When you are young, your potential and opportunities to develop yourself are endless. You have plenty of time to bounce around and try new things, which is great for the ADHD brain because it thrives on change, excitement, and drama. Some, are able to find a way to maintain this flexibility throughout their lives and leverage their energy for great accomplishments. The rest of us, however, eventually settle into a relatively normal adult life, or at least try our best to give it a go.
As one matures, typical accomplishments may include marriage, a family, debt, a degree in something specific, a career, a mortgage, or any number of adult entrapments. With each commitment, life becomes more stable and routine. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and for most, it represents building a successful life. However, if your brain craves the unexpected and change, and finds that the most exciting thing it’s experiencing is writing a huge check for the mortgage payment, you may be left with a lurking feeling like something is wrong, even though it’s not.
Once the ADHD brain gets bored, it might create problems just to keep you on your toes. Typical brain misbehavior to create drama includes:
- Making perpetually late payments on bills (even though you have money and set daily reminders) just because getting late notices is exciting
- Dating or marrying someone (thankfully not in my case) who is not healthy for you to be with because it’ll be a source of never ending drama
- Spacing out at work to the point of falling behind on projects because working under an impossible deadline is stimulating
I’ve learned through experience how to deal with the impish ADHD brain. In the beginning I just thought there was something wrong with me but once diagnosed, I’ve become aware of my brain’s antics and how it uses emotions to trick one into thinking things are OK when they’re not, or vice versa. My weapons? Post-it notes, MS Outlook and Excel, iPhone, phone reminders, writing, and my trusty organizer.
The problem is, now I’ve reached a certain age when I’ve begun to question whether or not I’m too stable, too stuck in a rut, and if there isn’t something to the little nagging voice that’s complaining of boredom. It’s one thing to be stable, it’s another to be static and deny my own nature to the point of being less than I could be.
The other day, I came across something that made me think; could have been a pin on Pinterest, or something on Facebook. Anyway, it said something along the lines of do something every day that makes you a better you. It’s already been proven that trying new things and setting obtainable goals is stimulating and very healthy for your brain and emotional health. So why not?
I realized that in the past five years, it’s been about survival, and things have been pretty static. And they don’t have to be. Although we’re on a budget, there are lots of free or inexpensive adventures to be had, or new things to learn. I simply have to make sure that I don’t pile too much on my plate in doing so, thus adding to my already high stress level and negating any positive effects of trying new things.
So, it’s time to think of some personal development goals and get cracking.