Loving the ADHD devil – DAY 1
In the next 30 days, I will go on a journey through my own mind. A journey that will focus on self-love and self-compassion. A journey that should increase the kindness I treat myself with. A journey on which I will learn to change my old habits of self-hate and become more balanced and open towards my own feelings and emotions.
A journey of self-love, but still I choose to call it loving the ADHD devil, instead of loving myself. Although you might think that I choose this name because it seems a logical follow-up on fighting the ADHD devil, there is another, much more important reason for me to choose to use the devil instead of myself in the name of this topic.
I am the devil
I don’t see my ADHD devil as a different person or being that lives inside my mind. I am the devil. I often describe my devil as something that creates chaos and distractions, something that makes me choose the wrong things and makes me behave in a way I don’t want to. However, I do recognize this something, this devil, as a part of myself. I am the person I am because and despite of this part, and most importantly, I am me, because this devil is a part of me.
My ADHD devil, as well as the angel, are metaphors that help me to describe the different sides to a life with ADHD. The devil stand for the bad things that come with owning an ADHD brain and the angel explains the good things, my ADHD superpowers. However, these creatures are just metaphors, tools that help me explain the controversiality inside the ADHD brain I own.
The devil is my dark side
The metaphor of the ADHD devil, I use to describe the struggles I encounter in my life. He is the part that creates the chaos that prevented me from being the child my parents wanted me to be. He stands for the part that is responsible for the alcohol abuse as a teenager and he represents the part that used to use boyfriends in order to feel pain and worthlessness.
All of these things, and many many more, I did myself. However, I can explain them by using the devil as a metaphor that describes the part of the (ADHD) symptoms that played a big part in me making these decisions. I made the mistakes myself, but the logic and reason behind it is induced by my devil.
The devil stands for the bad parts of me, the bad decisions I’ve made in my life and the part of me that’s driven by anxiety, anger and shame. The devil represents my biggest struggles in life, my chaos and my distractions, but also the part of me that hates myself. My devil stands for the choices I have made that have lead to a lack of self-compassion, the part of me that is him, is why I hate myself.
Rejecting the devil’s magic
My whole life, I’ve been mostly fighting against my devil’s existence. I have been withholding myself from feeling, from joy and sadness. I have been rejecting all my emotions, because I have always been afraid that they might be confronting me with my devil, afraid that he would be able to exaggerate them or that I would loose control. I have been hiding from all my feelings and emotions because I was hiding from him, and true feelings might have showed me his existence.
The same goes for the things I did. I never did anythings impulsive because I see impulsivity as a sign of the devil’s presence. For the same reason I didn’t do any fun things or things I wasn’t really supposed to be doing. I lived my life according to what was expected from me and I overthought anything I did to make sure that there wasn’t a chance for the devil to become visible.
The fight against the devil’s existence, the rejection of my ADHD, had lead me to a life in which I only focussed on performance, on being great and better than everyone else. The fight against the feeling of worthlessness, that my parents provided me with when I would show them the real me, lead to a life with extremely high standards, because I believed that only by reaching these standards I would be worth something.
My parents made me believe I had to be better than I am, that parts of me are not allowed and that the person I truly am is worthless and not allowed to surface. And I believed them. The many rejections I faced as a kid have made me believe that I’m not good enough and that especially the devil-induced parts are making me a person that is not allowed a place in this world.
I have never been able to understand (until now), that the devil is a part of me, that without him, I am not the real me. Fighting him has been fighting myself and hating his existence is hating myself. No matter how hard I fought my devil, he has been with me all those years, he is the part that I started to hate about myself, the part that was never good enough.
With fighting my devil, I was rejecting a part of myself, pretending to be someone else, a person without ADHD, while deep down I knew that the devil was still there. I was suppressing the devil’s part of me so hard, that even the smallest sign of his existence would make me feel like a failure, which I treated with anger towards myself, blaming myself for the way I am.
Love is accepting
I am reading a book that says: suffering = pain x resistance. This explains how pain will always be a part of life, but the more we resist the pain, the more we will suffer. Me fighting the ADHD devil, fighting myself, resisting to acknowledge my ADHD, is what made me break down. But I have been making things so much harder for myself, so much more painful than what life could have been. I believe that the struggles I encounter from my ADHD will decrease when I stop fighting. I believe that the rejection of the devil had made things much harder than they should have been and after all these years of struggling, I deserve joy and kindness, I deserve more ease and more love.
Learning to love myself means I have to start allowing my devil to be a part of me. I have to stop hiding the parts of myself I describe as the devil’s magic. If I want to learn how to love myself, I have to love and accept every part of who I am, not just the good things. I have ADHD, I have a devil, I have my bad parts, they are all a part of who I am and deserve kindness as much as the good things. In order to love myself, I have to love my devil and the first step is learning to accept him, to acknowledge his presence and listen to what he has to say.