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Adapting to ADHD --- It isn't good or bad, it just is what it is
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Is it Acceptable to Fail?

Posted 07-08-13 at 10:22 AM by KCTang
Here's a trick question: How low are the standards you set for yourself?

Because I think some of us need to let ourselves set the bar lower.

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One of the best --- and also hardest --- things I do for myself is look at my shoddy productivity and not just forgive, but come to terms that my genetics have predetermined a certain amount of failure.

Failure to motivate. Failure to comprehend instruction. Failure to remember. Failure to concentrate.

So there are times when I'm only 40%, maybe 20% productive --- maybe less --- and all I can do is chuckle at my brain, and wait for it to pass. Maybe I'll try to make up for it later. Maybe I won't. But as much as I can remember, I try not to hurt myself further by beating myself up for it.

It is not reasonable for me to expect consistent productivity comparable to people without an ADHD brain. Most tasks I approach were not geared towards my low Working Memory, difficulty with distraction, my "On & Off" days, etc.

That acceptance has helped me stop looking at the bad. It's eased the guilt trip that makes things worse. It's let off that sense of obligation that I try to indirectly pressure myself with (which usually does the opposite of motivating me, and leaves me with self-disdain).

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It is hard to remember to go easy on myself. I've had 'regular expectations' trained into me by seeing it around me every day since things got noticeably tougher in high school. And others will remind me of how I 'should' be performing.

But they don't have my brain, and I don't choose to be like this. I can only do what I can to make the day go by as best as possible, even if that 'best' is comparatively not that great.

When I absolve myself of guilt, I find I'm carrying less baggage. It does get a bit easier to turn things around. And when I am doing well, there's less fear of falling back.

It's been about 2 years of working on thinking like this, now. On the overall, I know I'm juggling more plates than I ever have. And I believe a big part of that is because I'm learning not to kick myself when I'm down. And to give myself respect ~regardless~ of my results.

Maybe some of you will benefit from going easier on yourselves too.
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