Most people get upset from time to time, often those who have ADHD are troubled a little more often. One of the most frequent pieces of advice is “don’t let it bother you.” The advice is well meaning. Some are able to push their troubles away easier than others. They can pretend that everything is honky-dory and just go on with their day. But often neurodivergent people, such as those with ADHD or Autism cannot bring themselves to be complacent. Even if they don’t feel like there is anything they can do about a situation, the problems eats at them internally and depletes their confidence.
By now, just about everyone has heard of Greta Thunberg, the girl from Sweden who has become an international authority and inspiration on climate change. Greta is on the autistic spectrum, which may be part of the reason why the issue bothers her so deeply. Even as a young girl, she began to think of one action at a time to try an influence the way people thought about climate change. She made changes in her own life in order to reduce her own carbon footprint.
But this isn’t about climate change, specifically. It’s about listening to your own instincts and honoring the things that bother you in a way that is productive.
When I am complacent, I push things under the rug. I do things that feel good at the time and am easily bored by things that are good for me. The other day, I had an altercation and for a change I didn’t cower. I stood up for myself. I spoke up. It did not change anything major, but it was a step for me personally.
But my biggest confrontations aren’t with others. They are with myself. They come from seemingly small things, like making a phone call to cancel a service I was tricked into starting. They come from choosing healthy groceries over convenient or taking a walk instead of watching TV. It’s about seeing who I want to be in a bio, and living up to it.
I am no Greta Thunberg, but I admire her conviction immensely. I care about the environment, but I doubt I will go to the lengths she does to make her point. I do, however, want to be a person that limits meat, dairy, and processed food for the sake of my own health and that of the planet. I want to start using “ugly food” programs in order to eat organic more often.
I want to get back to reading more often and keeping large electronics to a minimum – like watching shows on a tablet instead of a big TV. I want to batch cook from scratch and pre-portion my own frozen meals for those times when I really want some extra convenience.
I want to create a schedule that honors my ADHD brain and makes the most of its possibilities. For me, that means longer hours and shifts in focus between money making ventures and other worthy pursuits.
I want to start when I start, and be done when I’m done. Knowing where to start is hard. Touching on all the options will be hard. I know myself enough to realize that there will be lost hours, and sometimes lost days. But there is no time to dwell on the moments of imperfection. There needs to be learning within forgiveness.
I want to sweat the small stuff just enough to make progress, but not enough to feel like I am drowning. I want to self sustain and slowly get ready to do one better.
So what bothers me? The easy way out. Taking more than I need of things, whether or not I “qualify.” So often we are encouraged to get what’s coming to us that we fail to see what is truly available if we strive to get more for ourselves, and for others. My own complacency and satisfaction bothers me, and my past failure at being that one small part of the whole.
Every time I fall I splat down like soft clay, and lay there waiting to take the mold of someone else’s boot. No more. I might not succeed at everything, but I want to feel my best in my own skin, and I can’t do that if I can’t be bothered.