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.
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.