I promise I’ve started the continuation of my introductory post, but I just can’t focus on it. Today, my ADHD is the challenge, not the OCD.
I’ve been unable to focus well today. This is nothing new, I’ve had ADHD my whole life and dealt with it… The problem here is that I really need to focus on my therapy. See, I’m currently enrolled in an intensive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) program, and this program requires me to face anxiety-causing situations and then sit there while the anxiety subsides. So far, CBT is working…when I can put in the work.
So why does the ADHD matter? Well, for starters, I have to sit with my anxiety and not engage in any coping mechanisms.
Here’s an example:
One of my assignments today was to write the sentence “I’m going to kill myself” over and over. (Yes, I know, that sounds insane, but really, it was helpful because I had been terrified that I might be suicidal and not realize it…and yes, I do know how insane that fear sounds too.)
So here’s how that went:
Start stopwatch. Write the sentence.
[anxiety is a 3 on a scale from 0 to 7. I feel it but I’m not to full-on panic.]
Continue writing sentence over and over again while waiting for anxiety to reduce by half.
oh wow, my handwriting looks really pretty like that. Huh. I could open an etsy shop with calligraphed items. I should talk to this mom from church who has her own etsy shop…. fuck. I’m supposed to concentrate.
Stop stopwatch. This is a mistrial and does not count. Get mad for 30 seconds because mistrials do not bring us any closer to kicking OCD’s ass.
On the one hand, the fact that I’m not able to focus on (read: obsess over) this negative thought is awesome! If I had been unable to concentrate on any of my negative thoughts before, I wouldn’t have ended up here in the first place. On the other hand, I am here and I need to put in the work.
So I’m frustrated.
The other reason why my ADHD is such a hindrance is that my obsessions and compulsions are mostly thought-based. They are a bunch of sick, unrelenting, rhetorical exercises that drive me absolutely mad. I’m not someone who needs to deal with their OCD by sitting with their hands on a trash can. I have to deal with my OCD by forcing myself to think terrible, terrible, terrible things. That’s hard to do when your mind wanders as often as my ADHD brain does.
I’m frustrated. I’m frakking frustrated. That’s all I got.