I know how hard it is to live a life with ADHD. I’ve been doing it a really long time.
I’ve struggled with a messy house, and losing important stuff – sometimes cause I threw it away – and being late and forgetting and well, you know.
I have even invited 10 people for Christmas dinner only to find out an midnight Christmas eve that there was NO food in the house. None.
Do you know what it’s like trying to shop for Christmas dinner at CVS on Christmas morning?
It’s not good.
You know what finally turned me around, forced me to find a solution to living with ADHD?
I got mad. I got good and mad. I got fed up and tired of it and just plain angry.
I got angry enough about living my life the way it was – and forcing my ADHD onto my family – that I decided to do something about it. And I didn’t stop looking until I found answers. Things that worked.
Now when all of this was going on, you need to remember two things:
- I didn’t know I had ADHD
- Computers weren’t around yet
I was aware that my son had ADHD although he had not yet been diagnosed. I assumed he got it from my husband. Ha! I got paid back for that one! (In case you are unaware, my whole family has ADHD. Me, hubs, and all 3 kids.)
So what did I do, exactly?
I took a look at my life and tried to figure out the places where I continually had trouble.
A big one was keeping the house in order and a close second was keeping track of papers and bills.
Seemed like one good organizational system would do the trick.
I just had to find it.
After numerous trips to the library and bookstore, I finally found a book called Sidetracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peggy Jones, who are sisters.
Pam and Peggy are wonderful writers. They are funny and entertaining, but they also know how to come up with a great system and then teach it to you. You can see my video about their system here.
I was a stay at home mom at the time and their card file system was a life saver! It served me well for many years, until one day it just didn’t anymore, and I moved on.
But the things that I learned from that book stuck with me and became the basis of what I do today to keep my life in order.
All it took was getting fed up with the status quo.
So tell me, when are you going to get angry enough?
Brenda (I’m Brenda also), when I read that you, your hub, and 3 kids all have ADD/ADHD, I laughed. I just discovered that my “problem” of 53 years is that I have ADD/ADHD. My three sons (30, 23, and 8) have the condition. (I don’t know if my 27-year-old daughter does.) I suspect my husband does (because “slob” describes him very well), but a diagnosis doesn’t matter to him. So you and I have that in common. I read “Sidetracked” in the early 90’s and followed the card system until I lost the cards during divorce in 2000. Just recently, by talking to my therapist, I mentioned the cards to him (because it popped up in my memory), and he told me to start them again. Shortly thereafter, we discovered the ADD/ADHD condition. My apartment is almost unbearable as I’m writing this, but I’m excited by all the self-awareness I’m receiving right now through S.H.E. and the new “The Joy of Being Disorganized” book, as well as sites like yours and ADDitude Magazine. The warrior inside me (that was very evident in the past but relatively dormant for about the past 15 years–because I was no longer receiving criticism from others) is back; I can fight again,
Hi Brenda! Awesome! I didn’t realize that the S.H.E. site was still active. Is the book by the sisters? Can’t wait to check it out! I have tried so many apps trying to duplicate the card system, but I’m thinking I should just go back to the old way with cards. Do you mind that I laughed when you said you lost yours in the divorce? (I just picture you and your husband and lawyers arguing over custody of the cards.)