Help! ADHD is Destroying My Life!
“Help! ADHD is destroying my life,” the voice said when I answered the phone. Another ADHD emergency, I thought.
I call them as ADHD 911 calls. Desperate pleas for help with attention deficit.
When does a request for coaching become a 911 ADHD call? When someone’s ADHD has spun so far out of control that their life is in a state of emergency. They need help, and they need it fast.
Getting fired. Financial ruin. Spouse leaving. Receiving an eviction notice. 911 calls bring more than the typical dose of ADHD disorganization and chaos.
Unraveling an ADHD 911 emergency demands immediate action. The pressure on the client and their family is strong.
And, try as I might, it’s hard for me to remain calm when someone yells, “Help! ADHD is destroying my life.”
My Latest ADHD Emergency Call
Let me tell you about the last ADHD 911 call I got. We’ll call the man Jim. A fake name, of course.
Two years ago, Jim considered himself successful. His business was thriving. His marriage was stable. He didn’t pay much attention to his ADHD. Sure his office was cluttered, and he got things done by the seat of his pants.
But, Jim didn’t think his ADHD was too bad. All in all his life was pretty good.
Then a shiny new business opportunity came along. Always ready for a change, Jim jumped right in. That switch was the spark that sent Jim’s ADHD into emergency mode.
At the beginning, Jim managed to hold things together. Work was new and exciting. He could force himself to do the hard parts.
Jim’s trouble started when the newness wore off, and he realized he spent most of his days forcing himself to do the hard parts. In fact, he resisted most of the tasks his new job demanded.
He couldn’t focus. He procrastinated and blew past deadlines. Jim started spending his days staring at his computer doing everything but what he needed to do to.
Now Jim’s bank account is dwindling. His family’s security is at risk. He’s afraid to tell his wife what’s going on. He’s very cranky. His once happy home life simmers with tension.
Yet, no matter how Jim tries, he can’t seem to get anything done.
After losing his major client, Jim admitted that his ADHD was out of control. Time was running out.
And that’s when Jim researched help for ADHD. He discovered this thing called ADHD Coaching. Desperate, Jim called me.
Jim’s Call for Help with ADHD
Exactly what happened to bring Jim’s career to a screeching halt?
Underneath Jim’s many ADHD symptoms, only one basic thing had truly changed. In the new business, Jim was no longer working to his strengths.
You see, Jim’s success in his old business came from responding to other people’s calls and requests. That’s instinctive for him. ADHD isn’t so bad when someone is doing things that they are good at.
However, in his new business, Jim needs to initiate contact to be successful. He has to make phone calls and ask for business. That’s hard for him to do.
Frankly, Jim’s world would be different now if had called me for ADHD coaching before his life fell apart. Back when he was considering the new business opportunity.
You see, in coaching Jim would have learned a big secret to succeeding with ADHD. Focusing on strengths and minimizing and avoiding weaknesses. We would have considered if the new business was right for him.
Yes, I realize taking action before trouble hits, runs against ADHD’s impulsive nature. But, imagine how much happier this story’s ending would be if Jim had saved his impulsivity for something less important. Like deciding which shirt he’d wear instead of which business he ran!
When ADHD Almost Destroyed My Life
Just like Jim, I used to get bored and often change careers. Back before I understood how working to my strengths was a key to not getting snared in ADHD troubles.
Here’s an example. A few years before becoming an ADHD coach I had a thriving professional organizing business. That’s when a seemingly golden opportunity came along. I was offered a contract managing a project for a local nonprofit.
Enticed by something new, I jumped at the chance. Without considering what my job duties would be. Big mistake.
None of the work was creative. I found myself doing tons of data entry and filing reports.
Soon I was procrastinating; making excuses for why I was missing deadlines. I felt like I was back in elementary school; fibbing about why my homework wasn’t done!
There is good news. I got some clerical support and wiggled my way out of the situation.
The lesson everyone with ADHD needs to know? Work to your strengths. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in a constant losing battle with your ADHD.
Avoiding 911 ADHD calls is one reason I started the ADHD Success Club. (That and making ADHD coaching less expensive.)
We don’t do emergencies in the Success Club. Members are gradually building the skills and knowledge to live easier with ADHD. That way they avoid ADHD emergencies altogether.
The dream of this ADHD coach? That you call for help BEFORE you get in trouble. Don’t wait until life falls apart and you find yourself making an ADHD 911 call.