It’s true. I flunked carry out dinner.

If you’ve been following my newsletters, read my book or attended one of my conference or webinar sessions, you know that I’m a big fan of carry out dinners if you’re the type of woman with ADD who, like me, gets totally lost in the kitchen. I swear, I could use a compass from the time I enter the grocery store in a frenzied sweat, to my kitchen, pulling out the equipment needed to make a dinner. Everything is just jumbled in my ADD brain- do I have all the ingredients? Which size baking dish do I need? Which is the middle rack in the oven? How do you determine ½ of a recipe? Oh, it just makes my head spin.

Luckily, my husband prefers take out food (should I be happy or hurt?) and we visit the nice little market down the road frequently. One night, he brought home a nice poached salmon dinner for me. Since I’m (still- ugh) watching my diet, I generally eat about ½ portions at each meal. Did I say ugh? As I took a knife to cut the salmon in half, the entire piece of fish smashed  into a million disgusting pieces, flying right off the counter,  at which point I yelled out in frustration: I can’t believe it- I just flunked Take Out. 

He laughed. Hard. Which made me laugh. Hard. But in that sentence was a nibble of sadness, a feeling of defeat. Even with all the work I’ve done to accommodate my ADHD and passing those tips on to you and others, I still at times get that little twinge you are probably all familiar with: why is this so hard? What is wrong with me?

The difference is, those thoughts are fleeting now. Years ago, they would define me, remind me that I was “incompetent” or even dumb. Now, it becomes one of our ADD family jokes: “haaa…I can’t even cut a piece of food that someone else made.”

It’s time to throw away the self-blame, the self-consciousness and remember: this is how our brain works. It’s not a definition of our character or what we are, it’s only part of who we are.

Next time, I’ll order shish kabob on a stick, thank you.