My ADHD Coaching Journey: 10


Understanding Unconditional Love

A dedication to my late Mum, a truly remarkable woman.

The 1st of April is a very special day for me. It is the day in 2006 I met Dave and learned about ADHD for the first time, but it is also my Mother's birthday. Today she would have been 94.

Mum was 85 when I told her about my diagnosis of ADHD and her response blew me away. Always down to earth, supremely no-nonsense and practical, I expected her to tell me to stop talking nonsense and get my life sorted.

Instead she said, "it explains so much about my own life" and she wanted to know more. I gave her a copy of our audio book, "I'm Audacious, Original and Innovative ... I Have ADHD" to listen to and with her typical enquiring mind she asked lots of questions.

Mum, having been brought up in a Victorian style family, struggled to express love and emotion demonstratively. My 6 siblings and I grew up learning to "do the right thing", being of service to others and putting our own needs last.

Sadly when she came to live with me after Dad died, I took her in as a sense of duty. As a wife and working Mom with 2 young children I did not have the emotional maturity to understand what she was going through. Neither of us had learned to communicate our feelings and for 4 years we lived together in mutual silent resentment. She was lonely and lost in a strange town with few friends no doubt knowing she was a burden. I was consumed with guilt that I was impatient and intolerant. Our conflict resolution skills were zero.

Read more: My ADHD Coaching Journey: 10

My ADHD Coaching Journey: 12

Some Hard Truths

Writing this series of My ADHD Coaching Journey blogposts is giving me a much needed kick in the rear end.

I have dug out my old ADHD Coaching notes and re-looked at the goals I set for myself in 2006 and started to do an audit of of where I am now in April 2015. I also came across a Personal Profile Analsysis (PPA) done in 1998 when I was the Financial Director of our family owned business. This report played a significant role in my decision to start a new life as a single woman after 25 years marriage.

Yes, I have made massive changes but I have also slipped back into old habits and some behaviour that I have yet to master for the first time.

The key theme in the PPA was, and largely still is, my inability to deal with conflict, to be assertive and to set tough goals for myself. To avoid conflict I became a follower. Drifting along fitting in with others and following their dreams instead of creating my own.

Yes I was (and am) interested in everything but my passion has been limited to mastering the skills and moving on preferably on the coat tails of someone else.

Too scared to stand up and say this is me and this is what I want. Too scared to offend others. But I also realised I am afraid of success.

As with all change, mine has happened in fits and starts. I know that overall I have made great progress but it is time for me to take another leap forward.

Read more: My ADHD Coaching Journey: 12

My ADHD Coaching Journey: 13

Mind-mapping my way to Goals

The ADHD brain is random. We do not think in bulleted, ordered lists. We will be sitting in class or in a meeting and whoever is speaking will, for example, be talking about money. As soon as we hear the word "money" our thought processes may proceed something like this:

"Damn, I haven't paid the phone bill and now it is going to be cut off, I promised to phone Sue to organise that dinner party. What was it that her husband doesn't eat? I am supposed to be baking a cake for my son's cricket match. Did he remember to pack all his kit? What time did he say I must be there?"

"Sorry Jo, what was that you were saying about money?"

The sooner we accept that we are distracted and that our brains are random, the quicker we are able to learn ways to manage our lives better without getting into quite so much trouble.

Read more: My ADHD Coaching Journey: 13

My ADHD Coaching Journey: 14

Managing time so it doesn't manage you

TimerProbably the biggest complaint about those who have ADHD is poor time management.

  • Can't get up in the morning
  • Always late for appointments
  • Homework is late
  • Deadlines missed
  • Procrastination

ADDers have the ability to hyper-focus and get so wrapped up in what they are doing that they forget everything else. We also have difficulty in estimating how long a task will take. To make ourselves feel good we will take on more than we should and we run out of time.

Read more: My ADHD Coaching Journey: 14

My ADHD Coaching Journey: 15

The Why Factor

Why Illustration"BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

Any parent who can honestly say that they have never used those words is either a liar or on the fast track to Sainthood.

Nature is cruel. The "why" phase starts when Moms and Dads are at their most vulnerable. This is inevitably when we are exhausted as our little darlings have not yet learned that 8 hours sleep a night is desirable; our precious possessions are being systematically destroyed as we lose the race to childproof our homes; Moms if they are fortunate enough to stay at home are grieving the loss of careers and freedom and Dads are wondering how the heck they are going to earn enough to feed an extra mouth on one salary instead of two.

For most Moms, staying home is not an option so there is the added burden of trying to be wife, mother, domestic worker and crust earner too.

The first couple of "Why" questions rapidly become a game for the toddler who revels in the reactions from Mom and Dad. Manipulation is one of the first achievements of many children.

Read more: My ADHD Coaching Journey: 15