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  #1  
Old 09-08-13, 11:22 PM
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How to Deal with Over-achievers?

It's only the first week of school, and already I'm stressed out. I'm dealing with numerous things like stress over internship stuff that's long over-due that I haven't done, exhaustion because I keep trying and failing to do anything, mood problems as a result... but a factor that's escalating my stress is one of my friends with an anxiety disorder.

She gets anxious about future events and as a result tries to stay on top of things to make herself calmer. The problem is she keeps asking me about future projects, things we need to do in class, asking if I've done things yet.

Of course I haven't. She should know me by now- I barely get things done on time and if I don't do them, I pull off crazy plots that somehow get me through based on logic and guessing. Because I don't know how to plan, organize and don't have a very good grasp on this "time" thing, it feels like everything keeps hitting me all at once even if I may have a few days to do it, I get stressed out every time because I feel like it's bombarding me. So I don't do it. I don't even understand why I keep escaping reality I know if I don't do them I'll fail but I keep thinking I have time when I don't!!!!

I get very angry when people ask me if I've done things yet. Because obviously I haven't- why are you asking me??? You know I have ADHD and I won't do them if I get stressed out. I completely abandon things if I get overwhelmed until the last possible second and pull something out my *** and it's usually magical.

I feel like I got a million things I haven't done yet. I look online and ADHD guides say to make a schedule. I don't know how!!!! I don't understand what needs to be done first, I don't know how to group the stupid tasks, I don't know when are even due!!!!! I'M SO ANGRY.

I got tasks like "call the doctor", "you owe CC 20$" "you need to do your internship papers". "Buy this or that" "You need to read papers for history, xx xxx xx classes." I always underestimate how much time those papers take.

I can't figure out how much time they will take, what is a priority, what is less important, when I need to do them by AND SOMEONE KEEPS BOMBARDING ME WITH RANDOM STUFF. It feels like information overload, I can't do all these things at once. I need to make a schedule and then I screw up because of time and planning problems. It's a vicious cycle of hate and shame, it's eating me right now.

I don't even know where I was going with this but how do you manage this stuff? What do I say to my friend to make her calm down before I get stressed out or how can she get me to do things without bombarding me with everything? How do you plan events, I feel like I need really simple baby steps to break down how to make a schedule, how to understand what priority is??? How do people with ADHD do this stuff???? I give up arg.

Other than the fact that ADHD makes me unable to pay attention to the right things, these are the biggest challenges that I have with ADHD- planning, disorganization and time management. These 3 throw me into a death trap every time and have taken any pride I feel when I do my work, no matter what I accomplish. Because I can never do things without wasting 3/4 of the time doing nothing or worrying about the problem without doing anything... and having people ask me how things are going. I always lie and say things are going fine. I think the next person that asks is going to get the truth- I'll just say everything on my mind, then maybe they'll stop asking. I bet this is why nobody thinks I have ADHD... I never tell them what's going on because I feel so much shame, I feel like a fraud. I hide behind the lie that "everything's fine".

Who am I? I'm just so upset and stressed out and scared that my mask is going to crumble and my problems are going to be laid bare for everyone to see.
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Last edited by Canadian Mess; 09-08-13 at 11:36 PM..
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  #2  
Old 09-09-13, 12:00 AM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

Over-achievers dealing with ADHDers have exactly two choices:

1. Learn the truth about ADHD;

2. I forget what the other choice was - ask sarahsweets, I think she knows.
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  #3  
Old 09-09-13, 12:03 AM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

Everything that you're saying is SO familiar to me. I have not solved all of it. I'm not even sure I've solved any of it. The baby steps and breaking it down into small pieces that you can handle is clearly right.

The vicious cycle of hate and shame can do a lot of bad things to you. There are counsellors and therapists out there who will try to "fix you" without understanding where this cycle comes from. Be careful who you listen to; get help from people who understand ADHD.
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Old 09-09-13, 03:28 PM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

Just ask people not to ask you about your progress cause it stresses you out. If they still do it hold your open hand in front of their face the moment they start asking and say stop. That you already told them it stresses you so please don't ask.

Even NTs get stressed over people bugging them like that.
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Old 09-09-13, 04:45 PM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

Short answer, keep your groove running. External expectations are a necessary albeit groove shaking reality.

Two parts to this;

-Clear assertive communication
-Task skills

( actually 3 )

-Finding a groove

That said, my default behaviour is to totally avoid anything someone else want's me to do!!! It was probably one of the first indicators of my ADD in childhood! So, I like the above post about telling people to back off ( mixed with the occasional empathetic listening / moderating / clarifying discussion )

With that in mind, "de-emotionalising" would probably be the best first step here...

Good luck with it!
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Old 09-09-13, 05:22 PM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

I usually tell them to go f**k themselves. Gets my point across.
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Old 09-09-13, 05:30 PM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I usually tell them to go f**k themselves. Gets my point across.
THAT was it! I knew you'd remember!
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Old 09-09-13, 05:35 PM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

You can't over achieve.
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Old 09-09-13, 05:46 PM
dvdnvwls dvdnvwls is offline
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

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You can't over achieve.
Good point. It's a stupid word that means "somebody who achieves more than I do".
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Old 09-09-13, 08:19 PM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdnvwls View Post
Good point. It's a stupid word that means "somebody who achieves more than I do".
Yep, in my world it means "someone who actually has their act together and since I don't, it feels like the universe is rubbing it in my face by presenting me with this person." Which explains why I'm desperately going through emails and projects, then getting the bus and going home and then desperately trying to pick up bits and pieces of my medical book. Hopefully I'll get to bed by 1 tonight.

I ended up begging my friend for help in scheduling. It dawned on me she knows how to do it since she's trying to get ahead. I was so lucky she was in a good mood today and will try helping me out with planning this week.

Now it's just the rest I need to deal with?
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Old 09-09-13, 08:23 PM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by someothertime View Post
Short answer, keep your groove running. External expectations are a necessary albeit groove shaking reality.

Two parts to this;

-Clear assertive communication
-Task skills

( actually 3 )

-Finding a groove

That said, my default behaviour is to totally avoid anything someone else want's me to do!!! It was probably one of the first indicators of my ADD in childhood! So, I like the above post about telling people to back off ( mixed with the occasional empathetic listening / moderating / clarifying discussion )

With that in mind, "de-emotionalising" would probably be the best first step here...

Good luck with it!
I need to tape this to my forehead or something so I will follow these steps!!! De-emotionalizing... definitely the weakest link in my life, got to get some of this out of my system. I even tried walking at 2 this morning and saving worms to calm me down. I will make sure to go to disability services, someone must get this whole "planning, schedule, priority" stuff...
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Old 09-09-13, 11:30 PM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

I would say the next time someone asks you how something's going, just plain tell the truth. It's a good way to vent and lets people know the real you. It's much easier not to pretend that everything's perfect. I hid behind a mask for quite some time and it is nothing short of exhausting and stressful and what you need is most likely not extra stress but support from people who know what's going on. And people can't know what's real going on if you keep your mouth shut.

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Old 09-10-13, 10:12 AM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Mess View Post
I need to tape this to my forehead or something so I will follow these steps!!! De-emotionalizing... definitely the weakest link in my life, got to get some of this out of my system. I even tried walking at 2 this morning and saving worms to calm me down. I will make sure to go to disability services, someone must get this whole "planning, schedule, priority" stuff...

Disability services is not a bad idea. I had an advisor who took the time to help me organize me notes and schedule...or at least she tried to. I was supposed to go in for weekly meetings and updates but I felt ridiculous at the time needing so much help I didn't do it. I wish I had though.
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Old 09-10-13, 11:15 AM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

Wow! And I was just thinking and feeling those same things about day to day stuff, and I don't have anything like going to school.

I agree, just tell people the truth.

When i was in grad school, before diagnosis but boy oh boy I surely did have all those ADHD work habits, I invented my "shooting duck gallery" theory of graduate education. It's pretty simple, really: What's due up next? BAM, done!

That was the only organizing principle I had, just to take things in the order in which they were due.

You should check student support services for either a workshop on study and time management, where you'll no doubt be in with a lot of wide-eyed freshmen, or a disability/CBT counselor who can help you set up a schedule for your assignments. In any case, it always helps me just to get the stuff down on paper. Handwritten -- helps the memory, I truly believe. Then rewrite, in the order due. Then enter each one on the date it's due. THEN put a "one week warning!" in a week before each assignment.

If there are any group assignments, ask someone else to set up the work and meeting schedule!

Good luck!

(The other day, in the messy kitchen I don't know how to clean, after I had been baking bread and the counters were all cluttered, I found myself asking, gee, is there anything I can just put away and create some room to work here? There was exactly one thing I could put away: the rolling pin. Then I almost fell over. I actually came up with an organizing principle! But it was a start.)
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Old 09-10-13, 11:15 AM
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Re: How to Deal with Over-achievers?

Wow! And I was just thinking and feeling those same things about day to day stuff, and I don't have anything like going to school.

I agree, just tell people the truth.

When i was in grad school, before diagnosis but boy oh boy I surely did have all those ADHD work habits, I invented my "shooting duck gallery" theory of graduate education. It's pretty simple, really: What's due up next? BAM, done!

That was the only organizing principle I had, just to take things in the order in which they were due.

You should check student support services for either a workshop on study and time management, where you'll no doubt be in with a lot of wide-eyed freshmen, or a disability/CBT counselor who can help you set up a schedule for your assignments. In any case, it always helps me just to get the stuff down on paper. Handwritten -- helps the memory, I truly believe. Then rewrite, in the order due. Then enter each one on the date it's due. THEN put a "one week warning!" in a week before each assignment.

If there are any group assignments, ask someone else to set up the work and meeting schedule!

Good luck!

(The other day, in the messy kitchen I don't know how to clean, after I had been baking bread and the counters were all cluttered, I found myself asking, gee, is there anything I can just put away and create some room to work here? Then I almost fell over. I actually came up with an organizing principle! There was exactly one thing I could put away: the rolling pin. But it was a start.)
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