It’s summer and HOT here in the Pacific Northwest so I’ve been obsessing about ways to stay cool and particularly swimming.
Some people are natural-born swimmers. They can jump into the deep end of the pool and instinctively move their arms and legs so they gracefully get to where they can stand up.
Others jump into the water and sink. Or panic and flail around.
Many of us need an instructor, or floaties, so we can learn how to stay afloat and swim.
If you’ve been reading this blog for the last couple of weeks, you probably know what analogy I’m about to make. ADHD coaching is like that swimming instructor / floatation device. Working with an ADHD coach as part of a group or as an individual will help you live easier with ADHD. You’ll learn new skills, build new habits and systems, and have accountability, too.
How Do You Know If Your ADHD Needs Help?
Many of us are so used to the lifelong struggles that we just keep trying to push through. We work through our ADHD on our own, alone and ashamed. We wait till it’s absolutely unbearable or the challenges of living with ADHD have gotten so high before we will reach out for help.
We wait till our marriage or our job is at risk or life is a complete chaotic mess. We think we can handle it until our finances are so out of control that we almost can’t recover.
I know I waited years to get real help for my ADHD. Yes, there were many years when I didn’t even know I had ADHD. I didn’t know ADHD was why I struggled so much in life. But even after I knew, I waited longer than I probably should have to get the coaching and medication help I needed.
It wasn’t until I realized that my daughter was suffering because of my ADHD that I reached out for help. Oh, I had all kinds of great reasons why not to get help. Mostly, it was too expensive or I was too embarrassed. I pretended I was doing OK on my own.
(I really wasn’t. That was a lie I was telling myself.)
Now that I have well-managed ADHD, I see how much it has changed my life and my family’s life for the better.
Now I’m able to live the life I want to have. I’m able to reach my goals. I’m able to trust myself to keep my commitments to myself and to other people. Sure ADHD struggles still pop up. ADHD is a brain-based condition that doesn’t go away, however my struggles are slight.
After the years I spent totally disorganized and never completing anything and afraid to even make commitments because I knew I wouldn’t follow through, I can tell you this is a much better way to live.
Does everyone need help with ADHD? No. If you are truly thriving and doing well, then you’re probably fine. If you’re in the right career and have the right life partner and have the right environmental structure set up, you may be fine living with your ADHD. However, if you’re following this blog you probably are struggling.
Be honest with yourself. How much challenge does your ADHD have in your life? How hard are you moving around just to stay afloat?
Five Signs That Your ADHD Needs Help
1. Blocked intentions. What kind of life do you wanna live? Who do you want to be? Are you able to live that life with ADHD as it currently is? My intention is to be peaceful and happy. That was impossible unless I had some control over my life. It’s hard to be peaceful and happy when every day is a struggle. What kind of life do you want? If your ADHD symptoms are blocking you from living the life you want to have, that’s a sure sign that your ADHD needs help.
2. Impending doom. When my ADHD was out of control, I always felt like the other shoe was going to drop. I was always waiting for the next financial /career /relationship crisis. It was hard to get a good night’s sleep because I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about what hadn’t been done. Or, who would find out that I was an absolute fraud and was faking my way through life. Pretending I had everything under control was exhausting. Living with impending doom is a hard way to spend a life. If you’re always waiting for that next shoe to drop, it’s a sure sign that your ADHD needs help.
3. Abandon goals. What goals have you had to give up because your ADHD gets in the way? Because you know you can’t follow through on what it is that you want to do. Many people come to coaching because they aren’t able to build the business they want to build. They don’t have the structures and systems they need to serve their clients or create financial security for their families. If you’ve let go of goals because your ADHD is out of control, then guess what…
4. Living in chaos. A sure sign your ADHD needs help is if chaos rules your world. You can’t ever find what you need, remember what you need to do, or do those things you need to do. Perhaps you’re procrastinating. Or you know what you need to do but you just can’t seem to do it. A chaotic life is a sure sign of ADHD needing help.
(One of my joys in leading the ADHD Success Club is when members share stories of how they’ve reduced the chaos. Life gets calmer and they have the know-how and support to start unraveling the chaos of their ADHD.)
5. High emotional cost. Unmanaged ADHD brings on a world of shame, guilt, frustration, and fear. We know we’re not living to our potential and those emotions follow us. We know people notice we’re dropping the ball. Not doing what we say will do. That emotional cost is one of the saddest parts that I see in people who come to coaching. We wait so long to get the help that we need that digging out from that shame becomes a huge task.
So if you’re experiencing any of these effects of ADHD, it’s a sure sign that your ADHD needs help.
Now, for a reality check, every ADHD adult, even with well-managed ADHD, experiences some of these things sometimes. ADHD doesn’t go away. We learn to manage it. We don’t get rid of it.
When there’s a shift in your life or something happens to upset your systems or structures, your ADHD can get worse. The question is how quickly you bounce back and how fast you get back on your feet again.
I encourage you to be honest with yourself about how much help you need with your ADHD. Don’t do what I did. Don’t wait so long that digging out from the mess of your ADHD life is a total hassle. And, perhaps you already are there. Don’t give up.
I invite you to check out the ADHD Success Club and use the code SUCCESS to receive $10 off the monthly fee. This is a great way to get the training, accountability, support, coaching and help for your ADHD.
Want to learn other tools or more about ADHD coaching?