I hate formal events like weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, showers; anything that requires dressing up, small talk chatting, especially when I can’t hear what guests are saying, loud music, flashing dance lights, foods that take three days to digest, and chocolate-covered fruit at the dessert table. Oh, and nuts that have been mauled by all those fingers.
I also detest (and avoid) manicures, pedicures, and clothes shopping. I recoil at the thought of pre-ceremony events like out-of-towners parties, brunches, and special hair styling. Oh, and trying to find the perfect gift and then wrapping it? I am all thumbs when it comes to paper, scissors, and tape. That children’s game, Rock, Paper, Scissors was named for me and my total incompetence when it comes to gift wrapping.
I freak when people stop by unannounced, and I haven’t had a chance to hide my clutter or sweep up the avalanche of furballs and bunnies.
The Pandemic has removed all of these activities from my life this past year and I couldn’t be happier.
I was talking to a friend of mine via email about ADHD and how the pandemic has altered her life, as it has just about everyone’s. She admitted sheepishly that though she’s thrilled the vaccines are rolling out and hopefully allowing us to return to some sort of normalcy soon, she quite enjoyed a year of downtime.
And I agree. For me, anyway.
Of course, we are heartsick for those who lost their lives during this horrific year. There are no words to comfort those who lost loved ones or who were severely sickened by this awful virus.
On the other hand…
For many of us with ADHD, especially the introverted inattentive type, there’s been a sense of relief: no last-minute frenetic scurrying to get the house de-cluttered for guests.
No large gatherings where we might have to deal with boredom, shyness, maybe even outright anxiety at such events.
On the plus side of the pandemic are:
- Not having to worry about makeup (yay!).
- Getting away with not shampooing for days (Ok, let’s be honest: and other grooming routines).
- Being able to work from home in pajamas.
- Sleeping in late.
- A bare calendar.
- No massive holiday dinners to prepare or attend.
There are indulgences, too:
Take- out meals
Not worrying so much about the state of your home.
This isn’t to downplay the hardships many have endured- those of you who have lost income, or worse- your job. Losing your home, your car, your credit card. Or worrying about getting ill or losing someone to the virus. Or depression. Anxiety. Relying on alcohol for comfort. Loneliness. The list goes on.
A lot has been written about this. But I wanted to discuss the other side of the coin- the good news for those of us with ADHD, hypersensitivities, anxiety, and such… because not much is said about it. Why? I think it’s because people feel guilty about sharing the positives of hunkering down and taking a step back when the world seems to be in shambles.
We who crave our quiet time, have the opportunity to self-reflect. To express ourselves in creative ways. My friend, above, has been spending her days making art. I have, too, and recorded a song I wrote for my grandson.
Other people I know have deepened their relationships with loved ones, knowing how easy it is to lose people close to them. I’ve seen copious amounts of creativity being expressed.
The pace has slowed down for many, and though virtual schooling is extremely hard for moms with ADHD, many have reported a deepening in their relationship with their children.
What are some of the positives you’ve experienced this past year? Please share in the comment section below.
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Thanks got this article Terry! I agree with you that even though this past year has been a hard one for many with sickness and loss of loved ones as well as loss of jobs and income , there are some possitive!
For me , I too have enjoyed the time alone with my husband with no visitors , fewer appointments and virtual appointments too! We have had several family Zooms which included some Neice’s and Nephews and their children!
But their are some real possitive for me ! am so thankful for ADDA! Virtually, I have met and worked with and shared ideas with so many people about their ADHD and my ADHD! I have also been teaching preschool virtually part time and after 40 years of teaching in person children, I love this new unique way of teaching😎
Hi Annette! Thanks for your response! I didn’t know you were teaching again- how cool! But yes, I think it’s ok to say we’re doing ok (if we ARE doing ok). Now that’s a mouthful.
Here’s the link to ADDA for those who would like to connect there: http://www.ADD.org
Thanks again for your comment. 🙂
Yes and I can’t see myself going back. Early retirement? Maybe not so ridiculous. I’ve been able to reach out to people that have slipped out of my life because of eternal business. I’m not grateful for the virus, I’ve lost loved ones, and friends/family have as well. I do like it when the mad rush settles down. That is completely true. Why does a pandemic have to be the thing that makes the world slow down?
Such a good point: it took a pandemic for us to slow down and reassess our lives. There are lessons to be learned here, eh?
Thanks for your comment!
Terry I couldn’t agree with this more! I just wrote an email about this, too. My son and I have had a great year, he’s happier, I’m less stressed. Even with my husband home we aren’t squabbling here at home. It’s been so nice to not have to get dressed, or go to in-person events where I have to look good. I mean I miss having a nice dinner out, or brunch with friends – but I know I’ll get the chance to do it soon.
I enjoy a slower lifestyle, and I’m coming around to accepting that. A packed calendar was bad for my brain, anyway.
I get more done when I’m less stressed.
Liz, I am so with you on all of this! So now that we are learning more about ourselves and our needs, how do we make necessary changes moving forward? That’s something to really think about. Thanks for sharing!
YES! YES! YES!!!!! I almost hate it when someone asks me how I’ve been doing during this whole new crazy world we’re in right now! My reason for feeling guilty is slightly different than others though. Instead of feeling guilty, but relieved that I don’t have to be as busy as usual, I’m feeling that way because “not much has changed in my life”. I’m a happy introvert. I’m never bored because I can always find things to do to “dawdle” my days away with. I love crafting, especially anything to do with photography. So my life really hasn’t change much in the last year. BUT… it has given me “permission” to “dawdle” without feeling guilty about it…because everyone else in most of the world is kind of in the same place. I particularly loved being able to sit and do jigsaw puzzles at the beginning, when so many others were doing the same thing. I could enjoy doing them without feeling guilty about “wasting time”. I know there has been a lot of hardship in the last year though…and I’m extremely thankful that my family and I are all doing pretty well. My guilt for not feeling like my life has really changed is real though. But now…can we talk about those dang masks…and how HARD it is for me to wear one!!!!
Heather- thanks for sharing all of this. I think it’s good that we can all say, “HEY- this has actually been a RELIEF for me!” It’s a relief! (as you so well put it).
Now to deal with the guilt. Here’s a point:
We with ADHD struggle with daily things that generally come easier to those without ADHD. We’ve been given a year to chill, to not have to work SO HARD at living up to our (and others’) expectations of how we should look, how our houses should look, and much more, like dealing with daily rushing to get to places (often late), worrying if we’re looking or doing things inappropriately.
So our next task, besides “coming out” by saying the pandemic hasn’t been so awful for us (not including those who have gotten ill or lost a loved one, of course), that this has been a time for us to actually embrace. And maybe even rejoice. I wonder if we can be OK with saying: I’m doing OK!
Yes! Love this part of your response! “We’ve been given a year to chill, to not have to work SO HARD at living up to our (and others’) expectations of how we should look, how our houses should look, and much more, like dealing with daily rushing to get to places (often late), worrying if we’re looking or doing things inappropriately.” I “think” I’m OK with saying that “I’m doing OK”? My motto has always been “You do what’s right for you” (within the parameter of being considerate, polite and following the law). I think my biggest area of guilt has been hearing about the many, many things people have accomplished (projects etc) during this past year. There’s so much I could have done…but didn’t.
Heather, I think that might be my next article- how we’re being so harsh on ourselves for not getting all of those things done on our Pandemic To-Do list. My take on this is that even for those of us who are/were happy to be home, we still were, at some level, dealing with trauma. And also at some level, we were experiencing- most of us- anxiety, depression, grief, fear, etc., even though we were glad to be home.
And with all that comes a sense of exhaustion at some level. Plus, ADD doesn’t disappear in a Pandemic. It’s hard to get to projects even when we have time for them.
Just my take-
I couldn’t agree more. I have really enjoyed a stress free life. Allowing me to relax and just be me. Do what I want when I want -or not.
No stress to conform.
I am not sure if I will be able to go back to the old ways.
Good for you for being able to put that out there! I love that you can feel comfortable with who you are! Let’s all work on that once we come out of hibernation! Thanks for sharing!
I must be weird one i love being around people but not at my house of course. i miss the interaction i have with people and miss not seeing their faces (i read people this way). so i am lost if i can’t see their faces. i am someone who loves going to new places and this has hindered this for too long. i feel isolated and not having any fun now. im a i can’t sit still kind of adhd so this has been hard on me. but i do love my quiet time too, but that is not to be because my guys are always home and i do mean always. that kind of gets on my nerves. anyway i understand the not having to do things part which i agree i love. its the not getting out part i miss the most.
I can imagine how hard it is for those who are not introverted homebodies. You’ve lost your social connections and the ability to go places, plus you have family at home and don’t even get to enjoy quiet time. I feel for you! Hopefully, things will soon calm down enough so you can return to your more social life. Thanks for showing us the other side of the coin!
Greetings all. Thank you Terry! I, like others, was keeping this secret to myself. Coupled with a relationship change about 6 years ago, the COVID-19 life adaptations added to my most happy years EVER (mid & late 50s)! Yet I dare not reveal my secret! Afterall it was a worldwide pandemic that caused unprecedented pain! Your blog, Terry, helped me to understand that I was not alone, plus I had shelved my ADHD studies along with “the tribe” that assures me I’m not alone…and well…now those grimy kitchen handles that didn’t bother me before ARE seriously grossing me out. 😉 Crystal (no reply needed)
Thanks for your post, Crystal. I smiled at that last sentence. Well, we’re safe here to talk about our little Pandemic secret. I imagine there are many, many more who feel too guilty about it to openly share it. But I’ve heard plenty from others who feel as we do. 🙂