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Amazon’s Prime Day is TODAY!

Posted on July 15, 2019

Today is Amazon Prime Day. Incredible discounts today only. If you’re not a Prime member, you can get a 3 month trial here.


25 ADHD Experts Share Their Expertise- Succeed with ADHD Telesummit! July 15-19, 2019

Posted on July 10, 2019

I am so excited to tell you about one of the biggest events of the summer – the 9th annual Succeed with ADHD Telesummit being held July 15-19. Here are the details:     

When: July 15-19, 2019

Where: From the comfort of your home, office, beach, lake house…anywhere you can get access via the phone or computer

How: You can be part of it by signing up HERE.

This 9th telesummit will continue providing you with benefits like:

Amazing speakers – 25 ADHD experts from around the world will be in the “interview booth” with Laurie Dupar of Coaching for ADHD and the iACTcenter and will share their unique exciting topics on ADHD destined to change your life!

Easy access – You sit back and get an email straight to your inbox each morning with a link to the 5 topics for that day. You listen to them free for 24 hours when another set will be sent for free.

Incredible value…and…FREE – The Succeed with ADHD Telesummit has always been…and will always be…free to listen to each for 24 hours.

Gifts just for joining – Yup…you get a SWAT Swag Bag when you save your spot. THIS YEAR LAURIE HAS MORE! More goodies in the SWAT (Succeed with ADHD Telesummit) Swag Bag with free stuff from VIP Telesummit Sponsor – Linda Roggli of ADHD Palooza – as well as gifts from other incredible sponsors like Shell Mendelson, Luz Jaramillo, Susan Lasky, Cathy Goett and Kelly Biltz – all delivered to your inbox just for joining in the fun!

New faces and resources from the worldwide ADHD community – people like Luz Jaramillo, Eliza Broadbent, Kate Bee, Lynn Miner-Rosen, Dr. Michelle Frank and Shaun Roney.

Some of your favorites – people like Alan Brown, Linda Roggli, Jeff Copper, ImpactADHD, Sharon Saline, Dr. Ari Tuckman, Shell Mendelson and so many more.

It’s time to grab your phone or join on the weblink for the largest most informative ADHD event of the summer.

Save your spot today and we’ll see you July 15-19!

P.S. The doors are open and you are invited to the 9th annual Succeed with ADHD Telesummit – save your spot here.


Tips for Getting (and Keeping) Your Home Organized

Posted on June 24, 2019

You may not realize that I also write for the website, Life Effects for Teva, so I thought I’d share a recent article that I wrote on home organizing, a favorite topic for many of my readers. Enjoy!

Tips for Getting (and Keeping) Your Home Organized

You walk into your home. All the dishes are neatly stacked in the cabinets. The sink is freshly scrubbed. The countertops are cleared of glasses, mail, and newspapers. Walking into your bedroom, your clothes are neatly hung up in the closet. The bed made with crisp, clean linens.

Your files in your home office are organized alphabetically and stored in two matching filing cabinets. On your tidy desk sits one small stack of bills, which you will pay on Sunday afternoon, like you always do.

The dog toys are contained in a small basket you keep next to your favorite recliner.

You’re home now, relaxing after work, and pleased that the laundry is done. You took care of that last night. The kids’ toys are placed in their labeled toy boxes, neatly stacked on their bedroom shelves.

All that’s left to do before you turn on your favorite TV show is to fold the three kitchen towels left over from last night and return them to the top drawer on the left, next to the sink.

Then your toddler starts to wail. Your brain shifts out of this wonderful daydream as you assess the actual situation at hand.

You forgot to turn the dryer on and now the baby has no clean, dry pajamas. The rest of the dirty clothes are flung over chairs or piled on the floor. Even worse, you forgot to plan tonight’s dinner. No wonder she’s crying.

Welcome to living as an adult with ADHD!

Continue reading HERE.


Medications: Addressing Parental Fears and Concerns

Posted on June 11, 2019

Recently, a parent came to me, conflicted over whether to follow her pediatrician’s recommendation of placing her young son on medication. His difficult behaviors had escalated in recent years and after trying behavioral strategies and food elimination diets, there simply hadn’t been much progress in his maintaining himself. His behavior at school was deteriorating to the point where the teachers were concerned about his progress academically, psychologically and socially. When the medication suggestion came up, Jane (not her real name) was distraught.

“Drugs scare me”, she said. “I guess it’s an option I need to think about, but I’m not happy about it”.

No parent loves the idea of using medications for children who are exhibiting behavioral problems and I believe that other strategies should be explored first, before reaching for the prescription pad. But for many, all the best parenting strategies, counseling sessions, elimination diets, exercise, etc. just may not be enough to help a child manage his/her behaviors- behaviors that can be dangerous to himself or others; behaviors that are unfortunately, out of his control, and that make him feel badly about himself. This poor self-regulation can cause him to be excluded socially, resulting in repeated reprimands, punishments, teasing and taunts till his self-esteem is totally shot.

We as Americans come from a mind set that if we’d just try HARDER, we can achieve anything. If we try harder, we can get into the top ranked university in the country. If we exert more effort, we can be the winning football team in the district. If we really wanted to, we can climb to the top of the socioeconomic ladder. If we put more effort into ourselves and into our children, we will embrace that American Dream of happiness, fortune and good health. Let’s not kid ourselves.

All the hard work in the world will not, with few exceptions, change a child’s neurology or biochemistry. Asking a child with, say attention deficit disorder, to try harder and concentrate, veritably backfires. Studies show that the part of the brain involved in executive functioning actually shuts down when forced to work harder than one is capable of doing.

The child with bipolar or other psychiatric conditions often simply can’t “turn off her feelings”. The autistic child who is overwhelmed by the onslaught of stimuli can’t always find ways to self-calm and self-regulate his behaviors.

Under these conditions, it’s important for parents to begin working through their own feelings about medications. Many reluctant parents worry that their child will be “drugged” into compliance. Or that he may become dependant or even addicted to medications. But in reality, what we discover is that these children NEED that external control- medication- to help them normalize. No child likes to feel out of control, different, depressed or anxious. Using medication as a way to help them feel IN control can change a child’s life drastically, not to mention the health of the entire family unit.

When parents refer to the word “drugs” in discussing medications, I remind them that the connotation is a negative one and that it might be helpful to explore their fears and anxieties. Medications, when used as directed by a physician can be a Godsend, giving a child control over himself and drastically improving his quality of life.

So next time you cringe at the idea of medication for your child, think about it more as an aide, like wearing eyeglasses. If we are near sighted, we can squint as hard as we can, but that doesn’t do much for improving our vision-we accept that there is a physical reason for our near sightedness and simply get fitted for glasses. Likewise, we need to recognize that when there is a chemical or neurological imbalance affecting our child’s happiness and well-being, we need to be open to the idea of exploring medications to help balance his biochemistry so he can gain better control of himself. It’s not a matter of trying harder; it’s offering a tool, like the eyeglasses.

That doesn’t mean that medications are always a magic bullet. We as parents still need to use behavioral strategies to help teach our kids appropriate ways to act. But until their neurology/biochemistry gets some medical support, it is often a waste of time to expect major changes.  Again, it’s like teaching our child to just “squint harder”.

Re-framing the idea of medications in this way may make it easier to accept your doctor’s suggestion. Questioning the professionals and their recommendations for medications is good. It shows that you care and that you want what is best for your child, rather than looking for a “quick fix”. You want to use all the tools in your toolbox to help your child live the best quality of life possible.


20 Ways to Say NO

Posted on May 26, 2019

Did you know that many adults with ADHD are people pleasers? We tend to say “yes” to requests we really don’t want to accept instead of turning people down, often because we don’t want to disappoint. I think a big part of that is because adults with ADHD have heard so many negative comments about themselves growing up- and even into adulthood- that we’ll do almost anything to avoid hearing that again. 

So we say – yes! I’d be HAPPY to chaperone the 6th grade trip to the museum (cringing at the thought of being stuck in a bus with 30 kids). Or Yes! I’d be happy to work the night shift (you may be a night owl, but you need your rest and not when the sun is out).

If you have ADHD, you need to learn how to say no. It can take a lot of practice, but below are some tips to help get you started.

The tips below
were written by professional organizer Ramona Creel, and which I published on my website way back in 2005, but find it still relevant to my ADHD readers. So, here it is again!

20 Ways To Say NO

Contributed by: Ramona Creel

I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF SEVERAL PROJECTS

  • let people know when you have accepted other responsibilities
  • no need to make excuses if you don’t have any free time
  • no one will fault you for having already filled your plate

I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THAT

  • you might be uncomfortable with any of a number of issues
  • the people involved, the type of work, the morale implications, etc.
  • this is a very respectful way to avoid a sticky situation

I AM NOT TAKING ON ANY NEW RESPONSIBILITIES

  • you aren’t saying that you will never help out again
  • just that you feel your schedule is as full as you would like now
  • understanding your limits is a talent to be expected

I AM NOT THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON FOR THE JOB

  • if you don’t feel that you have adequate skills, that’s okay
  • it’s better to admit your limitations up front
  • the best way to avoid feeling overwhelmed down the road

I DO NOT ENJOY THAT KIND OF WORK

  • life isn’t about drudgery — if you don’t enjoy it, why do it?
  • don’t be afraid to let someone know you just don’t want to
  • someone else is bound to enjoy the work you don’t

I DO NOT HAVE ANY MORE ROOM IN MY CALENDAR

  • be honest if your schedule is filled
  • “filled” doesn’t have to mean really filled
  • know when you are scheduled as much as you are willing and stop

I HATE TO SPLIT MY ATTENTION AMONG PROJECTS

  • let people know that you want to do a good job for them
  • but you can’t when your focus is too divided or splintered
  • you will be more effective if you focus on one project at a time

I HAVE ANOTHER COMMITMENT

  • it doesn’t matter what the commitment is
  • it can even simply be time to yourself or with friends or family
  • you don’t have to justify — you simply aren’t available

I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE WITH THAT

  • volunteering shouldn’t mean learning an entirely new set of skills
  • suggest that they find someone who has experience in that area
  • offer to help out with something that you already know how to do

I KNOW YOU WILL DO A WONDERFUL JOB YOURSELF

  • people often ask for help because they doubt their own abilities
  • let them know that you have confidence they will succeed
  • you are actually doing them a favor in the long run

I NEED TO FOCUS MORE ON MY PERSONAL LIFE

  • don’t be ashamed of wanting to spend time with your family
  • having a strong family is an important priority in and of itself
  • be willing to put your personal needs first

I NEED TO FOCUS ON MY CAREER RIGHT NOW

  • often, you have to focus your energies on a work-related task
  • you may have to give up some civic or community duties
  • if you don’t do it, someone else will take on the task

I NEED TO LEAVE SOME FREE TIME FOR MYSELF

  • it’s okay to be selfish — in a good way!
  • treat your personal time like any other appointment
  • block off time in your calendar and guard it with your life

I WOULD RATHER DECLINE THAN DO A MEDIOCRE JOB

  • know when you aren’t going to be able to deliver a quality product
  • the reason doesn’t matter — not enough time, wrong skills, etc.
  • whatever the reason is enough for turning a request down

I WOULD RATHER HELP OUT WITH ANOTHER TASK

  • saying no doesn’t mean that you can’t help at all
  • if someone asks you to do something you really despise, refuse
  • then offer to help with something you find more enjoyable

LET ME HOOK YOU UP WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN DO IT

  • if you aren’t available to help out, offer another qualified resource
  • helping to connect people is a valuable service to offer
  • make sure the person you refer will represent you well

NO

  • sometimes it’s okay to just say no!
  • just say it in a way that expresses respect and courtesy
  • leave the door open for good relations

NOT RIGHT NOW, BUT I CAN DO IT LATER

  • if you really want to help but don’t have time, say so
  • offer to help at a later time or date
  • if they can’t wait for you, they’ll find someone else

SOME THINGS HAVE COME UP THAT NEED MY ATTENTION

  • unexpected things happen that throw your schedule off
  • accept that you may need to make a few adjustments
  • it is temporary and you will have more time when life stabilizes

THIS REALLY IS NOT MY STRONG SUIT

  • it’s okay to admit your limitations
  • knowing what you can handle and what you can’t is a skill
  • your time will be more efficiently spent on something you do well

“Ramona Creel is Professional Organizer, NAPO Golden Circle Member, and the original founder of OnlineOrganizing. A former Social Worker, she has always enjoyed helping people find the resources and solutions they need to improve their lives. Read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order — at www.RamonaCreel.com


I’m an ADHD Expert — and I Still Struggle With ADHD

Posted on May 14, 2019

I remember years ago, being totally in awe of the ADHD “superstars”- researchers, authors, clinicians, and others in the field of ADHD who taught me so much about ADHD in adults and who inspired me to step into that world to also help people, particularly women, with ADHD.

It’s now been nearly 25 years since I began this journey, starting with teaching basic classes at local adult education programs, then volunteering at my local CHADD chapter. Slowly but surely, this led to me becoming active at ADDA where I even served for a while as its vice-president.

I found that I enjoyed writing, so my articles were published by not just ADDA and CHADD, but by ADDitude Magazine and other places as well. You can currently read my pieces at my blog and I’m a regular contributor at Teva Life Effects .

I launched ADDConsults.com back in 2000, so that I could help adults with ADHD regardless of their location, from India to Paris, Nashville to Norway. And finally, I began writing books: Survival Tips for Women with ADHD and the award winning The Queen of Distraction. Then came my popular online group coaching program, The Queens of Distraction.

You’d think from all these years of immersing myself in learning, writing, teaching, presenting on the topic of Women with ADHD, that I’d pretty much have gotten my life together. That I knew all the answers. That I had the perfect system for organizing my papers, my office, my home, my life.

You’d be guessing wrong.

I believe that if you allow yourself to become vulnerable, to express your personal truths, that it helps others to do the same. These are lessons I learned from the work of Sari Solden, MS, especially from her book, Women with Attention Deficit Disorder, whose gems pre-date the work of the popular Brene’ Brown by decades. It was her work that brought me full force into the world of women with ADHD, so I have a lot to thank her for! Please do read her books and guess what? She has a new one being released July 1 that she co-wrote with Dr. Michelle Frank. You can pre-order A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD: Embrace Neurodiversity, Live Boldly, and Break Through Barriers HERE.

In the meantime, allow me to shake off my “expert” status and give you a tour of the real Terry Matlen and how I still am affected by my own ADHD. You can read more about my personal ADHD journey, “I’m an ADHD Expert — and I Still Struggle”, originally published in the Summer 2019 issue of ADDitude Magazine, which you can also read online on their website at https://bit.ly/2YuTCnc or simply read the article below.

_______________________________________________________________________

I’m an ADHD Expert — and I Still Struggle With ADHD

Just because you’re an expert in helping others with ADHD doesn’t mean you don’t struggle with the condition yourself. Here are the ways I grapple with inattentive ADD, and why I refuse to let my symptoms define me.

BY TERRY MATLEN

Reviewed on May 10, 2019

I always know where my keys are. I don’t generally lose things. I remember to lock the doors at night. I’m almost always early for appointments and meetings. I earned two college degrees.

I’ve written two books on women with attention deficit disorder(ADHD or ADD), and I am considered an expert in the field.

And I have ADHD.

People say, “How can that be? You seem so together! Even your socks match.”

I was diagnosed with inattentive ADD almost 25 years ago. And though I’ve dedicated my professional life to helping other women with ADD, I, too, struggle with the condition.

ADHD doesn’t go away after you use the pretty polka dot planner or the calendar with the cute stickers and matching pen. It doesn’t go away with medication, meditation, or magical gadgets to keep you on track. ADHD is generally a life-long condition that can affect anyone: a bus driver, teacher, surgeon, writer, or rock star. And it affects each of us in different ways.

[Self-Test: Inattentive ADHD Symptoms in Adults]

My ADHD: Anxiety Over Being Late, Lost, Left Behind

I’m never late because I’m so anxious about being late. I arrive with lots of time to spare to alleviate a sense of panic, a panic driven by ADHD. I keep my eyes on the clock so that I’m not embarrassed by lateness. The fear of being judged keeps me on my toes, but what a price I pay for that.

As I said, I never lose my keys. If I do lose something, though, I can recall where I misplaced it. I’ve learned to visualize where I last had the object in my hands.

I remember the name of the clerk who filled my script yesterday at CVS, but I don’t remember the name of the woman who sat next to me for two hours, making fascinating conversation at a recent party. My word retrieval is worsening with age: “You know, that thing you boil water in? Oh, yes, a teapot. Thanks.”

I did well in school until I hit sixth grade and moved to another district, where I could not keep up academically or socially. It got worse from there. With the help of a kind adult who cared about my future, I was provisionally accepted into college. That’s when I took off. My secret (I did not know I had ADHD or even know what it was) was to take courses I had an interest in. I learned to sidestep classes I knew I’d struggle with or fail. I’m sure many of you have done that dance. Instead of going into psychology and earning a Ph.D., where I’d have to take statistics (my math skills are nil), I turned to social work. My love of people and wanting to help the less fortunate made me a good candidate for that kind of degree.

Not to say I didn’t struggle. There was still a required statistics class that almost did me in. My husband got me through it. I’m not proud to admit how much he had to help me.

[Free Resource: Get Control of Your Life and Schedule]

What Is Your Flavor of ADHD? Mine Is Inattentive

My flavor of ADHD means that I shut down easily. If someone asks me to bring food to an upcoming gathering, I nearly pass out. What does that mean? How much food? What kind of food? I’ve passed on many invitations, out of fear of not knowing what to bring.

This leads me to clothes, the other reason for declining many social activities. Deciding what to wear (unless I’m home and out of view of anyone besides my family) is excruciating. Many people might laugh at this, but it’s true. Packing for a trip takes me a week. It involves making lists, trying on outfits, checking the weather daily to determine what to bring. Then I forget what I packed, only to have to start over.

Planning daily meals when my children were young made me feel like the worst parent in the world. I couldn’t figure it out. A meal isn’t typically one thing. It usually involves three things: a main dish and two sides. To me, that was like making three meals each night. My failure at meal prep took a toll on my self-esteem. I’d talk to my sister-in-law on the phone. She is also a mother of two, and she could talk me through cooking things. If that isn’t a magic trick, I don’t know what is.

To make matters worse, my kids were picky eaters and nothing was acceptable to both of them on any given night. Feeding involves nurturing and love, yet I fell short and felt like a terrible mother. I remember one child fussing because I had put butter on her pasta, while the other beamed over her butter-covered plate of penne.

My ADHD Doesn’t Define Me

We each have our own ADHD profile. Some of us lose things. Some of us say things out of turn. Some of us are so inattentive that we could sit for hours watching clouds go by. That’s what I did as a 10-year-old. The world slipped by while I made cloud pictures in the sky, lying on the cool green grass, enjoying the breeze blowing through my hair.

I won’t forget my 6 p.m. meeting tomorrow night. I’ll be there early and ready to go. But I won’t be able to concentrate because, more than likely, my clothes will make me feel uncomfortable. I may have a headache because the weather is changing. I won’t be able to hear what people are saying, because I can’t filter out other sounds and will be terribly distracted.

As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve learned an important lesson: ADHD doesn’t define me. I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and now a grandmother with an ADHD brain. I can choose to focus on my challenges, or I can celebrate my strengths. I raised two wonderful daughters who care more about people’s feelings and well-being than what I cooked for them when they were kids.

I make paintings that are shown in galleries. I play five instruments, all self-taught. I write. I am, I think, a good friend. I have a good marriage (yes, that takes work, but most things do). I like to think that I help other people, like you, like me.

And I have ADHD.


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.