Listen now | I made the soup but it was never about the soup. Let me explain...
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 😀
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
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
“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 💗🙏🏼💗
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 😅😅😅🤣🤣
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.
Just finished listening. This is such a good explanation of what combined type is like. Thanks for verbalising it!
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 🙏🏻
Thank you so much for this, Susannah, I’m learning so much from you about the ADHD brain x
Thank you. Im sharing this with friends cos it has so many paragraphs where Thats It! Me.
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
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!
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!
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 ;-)