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Old 07-13-15, 02:10 AM
Drogheda Drogheda is offline
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the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

I had this thought a while ago, about 6 months ago I started working out. doing one thing constantly.

didn't aim for perfection, no scale.

I looked at why diets and new years resolutions don't work. what are people trying to do. one thing, lose weight. they were aiming for perfection, and I have done this before.

I looked at what I had done before to make positive gains in my life, telling myself every day that things are getting better, the day is going to be an awesome day and I'm going to do a bit more.

that worked. it started off a silly thing, but over time, I felt way better about myself and the day in front of me.

so, instead of losing weight I told myself, every day, I'm going to get healthy. I made it part of my story, just like I tell myself every morning the day is going to be a good day and here I am, sitting on 50 pushups(and a bunch of other things, a 4 minute warrior pose) and aiming to run a 5k after august. lost a lot of weight and now I got on the scale a few times for a different reason. I'm sitting on 217( from 257 mind you) and look at it and the way my body looks every week. it stays around 217 and I feel wonderfull about that because I can see, feel and measure (more pushups and other workouts) that I'm getting healthier were as before, if I stayed at 217 I would freak out, cause now I realize(and there is a very real difference between knowing and realizing) that my body is loosing fat but at the same time growing muscle and 217 is just that number of homeostasis right now. if I start gaining weight I don't care, if I lose it then great, thats just how it is.

the more I read, listened (radiolab is awesome), talked to my therapist and other people the more I realized the the very real psychological thing as the *story we tell ourselves*. it keeps on popping up over and over, and even though I could talk about other stuff, I need to keep it about this.

but it's just us thinking/telling ourselves the story, it's our inner thoughts
that really make it ours and those take time to change. when I tell myself the day is going to be a good day I deny my inner thoughts saying negative things... the more you do that the more those inner thoughts start to change.... and oddly, the less surface anxiety you get rid of by doing this the more inner anxiety shows it's face and man... when you finally confront that it feels fantastic even though it's scary as hell.

so what does this have to do with ADHD, why am I saying this?

I fully believe that we have to work with our brain(duh, lol),we have to understand what is going on... we have to diagram it almost like a sentence. for instance, when I say " I am going to do this" you are literally connecting different parts of the brain than if you say "I'm going to do this". when you add the action, and for instance... do what I have been doing, have someone to be accountable to, you weaken the chain between the future and strengthen the chain of the present.


when I would type to my friend icuras that I am going to work out, that I am going to work on music when I was starting this, I would do it. no delay, no procrastination. it's the sentence diagram of you're brain, you are connecting different regions... you are learning, the inner voices are changing. saying "today is going to be a good day" is changing the patterns of thinking in my head.

and it has. now every day I work out without hesitation 40 minutes after I Take my medication. I then work on the other things that need to be worked on. with ADHD, I fully believe that we have to rewire these thoughts in our head to be as straight as can be, and if there is an addictive thought or something you really don't want to do but can't resist, you have to rewire it with something else... something that makes your thoughts straight.

it's the story you tell yourself.
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Old 07-13-15, 02:54 AM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

Great post. Congrats on the exercise regime too. I'm a gamer so exercise so I still know I have legs.
I'll have to start telling myself today will be a good day.
I've not been playing the games for a few days and I'm trying to get some inspiration to become creative and it's been a good time to do the things I've always been putting off.

I've been doing some de-stress colouring too.
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Old 07-13-15, 05:00 AM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

it seems to be little steps and letting go, no matter how hard that is (and for some maybee impossible I don't know)

I started with just basic stretches, a few Kata's I remembered from Bak fu and 5 pounds weights. I remember thinking "this is kind of silly but I must push on"

the one thing to bring drive, to have one victory, a solid victory.

now after 6 months I feel like I half to work out. it feels amazing, the reward I get from it is so great and the day looks a little better. then meditation in the sun for 15 is wonderful (loads of scientific reasons there I'll get to in another post).

same with music. I can create huge grand peices but they were me out right now, so I'm starting rather slow and building, every day.... even when I don't feel like it I make a packt with someone to use the day. now most of the times I have to do atleast 2 hours of music in one form or another.

and thats the key to the ulysses pact. in the end, you are forcing yourself to see the now for what it is. you do that, you have 15 songs in your library waiting for 15 more days to complete them.

no comparing ourselves to others. this is who we are so lets move how we move.

the key is not to let perfection get in the way, perfection is a dream and if you worship it it will only stall you because you can never creates it, it's beyond reality, chasing the dragon. the CHASE is what you want and, for me, you got to chase it, listen to it, talk to it.... what do you want "icuras gave me that one and it has helped". these are parts of the brain responsable for creativitiy or whatver, pamper them, give them what they want.... maybee a walk outside first to prep (my therapist and I have talke d a bit about that actually)

the key is you it is hard to do alone. find someone you trust and send him a text "I am going to do this"... something small at first then, over and over keep it up (I actually use facebook for this now and Icuras sometimes)


right out what you want on a peice of paper and start at the bottom. it sounds crazy, but after a while, those baby steps grow into bigger steps and the most important thing is you are training your brain even WITH adhd. you are training it so the next thing you want to do will not be so hard to start/decide.

I swear the more of these you do the easer it is for everything else. you just got to watch out, there will be slow days but.... thats just part of the process. like when you are working our a bicep real hard, sometimes the day after it needs to rest and then.... it's STRONGER the next day.

start throwing thinking in that way. I'm talking to ICuras now about ridding a horrible habit I have that needs to go and it's working so far.

it's tough at first so start small, I did at the first of the year, now I have a freaking 3 pack (almost 6 pack but not quite there yet) and I feel amazing just feeling these muscles that were not there before.

if anyone needs a rope I'll be glad to oblige.
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Old 07-14-15, 01:12 AM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

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Originally Posted by Drogheda View Post
no comparing ourselves to others. this is who we are so lets move how we move.
Hard for me not to compare, when I realize so many who have executive function problems can still be so competitive and achieve so much... I just feel small.

I get the impression comparison is not such a problem for you, man... you're certainly sharp as hell; on top of that, you're not any kind of underachiever. In the meantime I may have to accept that my impotent brain is too limp to even get a 2-year degree at community college.. I may have to accept I can barely handle working 8 straight hours at the supermarket without coming home sweaty and worn out, and angry that such a crappy job is realistically the best I could hope for.

You act as if the proper mindset is the key to achievement on par with NTs, just like you're doing right now... but where does that leave a sub-threshold learning disability like mine? How do you "out-think" doing everything at 1/10th the pace of the average person, and justifiably getting worn out?

I hate to say it but I think your methodology only works for those gifted enough to make use of it.

I'm aware this is cynical; but I'm saying it because I don't know that "low functioning ADD" or learning challenged folks can benefit much from your program. I don't think, should we take the plunge, it will allow us to function at the high level you've established for yourself.
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Old 07-14-15, 07:03 AM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

I don't know if I agree completely with what you say OP (only partially).

I think positive thinking can help fight some of the comorbid effects (i.e. anxiety) and low self-esteem.

So if you have a comorbid or low self-esteem(don't believe in yourself), putting extra effort in to being positive can be really helpful.

But if you don't have either of these, well I think you're better off putting your efforts and focus into being realistic and finding creative solutions to your strengths and weaknesses that you see without bias.

You can't "cure" ADHD. The symptoms are still there no matter what you do so learning to work around them without bias is much more effective than spending your time trying to be extra positive. Perhaps being extra positive can provide you with some extra motivation in the short term. But for some being extra perky and positive all the time is exhausting work (you would be fighting who you are all the time in a sense). And it's just not worth it if your self-esteem is good and you don't have comorbids.

Don't get me wrong. I think there are a lot of people who are really down about themselves and their adhd and that negativity can hurt them a lot. But neutral thinking (thinking without bias) is in my opinion just as effective for some as positive thinking - moreso even.
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Old 07-14-15, 11:27 AM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

Great progress!! Keep it up
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Old 07-14-15, 12:10 PM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

I'm always fascinated by the various views of positive thinking.

I think many peeps are incredibly jaded by the fake and false positivity stuff that tries way too hard to be sickeningly sweet at any cost that they may overlook the positivity that comes from knowing what something as simple as changing your mind about a topic can do, especially when it comes from a place of discovery after living for so many years in deep and painful misery.

Learning to fully step outside of self and become an observer was priceless. (as were the meds and talk therapy, initially) The days I get caught up in the currents of reality are the days I get down. I worry about the peeps who don't feel crappy after a big dose of what is real nowadays. My only hope and relief as of late has been in learning how to navigate the ditches in ways that I can sustain without meds.

Thank you for sharing your story and offering views from where you're currently standing. Grateful for this space to absorb and learn from all.
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Old 07-14-15, 12:25 PM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

Relentless pursuit of positivity can only ever work for a person whose habitual outlook is relentlessly negative, because truth is the only reliable guide to success. If complete positivity is working for you, then you know that you have been completely negative for a long time. But it can't work for everyone, and it can't even continue to work for you; soon your habitual outlook will become more balanced, and when that happens, continuing to put a positive spin on everything will become a barrier to success.
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Old 07-14-15, 12:48 PM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

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Relentless pursuit of positivity can only ever work for a person whose habitual outlook is relentlessly negative, because truth is the only reliable guide to success. If complete positivity is working for you, then you know that you have been completely negative for a long time. But it can't work for everyone, and it can't even continue to work for you; soon your habitual outlook will become more balanced, and when that happens, continuing to put a positive spin on everything will become a barrier to success.
If the positivity being practiced or delivered is false-based and spun, it may indeed fizzle and crash, because it isn't real, but perhaps not until you've crossed a much needed hump. If I'm already feeling frazzled, and I have energy left, I will choose to pursue the sunny side of the street most times. It tends to be a sure way to lift the rest of me.

Acceptance and better navigation of the darker side of things has been critical, too. Avoidance of it fostered unhealthiness beyond belief. If positivity comes from genuine intent and hasn't required all that spinning to get it there, then your success will likely continue in that same vein of truth. I've discovered for myself that a relentless pursuit based on false fronts only wreaks more havoc and is no longer necessary.
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Old 07-14-15, 04:06 PM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

Great storytellers have a knack of changing the story... they know when it's time to add some intrigue and surprise to keep their audience captivated.

In the absence of a story, the prevailing immediate, or pooling past and future have a knack of making themselves larger than life.

I think ADDers do need a story..... and it is as much hope and air as it is desire. If the flipside has a place there too, there is no imbalance. Your emphasis on core theme over event Drog seems to have served you well..... can't wait to hear the tales therein
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Old 07-14-15, 11:03 PM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unmanagable View Post
I think many peeps are incredibly jaded by the fake and false positivity stuff that tries way too hard to be sickeningly sweet at any cost that they may overlook the positivity that comes from knowing what something as simple as changing your mind about a topic can do, especially when it comes from a place of discovery after living for so many years in deep and painful misery.

Learning to fully step outside of self and become an observer was priceless. (as were the meds and talk therapy, initially)
I kind of wonder sometimes whether we are all preaching the same thing even though we don't realize it.

What you're writing about to me is what I called neutral thinking. Looking at things like you're stepping outside of self and being able to change your mind because you're seeing things from an unemotional, unbiased perspective.

I think OP is in part supporting that idea too. But he then goes on to say stuff like he just tells himself over and over again that he's got to rewire his mind. He just tells himself every day that he can do it, he can do it, and then he ends up being able to do it. Well, that works for some things but for other things it sounds like the "work harder" mentality which doesn't work for us. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what he's meaning though.
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Old 07-15-15, 04:15 AM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

Quote:
when I tell myself the day is going to be a good day I deny my inner thoughts saying negative things....
Just to note.....just because one doesnt use positive thinking, does not mean they are letting their negative thoughts take over.

so what does this have to do with ADHD, why am I saying this?

Quote:
I fully believe that we have to work with our brain(duh, lol),we have to understand what is going on... we have to diagram it almost like a sentence. for instance, when I say " I am going to do this" you are literally connecting different parts of the brain than if you say "I'm going to do this". when you add the action, and for instance... do what I have been doing, have someone to be accountable to, you weaken the chain between the future and strengthen the chain of the present.
Of course working with, not against our brain is going to be helpful. But the fact is, adhd is defined by impairment. It is chronic, lifelong and treatment can help-not cure.


Quote:
"today is going to be a good day" is changing the patterns of thinking in my head.
Ive said that more times then I can count and then my adhd which causes me to be impatient and impulsive rears its ugly head and Ill get pulled over for speeding, or lock my keys in my car. No amount of positive thinking has ever prevented this.

Quote:
with ADHD, I fully believe that we have to rewire these thoughts in our head to be as straight as can be, and if there is an addictive thought or something you really don't want to do but can't resist, you have to rewire it with something else... something that makes your thoughts straight.
Speaking solely about addiction, something like alcoholism is a disease and the best treatment is abstinence. I use the 12 step thing but plenty of people have stopped other ways. You do have to retrain your mind and that reward center so that you associate positive things with not drinking and negative things with drinking.So I agree with you there.
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Old 07-15-15, 06:16 PM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

Drogheda, I like your point about not aiming for perfection. I think that's a good suggestion.
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Old 07-16-15, 06:10 PM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

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You act as if the proper mindset is the key to achievement on par with NTs, just like you're doing right now... but where does that leave a sub-threshold learning disability like mine? How do you "out-think" doing everything at 1/10th the pace of the average person, and justifiably getting worn out?

I hate to say it but I think your methodology only works for those gifted enough to make use of it.

.
well, let me say that this is what I thought 2 years ago.

I'm not sure of the devices, all the brain mechanics that are being used etc... the only thing I can think of is learned negative behavior being overdriven by learned positive.

you can go back in my history, 2 years ago I was a complete train-wreck. I can only look back and say that I'm a completely different person, with a completely different perspective on the world.

I don't know, this past year (meaning the last 7 months) have been nothing but steady progress, lapses sure, those are to be expected, but with those lapses you go in and you look and see what is going on.

I think the first year and a half of therapy was more or less a primer, getting surface anxieties out of the way so I can finally start to see and stop being lost in the forest all the time. and then getting to the real deal anxieties that are holding you back, the real fears, the real dread... the ones you simply can't talk about(or I can't).

I gota say though, that the story you tell yourself is the real deal. I simply gave up on the thought a while ago that I was subpar to anyone... again, it takes a while for that to sink in and the mirrors in our head to be re-arranged. but just like waking up and saying today is going to be a good day, it came, and even though there are still struggles, still feeling myself, understanding myself... that's the way it is. stopping to compare yourself, again, takes time to sink in... and you kind of have to go back in time and forgive yourself for this and that.
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Old 07-16-15, 06:25 PM
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Re: the story we tell ourselves, the brain diagram. month+ of positive gain

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Originally Posted by acdc01 View Post
.

I think OP is in part supporting that idea too. But he then goes on to say stuff like he just tells himself over and over again that he's got to rewire his mind. He just tells himself every day that he can do it, he can do it, and then he ends up being able to do it. Well, that works for some things but for other things it sounds like the "work harder" mentality which doesn't work for us. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what he's meaning though.
there really isn't enough time to cover everything, so the meaning does get fractured. however the words and meaning are still there.

for instance, and I think you hit on this, not striving for perfection and not comparing yourself and then, the story we tell ourselves. the story I tell myself, the positive thinking, isn't that I'm going to be something I can't do. I know, right now atleast, what I can and can't do and there are going to be challenges in the future were I Will find out more about myself.

what I can do is continue to figure out how I work, what I can do is continue to keep up the momentum in my habits and routines that work for me. what I can do is continue to repurpose things, get rid of distractions (it's hard to get out of the forest when you run in it for so long). what I can do is continue to live my life and not someone elses, to continue to not compare. to continue my music/sound design that I can do, to continue the programming that I can do, continue other productions that I can do and work out, to feel the day for who I am(and say, I enjoy all of them tremendously).

positive thinking isn't thinking you are Olympus with the world on your back... that's pshychotic thinking. it's figuring out who you are, how you work, what you enjoy and thinking positively onto yourself about real daily ( and future, but you don't want to live in a house of cards) and thinking positively about yourself and what you can do, and stop dreading the things you can't because you put them out of your'e mind. I think that is one of the keys to anxiety maintenence in it's purest form to be honest, anxiety, for me atleast, all stems from things we don't have an control over and those take over and replace the things you can't do with simple negative thoughts and emotions. forgive, take respectability, forget (well, in the context of how humans can forget something).
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