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The “F” Word and ADD

Posted on May 16, 2016

Terry Better Together SpeechCropped



This past weekend, I was in Manchester, Michigan attending Sari Solden’s Better Together Fest, for women with ADHD (and men who care). It’s hard to describe seeing so many women with ADHD from all over the world come together to talk, laugh and yes, even cry. I also got to meet many new friends, including an entire table of my wonderful Queens of Distraction (that was truly touching), plus re-connecting with old friends- all whom I met from going to ADD conferences around the country over the last 20 years.

My role was to lead a group, do some entertaining with my handy ol’ guitar, give a speech (see photo) and (gasp) perform in the talent show. I will be honest with you- I get terribly anxious when I perform or give a speech, so the weekend, though fun, was also a bit scary. I was full of fear. I realized, though, that many of the women coming were nervous as well- how scary to leave the safety of home and familiar surroundings to come to an event where you might not know a single soul? For some, their diagnosis was still new and fresh, with brains still spinning …what IS this all about? What is WRONG with me?

I talked to women who’d been diagnosed over 20 years ago and women who’d been diagnosed 2 months ago. And you know what? We all share many things in common. 60+ year olds were sitting with 20 year olds. It was magical.

Sari talked about getting out of your comfort zone and congratulated everyone for making it to the event. And that is my theme today. We all have ADD. We all have things that are difficult to do because of it. I sang two songs in front of over 100 people and was terrified. But I did it. Each time I do, it gets a tad easier (I play at the ADDA talent shows- but I do not play anywhere else in public, my anxieties are so profound).

In my last newsletter, I talked about ADHD and facing your fears, but today I’m asking you: what can you do this week that pushes you out of your comfort zone- something you’ve put off but you need to do? Is it talking to a neighbor you’ve been avoiding? Calling up an old friend you’ve lost contact with because you hate talking on the phone? Inviting someone over even though your house might look like it was hurricane-struck?

Share your plan with us in the comment section below. I will be so proud of you if you can muster the courage to do one small scary thing. :)




Posted on May 01, 2016



Last week found me in an MRI tube having a scan of my brain. I’d consulted with a neurologist to get to the bottom of my chronic headaches and the doc wrote a script for this awful test to rule out anything scary. I knew years ago that it would come to this some day, thus my reluctance to make that appointment with the headache specialist. How in the world would I be able to get through an MRI? I’m claustrophobic, have ADHD, and have anxiety attacks. No way.

The doctor handed me the script and I made the call, shaking inside, envisioning myself acting like a total fool, as I’d most certainly need to push the panic button so I could get the heck out of that clanking machine.

The following week came way too fast and there I was: in a metal tube. I’d been told that the open MRI is perfect for the anxious patient because you can see out. What they neglected to tell me is that with a brain MRI, you have to wear a special helmet-like apparatus that makes you look like a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Wayne Gretzky. Which meant I couldn’t turn my head to see out. I felt like a caged tiger. A wise person warned me: close your eyes before they slide you in and do NOT open them until the test is done.

I did just that and for the next 45 minutes was tortured by the banging, clanking non-stop noise of the MRI machine. For someone as sensory-sensitive as me, this was no picnic.

It took every ounce of my creative ADD brain to come up with things to think about that would keep me calm and not reach for that panic button. After 30 minutes, the tech came out of nowhere with a 10 ft. long NEEDLE to insert dye into my veins. Oh my…..nothing in my brain could turn that scary image away.

Another 15 minutes in the tin can and…whew…I was done.

What in the world does this have to do with ADD?

I work with men and women from all over the world who consult with me for their ADD related problems. “I am a loser.” “Who could possible love me?” “I’m going to lose my job.” On and on it goes and my heart breaks a hundred times over when I hear the details of their stories.

But in my heart, I know that as we all face adversities, whether it’s a silly little medical test or the loss of a loved one, we all have an inner strength that gets us through some pretty awful times.

This weekend is Mother’s Day. Can you give yourself the gift of forgiveness for being so hard on yourself all these years? Can you reach into your memory and pull up examples of when your ol’ brave self came to the rescue and got you through a rough spell?

I would love to hear your stories. Please do share them in the comment section below.



De-clutter Your Car in 7 Steps

Posted on April 17, 2016

car cartoon


Spring Spring Spring!

A time to clean out closets, change out clothes, jump into yard work and so much more. Or not.

It can be sooo hard to jump into anything that is related to chores, clutter and organizing. Believe me, I know! But there’s one space in my life that I am practically OCD about keeping tidy and that is my car. I have no idea why, other than perhaps that space is all mine and small enough for me to manage. I keep it up better than any room in my house. Seeing it cluttered for some reason makes me anxious and irritable. Anybody else? Or is this just a “Terry” thing?

I know many of you have a tough time maintaining your cars, so hopefully this article will help you out.

How to De-Clutter Your Car

By Sue Brenner

Are things starting to pile up in your car? Do you have to push piles out of the way when someone hops in your car? Make room for you and your passengers. Use these 7 steps to make your de-cluttering easy and watch your car sparkle.
1. Decide what you want your car to look like.
What do you want the inside of your car to look like? What is the main purpose of the interior of your car? For example, perhaps you want everything that you need to be in arm’s reach. Or, maybe you want the interior of your car to be beautiful. Get a quick picture of what you want to create first.

2. Discover what’s needed.
What things do you need inside of your car? Examples include a First Aid kit, cup holder and insurance card. Make sure the things that you need are in your car. Place them in convenient places so that you can access them quickly when you need them. To help, ask yourself the question, “Where will I find this?”

3. Discover what’s not needed.
You just identified what you need in your car. Now begin to review the piles of things you don’t need in your car. Pamela found that she had four jackets in her car, her kids’ beach toys and used coffee cups. When she got to de-cluttering, she kept one jacket in the car and put the rest away. She discarded the coffee cups. Sand toys? She popped them in the trunk to make more leg room for her passengers.

4. Divide you car into zones.
Let’s say you have a 4-door car. Divide your clutter clearing efforts into 4 zones. These zones include the driver’s area, the passenger’s area, the space behind the driver and the space behind the passenger. Decide which areas are most important and address those first. Your trunk will come later, as usually that area is a job in itself.

5. Conquer each zone.
Begin to rid the clutter from each of the zones you identified in your car. For example, address the passenger’s area first. Then move through each of the other zones. By breaking down the process into mini-sections, it will be much more manageable. Use the following 3-Bag technique to breeze through each zone.

6. Use the 3-Bag Technique.
Grab 3 bags for your car de-cluttering task. The first one is for stuff that doesn’t belong in your car. In this bag, collect the mugs, books, supplies and other things that don’t belong there. The second bag is for things to give away/return. Perhaps you want to give away some of the extra clothes stashed in the back seat. In a regular organizing job, the third bag is for storage items. But for your car, use this bag for trash and recycling.

7. Clear out your trunk.
For some of you, this task may be the most daunting. If you’re driving to the airport, you’ll definitely need to clear out space to get your suitcases in! Set aside an extra 15 minutes to an hour for this task. Use the 3-Bag technique again to clear out your trunk. You may even find some storage items in there, like that computer monitor that has been sitting in its box for 6 months.

Use the above 7 steps to remove clutter from your car quickly and easily. Enjoy the ride with a clutter-free car.

What works for you? Share your ideas/tips in the Comment section, below.
Sue Brenner, Performance Coach and Author, wants you to get the most out of life and work. That’s why she wrote “The Naked Desk: Everything you need to strip away clutter, save time and get things done” – While you’re there, get her free eZine, “Ignite Your Life.”


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