WHP 003 – Lockdown again, depression and structure

Hi everyone, words have power was supposed to be more frequently than what seems to be bi-yearly, but here I am, finally with a chance to write more from my own thoughts. I spend so much time lately, with my peer-boundary there, that I forget I am a peer too. That this was supposed to always be a blog and WHP was my chance to go off topic in true ADHD fashion but never had chance/opportunity to just pour it out.

Since I started ‘Jenn has ADHD’ it has had varying impacts on my life. This venture has also begun in a strange time in everyone’s lives. In the middle of a pandemic. Not what anyone imagined for themselves, or could had predicted, which also makes figuring out the future also hard to work out. Which is part of what has been impacting on me the most in hindsight. This is my 5th lockdown now, I think. But our 2nd level 4 which is the highest level. I wont be seeing anyone else for sometime.

With this double change to my life, being ‘Jenn has ADHD’ keeps me very busy and having what was my regular kind of routine which involved being part of the outside world has been disruptive to say the least. Since I wrote last about my depression I think my cat was still alive, since I lost my cat I have been on SSRI medications and never really recovered any kind of routine since.

With my cat actually being a huge part of my daily routine and now having all this free time, I didn’t do much of what I considered constructive. The SSRI for my depression which snuck up on me during this time has helped a lot with the emotional side, being stable in general has been the main improvement during this year.

But I have spent most of this year with only focus being ‘Jenn has ADHD’ project – at this point needs another nickname as it accompanies so much more and I feel like I am always addressing this whole thing in a 3rd person “Jenn has ADHD” sounds like a foreign object rather than part of myself which it actually is.

I swore by now in August 2021 I would had some kind of work from home routine, that I would be on top of my SSRI situation, but nothing really seems to progress far past the inception of the idea. Action and follow through has just disappeared. With Lockdown here now and a lot of the autonomy or plans for outside autonomy now gone, it makes me reflect again on what I value and have I been wasting my time while frozen and buffering and resting.

Taking SSRI meds and my cat passing away (plus other personal matters) happening one after the other during this time and it’s actual impact on my head space is no joke. With ADHD making it difficult to process, organize, prioritize what to do next, because I have all this head noise now to filter through first, many external things have not been actioned.

My partner going through all this with me, minus the ADHD, I only now realized how hard this must had been too, having me on his mind while also going directly through and indirectly through shared challenges. It’s been a tough year. And even with Lockdown being very disruptive to both of our lives and another thing thrown on top of daily life obstacles, it’s kept me preoccupied. And I dunno if this is my ADHD talking or my Autistic self but I feel like it seems like I like total sympathy and empathy when all I think about is long term goals that this whole thing and everything I am doing will help us both. But forget that the journey is hard and I need to be more present.

It really does consume my life though. My day with my new “job” is, wake up, grab my phone off the bed stand, open my messenger chat to see how many notifications for the moderating chats are, open my FB, check to see notifications. That way I know how my day will begin. This is not good or constructive but it is a reality of sorts that I have to deal with but as I mentioned struggle to order or prioritize what that will look like daily as a real routine/structured day that is healthy.

Lockdown thrown into that thought process where I had to think all this out for weeks-months on end before I can take a single step has almost set me back to my original thought process. Probably perhaps why I am writing this blog post, this is yet another way to externalize “what to do next” the importance of getting that out and why I struggle to do it is part of what life with ADHD is like.

But I have lack of hyperfocus in general. My energy levels are still not stable with my current medication. Making it very difficult to make good decisions and look after myself. I just manage the minimum for everything still, but it is an improvement on the stand still I had where I spent most part of the day crying or not being able to be at home.

So far, I signed up for a new gym, sorted out some financial situations, got a lot of paperwork done, read a whole book, bought a few bits and pieces that were really needed in my home like fresh towels – a brand new kettle, the first one I ever bought myself. I deep cleaned about 80% of the house.

That is a lot by standards of it didn’t amount of nothing. But there is always the nagging voice in my head telling me it isn’t enough. I still search for new systems and something to inspire me to “finally get my life together”. I am always fighting this idea that this is a possible reality for me as a “disabled” person. That my disorder doesn’t literally conflict with the idea of ever having “my life together”. But there are ebbs and flows. Moments in my life where stuff is together. It’s getting there again, but for me it is usually accompanied by a hyper focus in an idea or even a feeling. It drives me, excites me, I get up every day for it and devote myself to it and my life around it. But because I do not have that thing that is “touching that special dopamine spot” the work to do what needs to be down feels impossible.

Does anyone else feel like that sometimes? #apeerasks hahah for real though, A peer asks has been eye opening for me too, I an only post questions that can be answered by peers and I know at least relates to life with ADHD from my own lived experience, but I definitely have so much to learn. I read so many amazing responses every day. I should compile the good ones. “Great advice I read from ADHD peers in my comments section” – maybe that should be the next blog…

But seriously, getting my life together as an ADHD person feels like a pipe dream I am forever chasing, the thing that inspires me the least some how. If only my hyperfocus could be that. How come that the things that would help me the most are the things I just cannot bring myself to do. That they seem so insanely impossible to get my head around. It makes me feel stupid even though I know I know the answers. So riding that edge of the next thing right now until that next thing hits. Wish me luck!

I guess my next steps really are seeing a Dr again. I need to re evaluate my SSRI meds, I need to get my covid vaccine too, but none of that will be happening until we finish Lockdown which at this point might be another week. It’s funny how life seems to push my deadlines out so between no and then and then actually going to the Dr how much of my life will actually improve?

Other steps I am taking though is drinking more water. Trying to fix my sleep. They are definitely lacking and any time I neglect them my ADHD flares up. To be fair my PMS hormones throwing me about too, I forget the power they have where it makes me feel like my medication isn’t even working and as I write this, just went through a week of it and I need to remember and feel again what I am usually like before I start making judgement calls on why I might feel crap now compared to last few weeks.

I wanted to say something more insightful or thoughtful in this post but I guess my message here is to keep up self reflection, externalize what cannot be internalized regarding decisions and feelings. Trying to get always get better at doing this but there is also acceptance. I’m almost 10 years deep to my ADHD diagnosis and I am still very much still accepting it’s presence and it’s presentation in my life.

Till next time,

Jenn

Published by Jenn has ADHD

Jenn Parker, New Zealand. ADHD Advocate and Peer. jennhasadhd.com

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