Good morning! Here’s your Mon morning #ADHD basics thread:

ADHD causes an inability to “feel” time. It is said that people with ADHD have a short “time horizon”; that we can’t see very far into the future. Since we struggle both to measure time (as in, how long something takes)
And to feel the future, it can complicate a lot of things. Some examples:

- chronic lateness due to not knowing how long things actually take (like getting ready, driving somewhere etc)
- overbooking /busying oneself due to not being able to accurately judge how much time things will take up in the schedule

- not being able to work consistently toward a goal because it feels too far away and it’s in the “not-now”

- not managing time well in the moment
(Ie, I only have half an hour for lunch but I spend 25 minutes fiddling with something in the kitchen because it doesn’t feel like time is passing)
ADHDers conceptualize time in two ways: now/not now. Anything NOW demands our attention, is urgent, is stimulating, can be attended to

Anything in the NOT NOW is basically never/I don’t know when it is and I’ll probably forget
So, projects with fuzzy / far away deadlines (“just get this to me when you can”), things that someone asked you to do “later when you have time”, or tasks you think you’ll return to (like cleaning up after eating) all go into the nebulous Not-Now Land
Things come back from Not Now Land only occasionally and only in a few ways.

1. they suddenly become urgent (have you finished that report that is due today?)

2. They become interesting (I just saw a show about fly fishing & I remember I bought that rod and reel 8 months ago)
Or 3. You plan for them, put them in a real, feel-able future that you are aware of and you remind yourself that they exist.

Guess which one ADHDers are bad at?
It’s actually a lot if you think about it. I need to put said event or task into a time in the future and I already need to know what Future Dusty, who is a creature of great impulse, will be doing at that time
If I don’t have some kind of method of tracking future events and tasks like a calendar or planner, I can’t do that. But as many an ADHDer knows, HAVING a calendar and REMEMBERING THE CALENDAR EXISTS AND TO CHECK IT are very different things
If I can remember to put the thing in the calendar and remember to check the calendar, I also have to be cognizant of the date and time in the moment. Like, I can know that tomorrow is Tuesday and that I have a dentist appointment on Tuesday but if I don’t remember that
Tuesday is Tuesday when I wake up, I can still forget.

This one is so hard to explain. It’s like, I remember that I have an appointment Tuesday. And I know that today is Tuesday. But my brain doesn’t put those facts together somehow? It’s weird.
So there’s the “in-the-moment” forgetting that can happen. For this reason, keeping your calendar and planner game strong is both important and very challenging.
Another way to think about “now/not now” thinking is “black and white” thinking. Another way to think about “black and white” thinking is “all or nothing” thinking. Many people with ADHD are all or nothing thinkers and this extends to tasks and gets mixed up with time
Most ADHDers, without coaching or therapy, are pretty rigid thinkers, especially about tasks. We don’t want to start them unless we can finish them (perfectionism). And since we can’t “feel” time and we don’t know how long a task might take, we are paralyzed to start it.
Conversely this can look like starting tasks and getting really behind because you under-estimated how long it would take.

“Hey what time should we leave for the movies?”
“Come over in 20 minutes! I’m just doing the dishes and getting ready!”
[proceeds to take 30 min doing
Dishes and then another 20 getting ready and the person waiting on you is very annoyed]
It can be really distressing when you think you can get like, five things done but you only get one done because it took WAY LONGER than you anticipated yet the next time you go to get things done you still underestimate. ADHDers get locked into a cycle of not learning from
Past mistakes/behaviours so we keep making them and not understanding why.

It can be distressing to be SO SURE you budgeting enough time to get somewhere/finish on time and still be late.
It’s like, imagine time is 3D, it has volume or weight. And when we want to make a plan or plan a task, we have a box and we need to fill that box with the appropriate amount of objects, which have volume and weight.

Except we see in 2D.
We know there’s room in the box but how much? We know the objects take up some of the room but how much? Know how many objects you can fit in a 2D box without knowing the size of the objects is impossible. Ladies, gents and NB folks, I give you “managing time and tasks with ADHD”

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More from @dustychipura

9 Sep
So I have long pondered how I can support ND people in crisis, like, those for whom coaching is not appropriate. Don't get me wrong; I think coaching is the bees knees but you kinda have to be at a certain place in your life for it to make sense for you
if you're struggling to just keep a roof over your head you don't have a lot of capacity to think about the best strategy not to lose your keys, or what you *really* want out of life and how to work with your ADHD to get there. And I've coached lots of people in crisis;
just being a presence there, being a person who supports them, cares about them and holds the space & helps them work through figuring things out when everything feels like it's on fire is a worthy endeavour, but in that situation coaching isn't helping the best it can
Read 16 tweets
20 Aug
hey #ADHD twitter, an American client has a medical problem I don't know how to solve.

This client went to a psychiatrist and was prescribed meds for ADHD. Then their insurance lapsed and one appointment was not paid for. The doctor advised the client they owed $500
which the client could not pay (but offered half). The client asked for their medical records to go to another doctor, and was refused. They were told that their medical records do not belong to them and would not be released until the bill was settled.
The client got the police involved and a police report was filed, but the client was told it was a civil matter and that they would need to get a lawyer. As a result, the client has not been able to get a prescription for their ADHD medication.
Read 4 tweets
1 Aug
Here’s a story for the ‘kids with #adhd tend to have social struggles due to NOT paying attention to social cues’ file (@AuthorCarolineM you’re going to love this one).

In the early 90s I was invited to my friend Gillian’s birthday. We were 9, maybe 10.
My mom took me to the mall to get her a gift. At the time I thought my big brother was just about the coolest guy in the world (he’s 7 years older than me) and that everything he liked was the best, and at that time he was really into rap and hip hop.
I had seen this @SnoopDogg cassette tape he had, and it had a little cartoon comic inside, so naturally that is what I got her. I guess my mom just… didn’t check or look at it? Because this was the comic:…
Read 7 tweets
6 Jul
I think one thing people forget about #ADHD is that it creates a variable capacity. People don't understand how someone can be so high-performing and then the next time, forget something completely basic and important or make a really careless mistake.
This also has ramifications for the person WITH ADHD... imagine thinking "i've got this! I've done this before!" and then goofing up big time in a way that is frankly embarrassing and just... not being able to explain how that happened 🤷‍♀️
In a sense you know; you can look back and realize, "I was distracted", "I wasn't paying attention" etc... but it seems infathomable. To have a variable capacity costs us our relationship with ourselves because adults with ADHD come to mistrust their own capacity.
Read 15 tweets
3 Apr
When your friends and acquaintances on FB send you messages like this.....🤦‍♀️

*cracks knuckles*
At this point messages like these actively make me angry and I have to check myself not to just angrily unload on them lol. But COME ON.
My response:
Read 21 tweets
1 Apr
this is an important thread and also can we use it as a jumping off point to compile a list of accessible resources/tools for people who face financial barriers?
I have a whole tangent to go on here about coaching but I'mma start with the resources:

Podcasts that offer ADHD tips, tricks and skills (not all of which may be accessible/free but the podcast itself is)
- @translatingadhd
- @adhdadulting
- @adhdessentials
Focusmate - offers up to 3 free body doubling sessions a month and then is only $5/month membership afterwards. Body doubling is, IMHO the *GOLD STANDARD* of productivity support for the Thing I Can't Make Myself Sit Down And Do
Read 7 tweets

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