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Nov 10, 2023Liked by Susannah Conway

You’ll have to excuse me not reading the whole, my adhd brain shut down once it saw the length 😂 but I grabbed most of it.

I write a Note response to your previous article but no idea yet how notifications work on this platform. This was it.

... I no longer aim to make soup.

The grand aim for my day is to peel and chop a carrot, heck maybe even two! The following day’s aim is to chop a potato.

I’m still not trying to make soup.

By day 3 or 5 there’s an entire bowl of ready veggies in my fridge. And I notice it, as I glance into my open fridge pondering what to eat today, and think - ‘ooh, soup would be nice!’

I hadn’t planned on soup but how nice these veggies were all prepped for me. ...

That’s one small way I’ve learnt to work with my adh(d). We use it’s way of operating to our advantage. I’ve learnt that the smaller the step the more likely I’ll achieve something and the bigger the goal the less likely I’ll get to it. So I try (try) not to actively aim for that big goal. Obviously I am, but not actively. Actively I just get 1 step done. Then the next.

I’m one of the lucky ones who have always accepted my eclectic way of thinking. Heck, to have a million ideas is awesome, I’m certainly never bored. My own brain keeps me entertained and I can multi-task like a champion. I actually get a ton (of small tasks) done because I’m a whirlwind of activity. But sometimes I wish I’d known of my adhd sooner so the lost big goals of the past could’ve been achieved if I’d known not to actively aim for them. Procrastination is definitely my biggest mountain to climb. But we all have mountains 😀

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ahh, thank you for sharing all that! It's all about finding our own rhythms and tricks, isn't it. There are aspects I love about my wiring, and parts i struggle with -- and have always done. And that's okay, there's no end goal i'm trying to reach! Just a continual unfolding of what is.

Also! The transcript is long, i agree, but you can listen to the audio at double speed to save time (i often do that :-)

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Nov 10, 2023Liked by Susannah Conway

Double speed is my YouTube saviour! 😂 Not good with audio my mind wonders. I might return & read in chunks.

Unfolding & exploring. Yes. I only discovered I was 2-3 yrs back (when researching if my daughter was Aspergers - she is). There’s a few good adhd YouTubers around. There’s one where every Short was an eye-opener. I couldn’t believe the aspects I thought were either ‘normal’ or ‘just me’ we’re being exposed as adhd! Like the one where you have an appointment that day and then can’t do anything until that appointment happens. Good grief yes!

Discovery is key to solutions, managing, or full acceptance. Either way we’re certainly entertained (obsessed) by how we work so it keeps us out of trouble 😆

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Yesss l felt the same. And I always try to get early morning appointments otherwise yep, that's the day gone 🤪

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And there it is...I've just learned something new about myself. The appointment thing. Finally explained. And now I wonder if it is because if I were to put my attention to other things prior to appointment I'd get caught up or distracted and then be late. Usually late. I had chalked it up to being introverted and, therefore, this was a form of anxiety. But I do not have the same challenge if appointment is first thing.

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Yup, it’s our time blindness. Some people are aware they’ll forget, others unconsciously know they’ll forget if they do anything else.

For me a dentist appointment is a dentist DAY 😆

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Dentist DAY - YES!

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This is me to an absolute T:

"I don't have a lack of attention. I don't have a deficit of attention, I have a lack of ability to focus in on just one thing, because I am aware of everything. I'm aware of what's happening inside my body, outside my body, in my environment. In my to-do list, in my family, in every single emotion in the world, what's happening in the world. What's happening down the street. How is my cat? What's happening there? What's this? What's this what's this what's this.

I'm aware of all of it and I don't have a filter where I can just filter it all out and go, okay, I'm just going to focus on this thing here. Because everything is in my awareness. It's like some kind of spidey sense, but for everything. When I become absorbed in something that's really lighting me up I can kind of filter things out."

•••

Thanks for sharing in such vulnerable detail, Susannah. I don't know if I'm on an AD(H)D spectrum or not, I've just always thought I was "curious." But like when I go to pack for a trip my mind is in three rooms at once trying to pack books, toothpaste and underwear all at the same time. I end up forgetting something essential like contacts. I've always resisted making lists but am finding it more necessary. Same thing happens in the kitchen, trying to cook oatmeal, put away dishes and check Facebook. Many things end up burnt.

My 13-year-old nephew is on a controlled substance for his very obvious ADHD, and I can see threads of it in my 80-year-old dad.

I have often thought of my head like a kaleidoscope. All the things, all the pretty colors! And then they change! All the time!

My massage therapist would ask me to find the skills therein: adaptability, flexibility, the above-named curiosity, openness (often way too much), courage to try new things ... But for me, also overwhelm to the point of paralysis. Feeling like a Jill of many trades, mistress of none. Etc. But also able to disappear into a beloved creative project, like writing.

Anyway, THANK YOU for sharing your journey through this diagnosis, and everything else. Been following you for several years now and am always inspired by your work and shares. xxoo

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I have been figuring out how adhd works and how it unfolds in me.

A professional who does a lot of talks on it describes the way of adhd as a lack of attention directing, so we have Ferrari speed brains though with tricycle strength brakes. That’s how he describes it for the children and teenagers who are seeing him for care. When he shared that in a talk about ADHD for parents and providers and adults who have it, I was able to see that very clearly. It made sense. (Ed Hallowell is the author and researcher of you want to follow up).

He also says something about how adhd isn’t attention deficit but deficits in attending to what you want to pay attention to in that moment, like how we can notice all of the other things going on except for what someone is telling us (or maybe that’s just me,lol?)

I came across the idea that I have ADHD as a result of watching a YouTube channel that had good content on motivation that was gentle and helpful. Then I started watching all of her other videos, and then noticed how much everything she was saying about folks with ADHD was really fitting how I saw me (much better than what any description of anxiety has ever been like)(though depression has been an issue periodically). So it seemed to make sense to see about an interesting question for evaluation. Attention and Concentration Deficiency is the official name for what they found, but adhd is what I use for the name with folks as more have heard of it.

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Wow, that is really powerful information, thanks for sharing, Jen. I can relate to the Ferrari-tricycle analogy very much. Also the part about attending to attention — I have this weird thing of missing the beginnings of stories when I'm in groups of people, but not if it's just two of us. I'll start to tune in after the first few minutes and then go, Wait, what? Who? Back up. Some of that may be due to ambient noise or if more than one conversation is happening around me, but I'm often a few steps behind. Definitely sounds like attention-concentration issues.

A female friend of mine (in her 50s, like me) received a diagnosis of ADHD a few years ago and it made total sense to her. Explained a lot that, as you touch on, gets piled in the anxiety-depression folder. For me one attribute I've always had is impatience with certain tasks, but also anxiety-depression, which I can see in my dad and sister and her son. It's like it's all part of spectrum but it looks different in each of us.

I do wonder how much of ADD/ADHD is nature vs. nuture and I worry that culture is just feeding it, so both are growing haywire together, as are our brains — with screens and quick-hit formats like Twitter (now X), social media in general and especially TikTok. Scroll, hit, scroll, hit. Then again, there's a lot to be said for neuroplasticity! And the ability to multitask, which some have argued isn't how we're supposed to operate (I disagree on that, to a point).

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It’s never about the soup! Totally relate to either impulsive or plan it for a month. Sometimes a month isn’t long enough! I also like to collect everything I need to start a project over many months, fixating on getting it all together. And then the day I have everything I need to start I move on to

something else. Infuriating

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OMG yes, i can relate to that! 😂🤣

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“I have this urge to share about these things because it helps me learn, it helps me explain, and I know there are people out there that it will help as well” - thank you for sharing this story that was NOT ABOUT the soup Susannah and for sharing why it’s important to share your story, as it really DOES help other people who are struggling to figure out why they can’t wrap their brain around some things that so many others seem to deal with effortlessly. Seeing even just one other person somewhere in the world that struggles to get around to what is perceived as a simple task of changing an address only to find that other items are needed to complete that ‘simple task’ really can be a challenge and it’s so important to have examples of other people who are struggling due to having a different brain.

Some days I’m not sure if I have ADHD or if my depression and menopause is causing similar symptoms but it certainly helps me to see another woman somewhere in the world explain her struggles with some of the minutia of everyday life - as the saying goes REPRESENTATION MATTERS. And just because a large portion of the population has the ability to go about their lives without this brain problem doesn’t mean they are without struggles of another kind, so I think we all need to stop with the concept of ‘normalcy’ and really dig deep into the reality that none of us are very alike in our life experiences so we can stop using ‘normalcy’ as the default. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us all Susannah, it really does help 💗🙏🏼💗

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When I saw the photo of the soup my 🧠 cheered your 🧠! Yey!! Hope you made enough for the weekend?

I was literally chatting in an ADHD WhatsApp group earlier about having this thing where sometimes when I'm cooking, I get full up on just the smell, so that by the time it comes to eat it, I'm sick of it already 😂🙃

So batch cooking doesn't work for me, unless I freeze it and forget about it for six months. And also forget to label it so it heightens the whole impulsive surprise of what's for tea 😅😅😅🤣🤣

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Nov 10, 2023·edited Nov 10, 2023

That was interesting. There you are, in my brain again. Hello. You have, word for word, described my current daily existence. Including the website-building.

I wonder if Filter & Focus Deficit might be a more appropriate term. I have lots of attention and it's attending to everything, everywhere, all at once. No deficits there.

I think I've been able to manage well enough throughout my life such that no one noticed (well...). And while I have the education and work experience knowledge regarding neurodiversity, and I've certainly entertained the suspicion I may live in the land of ADHD, I didn't shine a light to look more closely into that. (It's called 'denial').

And then along came perimenopause. Wooooweeee baby! It's most certainly not about the soup. No denying that.

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Oh...and I finally made the soup, too :-) That's one squash down, three to go.

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Just finished listening. This is such a good explanation of what combined type is like. Thanks for verbalising it!

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I am not neurodiverse but I work with a lot of people who are (mental health consultant) & this read was practical & informative.

The link with mental health & neurodivergence fascinates me.

I feel like I have gained a greater understanding of all the pieces that make up the whole & am off to pen thoughts around a new option for my work!!

Thank you 🙏🏻

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Well in that case I'm doubly glad I recorded that yesterday morning! Thank you Tiffany! xoxo

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Thank you so much for this, Susannah, I’m learning so much from you about the ADHD brain x

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Thank you. Im sharing this with friends cos it has so many paragraphs where Thats It! Me.

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Nov 12, 2023Liked by Susannah Conway

Thanks so much for sharing, Susannah! I love listening to your voice and find so many parallels in our ways of behaving. Next week, I have an appointment with my general practitioner to see how to go about getting a professional diagnosis in Germany. Very excited about that! You are wonderful! <3

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Ooh, good luck, love! You've got this!!! 👍❤️

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Yessss. Kaleidoscope brain for the win! We are so making this an official term by the power of just using it. Way to go with this audio - nailed it!

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Thank you, Susannah. So many wonderful pearls of insight and wisdom. I can relate with much that you shared especially about the hyperfocus and buying everything for the "thing" of the month, or period of focus. I can't tell you how many different piles of things I have acquired over the years from hyperfocusing. 🙂 Also, I'm a healthcare provider and can definitely say that there is a strong link between estrogen, dopamine, and ADHD. All the best!

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It's taken me a while to listen to this - it's been one of those things I've put to the side to listen to 'later'. You have the most wonderfully calming voice, and I love hearing a little bit about what goes on inside your head. Your openness about your neurodivergence has really helped me to accept that part in myself. There's so much you talk about that I nod along in agreement to! Sending you big love, and well done on making the soup ;-)

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I read and listened at the same time to this blog. Now I am crying. It is how I am most of the time and no one ever seems to listen or understand when I don't fulfill a family member desires or requests. It isn't that I don't hear or want to comply, it is so much is going on that it slips in and out of my mind. They explode, and they then appear to feel that have made the point that they are not listened to, but I am left devastated for hours, sometimes even days. they won't know it, because after the tears, I retreat to the safe place inside myself.

My resolve for 2024 is to have no more family gatherings at my house after hosting Christmas this year. I have my dogs and my garden and hopefully I will get back to my writing after a few days of solitude.

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