So it’s a new year, a new decade, and a new chance to rectify previous mistakes or do things better. One of my goals this year is to practise living in the present with ADHD and battling to learn to relax and control the never ending stream of information that plagues my mind.
Interestingly, I find that the more time I spend being creative, the more troubled I am with negative thoughts, anxiety, and depression. LIke everything, I think it just requires a bit of patience and some hard-work in the meditation department.
I always think it is a shame that our years start in January, which for the Northern Hemisphere is one of the coldest, darkest and most miserable months but maybe it´s too late to have the changing of the calendar debated in Parliament.
With each new year comes the glimmer of hope for a better year, (even those who had an amazing 2019 want more), but also more pressure to perform, to improve, to seize opportunities, and most importantly – more Fear of Failure.
Yes its just another day and another year but I like to categorise my behaviour and my mistakes and would like to leave 2019 as 2019 and try to carry through only the positive aspects of my life.
Cliché yes, but if being cliché is a crime then lock me up and throw away the key.
More importantly, I simply do not like odd numbers unless they are a multiple of 5 or a cube number, so even writing 2019 annoys me. 2020 is a very pleasing number so already I feel better about it!
Positive New Year
I entered this year feeling very positive. I have moved flats to a new less toxic environment, I have new flatmates, new opportunities, and new projects nearly ready to release, yet the burden and fear of really exerting myself and opening myself up to the potential defeat of a failed project is constantly playing on my mind.
Logically speaking I welcome failure. I know that it makes us stronger, that we learn from it, that it’s a part of life and growth but then intrinsically it TERRIFIES me.
ADHD and The Inability To Complete Tasks
One of the classic symptoms/traits of ADHD is to have multiple projects or ideas in progress but the complete and utterly soul-destroying inability to complete anything.
This, of course, is not something that is limited just to people with ADHD but is common amongst young people in general. This led me to start thinking about WHY this is because I am DETERMINED to destroy this trait/behaviour.
The Unholy Trinity
I came up with the unholy trinity governing my unfinished projects:
- Fear of Failure
- Neophilia (The obsession with novelty / new experiences)
- Lack of concentration
In this post I am going to talk a little bit more about Neophilia and the obsession with new experiences and then in future posts I will go more into depth into the other contributors of the unholy trinity.
Click here to read my introduction post about Neophilia and the Fear of Failure
The Addiction To New Things
Now, I am not sure to what levels, “normal”, (I have actually learned from Instagram that the PC word for normal people is Neurotypical), people experience Neophilia, or how much it has to do with ADHD or my personality, but for me it is a massive factor in my life.
I try my hand at everything that I possibly can, go to every event that I get a chance to, travel as often as possible, always in search of something. Some new experience that is going to change me and cause me to stick with it. Something, anything, that stimulates me continuously and makes me happy.
Sadly this never happens and I am left unfulfilled and looking for the next, “fix”, in life. This really gets me down as I feel like I can almost never live in the present and enjoy things for what they are.
Once the novelty inevitably wears off then I am done, and my concentration and ability to focus goes from 100 to 0 quicker than a fart in the wind. I forget about what I have done and move onto something else.
Filling the Void
This future thinking attitude is reminiscent of my times sniffing Mephedrone / smoking weed and even drinking alcohol constantly. An addict is never satisfied with their hit and is always thinking of the next one like THAT will be the one that really sorts them out. In the mind of an addict, living in the present does not exist.
I never learned to be satisfied with what I have and am always thinking of what will be next. It feels like I am constantly trying to, “complete”, everything and push it as far as it will go, and this reckless behaviour is damaging.
I don’t want to continue with this toxic behaviour and constantly be on the search for something to fill the void. All of my life I have tried to solve my problems with a hit, a fix, of whatever is available, be that drugs, alcohol, sport, or new experiences.
Nothing is particularly fun when you aren’t fully happy with yourself and you are trying to fill an emptiness inside yourself.
I am on a Quest to find inner happiness and contention so that one day I can hopefully relax and be at peace. To be able to relax for a moment and just be happy with what I have, and what I am surrounded with is the ultimate goal, but it seems infinitely far away right now. Living in the present with ADHD is an ongoing struggle.
Living In The Present With ADHD – Mindfulness / Meditation
Learning – or should I say practising – living in the present is one of my ultimate goals this year and will probably be my toughest challenge.
This year I will be exploring the limits of the brain through various different intense types of Meditation and Yoga. Recently, I learned about many different, (somewhat crazy), techniques on a mountain hike and cave meditation day trip.
I dont want to reveal too much about this yet, but I will of course keep everyone up to date with what I experience.
I have started doing 10 minute meditation/mindfulness sessions each day on an App called Petit Bambou, (click here for Petit Bambou Android and Petit Bambou IOS), I feel like I am making some progress.
But AGAIN I am thinking of it like progress, like something that can be completed! You cannot complete meditation Conor!
I often find myself trying to guess how much longer is left in the session because its borderline painful trying to concentrate. However, after some sessions I have really felt a clarity and peacefulness that I have never had without taking drugs.
Like everything, I imagine that living in the present with ADHD will get easier and more natural with practice, and so I am hopeful that as I improve and become more comfortable doing this, I will be able to reap the benefits.
If anyone could recommend any other Apps, Youtube Channels, or anything that they think is useful I would be really grateful!
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