So, since I’m a proud(ish) AD/HDer, I think I’ll post a page with (hopefully) my few most helpful resources, and a list of coping tips, etc.  Or, those are my goals, anyway.

Coping Mechanisms (other than meds):

  • Colored markers!
  • Coffee!!!
  • Making up my own good luck superstitions (ex: Whenever I find a paperclip, I know it’s good luck for my studies. Whenever I find a button, I know it’s good luck in life.  Try it!  I swear it’s true!!!)
  • Blind faith (and no, I’m not being sarcastic).  It has really helped to embrace my faith and not allow myself to question the basic (positive) tenets, ever.
  • Also, I like to sing the Marley song to myself, “Every little thing is going to be alright.”
  • Stapling things to my walls (lists, tips, etc).
  • Drawing on my fridge, *mirrors*, and other shiny surfaces with dry-erase markers — they really do come off!
  • Emailing myself important things with keywords.
  • Creating a set of keywords for the above emails. 🙂
  • Trying never to save anything with filenames like “Photo2” or some B*S* like that – I just make those suckers LOOONG and explicit.
  • Creating a set naming system for my files (so far, I’ve only got it down with my articles – I force myself to title them “Surname Year – Title”, and it works!!!).
  • Ritual (like coffee in the morning, etc).
  • Singing to myself, “What was I doing, what was I doing, what was I doing, hey hey hey hey?” (think, “I got a dollar” from the Little Rascals)  Then when I figure it out (or just come up with something new–it is, after all ADD), I sing, “That’s what I’m doing, that’s what I’m doing, that’s what I’m doing, hey hey hey hey!”
  • Manila Files.  I love those things.  I have a LOT of them.  And they’re filled with good stuff.  And they’re LABELED. 🙂
  • Coming up with a list/finding a list of POSITIVE traits of AD/HD, and reading them over at times, or just repeating them to myself.  If one doesn’t ring true for the day, another might, and that keeps me encouraged.
  • Making someone else feel good.  It works wonders for the self-esteem.  I might not be able to get all my stuff done, and I might seem flaky, etc, etc, but I give great compliments!  And, seeing that warm fuzzy look on someone’s face makes me know that, as an ADDer, I notice stuff that IS AWESOME and WORTHWHILE.
  • Warning people that I’m a compulsive oversharer.  I find it a) helps me curb the tendency for some weird reason, and b) prefaces a lot of the crap I *might* end up saying to ppl.
  • Making good AND bad jokes about having AD/HD.
  • Making lists.  I must make a million of them, and lose more of them than I even make, but I figure, if I’m writing it down enough, some of it will stick.  And the stuff that doesn’t stick, I might find later! 🙂
  • Delegating!  I can’t even do all my OWN stuff by myself.  I’m always surprised by how many little things that other people, esp friends and family, are willing to take on for me (just by remembering, reminding me, or actually doing it).
  • Making friends who are great at following through, who are not AD/HD, and who aren’t judging you for being so — and who recognize some of the special brand of magic you bring to their lives as a person with AD/HD!
  • Making friends who are a little bit overbearing (example, I have a friend who, upon hearing me complain about not having eyeglasses for the gazillionth time (and not knowing how much it would cost for an eye exam, etc), was like, “Screw it, you ARE getting glasses!”  She proceeded to call a bunch of places, find out that WalMart had a great price for eye exams and glasses, coerce me into visiting her over Thanksgiving break, wake me up the day of Thanksgiving, drive me to WalMart, and lend me the money to pay for it–and gently chide me until I paid her back in full.  My GOD, I am blessed to have such an overbearing friend.  I just had to let go and let her be in charge, do what she said, trust her, and things really do turn out ok! (there are, of course, more examples than just this one–she’s saved my butt by stepping in and taking over multiple times–which is why I’m a little, err, enthusiastic about the whole experience).
  • Making more commitments than I can realistically handle (but doing so strategically).  As an ADD acquaintance of mine once said, “It’s weird. It’s like I HAVE to disappoint somebody in order to get anything done at all!”  My disappointment of choice is usually language partners (sorry, people!).  I’m pretty sure they won’t be heartbroken if I never show up (and I never do), because they’ve got their own lives and are generally busy people.  Still, I feel really bad about canceling…and then accomplishing my previous goals.
  • Bragging about myself and my accomplishments to someone who will love me anyway.  That way, when I’m feeling like crap, they can remind me with concrete examples.
  • Writing down my triumphs, like keeping appointments, etc.
  • Having a “fancy phone” and syncing my contacts/email/calendar through my comp and phone.  It really does help. 🙂
  • Calling my “fancy phone” my “brain.”  Even though it’s a bit of a joke, and a bit embarrassing (because it really IS a large part of my brain), I find it normalizes my need to use the tech, and I use it more often, even.
  • Did I mention coffee?
  • RescueTime!  It’s a great program for AD/HDers (in the free version, NOT in the pro version – you’ll spend way too much time screwing with the program itself for it to actually be useful).
  • Writing emails when I think of them (even if I’m working), and allowing myself to *just* ask the specific question I have at that moment.  I usually just preface it with something like, “Hi, I’m just popping in to ask xxxx.”
  • Giving in completely, sitting stiff as a board (a folded board…in my chair, I guess), and saying, “Fine, mind.  WANDER.  JUST WANDER. DO IT.”  Then my mind often pulls back sheepishly and is like, “Nooooo…I donwanna.” (cue the pouty lip and the whiny voice).  Reverse psychology CAN still work sometimes, even after the age of 12, I swear it! 🙂
  • Realizing (or theorizing?) that my anxiety may, in fact, at times, be a method of procrastinating.  And if procrastination is stupid, it would follow that my being anxious is silly (so, I guess this tip would just be to convince myself that, logically, I should stop being anxious?  Yes, I know it’s only a very temporary fix, but that’s why it’s called a COPING mechanism and not a CURING mechanism, duuuh!).
  • Allowing myself to think in multiple languages (it’s a problem when you’re ADD AND a polyglot, haha), because hey, an idea…jiushi ge zhuyi…es una idea…eto zhe smysle…is an idea! 😛
  • Oh yeah, and when I’m supposed to be doing something which I’m *not* doing (meaning, I’m procrastinating!), I will try to think about the thing I *should* be doing, and imagine how, if I were going to do that, which specific (as in exact physical actions) I would take to do it.  For instance, right now.  I’ve been on the comp for 1.68hrs, blogging and foruming instead of working!  But, if I were going to get to work, I’d end this sentence, scroll to the top of the page, make the title of the list a header, press “publish,” turn on my work-music, close the tabs on my browser, pick up my coffee and take a sip, flip to the first page of my draft, pick up my colored marker, and begin looking for the desired info.  Whew. 🙂

One response »

  1. Pingback: Yes, in fact, I WILL have the dessert menu. « Latina con Leche

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