The last few days have been...tough.
(Last few days, hahah - it could be weeks, but I'm not entirely sure, because time frames, and also overwhelm, anxiety, and executive dysfunction).
I had to give myself a pass, yesterday. Something we don’t do nearly often enough.
Yesterday the sun was glorious, the birds were doing their thing, the neighbours were lovely…but I was sitting in full ADHD anxiety - tired, overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, frustrated, hurting.
You can’t see the massive blister on the back of my hand where I burnt myself on the grill last Thursday. You also can’t see the bump on my head where I smashed my face off a cupboard door last Saturday.
You can probably see my face is puffy from crying, but you can’t see the RSD (RejectionSensitiveDysphoria) absolutely kicking my ass, wreaking havoc and trying to sabotage shit left right and centre.
I hit the wall, over the weekend, even though it was a good weekend.
I'd performed at a wedding, I had my lovely partner attend with me as my "roadie", I played MarioKart 8 and Asphalt 9 with my kiddos, I cooked amazing meals...but there was no escaping it.
I ran head-first into that wall, cried a whole lot, and generally felt quite shit.
From there, it was easy to make myself feel even worse. I blamed myself for things which I'm pretty certain weren't my fault, I sabotaged my own emotions by trying to shove them away and tell myself I should be doing better (with a few rounds of, "who the hell do you think you are trying to do this stuff anyway?"), and then I either ate and drank a load of crap, or just didn't eat or drink at all.
So yeah. I gave myself a pass.
Why am I telling you this?
To remind you that I'm human too. We're all human, and at some point, we all have to stop.
ADHD is often a rollercoaster, taking us for a ride with extreme highs and lows.
Now here's the thing. That stopping point can look very different to many people. That stopping point can look like everything from "Oh I just need a quick nap", right through "umm I'm having a nervous breakdown", through to "ok, well now I'm on my deathbed, this is the end, and can you just pass me my laptop so I can send one more email, please?"
I've never been at the last one, but I have been at the middle one, many times.
And let me tell you...it's pretty shit, to say the least. I don't like being there, I don't want to be there, I don't advise anyone to be there, and I wouldn't EVER wish anyone be there.
For me now, it has to be the first option. Or, something which looks like the first option.
So yesterday, I stopped as much as I could (which is to say that, when you have ADHD, even grinding to a halt can look different). Stopping, for me, meant moving to the sofa, out of my office. I took my laptop, my Nintendo Switch, the TV remote, some weird but really tasty blue fruit juice, and binged watched Inventing Anna whilst working from the sofa.
Now you're probably thinking "uhhhh Jay...that's not taking a break. That's not stopping, you just moved your shit elsewhere and carried right on..?!"
Maybe I did. But what I DID stop doing, was cramming myself into a space which wasn't working.
I still wanted/needed to wallow in whatever shit I was going through, but I needed it to be...uh, healthier wallowing. And for me, that means still sitting in amongst the mental and emotional stuff (because PROCESSING), but doing it somewhere which felt...safe, somehow.
I know I didn't need any positive talk to try to pull me out of the hole.
I know I didn't need someone telling me to pull myself together.
I know I needed time, space, and my own version of self care.
It's ok to wallow in it all. It's ok to sit in the thick of it, and feel it all, and process it, and try to work out what the hell is going on. It's ok to get stuck, it's ok to stop.
But make sure you have a life line, ok? Know what your buoy ring looks like. Make sure you remember to get up again, soon, and take the next step forward. Know who's hand you can grab on to, if possible.
The world will still be there when you return, with help and support, whether you're ready or not.