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Are You Quirky?

Posted on April 03, 2019


Every week, Thursday nights, in my Queens of Distraction online coaching group, we have a new topic that I throw out for discussion. The other week it was: AM I THE ONLY ONE?SHARE YOUR QUIRKY IRKIES, i.e offbeat ADD traits. How can you turn around your quirkiness and look at them as strengths?”It was fascinating because many of my members realized that they certainly were not the only ones who did this or that or who struggled with what they thought were unusual behaviors or traits (“I’m not the only one who can’t tolerate wrinkles in my sheets?”).  It was an evening of healing, I thought, especially when we took a deeper dive and talked about turning around our self-deprecation, our embarrassment and shame for essentially having an ADHD brain, and learning that we can use these things to our advantage.

For example, many of us have a hard time making social connections because others don’t seem to “get” us. If you re-frame that and think: ‘well, what is it they don’t get about me?’.  It could be that you are a divergent, creative thinker. Or that you are seen as “off-beat” because you volunteer as a clown on weekends. Or that you play bass guitar in a rock band. My response to that is to start thinking about where you can find potential friends who share your interests, your passions- people who celebrate your differences. Stop trying to fit in!

Quirky can mean creative. Quirky can mean bold- being strong enough to just be yourself and not fall prey to expectations. Quirky can be humor. Quirky can be a strong sense of self.

If you’re super sensitive, that can be a wonderful advantage. You can find a career in the helping field, lose yourself in art or music, rescue animals, write poetry. Seek out other sensitive souls! The idea here is to stop pathologizing your ADHD. See it more as a trait. Not that I’m minimizing your struggles with time management, memory, disorganization, etc., but let’s start searching for ways to celebrate our differences vs hiding because of them. Are you ready to take that step?

I’d love to hear from you and how you see yourself as quirky, because trust me, you aren’t alone and it’s time to stop hiding. In fact, here are a few of mine:

  • I cannot tolerate touching anything sticky. I come close to freaking out. Yes, my family finds that very funny. I don’t.  
  • I cannot hear people talking to me unless I look at their lips- I probably have some kind of auditory processing issue. Thus, I hate HATE the telephone.
  • I actually *do* play guitar, bass, piano, drums. And I’m still looking for a band!
  • I eat the same breakfast every single day.
  • I’m still afraid of “killers” hiding under my bed.
  • I can’t watch TV for more than 15 minutes, but I can be on the computer for 5 hours.

What about you?  Please share your quirkiness in the comment section of my blog, below.


10 Tips to Beat Clutter in Five Minutes

Posted on March 19, 2019

 

The days are longer, our moods (hopefully) are lighter and it’s time to tackle the clutter! Here are some tips for you to use every day to help you keep your house from going down that deep slope into clutter chaos. See if these help you!

 

10 Tips to Beat Clutter in Five Minutes

 

  1. Place junk mail in recycle bin as soon as it arrives.
  2. Make your bed when you wake up. Tip: toss bedspread over everything. No one will know what’s underneath.
  3. Hang up your clothes every night.
  4. Toss newspaper (recycle bin it) each day even if you didn’t read it.
  5. Throw out old food/leftovers daily after dinner.
  6. Place one thing per day in a garbage bag for donating. Keep the bag in a closet or other easily accessible space.
  7. Place dirty dishes in dishwasher.
  8. Delete emails after reading them/delete junk mail immediately.
  9. Toss one thing per day, ie broken toy, unneeded promotional mug, dried out pen, etc.
  10. Take something upstairs, take something downstairs.

 

What are your simple decluttering tips? Please share in the Comment section, below.

 


Did You Miss the ADHD Women’s Palooza? No Worries- Get All The Sessions Now!

Posted on March 06, 2019

 

Did you miss the ADHD Women’s Palooza?

Get the Post-Palooza package- the Palooza Encore- and own the entire set of sessions, led by the top ADHD experts: Sari Solden, Dr. Ned Hallowell, Dr. Thomas E. Brown, Dr. Stephanie Sarkis, and many more…including me! I presented on “Why Is My ADHD Getting Worse With Age?”. Find out why in the Encore Package.
Special sale ends Friday, though, so order your set today at https://bit.ly/2E198OP

Regular price: $197
–> Post- Palooza Sale Price: $97
(2-payment plan available, too!)

Get all 30 sessions!
$100 savings ends this Friday, March 8, 2019 at midnight !

You get:

a) All 30 videos
b) All 30 audio recordings
c) All speaker bonuses
d) All 30 transcripts

Order the Palooza Package today!

 


What’s YOUR Shark? On Being Non-conventional and ADHD.

Posted on March 05, 2019

 

Yep, that’s me. Here. In Florida on vacation with my family. I’ll bet you didn’t know that I love to fish. I’ll bet you can guess that I can’t sit around in the sun doing nothing but catching rays. Instead, I……

CAUGHT THIS SHARK.

I’ve noticed how rare it is to see women fishing. At least around here. So score one- again- for feeling a bit different from the mainstream (ladies, if you fish, drop me a line. I mean, a comment in the Comment section below).

My husband is into fishing in a HUGE way, so if I want to spend time with him where there’s more than a puddle nearby, it better be with a rod in my hand. Thus, my passion for fishing was born when I met this man.

When you’re catching sharks (I know, I know, but we throw them back and we’ve never found ourselves in shark territory before, so this is a once in a lifetime kind of thing), people come racing up to you asking…IS THAT A SHARK?? Can I take a picture of it?

Other than needing to be busy even if it’s via shark fishing, what does this have anything to do with ADHD?

Well, it’s about being spontaneous. It’s waiting for that catch. It’s a woman, me, you, not fitting into the mold- something many of you probably understand and relate to. The women I see on the beach are reading romance novels and collecting shells. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I need to do something that feeds my hungry ADHD brain. And from my experiences here, shark fishing is, apparently, not a common site when the person pulling in sharks from the sea is…a woman.

In fact, a fellow came by to see what we were up to, and commented that there was a couple right down the way, catching fish too.

“…and the interesting thing is, SHE was catching the fish.”

So I asked him: what is so interesting about that?

He floundered quite a bit. But there you go. Women aren’t supposed to be the fish catcher (I think I just made that term up) of the couple. So we had a little chat about gender expectations and gender bias.

Ladies, we still have a long way to go in having people understand us as women with ADHD. Partly because there are so many people who still don’t understand women or accept them- us- in non-traditional roles.

Now go out there and do whatever it is you love to do, even if you’re the only woman on the beach. Or enjoy wearing stripes with polka dots. Or raising llamas. As Sari Solden says, be your authentic self.

What’s YOUR shark? Share it with me and my readers in the Comment section below.

And by the way, if you missed Sari’s and Michelle Frank’s session at the ADHD Women’s Palooza last week, don’t fret. You can purchase the entire week’s sessions- over 30 of them- at a huge discount if you order before tomorrow (Friday, March 8). Do it for yourself. Do it for those who need to understand you better. Just do it.

Order it right HERE.

 


The Women’s ADHD Palooza is BACK! Top ADHD Experts Online Starting Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Don’t Miss It!

Posted on February 22, 2019

The ADHD Women’s Palooza is baaaaack and it’s starting this Monday, Feb. 25 and running the entire week.Stop right now and sign up HERE!
 
My colleague and co-founder of the Palooza, Linda Roggli, is taking on the Palooza solo this year with this ground-breaking online event, and you are invited! The top ADHD Experts are here to share their knowledge with you:
 
Dr. Ned Hallowell, Sari Solden, Dr. Thomas E. Brown, Dr. Stephanie Sarkis, Jessica McCabe and many more…including me! I’ll be presenting on:
 
Why Is My ADHD Getting Worse As I Get Older?
 
… on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 5pm EST.
 
A few of the topics covered this year:
  •  Adjusting to Your ADHD Diagnosis – Mourn the Past, Create the Future
  • How Brain Function Becomes The New Diagnostic Criteria- Radical Approach to Treating ADHD Women
  • Understanding and Clearing Energetic Blocks in Women with ADHD
  • Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria — Are You Really Too Sensitive??
  • ADHD Dysgraphia – My Handwriting Sucks!
  • Identifying Workflows In Your Digital Life
  • Executive Function in the Home: What to Do When the Whole Family Is Struggling
  •  Intimacy for ADHD Women
  • …and much more!
 
It will be an extraordinary week of insight and answers exclusively for women with ADHD, presented by 31 ADHD Legends and Luminaries.
 
Find out more and SIGN UP HERE!   (it’s free to attend)!
Or simply go to https://bit.ly/2E198OP
 


You’re Not Disorganized! You’re Spontaneous! Re-framing your ADHD Symptoms in Positive Ways

Posted on February 18, 2019

 

Years ago when I was first learning about ADHD, I was struck by something Dr. Ned Hallowell said at one of the first ADHD conferences I ever attended (ADDA: www.ADD.org). He said:

Creativity is Impulsivity Gone Right.

Isn’t that a great re-frame for those of us side-swiped by impulsivity?

And what about distractibility? Couldn’t that also be called curiosity?

Hyperactivity- couldn’t that mean being an innate explorer? Or simply high energy?

Head strong types who have a hard time transitioning: maybe these are independent thinkers?

Messy? Many creative types have ideas spilling out all over. Managing mundane daily tasks can be excruciating. Being bored is painful. Impatient types can’t slow down because their mind is on the next experience.

Why do we call ADHD symptoms negative traits? Sure, they can get in the way. Big time. But maybe it’s also time to think of our traits as positive, too.

Dr. Hallowell has a chart in his book,Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child”, where he compares negative ADHD traits with mirror positive counterparts. Here are a few:

Distractible = Curious

Impulsive = Creative

Hyperactive, restless = Energetic

Intrusive = Eager

Can’t Stay on Point = Sees Connections Others Don’t

Disorganized = Spontaneous

Moody = Sensitive


I love this. But that doesn’t mean that by seeing all these traits as (potentially) positive means we don’t struggle- we do. But this is a great way to view ADHD as not just a deficit, but as a collection of traits that can work for you if you learn to harness them in.

What other ADHD symptoms can you spin into positive traits? Share your thoughts in my Comment section, below.

 

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Today I …Tried a Chick-fil-A Sandwich.

Posted on February 06, 2019

 

Today I …tried a Chick-fil-A sandwich for the first time.

This is about the extent of how I live dangerously. I’ve been extremely curious about the long slow lines of people waiting three- deep in the food court of my local mall ever since they opened this place over a year ago.

Normally I get a salad or Chinese food while shopping here, but today was the day to push myself out of my safety zone. Being a Chick-fil-A virgin (I was even pronouncing it wrong: Chick-A-Fill), I asked the girl at the cash register which sandwich was the most popular. I mean, I’m brave, but not that brave- I wanted to know what these folks were standing in line 20 minutes for and surely it wasn’t for the measly little fruit cup.

She pointed out the top three favorites, so I chose the first- the basic chicken sandwich. I sat down, dug into the fried chicken, pickles, bun and some weird sauce and was immediately struck by the saltiness. I asked myself- THIS is what is drawing so much attention?

I was mildly disappointed, because I could’ve had my favorite: chicken and green beans stir fry.

Many people, after years of struggling with distractibility, disorganization, impulsivity, and all the rest of the ingredients found in adult ADHD, finally push themselves into their discomfort zone- they find the courage to get themselves evaluated for possible ADHD, then once diagnosed, walk away either relieved, depressed, or even angry. Maybe it’s not what they’d expected. Or maybe it was, and the truth is painful to swallow, at least initially. They had hoped that taking that first pill would miraculously shed them from all their ADHD pain.

It’s simply not that easy.

It can take years to get to the point of acceptance, learn new coping strategies and see yourself in a new light, as someone who has struggled for years with an ADHD brain.

But you’ll never know for sure until you’ve taken the leap by courageously consulting with an ADHD expert to see if this, indeed, is what has been causing you years of strife.

If you’re reading this and haven’t yet gone for an ADHD evaluation but suspect you have it ADHD, I understand how scary it can be. Take that first step; gather names of mental health professionals savvy in diagnosing/treating ADHD and call them. Just call and ask questions. Then maybe you’ll step into that line, too, and explore something new that can change your life.

Just don’t stop for a Chick-fil-A lunch after your appointment.

Tell me your story. What brought you to the point of finally going for an evaluation? How did you feel afterward? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section, below.

 

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You Aren’t Alone! My Answers to Your ADHD Questions

Posted on January 22, 2019

 

I promised that this post would be different from my previous ones- that it would be an opportunity for you, my readers, to submit your ADHD related questions to me and I would answer them. So let’s get this thing started now! And if you find it helpful, we’ll do it again next time!

Skip below for info on how YOU can submit your question to me (after today’s Q/A).

ASK ME ANYTHING ABOUT ADHD!

Nicole from Cleveland, Ohio writes:

My pattern is working on a project (s) and taking on a lot and then seem to get overwhelmed, withdrawn and paralyzed for months. Shame, regret and sadness go along with it. Is this a part of ADHD?

My response:

Yes, yes, yes, and……yes.

There’s two parts to your question. First, it’s very common for those of us with ADHD to bite off more than we can chew. There’s a lot of reasons for that:

  1. Impulsivity can cause us to jump in without thinking of the consequences.
  2. We crave stimulation, and that moving object (project) seems sooo enticing. So we say to ourselves that we can do it- no problem. But then it does become a problem because we either don’t have enough time, skills or we lose interest.

Secondly, the consequences can be just as you describe: a feeling of overwhelm, withdrawing or giving up and feeling paralyzed.

…..and that can lead to feelings of shame, regret, and sadness. We often feel like failures because of unfinished projects. We may feel like we’ve let other people down, including ourselves. And we may even tell ourselves: “I did it again- I failed. I’m such a loser.”

There are ways to avoid getting into this whirlwind of action and then defeat. One way is to write down what that project is. If it’s something someone is asking you to do, do NOT, do NOT automatically say yes. Say you’ll think about it and get back to them. Either way, sit down with a pad of paper and write out the project. Step by step.

But first, ask yourself: is this something you really want to do? Do you have time to take it on? Then break it down like this, or a way that works best for you:

  1. When I would start this
  2. When I need to finish this
  3. Do I have the materials needed? (list them). If not, where do I need to get them? (Answer this).
  4. Can I take this on myself or do I need help? Who do I ask?
  5. Write down each step needed to complete the project and add how much time you’ll need per step. People with ADHD often underestimate the time needed, so really think about this carefully.
  6. Then use your planner and write down specifically what you need to do, what day, what time (have a start *and* an end date/time).

Now…if you find that you are still not finishing the project, jot down what is getting in your way.

Make this a learning experience instead of a failure. And when you succeed, celebrate!

Hope this helps!

-Terry


Megan from Dallas, TX writes:

I’m in my 30s and I was diagnosed with ADD long ago but only recently began seeking treatment. Here’s my question:

I’d like to develop better habits to help me manage my ADD. My therapist and I have been discussing the benefit of taking some time out (a retreat) just for me: what I’ve been calling a “metreat”. Ideally, I’d spend a few days away to reflect on everything that overwhelms me, cross out the stuff that I can’t do anything about, prioritize the things I can work on, and then come up with an action plan.

Is there a workbook available that can help guide me through this process?

Thanks!

My response:

I love this idea, Megan!

I’m not aware of a workbook that’s specific to your needs (makes me want to develop one, though!), but a few thoughts:

You could easily make one yourself. You’ve already written it, actually- you just need to buy a notebook and write in it! It could look something like this:

  1. Things That Overwhelm Me

     (Cross out the things I cannot change) 

  1. Things I Want to Work On


Examples:

A. Personal

B. Family

C. Work

D. Etc.

  1. What I Need to Do to Make It Work

Examples:

  1. Join a gym, have lunch each week with a friend, cut back on sweets.
  2. Call mom every Sunday, take kids on more educational outings, take daily walk with hubby/partner to re-connect.
  3. Get to work on time, tidy up desk daily before leaving, offer more input at weekly meetings.

Now, I did find a workbook on Amazon and though it’s not exactly what you’re looking for, it looks pretty close!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Project Planner

 

Hope this helps!

-Terry

 

And that wraps up this issue! If you’d like to submit a brief question relating to ADHD (and please make it one that will be helpful to my readers):

  1. Email it to me at terrymatlen@ADDconsults.com.
  2. If you can, please use this in your subject line: Question for Terry
  3. Tell me what first name you’d like to use (you can use a pseudonym)
  4. Tell me what city/state/country you live in.
  5. Feel free to send a photo of yourself (OPTIONAL).

** NOTE: Only those who send me your name/location will be considered for publication.


–> By emailing your question, you give me permission to print it in an upcoming newsletter and blog (my blog is on my website at www.ADDconsults.com).

and if you do not yet receive my newsletters, please sign up now HERE.

 

 

 


Forget Productivity. Did You Do Something Meaningful Today?

Posted on January 20, 2019


FREE! Ask Me Anything about ADHD!

Posted on January 09, 2019

 

Welcome to 2019! I hope you all got through the holidays with more joy than pain.

In my last newsletter/blog post, I talked about my own Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions and I’d love to hear what your thoughts are about resolutions and how ADHD fits- or doesn’t fit- into all of this. After all, we’re known to have a tough time with transitions and changes. If you didn’t read my piece, I hope you will. Hint: it’s HUMOR.

Today, I’m doing something different. Instead of blabbing about myself, I want to hear from YOU. I get tons of emails from people asking me just about anything having to do with their challenges dealing with ADHD. Below are a few that have come in that might resonate with you. But….for my NEXT newsletter issue and blog post, I’m inviting you to email me with YOUR question. The only caveat is that by doing so, you give me permission to use it (and my response, which I’ll email back to you) in an upcoming newsletter and blog post. Just tell me if you’d like to use a pseudonym.

This is what you need to do:

  1. Email your (BRIEF) question (and please make it one that you think will be helpful to my readers) to me at terrymatlen@ADDconsults.com. If you can, please use this in your subject line—>  QUESTION FOR TERRY
  2. Tell me what first name you’d like to use, if not your own.
  1. Tell me what city/state/country you live in.
  1. Feel free to send a photo of yourself (OPTIONAL).

I will answer a few of the questions I receive, email my responses to you, and will post them in my next newsletter and blog.

PLEASE remember: my newsletter goes out to over 12,000 subscribers who often send it to friends, therapists, etc. I also post the newsletter here on my blog and on social media. So….think carefully about your question and if you want to use your real name or not.

Watch for my next newsletter/blog post! Wait, you don’t subscribe? Well sign up NOW (and get a free mini eBook on Tips for Women with ADHD). Maybe you will be in it! In the meantime, check below for a few questions that have already come in. And bookmark this page so you can read all of my blogs!

*Note: Those who respond will be signed up for my free newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time. *

 

ASK ME ANYTHING ABOUT ADHD!

 

Heather, from Spokane, WA asks:

Dear Terry,

I am reaching menopause age (I’m 42) and notice that my memory is getting worse. In particular, word retrieval. Am I developing dementia? Please help!

Terry’s response:

Hi Heather,

This is a common concern for women with ADHD who are approaching menopause. I hear from attorneys, doctors, professors, stay at home moms, retirees, factory workers, teachers, and more…who are terrified that they are looking at possible Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia. Suddenly, words escape them. They can’t remember names. Finding the right word becomes a real challenge, and they end up describing the noun they are looking for.

It’s scary!

But fear not. For the great majority of women with ADHD in this age range (and older), cognitive function often changes, just as it does for many women *without* ADHD. But since we’re already struggling with certain brain functioning, we may notice it more or have a rougher time with memory than others.

What’s happening is, as our hormones change with age, there’s often a direct hit to our brain functioning.

Why?

Because of the drop in estrogen levels. When that happens, our brain just doesn’t function as well.

That does not mean you are developing dementia, though if you are super concerned or if you’re struggling terribly, it is best to consult with your health care provider.

What experts in this area suggest (read the work of Dr. Patricia Quinn) is to talk to your OB/GYN to see if hormone therapy might be helpful. Doctors assume that increasing one’s stimulant will do the trick, but that isn’t always the case.

Also, try to simplify your life. When there’s too much going on, too much stress, too many responsibilities, it makes (obviously) your brain work harder. So now is the time to consider making some changes in your life.

Hope this helps!

– Terry

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Cindy, from Cleveland, OH asks:

Dear Terry,

I have anxiety along with my ADHD. My doctor wants to put me on medication, but what should I take? Meds for both?

Hi Cindy,

Though I am not a medical doctor, I have heard from medical professionals that usually (but not always), the symptoms that are most problematic are targeted first. So if your anxiety, say, is keeping you away from social events or affecting your work, etc., your doctor may want to start you on a med for anxiety. However, many with ADHD are anxious *because* of their untreated ADHD. So your doctor may elect to treat the underlying ADHD first. Sometimes, the anxiety lifts, but in many cases, meds for both conditions will be needed.

Hope this helps!

-Terry

 

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