Be kind to yourself. Stop telling yourself that whatever you are struggling with “should” be easy. If something is hard for you, it is hard for you. There are probably Reasons, though those may just be how you are wired. Acknowledge these things. When you finish something hard, be proud! Celebrate a little.
And really, just stop saying “should” to yourself about your thoughts and feelings in any context. You feel how you feel. The things in your head are the things in your head. You can’t change either directly through sheer force of will. You can only change what you do. Stop beating yourself up for who and what you are right now–it isn’t productive. Focus on moving forward.— How to keep moving forward, even when your brain hates you (via mental-wellness)
my cat could throw up every hour on the hour and soak everything i own in urine and i would still cuddle her & say “sweet little baby” & get to work washing my bedding again
How I Use My Brain’s Love for Order to My Advantage
I have not technically been diagnosed with much of anything, but I absolutely 100% have & have received medication for several fun interlocking anxiety disorders (panic disorder, GAD, social phobia) and there is a strong likelihood that I have Asperger’s and ADHD. If you’re the type that doesn’t like to acknowledge people whose brain idiosyncrasies haven’t been officially canonized, then idk just know that I have a slightly different setup than some. I can’t say what symptom goes where, but because of these brain things, I and probably other similarly arranged people experience distraction, inertia, trouble focusing on one thing, problems getting started on and switching between activities, issues with time management…basically, executive function problems & related stuff. I am in college. I am an accounting major. This causes a lot of trouble for me, because I need to study, at length, every day, if I have any hope of passing, let alone doing well in, my accounting classes.
I recently, finally, hit upon a technique that seems to be helping, so I wanted to share if anyone is interested (I’m sure neurotypicals could also find this useful). It grew out of my existing strategy of, basically, talking to myself. Not out loud usually, but if necessary I will. Sometimes, especially in the morning or after getting back from class, I’ll just be kind of sitting there in a fog of must-do-things-but-how and instead of doing the things I’ll just stare blankly at my phone & the TV at cirkadian's place until it's time to go to class/bed. This is not good. This is a waste of time and I don't even really enjoy it — if I'm going to not study or clean, I want to be pursuing my own interests, not spacing out and being bored. So I activate the gentle voice in my head that sometimes also does “talking myself down from anxiety” duty, and say nicely but firmly to myself, “Okay, this is what we're doing.” And then I give myself instructions, one thing at a time, and usually, it helps me get going. Ex. “Okay, you're going to get up. Now go upstairs.” “Now get a towel from your bedroom.” “Now get the shower things out of the cabinet.”
Now, this strategy works much better with a written plan behind it. For me, at least, a written plan of action is not necessary for something like taking a shower, but for some it may be. Since obtaining medication for my sleep disorder, I wake up at the same time every day (6am) because routine helps me to figure out what I should be doing. I’ve been working on scheduling my time into a routine that I can use every day. Right now, it goes something like this:
6am: Wake up & make breakfast
7am: Take Provigil (my vigilance-promoting meds to keep me awake)
7 to 9am: Clean (right now I’m working on a weekly chore rotation to put in here) & do whatever
9am: Treadmill (5 out of 7 days a week)
At that point, I would most likely get dressed for class if it’s a school day and then spend the rest of my pre-class time studying. The morning is easier to completely control for me, because after class other people are around and I get distracted more easily. My routine is still a work in progress. However, it has already improved the chances that on any given day I will a) work out & shower and b) not start cleaning and just continue cleaning obsessively until I run out of time to study. Not only does this plan dictate when I will START things, but when I will FINISH, which I also have difficulty with. Normally I want to work at something until I feel like it’s “done,” but that is not really possible if I want to do anything other than cleaning, reading this book, watching every season of this show etc. on a particular day. To this daily schedule I want to add a weekly one, which will include what chores to do on what day, a day to get groceries & prepare food ahead of time for the week, etc. Ideally this will lead to steady cleanliness and food, so I don’t have to clean the whole house at once or run out of groceries & eat McDonalds for a week til I can go again.
If you are like me and you find organizing things, a sense of order, and clear instructions/boundaries to be incredibly satisfying and pleasurable, you will get the extra kick of “having a plan” “knowing what’s expected of you” “having everything under control” “being efficient” “accomplishing things” out of this. I supplement this plan with stacks and stacks of to-do lists that help me remember individual things I want to do within this framework (during cleaning time, I need to do the dishes, clean the litter box, etc; during study time, I have these assignments etc). I kind of think of it as my “external hard drive”: my brain is very good at abstract thinking, and I consider it a strength, but my brain is not well equipped to come up with plans on the fly, and if I want to follow a plan, it should be on paper.
So, I hope this helps someone! Or at least helps you think about how you can similarly get your brain to cooperate with you in the way that it likes. Here are some other things to think about on this topic:
p.s. I find it kind of funny that my morning routine is basically a system for processing me from just-woke-up to ready-to-study. It’s so accounting major of me. You were wrong Myers-Briggs career chart! INFJs can be good accountants!
secret government agent: tell me right now, do aliens smoke weed
mulder: [tied to a chair in a dark room] i wont ever tell you this
secret government agent: *punches mulder in the face* what kind of weed do aliens smoke
mulder: *spits blood on the agent*
secret government agent: where can i buy this dank ass space weed
mulder: fuck you
hayzaay said: yaaaay I’m so happy for you!
I’M SO HAPPY FOR ME TOO!! no but thank you! there is some question about whether i’m going to continue having a prescription…but i’m choosing to not think about that right now haha. my sleep doctor wants me to use provigil for a month & then like…go to a sleep behavioral psychologist? but i literally just don’t get what that’s going to do, at all. fortunately if she presses it i’m going to probably just drop the issue since a) i already canceled the psychologist appt and b) my general doctor already said he’d write me a prescription if i need it. lol