I have never been an organized person.
It’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life.
I want to be organized, but it is SO hard for me.
It requires massive amounts of mental energy for me to maintain any level of organization.
I can usually last for a couple days and then I’m shot. It’s too tiring and so I take a break from staying on top of stuff and then everything gets out of control.
Then I beat myself up for not being able to stay disciplined and vow never to do it again.
And then I do it again.
Over and over again.
It’s super frustrating because I really don’t function well when my environment is a mess – I get overwhelmed and impatient and irritable.
And often I end up being completely paralyzed.
I’ll know what I need to do but not be able to do anything.
Like I sit in my chair for an hour trying to will myself to just do what I know I need to do. But I can’t figure out how to get started.
Then three hours have gone by and I’ve done absolutely nothing, and I don’t even know how that much time has passed.
And then I beat myself up for being lazy.
But I know I’m not lazy!
For 52 years this is how I’ve existed.
I was the kid whose room was always a mess.
I was the friend whose car was always a total disaster.
And everyone has seen my kitchen sink.
I have the hardest time keeping my sink empty. It requires so much physical and mental energy.
Forget about paperwork. And emails. And returning texts.
I suck so bad at that stuff.
It’s so frustrating.
I’m an intelligent, educated woman with a masters degree in education and I have the hardest time doing stuff that I should be able to do. Easily.
Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
It’s not just disorganization that I struggle with.
I am REALLY GOOD at procrastinating.
I hate it but I’m good at it.
It’s also almost always the only way I can get anything done.
If it’s not urgent, I can’t do it.
So I create these situations for myself where I’m totally stressed because I’ve put stuff off for so long.
And then I vow NEVER to procrastinate again.
Until I procrastinate again.
That’s a cycle I really don’t like either.
But I’ve never been able to break it.
In addition to the procrastination, there is the impulsivity.
I’m a little torn on the impulsivity.
It’s an issue because I decide to do things without thinking them through.
This creates more problems for me.
Sometimes the impulsivity leads to some cool stuff that I wouldn’t have experienced if I had sat and really thought things through.
Like the New York City Marathon.
It was the first time I ever ran a marathon.
The NYC Marathon is the first weekend in November.
On a whim I volunteered to run it in August.
I ran my first marathon with less than four months of training when I was 43. 😂
It was actually one of the most awesome things I’ve ever done.
So the impulsivity is a double edged sword for me.
But I know it’s not good. It creates a ton of stress and it requires lots of energy and then I end up with nothing left over for things I actually need to do.
If you’ve ever listened to me on a Facebook live you know I lose track of what I’m talking about ALL THE TIME.
That is super frustrating.
I am also chronically late.
This one really bothers me.
I haven’t been able to get on top of it no matter how hard I try.
I’ve struggled pretty hard core with organization, time management, procrastination, and impulsivity for my entire life.
What I didn’t realize was that I had managed to create some systems for myself after getting married and having kids.
When the kids were little I didn’t have too much unstructured time available to me.
I was always functioning in some degree of urgency.
It was exhausting but it forced me to be focused, and I was able to be relatively productive.
Over the course of eleven years, I managed to create a few systems that I was able to maintain.
This was the laundry situation for about the first six years I was a parent:
It took me a LONG time to figure out something that worked.
Then I got divorced and I moved into a new house.
Any routines I had managed to create were demolished.
With the kids at their father’s house every other weekend and on Wednesday nights, I have more free time available to me than I have had in sixteen years.
Plus the kids are all in the double digits and self-sufficient and one even has his license, so I have even more unstructured time.
And I’ve been completely floundering. Like totally flailing.
Incapable of staying focused on anything.
Working so much but producing almost nothing and feeling like a total failure.
Being completely exhausted and having nothing to show for it.
I blamed all of it on the divorce and the emotional stress that accompanies it.
Then a couple months ago I got a message from a good friend.
Have you thought about getting evaluated for ADHD?
A few weeks later I got another message.
I think medication might really help you.
Then I got another message. From a third friend.
Medicine I think could be really life changing for you.
I had never connected all the dots before.
Disorganization. Impulsivity. Procrastination. Inability to focus. Inability to effecively manage time.
I didn’t even get to the relationship concerns. Or the issues with substances. Or the being overly sensitive.
I have spent my whole life beating myself up for not being able to do so many things that come easily to other people.
Then I was diagnosed with ADHD.
OH MY GOD.
Everything makes sense now.
I’m not stupid. And I’m not lazy. And I’m not a failure.
I’ve just got ADHD.