The Lotto numbers are easier to predict than someone with ADHD.

I went to school with people who had a PLAN for how their lives where going to be and those people have since then stuck to the plan rigorously. For people with ADHD life is not quite that simple. A ‘daily plan’ can be an almost impossible task never mind a yearly one or a life time plan. I could always relate to Forests Mum when she would say…..

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But seriously, one of the Consequences of having ADHD is that you tend to be quite unpredictable. When I say unpredictable I don’t mean other people find you unpredictable, even though that is also true. I mean people with ADHD find THEMSELVES unpredictable; it seems to be in the nature of the condition. Due to my own unpredictable nature I’ve had quite a multifaceted life and I could tell lots of stories about how my ADHD traits served me well but to be honest I had many more years of feeling despondent, misunderstood and petrified of where I was going to end up.

For those without ADHD try and imagine wakening up in in the morning in your nice warm bed at home and getting ready to go to your job knowing that before the end of the day your life could be turned upside down and everything lost due to a condition that you seem to have little power to control. That’s not an exaggeration of what it’s like to have ADHD. I’ve experienced it myself on many occasions and have heard others with ADHD describe the same scenario. I think it’s caused by a combination of frustration, impulsiveness, denial of how severely the ADHD is affecting the person and the arch enemy of every ADHDer BOREDOM.

I’ve worked alongside many parents of teenagers with ADHD and heard them describe the fear they have for their child’s future and the powerlessness that they feel when the frustrated teenager gets suspended again for poor behaviours or walks out of school, college, job, relationship etc. for the umpteenth time or impulsively spends there money on things they don’t need rather than paying bills or even buying food for themselves. My Fiancée Emma does say the only thing that is predicable about ADHD is the unpredictability which is an assessment I can’t disagree with.  Over the more recent years I’ve learned to restrain my impulses, with great effort might I add. Learning about ADHD has helped as well as accepting it and trying to understand what is driving the impulses.  For me it was usually fear.

On a positive note it’s now 2015, Happy New Year everybody by the way.

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It’s important for me not to look too far ahead or try and predict but right now I feel extremely positive about people’s willingness to understand ADHD and we at Adult ADHD NI hope that we can create a better environment for those affected by ADHD so that they too have a chance to live happy fulfilled lives here in Ireland.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it, like us on Facebook Adult ADHD NI and follow us on Twitter @Niallgreene01 & @AdultADHDNI.

Niall now offers One to One support for people affected by ADHD support through Skype.  If you wish to avail of this support service please contact Adult ADHD NI by Email – Niaadhd@gmail.com

Insomnia and ADHD

This blog really should be on procrastination considering I’ve been meaning to write it for almost two weeks and I kept finding really important reasons not to. (Watching TV, Doodling) Even as I write this I’m fighting against an urge to play my guitar. Must write Blog. However, I’ve already decided on a topic Insomnia and ADHD just because it’s a theme that came up several times over the last few weeks with some of our members.

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Like many others with ADHD I have also always had great difficulty with sleep.   Don’t get me wrong I love sleep but it’s the getting to sleep I’ve never liked. Most people seem to be out for the count as soon their heads touch the pillow, but for me my mind becomes active, legs become restless, my tummy may start to rumble, I’ll remember something urgent that i was meant to do earlier or find some other random excuse to sit up all night (Google, Facebook or Twitter). For me the getting to sleep has always been quite boring and the more I try to go to sleep the more difficult it becomes. Now that i think about it, I probably procrastinate going to sleep and when I finally do get to sleep the waking up becomes another issue.

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What’s even more irritating if i have to be up early you can guarantee that’ll be the night I won’t sleep at all because of a racing mind. Looking back it has always been like that but it seemed to get worse in my teens and 20s. During that period I regularly sat up to 5am with a group of night owl friends. I was often anxious and depressed and I’m pretty sure the lack of sleep and sunlight probably didn’t help. I also recognise now that lack of sleep escalates my ADHD symptoms, I become much more unorganised, forgetful and my focus becomes non-existent.

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Since my diagnosis I’ve tried to understand how my ADHD affects me. I don’t use it as an excuse but i do recognise that many others with ADHD have the same difficulties so I go easy on myself. However I do like to challenge myself and try to overcome the difficulties where possible. Last year we decided to turn our bedroom into a technology free zone. That included Tellies, Mobile phones, laptops and Ipads but we compromised on Kindles because their BRILLIANT. The result has been fantastic; I go to bed at a reasonable time, sleep at moderate time and as a result wake up feeling much better. My technology free zone is either working really well or it’s just simply because I’m in my mid-thirties and getting old. Ignore that last bit please. These simple changes allow me to function as best as I can and help to deliver a much needed service within Adult ADHD NI and ensure that those in need of ADHD support can avail of it.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it, like us on Facebook Adult ADHD NI and follow us on Twitter @Niallgreene01 & @AdultADHDNI.

Niall now offers One to One support for people affected by ADHD support through Skype.  If you wish to avail of this support service please contact Adult ADHD NI by Email – Niaadhd@gmail.com

One small goal!!

One of the difficulties with ADHD is failing to follow through with goals and tasks. This has certainly been my experience and I’ll try and explain how I manage to deal with it. This time ten years ago at 24 years of age i hadn’t achieved one single thing in my adult life. It wasn’t easy for me to admit at the time but it was clear to me my way of living wasn’t working and change was needed. It wasn’t that I didn’t have ambition, in fact I had tremendous ambition but I was severely lacking understanding of how to follow through. I constantly compared myself to others and in comparison i felt incompetent, and because of my ADHD I’d bounce from one idea to another and got nothing finished, frequently letting people down as well as myself. Each time i failed fed into my self-concept that I was useless, good for nothing, pathetic etc. Finally I decided to take time out, get the help I needed and start all over again this time observing my mistakes and trying to learn from them.

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It was brought to my attention that I was trying to do too many things at once. I’d start something get bored and quit or I’d find some other amazing thing to do and get bored of it also. A friend suggested that I choose ONE small goal and stick to it. He said write your goal down and what you need to do to accomplish it. I was told to forget about everything else for the time being and make this the ultimate goal. I can only speak for myself and i don’t know if this is ADHD related or not but the idea of sticking to one small goal had NEVER crossed my mind. It sounds so obvious but for me it was a revelation.

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I always wanted to drive and talked about it all the time but never did anything about it. The truth was that when I turned 17 they, the evil lawmakers, brought in the bloody theory test for driving and my fear of exams alongside a deep fear of failure prevented me from even trying. So passing my test became my ONE goal.   I hyper-focused on the theory test and I’ll never forget the dread I felt going down the road to the exam but i passed and i got every question correct. I was overjoyed. But the challenge was yet to come, how I would deal with failure. When it came to the practical driving test I failed twice.

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I was completely gutted and ready to quit. I rang my old friend Junior and he told me that winners never quit and encouraged me to try again. The following week i passed my driving test.   Although for many this may not seem like a big deal, for me it was another massive turning point in my life because i began to use the same method over and over again in various areas of my life.

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Since then i have set many goals and achieved them, including returning to education and surpassing even my own expectations. I’m also, generally, able to do more than ONE thing at once now as long as i have a good interest and set out a clear path to achieving the goals, but that comes with practice. Understanding my ADHD is a vital part of maintaining a good life and even though sometimes I may still experience failure by keeping my eye on the finish line the failures make success so much more sweet.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it, like us on Facebook Adult ADHD NI and follow us on Twitter @Niallgreene01 & @AdultADHDNI.

Niall now offers One to One support for people affected by ADHD support through Skype.  If you wish to avail of this support service please contact Adult ADHD NI by Email – Niaadhd@gmail.com

Overcoming ADHD

I’ve talked about starting a blog for over a year now and have finally gotten around to it thanks to a little push from my Fiancée Emma. I’m a founding Director of ADULT ADHD NI and I also have ADHD. Often when I’ve tried to tell people about my ADHD it triggers different reactions. Some people stare at me as if trying to see what ADHD looks like and I’ve even had people say ‘you don’t look like you have ADHD’ whatever that means.  Some have dismissed ADHD saying doesn’t exist. That was very difficult for me to hear that in the early days of my diagnosis because the chaos that my life had been up until my ADHD diagnoses absolutely did exist.

My hope is that through this blog I can create a better understanding of ADHD, reduce the stigma and help those struggling with ADHD accept and better manage their condition including parents and partners affected by the condition. I hope to help make the invisible visible by describing what my ADHD is like for me, the challenges that I’ve faced through my life due to my ADHD and how i continue to overcome these challenges by embracing my strengths and accepting my weaknesses.

Those who read my blogs will see that although ADHD is a daily challenge for me and sometimes my life is somewhat unmanageable generally I’ve discovered balance in my life and that by taking the time to find out what works for you, life will not only be manageable it will be enjoyable.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it, like us on Facebook Adult ADHD NI and follow us on Twitter @Niallgreene01 & @AdultADHDNI.

Niall now offers One to One support for people affected by ADHD support through Skype.  If you wish to avail of this support service please contact Adult ADHD NI by Email – Niaadhd@gmail.com