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Panic! in the Brainpan

I don’t know if other ADHD people get this, but I suspect I’m not alone here. It goes like this:

I’m asked to do something for school or work, something I’ve never done before but also something that shouldn’t be too difficult to complete. But…I get distracted, I forget about it, and then the deadline is either breathing right down my neck or it breathed and flew on by and now I’m late in getting this thing done. Fuuuuuck! I scramble to get this should-be-simple task started and finished–I can do this, right? They asked me to do it, so how hard can it be?–when my brain suddenly goes all kablooey, shattering and scattering in 23 different directions. I can’t focus on where or how to start, I can’t think of where to look for information on it or who to ask for help with the task, I can’t do much of anything besides looking around like a squirrel in the middle of a road.

Oh, and panic, of course. There’s always panic.

As I’ve written about before, growing up ADHD included a lot of negative feedback, scolding and punishment, because I didn’t and couldn’t always do things the way I was expected to do, including finishing things I’d started or starting things I’d been asked to do. Scraping those psychological barnacles off, getting over the fear of fucking everything up, it isn’t an easy job. I’m working on it, but when my instinct is to slam my own panic button when faced with not finishing an assignment, neatly wrapping it all up in a bow, well, y’know, old habits and instincts die hard. Welcome to the anxiety party, pal!

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Energy is my gift! Hang the blessed DJ! Lather, rinse, repeat. And sooner or later, I’ll have rewashed my own brain. But in the meantime, I’ll still have some freakouts in the ADHD discotheque of my head.