~By AAA (Ability: Adult ADHD)
Back again, hope everyone is having a good holiday season!
I am having a trying vacation season. Sustained attention in a crowd is not, shall we say, my forte. I struggle with it and the holidays often require it. The whole family is gathered together — people talking over one another, dishes rattling, emotions flaring, aliens sitting at the children’s table. It can be chaotic at times.
I’ve always found it really amusing when I go to a new psychiatrist and they prescribe me a stimulant with a fun little tip: “You don’t need to take it on the weekends”. Ha! Bob, in the above clip from What About Bob?, is told by his doctor to simply take a vacation from his problems. It sounds brilliant, but it’s easier said than done.
For me and the children I used to teach who had ADHD and Autism, I think weekends are often harder than weekdays. On any given weekday, I wake up at roughly the same time, go to work for 8 hours, have my lunch almost always at noon, and then either head to class in the evening or to the gym. I am quite scheduled Monday to Friday and it helps me to feel successful. On Saturday and Sunday? Not so much …
I find that structure helps keep my brain focused and that I almost need my medication more on the weekends, because the lack of structure can throw me into a bit of a dizzy whirlwind in the brain.
So, what’s the fix? BREAKS!!!!!!!!!!!
In general, I hate breaks. Taking breaks has always felt like admitting weakness to me. This holiday season, though, I have decided to rethink breaks and how I view them. I will see them as a sign that I know what I need to feel successful. I understand my limits with social situations (which are completely unstructured, might I add!) and know that taking breaks will keep my head from filling up with words.
Before I head to my family’s house, I will think about where I can take breaks and how those breaks can be structured. There are plenty of walking trails. There are steps out the front door that almost never get used and if it’s still daytime, I can find respite there (not at nighttime — what if a coyote attacks me!?).
On a recent chat with my wife, I told her how I dislike that I need breaks and she made a really great point. Many people just assume the holidays are what they are and that family time is something that is often dreaded, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Family time can be special and enjoyable and I think this year might be the most fun yet for me!
Breaks, here I come!
Cheers and good tidings everyone!