All or Nothing

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Are you an all or nothing kind of person? If you have ADHD, I bet you are to some extent.

Not sure? Let me give you some examples:

Monday you decide to go on a diet to lose some weight. You are super careful about what you eat the first few days, but on Wednesday you cheat a little and on Thursday you cheat some more. By Friday or Saturday, you’ve decided that it’s not going to work and go back to your old habits.

You decide to get your whole house clean and organized. You go on a huge cleaning spree and wear yourself out, but the house looks really good. Then you make yourself crazy for the next few days trying to pick up every little thing and keep everything spotless. No dirty laundry or bit of trash is allowed. After a few days of being constantly vigilant for every stray dust particle, you decide it’s too much work and let the house go.

Sound familiar?

I have a daughter who re-writes her homework if even one tiny spot gets on the paper. Once the dog walked over some notes she was re-writing and she ripped the page out and started over.

As odd as it sounds, most of us with ADHD tend to have a perfectionist streak in us.

Now I know what you’re thinking – no way am I a perfectionist! My house is cluttered, I’m always late, etc, etc.

Having a “perfect” home, appearance, or whatever is not what makes a person a perfectionist; it’s trying to attain the ideal of perfection. And you know there’s no such thing as “perfect”.

There is a whole huge area between messy and perfect. It’s called “good enough”.

Your house doesn’t have to look like a magazine cover – who can live in that? But you can strike a happy balance between that and complete disorder.

Here’s the bottom line: if the way things are now is affecting your life negatively by adding stress, anxiety or embarrassment, then you need to make some changes. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the messy end of the spectrum, or trying to maintain perfection – if it’s taking over your life, then it’s time for a change.

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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3 Responses

  1. Pingback: » All or Nothing
  2. This came at the perfect time for me. My house is a disaster (at least for me, not my husband) and I have anxiety every day thinking of all the “stuff” I should be doing. Thanks for reminding me that everything doesn’t need to be perfect.

  3. LOL! Did you get my “vent” session email? Once I started reading/implementing the organizing book – I quickly became bitter – I immediately started noticing all the stuff my husband (who is prob OCD and extremely clean and organized)is not doing – that I didn’t even notice the day before – in the past I would usually find myself at either end of an extreme – extremely messy or extremely organized… and for 2 1/2 I have been trying to maintain in some cases and be content in others “good enough” when I read the book – the example sweep porch stood out to me – we have a clean porch but I wondered if it would be up to the standards of the authors – and then I wondered what my friends thought when they came to the door – I remembered that one of my friends complimented me on how nice my silk floral arrangement stays (it had been up all season) – but I went out to investigate anyways. Sure enough… I noticed that the wood door could use some polish, the frame could stand do be wiped down, and the door bell even had a little speck of paint on it…since we have never painted the porch it must have been there since we built the house… 6 years ago and I just noticed it…so I cleaned it all up – and it looks so nice – I just want to sit and stare at it! But on the other hand I am struggling – did the bar just get moved back up on me – I am afraid to tune into the “cleaning” channel in my mind again – because in the past I have not been able to turn it off- Things I didnt notice before – that have now been pointed out to me – suddenly become like beacons – screaming for my attention. I have vacuumed after having friends over for dinner – WHILE THEY WERE STILL THERE! LOL! I have lots of thoughts going through my head endless analyzing on the cleaning situation at my house – HOWEVER, I saved the best for last … Last night (a week after I have started this cleaning venture) I noticed that things were much calmer between my husband and I – since the house was clean we had nothing to nit pick at over dinner – of course the kids were enjoying the relaxed state – and even ate all their dinner! Then today, I had free time (today was moderate clean day) so when my son took his nap – I thought Im going to read the book to my 5 year old (that I have had for a month) and you know what she fell asleep!!! So I had even more free time – I felt like it was a little pat on the shoulder. And that is not all, after dinner I was completely relaxed…and though I have more free time – so the kids and I took a walk around the block – guilt free and relaxed…no rush of come on hurry up I have to get back to do such and such…we walked until they wanted to come home 🙂