Out of order can mean a couple of different things. On the one hand, out of order can mean that something isn’t working. When the Diet Coke machine is out of order, we can get really frustrated because we can’t get our fix. 🙂
Out of order can also mean that things have been taken out of their normal order. My daughter Sarah always nukes her tea then adds sweetener. If you sweeten her tea before you put it in the microwave, to her, you’ve done things out of order.
When you have ADHD, out of order is a big deal, no matter which meaning you attach to it.
When your normal routine is disrupted, everything is out of order. Your day (or life) been turned upside down, and as a result, nothing is working.
ADHD makes it hard for us to transition from one thing to another. It could be as simple as going from being awake to going to sleep or as complicated as moving from one state to another.
It doesn’t matter; when you have ADHD, any change can be difficult to deal with. That’s why structure is so important for us; it helps us function more effectively. Structure is probably why you’re so organized at work and unorganized at home.
As we know, life is all about changes. So how can you learn to manage them more effectively, with less out of order time?
Anticipate. Sometimes you can see change coming. If you’re moving across the country, you’ll know about it in advance. Maybe not as much advance notice as you’d like, but you will know. If you know a change is coming, begin to prepare for it in advance.
Hey, you go to bed every night, right? If you know you’re going to want to go to sleep in a few hours, what can you do now to prepare for that? Start by putting down the Diet Coke after 7:00 pm.
Maintain what you can. Sometimes change comes from left field and we never see it coming. Those changes can be really hard to deal with, but you can learn to manage them a little better when they hit you.
Start by salvaging what you can from your life before things changed. What did you take comfort from that you can still preserve? Your morning cup of tea? Quiet time spent with your pet or in the garden? Take as much “normal” as you can and put it back into your life. It will help you cope with all that’s new and different.
Embrace change. Any change can throw us for a loop, but sometimes change is good. Sometimes change is good even when it feels like it isn’t. You might have to look really hard, but you can find the positive in almost anything.
It is what it is and this too will pass. Cliches? Maybe, but true just the same. Do the best you can to ride things out and remember that one day, this will be your new normal.