When you title something letting go and moving on, it sounds sort of sad. But really this is not a sad post.
It’s not a post about ADHD either. Or at least, not directly.
If you’d rather listen, here is the recorded version.
We with ADHD often see things in black and white ways, so letting go of people and beliefs can be quite difficult for us.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t catch the lessons that are layered in the middle of the shit sandwich. A lost relationship, or personal failure, is very hard for us to come back from and we have trouble seeing how any of our current suffering might benefit us in the future.
This is my moment of clarity, so I’m sharing some of the limiting beliefs and patterns I am trying to move on from.
Letting go of people
My grandfather turned 90 on July third. The same day my nephew turned 2.
Both my grandparents are aging. My grandmother is turning 89. We finally moved them out of their house and into an assisted living apartment where they don’t have to do as much for themselves.
This is significant because I have always clung to the version of my grandparents that made me comfortable. Active, funny, and fiercely independent. I couldn’t picture them NOT available to me.
I believed I needed them to hold me up, to keep my head above water.
Whenever I felt like a failure, or hopeless, or unwanted my grandparents were the place I went for total acceptance. They loved me no matter what.
But they are no longer my life raft.
Their minds are not as sharp and their bodies are failing them. If I want to talk to them I have to call a new phone number and shout into the phone for them to hear me.
It’s no longer their job to hold me up. I have to do it on my own.
Letting go of fear
I have been afraid my entire life. Pretty much every moment I am conscious I am afraid.
When I was a kid I was afraid of adults yelling, being sent to live with my dad and stepmom, and also being alone on the playground.
You know what that’s like. We humans are afraid of so many things. Big things and little things. Physical pain, rejection, failure, cancer..whatever.
I often blame my ADHD brain and emotional dysregulation for my inaction or poor judgment.
Yes, ADHD makes me less motivated and feel less rewarded. But really, when I do not take some action it’s because of FEAR.
And I’m over it. It’s boring to repeat the same patterns over and over in your life.
Letting go of control
When I started this website it was the perfect way for me to create something without actually being seen. I’m very uncomfortable being seen. Which is tough if you actually want to have a business.
I’ve had my ideas stolen. Someone once used my verbage, my words, for their own benefit and passed it off as their own. I was shocked, and hurt, and ashamed.
But then I realized that person saw ME. They noticed that I was percolating some crazy good ideas and they tried to seize control of the outcome for themselves.
The big lesson here is this: You and I cannot control other humans no matter how hard we try.
You cannot make someone like, respect, or love you.
I cannot make a mailing list of 4000 people buy something from me.
I can’t even make my nine- year-old listen to me for thirty seconds!
So I stopped trying to control other people and I started looking for ways to connect with them. I built a community.
I am no longer trying to control the way the world sees me. And I can see all of you more clearly as well.
Letting go of shame
For me the shame list is long: my body, my emotions, my personal aspirations, my hopes, my dreams, my parenting abilities, my self-regulation, ADHD, how others might perceive me.
I’m sure you’ve heard about ADHD and shame. But ADHD doesn’t cause shame, it just makes it harder for us to process it.
Shame is part of life.
Have you ever sat down and written out exactly what you want your life to look like?
It took me years to do this because writing down these things feels*** shameful.
In the interest of shrugging off shame here is what I really want:
I want to build a thriving community of women with ADHD. Private, less than 500 members.
I want to contribute financially to my household so my husband can feel more relaxed in his own career.
I want to be known as an ethical, accessible, ADHD community and thought leader.
I want to hire someone to help me clean and organize my house twice per month.
I want to take my son out of school several times per year to show him the world.
I want to be able to give to causes that I care about.
I also want to sleep until 7am each day and work out each day. And I want to have a strong, healthy body. There I said it.
Why does it feel so indulgent to write this?
I am entitled to want things. So are you.
We are entitled to take up space in this world.
I normally talk and write about ADHD symptoms more specifically. This post is more about letting go and moving on from all the things that hold us back.
What beliefs, people, or patterns are you holding onto?