Never Give In

Loving the ADHD devil – DAY 25 

I until last week I have spend quite some time feeling pretty good. A period in which I accepted my lack of energy, allowed my ADHD devil to exist and when I discovered part of who I am supposed to be. My days became bright for a while and I enjoyed the times I was able to finally be myself again. But with the returning feeling of balance and belonging I stopped to focus on getting better. I stopped planning my days, I stopped scheduling my overthinking, I stopped trying to see the real me in the mirror and most importantly, I stopped trying.

I was feeling so much better that I figured I deserved a break, I believed I was allowed to take some days without working on getting better, to just accept everything as it was. I gave in to how I felt, I stopped showering, getting dressed and eating, I stopped taking care of myself and my house, just to feel normal for a while, to have a couple of easy days.

What happened wasn’t the peace and ease I expected to feel. Feeling good did not last more than one morning and negativity started to take over quickly. Without structure, without trying, my days turned into endless online gaming, me not leaving the best spot on the couch and soon I started to feel bad about myself again. My break turned into a relapse, feelings of worthlessness and hate towards myself returned and instead of going back to my routine, I decided to stay in my break, telling myself it was pointless to even try.

On day 2 things got even worse. I got angry, I started crying for no reason and I lost every connection I had build up with myself or the world around me. Nothing of the good feeling remained and my mind was drowning in chaos. I was lost, again, and wasn’t able to see a way out, nor was I able to recognize what had gone wrong. I was tired, tired of trying, tired of being in this process of recovery, tired of everything being so much harder for me right now. Feeling good had been really great but also took energy from me, and somewhere in those good days it all became too much and I gave up.

I lost trust in getting better, however, not trying, not spending energy, only made things worse. Besides the fear of never getting better, I got very angry at myself as well. Angry for giving up on the things that are good for me, giving up on my therapy, for not trying hard enough to get better, for being too weak to do what I truly need. I trapped myself in a negative spiral rushing down into the darkness, loosing my positivity, afraid there will never be a way to normal for me.

Late in the night on day nr. 2, when I couldn’t sleep because of the extreme amount of chaos and anger inside me, I understood that the only way to feeling better was to start trying again. Giving up was just a mistake, it didn’t bring be back to how I felt 3 months ago, instead, it showed me that I’m not ready for a break yet, it showed me that I have to keep trying.

And when I did, 3 days ago now, when I finally dared to look for myself in the mirror and scheduled my overthinking again, things did get better. Although this day ended in hours of crying and extreme exhaustion afterwards, I was finally able to make a step forward again and this gave me the positivity I need to feel good about my days.

What made me give up? I believe it was the feeling of not knowing what was going to be next. At the start of me feeling better, I saw myself progressing every day. Each evening I was able to talk about what I had learned, I was able to express a feeling of proudness towards myself. But last week I stopped learning because I did not know what to learn. I knew my goal was to slowly start connecting to the world again while feeling as good as I did by myself, but I had no clue where to start and this created a chaos that took away my motivation. I lost my daily reward, deriving from my improvements and this made me feel lost. My break wasn’t something I believed I deserved, instead, it was a result of me not knowing what to do.

I realize now, more than ever, that I can never know my next step, I can never predict what is going to happen tomorrow or even in the next hour, no one can. I believe I was too busy looking for progress, too focussed on making steps, and this made everything too complicated. I forced myself, with my writing, as well as my overthinking, to reveal something new and big every day. On the days I didn’t make significant progress I was telling myself “Focus on your thoughts, keep digging to find something real, keep trying to find that one thing that will give you the breakthrough you need to recover…” Of course this did not work, some days I will have a breakthrough, other days I will just try my best to stay positive or even notice some returning darkness, but in no way am I able to force every day to be better than the one before.

What I learned is to just keep going, to do what feels good for me instead of trying to reach my goals as fast as possible. Writing helps, planning helps, overthinking helps and looking in the mirror helps, they all make me feel good and if I just keep doing these things, progress will happen. I can not force myself to figure things out by tomorrow, thoughts, understandings, breakthroughs and new energy will just come when they come, but only if I am able to let go of expectations and keep taking care of myself because that is the only thing I can control. If I feel good, if I treat myself good, good things will happen to me.

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