way that most of these white guys are. I’m trying to gently crack that icy barrier but I haven’t had much success. I can totally understand why they wouldn’t be comfortable with becoming close friends with a nerdy white guy.

I don’t follow sports. I’m not at all interested in the things that other men are typically interested in. I avoid conversation about work gossip. I don’t like bitching about the job, as I love my job, but most others don’t.

And I’m not going to pretend to like those things just to fit in. I decided a long time ago that I would be my authentic self. After reading “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown, I learned the difference between fitting in and true belonging. Fitting in just isn’t worth the effort, but where can I belong? At work, I haven’t found any place yet.

So I end up working 50-60 hours per week without taking to anyone. I listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks. I’m an introvert, so it doesn’t weigh too heavily on me, but it does sometimes. I mean, that’s just not normal, right? Probably not healthy either. It would be nice to have just one kindred spirit to BS with from time to time.

Hey, thanks, Rawk!

Yes. I did take medication for depression. Anxiety too. I decided to stop. I didn't want to become dependent. I saw it as a crutch, albeit much needed, to help get me back on my feet. I had a severe mental and emotional breakdown. It was years in the making. When I got back on my feet, and remained there for a time, I eased off and then discarded the medication. I'm not so sure it was a success. Especially when I think back to before, as well as way, way before, and now after, a ways after to boot. I think I handle anxiety quite well. That was a temporary imbalance. The depression, though, I think that has always been there, and it vies for supremacy all too often.

I hear you concerning isolation. As much as I can revel there, in moments, as solitude can rest and recuperate, it can also be detrimental. Moderation. Yet to do that you need connections to reach out to. What if they're no longer there. What if you can no longer establish new ones. I have began to ponder this.

I'm quite lucky in that I can talk to most anyone. People tend to gravitate towards me. Apparently (in person but not on the internet) I'm likable. Ha! Whatever. I essentially push people away, so to speak, rather than their distancing themselves. I think I may have done so a little too often, or for too long. I think my personable attributes may have faded. That was then. This is now. I don't really know. It's something I've taken notice of, though.

I fit in most places. To a degree. Or I did. I think. Belonging, though, as you say is different. Or maybe I just cannot perceive this.

Jolly Bill wrote:

RnRClown, it's been a couple weeks, how are you doing?

Oh, Jolly Bill! I do appreciate the sentiment. I wished I functioned better, so, at the very least, I could have avoided leaving these responses unanswered for such a time. It's plain rude. I need to be more thoughtful. I must learn to better overcome. I could do with understanding that people are often kinder than I would presume, and that those who aren't should not take up so much of my headspace.

I'm trying to engage more. Whilst being careful to do so in moderation. I'll effectively snooze things for a time. Then returning becomes almost foreboding. I find worth in conversations yet I developed a condition of sorts where those who lash out trigger a strong fight or flight response. And I don't care for either. Yet that's what I often get. So. I stopped contributing. No fight. No flight. Then again. No nothing.

I think I can trace many things back to certain real-life root causes, and a few on the internet instances, the latter of which probably impacted as a result of the former. I'm not sure that matters, mind you, as I don't know what to do with any of it. Maybe it's irrelevant without a return to medication. It's definitely not working to partition everything away and pretend it never happened, though.

Still! I'm at least functioning a smidgen better. I checked in. I've contributed responses. I've talked to my wife, about various different things. I've cluttered with fractured thoughts, that at least get across my gratitude, belated as it is.

I have had many thoughts centred around our miscarriage. I've talked about it vaguely, as I do with most struggles. I do not bring it up with my wife. It's difficult to traverse, for both of us. We have touched upon. We have never delved. One because it hurts. Two because it could confuse. I've never talked about it with family, neither with friends. I prefer it that way. It's a control. What we share. Where we share. When. Other than my vague moments on these boards it has remained an internalized fallout.

I said it could confuse. What I mean by that is my wife. If I share how I've thought about having something with what would've been a birth stone. To have a keepsake. If I share how I had thoughts with a little nickname. It was heartfelt endearment. If I share I had often walked through instances in my mind with, for example, walking into a room with an expression of happy surprise, that becomes a big smile, to elicit giggles, or blushing, or joy, from a little one. It was heart warming. Imparting knowledge. Introducing hobbies. Building integrity. (Back to vagueness then. Easier.) I know this will cause my wife to ponder on why I then do not wish to pursue further. As well as stir the blame she puts on herself for shattering that future which was on our horizon.

When I touch upon it I say I was both devastated and relieved. Which I know sounds horrible. I should elaborate. Or at least drop the transparency regarding relief. I'm just honest that way. To a fault. And then I neither elaborate due to the emotional cost, which will necessitate a replenishment that won't be swift.

The relief was all to do with how I am. I'm not a well rounded individual. I'm quite flawed. What if I got worse rather than better. I allude to depression and withdrawal (from everyone and everything on occasion). What if I failed as a father. What if I failed further as a husband due to what was added. The stress as a provider, the main and, at times, the solitary breadwinner. That crippled me to ponder on. Let alone the fact my projections and my relations were build upon foregoing procreation. That's the relief. Less expectancy. Less dependency. Less stress. Less opportunity to falter in additional ways.

I'm torn between opening up and tackling together with remembrance, and partitioning off separately until the memories fade. I'm afraid the former will wreck havoc and confusion. I'm afraid the latter will foster regret and resentment.

I've had other memories and thoughts circulating. Perhaps I'll attempt to keep each contribution separate. Less jumbled. Less taxing. Space between. They're often separate issues.

RnR, I'm reading every piece of what you write and I wanted to let you know know that you're being heard.

I don't have much in the way of advice, and you may not even be asking for it.

We also had a miscarriage in 2019. Although I knew it would be painful I really didn't understand the depth of that pain, for my wife and myself, until we went through it.

One piece of information that helped both of us was learning that miscarriage is not uncommon. Per the Mayo clinic, 10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and the actual number is likely much higher because many women do not realize they are pregnant yet. We heard 25% from multiple sources.

I think there is either a stigma or a fear of stigma about having a miscarriage, which does a disservice all. It is intensly personal, but it's not a personal failure, and you should (if you want) be able to talk about it and grieve openly without fear of stigma or judgment.

For me, it's important to be able to talk with my partner openly. Not every little detail, and not to unload all your burdens. But this is a shared experience and shared loss. Maybe neither of you is ready to have a full conversation about it yet. But I would at least want to put the topic out there, something along the lines of "I've found myself thinking a lot about this recently. I wonder if you have the space or bandwidth to talk about it sometime soon." Let your partner respond with however much she is comfortable engaging in. Maybe you table it for a week or a month, or maybe she's been searching for an opening to talk too.

Atras wrote:

Maybe it isn't an option where you work, but your boss should have brought up the option of short- term disability. You wouldn't be billing hours and taking time from other people, and you would still be employed, with insurance, no resume-gaps and all that. It's not a perfect solution, and it could well still end the way you fear, but it should buy you some time - plus time not working is very helpful to rebalance your self. I went through it a decade ago, not as a lawyer, though.

Anyway, see if your doctor can get you disabled, and see if your boss can work with HR to make sure you (both) don't get screwed. I'm pulling for you, friend.

Atras, thanks for the input. I didn't skip your personal story either- thank you for sharing it.

Short term disability hadn't even occurred to me. I have a meeting with my primary care doctor soon to talk about how medication is going and I'll broach the subject then. I don't know if it's an available option, or the right option, but I can investigate.

I can say on my end that I'm at peace with leaving this job. It is not a good fit for me. So we've made that decision. Now the big questions are the manner and timing of how it happens, as well as figuring out what I want to do next.

RnRClown, as you mentioned here I know it can be very difficult to share things. But, I can't stress enough that sharing your hurt, sharing your joy, sharing your experiences, sharing your fears, and sharing your hopes is a strong step toward healing. I am so proud of you that you were able to put some of what you're going through down in writing and shared it here with us. And once again, I am so thankful for this community where we can share and support each other.

RnRClown (and anyone else in similar shape) don't let your brain weasels take loving care and turn it into internal abuse. We've all had people in our lives (probably parents) who offered support and then smothered us with guilt when we weren't able to take that support on their terms. That is never the case here. When a friend reaches out to check on you and you are unable to respond, there should be no guilt. If it feels more like a lead weight than a helium balloon, let it fall without a second thought. It's only there to help, not hurt. And, since at times all of us are unable to let it go at that, try to not to let it cycle. If you can't help but feel guilty for not responding, that's ok, too. Under no circumstances accept your brain telling you to feel guilty for feeling guilty. I know this is a Sisyphean task (thanks, Hades, for bringing that reference back into the mainstream!), but accepting and forgiving ourselves is a hard enough task made more difficult by our brains trying to use our support as further means to undermine us. If it's ever possible to take words and somehow internalize them as a way to lessen inner pain, please take these words as that.

We've had a couple miscarriages here as well, and it's incredibly painful for everyone. And far more common than people talk about. It's another good reason to build support networks outside of marriage because sometimes issues are just too close to us to be discussed and processed together. If you're not both in therapy (separately), please do what you can to get there. For us, discussing what came out during therapy was a lot more constructing than trying to be each other's therapist. It hurts, but it also hurts differently for everyone so do your best to delegate/outsource the initial stages of processing that so you're not just empathizing and taking on each others pain in addition to your own when you may not be able to handle it. And then feeling guilty for not being able to handle it. Many modern concepts of marriage are toxic and this is one of them. The idea that we should be everything our spouse could ever need is setting ourselves up for failure. That's not failing as a husband or as a man. It's just living. Also, it's a conflict of interest to prescribe your spouse medication.

So I don't know who this might help, but I thought I'd post it here since others also struggle with symptoms of ADHD. I've had two deadlines for a creative project that I've blown through, and that got me looking for any advice that I could follow to actually complete projects, since I have at least a half dozen that are in various stages of completion. Where actual work is concerned, in rehearsals, I have to be accountable to someone else, sometimes to a multitude, so that tends to make my time-management much more efficient. But for private projects, I've spent many years spinning my wheels and thinking the very worst about myself.

So about 2 weeks ago, I put these guidelines in place, especially the more practical, actionable ones, and since then I've been working steadily for 3-6 hours every day. Now, some work sessions aren't very productive, but I've never had this kind of success working on my own projects before. And the play I'm writing isn't even finished. I'm still hacking my way through it, falling off precipices and getting lost in bogs. But I now know if I can get to a quiet place for a few hours, I can actually focus and put in the time. That's totally new. After this play, I have various applications to schools to complete, etc. I just need to put in the time every day, something that has really been almost impossible for me recently.

These are all various tidbits of advice that I've gleaned from talks by Neil Gaiman, Cal Newport, and Stephen King. Perhaps they are more applicable for creative projects, but some might help with actual job-related assignments (Newport's specialty).

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

1) Don’t be afraid to make the first sloppy, blackened, messy pancake. Make more!

2) Dandelion seeds. Send your words out into the universe.

3) Allow yourself to be judged. Allow your audience to get close to you and know who you are. Be naked and uncomfortable. Specificity results in recognition..

4) Growth mindset doesn’t fear rejection, wants to move toward failure, and wants to fail more often. Rejections can’t stop you.

5) Show up, shut the door, unhook or hide devices. Get the online/gaming/social media “jumper cables” out of your brain.

6) Deep work: create Jung’s Bollingen Tower. NO DISTRACTIONS!

7) Embrace boredom. Teach your mind to be comfortable with zero outside stimulation.

8) Productive meditation: walking while problem solving.

9) Interval training for tasks. Set a timer for deep work. Lengthen intervals. Reset failed intervals.

10) Schedule deep work sessions on calendar days and weeks ahead.

11) Ritual before work. Walk, meditate, or clean work space.

12) Do the work out of love, not out of torment. Be directed by pleasure in deep work, not in flagellation for distractions and slow starts.

13) During deep work sessions, you can write or not-write, but you can’t do anything else.

14) Incrementalism is key. Build your work brick by brick.

15) Finish things! Get it out into the world (see #1 and #2) and go onto the next project.

Thanks, Natus. That does help.

Yes, thank you especially for the Cal Newport recommendation. I haven't seen his name before but I just read the About page on his website and it seems spot on for what I'm thinking about and trying to address myself right now.

Tonic wrote:

Yes, thank you especially for the Cal Newport recommendation. I haven't seen his name before but I just read the About page on his website and it seems spot on for what I'm thinking about and trying to address myself right now.

I've watched three YouTube videos featuring Newport, and he really has sensible things to say about deep work, social media, and how our brains operate. And what I'm discovering is that I'm not missing anything by sticking to my schedule...there is obviously still time to spend with family, games, books, and media. But it is going to take a while to make this kind of "deep work" schedule stick because it's so unfamiliar.

I'm a big fan of Cal Newport's book So Good They Can't Ignore You". Almost life changing in how it's changed my view of workplace happiness. Not that I'm exactly happy now, but I'm not miserable and I can better identity why and what I can do about it.

As an addendum to my treatise above, I am including this graphic by John Hendrix regarding projects, artistic and otherwise, which has been VERY helpful for me personally.