ADHD
Michelle Leigh Miller  

Oops, I did it again.

Impulsive buying, random hobbies I ultimately lose interest in, and a ridiculous number of planners and notebooks are nothing new to me. I just didn’t know why, because it’s not something you really talk about with others. 

You don’t talk about how you can’t walk through a store without coming out with something you didn’t plan to buy or don’t really need. Some days are worse than others. Some days it’s just a bag of chips. Other days it’s a television. (True story.) 

It’s embarrassing and their advice to just not do it isn’t helpful.

You don’t talk about how you will discover a random new hobby, immerse yourself in that hobby almost to obsession, buy all the supplies (some you need, some you don’t), do it for a couple of weeks, then completely lose interest to the point the hobby is now mind-numbingly boring. (I’ll leave the fact that I actually can’t have just a hobby because I immediately turn it into a business idea for a later post.)

It’s embarrassing and their advice to just not do it isn’t helpful.

You don’t talk about your attempts over and over and over again to put your life on some kind of schedule. To keep track of the things you need to do in the hopes, for once, you won’t be the person who forgot. That you try planner after planner after app, only to eventually lose interest in that method or find it doesn’t work for you. 

You don’t talk about it because it’s embarrassing and other people’s advice just isn’t helpful. 

I had another post about executive dysfunction planned and partially written for today, but after this morning’s events I decided to hold it for later and write about today. 

Today when ADHD won. 

I say won because days like today have been and probably always will be a constant battle for me. I just didn’t know why. And, I’ve actually done pretty well in those battles the last year or so. Like the fact that I didn’t buy that violin or sign-up for lessons a few weeks ago. (Another post for another time.) Or sign up to volunteer at the horse sanctuary an hour away, because I actually don’t have time for that, yet. Or that I dropped the idea that I’m going to buy a horse. I mean, I don’t have a place to keep a horse, but I was all in on figuring out how to buy one.

This morning though, my guard was down and it won. 

Last night I placed a grocery order to be picked up this morning. (The morning pick-up time was made for a reason, which will also be the topic of a later post.) This morning, I realized I forgot to add something to the list. No problem. I’ll just pick up the groceries and then run in real quick and get that one thing. Five minutes, tops.

Forty minutes later, I walked out with yarn and a crochet needle, eight dot notebooks, and colorful pens. On the bright side, I did actually get the thing I went in for, as well. Forgetting my target thing, while buying other things, is also not new to me. 

I walked into the store with the one thing in mind, then all of the sudden I had the overwhelming need to crochet something and buy dot journals so I can make myself planners for both work and my side hustles.

A little more information about each: 

The Crochet Thing

A couple of years ago, I randomly tried crochet and went down the hobby obsession rabbit hole. I bought the crochet needles, books, and so much yarn. SO MUCH YARN. In the end, I made a couple of hats and a couple of blankets, then completely lost interest. I ended up giving away the yarn and I have no idea where the needles are now. To make this even more absurd, I don’t even like afghans, wear hats very often, or the feel of yarn, in general. I’m a quilt girl. And would probably go down the quilt rabbit hole if I had more room. I have no doubt it will be a hobby in my future. 

But back to crocheting. Why today of all days the sudden need popped up, I have no idea. When I say need, I mean NEED. It’s so hard to explain that feeling to someone without coming off sounding like a toddler. But that is what it reminds me of, like my brain has a mini-Veruca Salt stomping and screaming in my head, “But I want it now!” It isn’t until later that I stare at whatever I purchased when I was on ADHD auto-pilot with a squinty look of “But, why?” 

Here I am though with a novel I still need to finish, a house I need to clean, boxes that still need to be unpacked, and a brand-new blog to write, but my brain decides crocheting a blanket is what I need to do. 

Okay. Whatever. This is my life.

Side note: At some point, I’ll have a blanket to give away, if my daughter doesn’t scavenge it first. 

The Dot Notebooks

Despite the $30 refillable planner I bought over a year ago and the planning app I pay for every month, I needed something new because those two things weren’t working anymore. (Insert frustrated eye roll)  I decided dot journals were the way to go, which will allow me to create my own. (Despite having already tried that before without success.) 

I spent 20 of the 40 minutes in Walmart roaming up and down that aisle, flipping through the different planners and considering whether to buy one. I’d almost decided against it when I spotted exactly what I was looking for on the bottom shelf. A notebook with dots. And they were only one dollar. Whoop, whoop! I picked up the first one, started to walk away and then returned. Because what if this worked and I needed more? What if they ran out or discontinued them? Maybe I’ll decide to give each of my hustles its own notebook. I’ll need more. I started pulling them out one-by-one. 

And, because they’re dot journals, I’m going to need colorful pens. Of course, I have my favorite style of pens, as well. So, I headed to that aisle and picked those out. 

The next 15 minutes were spent in the yarn aisle.

Meanwhile, I have groceries in my car that I’d completely forgotten about the moment I walked into the planner aisle.

Now, mind you, I didn’t get a cart because I was only going in for one thing, so when I suddenly remembered the groceries in my car, I finally headed to checkout with everything balanced in my arms. Paid and out the door I went. 

Part of being diagnosed is finally having resources to help me in the way that I need helped. It’s the ability to analyze when something happens through the right lens.

Like today, I already knew I was having a hard time focusing this morning when I woke up. That I felt like I was all over the place and my mind was going a hundred miles a minute and not in any direction I wanted it to go. I had no business walking into a store today, at all, much less with time on my hands and in a place like Walmart. I should have left Walmart and stopped at a grocery store like I considered, where the attractions for my impulsivity are limited to just food. 

Unlike in the past, I’m not beating myself up. It’s a learning moment. I’ll be more aware of it in the future. 

Also, so what if I decided right now I need something outside of all the other stuff I’m doing? That right now, I need to crochet a blanket? 

And it’s okay that one way doesn’t work for me forever. I don’t feel bad about it anymore. The other planner and the app worked for me for a while. Now I need a shift to keep moving forward. And that’s okay. I repeat, that’s okay. 

What isn’t okay is the impulse buying. That I need to continue to work on. But the what I bought and the way I bought it are now two different things for me.

And that is huge. 

Interested in reading more about these topics as it relates to ADHD? Below are some articles.

Some tips on battling impulse buying (I plan to try some of these out) : https://www.additudemag.com/impulse-buying-money-problems-adhd-adults/

Hobby hopping with some tips:

https://www.additudemag.com/all-or-nothing-hobbies-adhd-hyperfocus/

What adult ADHD looks like:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adult-adhd/symptoms-causes/syc-20350878

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