When I Said Enough
Anger can be a powerful motivator.
It certainly was for me.
I remember bits and pieces of that time, but not all of the details.
All I knew for sure what that I was mad and I was tired.
Tired of forgetting.
Sick of making excuses.
I’d had enough of living the way we were – always trying to catch up and never succeeding.
What’s that line from that movie?
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
That’s the way I felt.
My Mess of a Life
I was 32 years old, married, and with 3 kids five and under. My life was a mess.
I suspected that my son might have ADHD, but he was four years old. I was reading every book I could about it, so I could be the best mom, but at the time, all he really needed was to be a little boy.
But that wasn’t why I was mad.
My anger stemmed from just life.
Why was it so hard to keep the house clean, pay the bills on time, keep up with the laundry and everything else, and raise 3 kids?
Other women did it. Heck, other women had jobs and managed to do it.
What was wrong with me?
I was a stay at home mom. Why couldn’t I get it together? I just couldn’t manage to keep up.
Finding My Motivation
There was no internet back then, but there was a library, and it was within walking distance of our house.
I read every book I could find about homekeeping and organizing.
Martha Stewart was my hero; I kept hoping some of her ability to maintain such a perfect life would rub off on me.
No such luck.
But one day I found a book. “The” book: Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise.
I think I read it in one afternoon. And then again, and again.
These women knew me! They understood me!
They could show me the way!
And, with their 3 x 5 card file system, they did.
I had found my solution and my motivation!
Inspiration, Action, and Results
As soon as I possibly could, I made a trip to the store.
I bought my own copy of S.H.E., as it is called, and I got my supplies:
- 2 stacks of 3 x 5 cards – one set white, one colored
- A file box to hold them
- 2 sets of dividers – if I remember correctly – one set 1-31, the second, the months of the year
And then – I’m a real geek about things like this – I had some fun.
I sat down with all of my supplies, and the book, and made my card file. There were instructions in the book to follow, and you were supposed to adapt them to your home and family.
A little side note here: It would be another ten years before I got my own ADHD diagnosis, and that was never mentioned in the book anyway. And because my mom had ADHD, I had never really learned how to keep a home. Plus she had just one child, and I had three.
But anyway, what this card file gave me was an enormous gift: structure.
I got up every morning and I took a look at my cards and I did what they said. It was so satisfying to file one away for the next day or week.
And little by little, my house, my life came together – like it never had before.
Let Your Frustration Help You
I’ve said it often enough, and I know it’s true for me: when are you going to get angry enough to say, “enough”?
Because for me, anger was the motivation.
Sure, there were others, too: wanting a change, being tired of living the way we were, shame, frustration.
But isn’t that the way we feel a lot of the time?
Whether it’s about the house, or our jobs, or just our lives in general?
Don’t you ever get tired of it?
Don’t you get furious, or mad, or just plain pissed off?
What do you do with those emotions?
Do you take a pill or a drink to make yourself feel better?
Scream or punch something or just wish you could?
Maybe you have a relationship with chocolate, like I do.
How About Action Instead of Anger?
What are you tired of?
Are there changes you would make if you could?
Why can’t you?
Yes, I know you have ADHD.
It makes you different, but not incapable.
You can find answers and solutions, ways around things, just as I did with my messy house and life.
First you have to figure out why you’re so angry. That’s the easy part.
The hard part is finding your change and then putting it into action.
Sometimes, because we have ADHD, and low self esteem, we settle.
Don’t do that.
You can find a way. You can be brave.
I bet you’ve got a whole group of people who would be willing to help, if you asked.
That’s hard. And scary.
I’m here, if you need me.