Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My mind never slows down...never...ever...

My mind...never...slows...down....

I always wonder what it's like to be a normal person without an ADHD mind.
  1. Does their mind rest? 
  2. Can they literally chill?
  3. When they go to yoga and lay down in Shavasana (at the end of practice where you let your mind rest), do they let their mind rest and focus on their breathing without racing thoughts coming to the forefront of their mind? 
  4. What happens when they try to go to sleep? 
  5. What is their mind thinking about when they drive a car? 

I can tell you, from experience, that the ADHD mind doesn't focus long enough to rest. 
  • In Shavasana, I can guarantee you that I TRY to focus on my breathing, and it lasts for five measly seconds before I'm thinking about the prescription I need to pick up after practice, or what I said on a conference call earlier. 
  • When I sleep my mind races through the day, replaying it, reminding me of all the things I meant to do but forgot. My husband can fall asleep in two seconds with the TV blaring, and I can lay in bed for an hour and wonder how he falls asleep with no effort! 
  • When I drive a car, I pay attention to the road (of course!), but I am also solving a work problem in my head (I actually did figure out a solution to a work problem in my head today on the way to the gym)! 

How about these other traits? 

Do you pick fights to give your brain some adrenaline?

You should have seen little ole me growing up in the 80s and 90s. Not many people knew about ADHD then, and luckily in my teenage years it settled down. I was not diagnosed until I was an adult, so my childhood years were challenging. There is a reason I was nicknamed, "Queen bitch of the Universe." To be honest, I wasn't mean! I'm seriously the most empathetic person you could ever meet, but I loved a good argument.

There are too many stories I can tell you where I pissed my brother off so much that he would run through the house with a fireplace poker trying to beat the crap out of me (for the record he never did!) My brother and I never got along growing up. I instigated and agitated until he blew up pretty much every day. I'm sure my parents were ready to ship me off to boarding school, and it's probably the reason my dad drank at night, but my brain needed stimulation.

Thankfully my parents realized I couldn't just sit at home. They worked too much for me to be involved in school sports, and I really didn't have the attention span anyhow. Cue in the story about the time they enrolled me in baseball. I was in the outfield and was too busy watching cute boys to notice the ball whizzing by my head. Baseball was a bit too slow for me. Karate was a perfect outlet. It taught discipline and with hard work I was soon a black belt sensei. It also probably cured my brain of that much needed physical and mental activity.

Are you obsessed with music?

I think people with ADHD are naturally drawn to music. Sure, I watch tv, but I'd give up tv for music any day. I used to have music with me at all times when I was growing up. The cassette tapes were my best friend. I would even take my Walkman to school so that I could have music in one ear and the teacher in the other. I would even listen to music while taking tests. I'm sure the teachers didn't always like it but I KNEW if I listened to music while taking my tests, I would do better, and I did.

I'm also one of the only people you will find that does computer coding with headphones. I need it. I can't stand the silence. Sometimes it's the 80s, sometimes it's smooth jazz and sometimes when I'm really stressed out, it's spa music (all compliments of Pandora). It's a proven fact that people with ADHD focus better with music. I know I do.

Embrace your gifts.

What I do know is ADHD makes me unique and special.

My youngest son, Justin, has ADHD and I tell him all the time it's a gift.
  • How many people can hyperfocus and solve issues? 
  • How many people can solve problems doing normal things (like driving!)? 
  • How many people thrive on chaos and easily manage it? We live for that! 
  • Multi-tasking? We have that down pact. 
  • Creative ideas? We have that, too. 
  • Love of learning? That's a trait we have because we hate to be bored. Throw as much new stuff at us as you want. We love to learn new things! 
ADHD isn't a curse or a bad word, though some days we look at it that way. Having ADHD can make us scattered and forgetful, but it can make us passionate and productive. I've taught my son to embrace his gifts and use them to the best of his ability, and to focus on what they can do for you, and not what they can't.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sometimes life passes by in the blink of an eye....

Sometimes you blink and you realize a month went by. A year flew by. Multiple years flew by. Your kids are getting older, and this means you are getting older, too.

My last blog post here was the beginning of 2014. 2012-2014 were years that were faced with a lot of challenges and a lot of victories. There are scars that hold a million untold stories. Why fixate on the past when you can live in the present and hope for the future? Your mind is an amazing thing. When faced with tumultuous times, it knows to block out painful memories. People will often ask if I remember this or that, and my answer is, 'No.' My mind literally blocked the bad memories. Why waste precious brain matter with bad memories? Chemo already killed enough brain cells, therefore there is a permanent sign in my brain that says, 'Good memories always.' To be honest, I was quite worried that chemo did a number on my brain. I couldn't remember so many things. Was it aging or did I really have chemo brain?

Recently at work (stick with me here, it relates to my previous story) my position was outsourced, and so I was moved to an area that I supported over ten years ago. When I first started training I did not remember a thing. Ten years is a long time to be gone from something. Panic set in. Oh dear, I can't remember anything? Nothing?

Instead of sitting in a moment of panic and in a sea of despair, I focused on one thing - learning.

I read more documents between July and August than most people read in years. I asked questions. I studied how everything worked. A month or two, that's all I needed.

I was reflecting on this the other day: I was in a rut with my old position. I needed a challenge, but I was comfortable. The outsourcing forced me out of this comfort level. It threw me into a position where I was going to either rise above everything, or fail miserably. If anyone knows me, I don't take to failure well, and I don't give up. Briana means 'The Strong' and I live by that mantra every day.

As I was reflecting, I thought, this job change, it pushed me into an uncomfortable position, but it excited me. I actually looked forward to working and learning. I looked forward to seeing problems and solving them. In fact, this job change was exactly what I needed to prove to myself that I am still fantastic at what I do.

There was a moment in all of the fog where I thought to myself, are my brain cells shot? I was honestly worried.

The answer was, 'No.' They were bored. Yes, bored.

The new position makes me excited to go to work every day. I am slammed busy, but I'm making a difference. I'm seeing progress every day. It's like biking uphill and thinking, 'Oh my God, it keeps going and going and going...' but then you stop and look back and you realize how far you have come and how much you have accomplished. That's how it is. Every day I go to work and I love it. I have to MAKE myself stop working at the end of the day. I get into my ADHD hyperfocus mode and I tell myself, just try this, or let's try this instead, and I keep trying to figure out my problem until it's getting late and I need to just stop.

All, in all, I'm elated that I'm working in this group again. My work is appreciated, I'm appreciated and I enjoy the daily challenges. Everyone should wish to enjoy their job as much as I do.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

12/22 Happier posts

I love Garfield and Odie!

Seriously? 2 days and 15 hours? Sheesh!! Honestly I can't wait!!

His hair makes me laugh!

$350 in groceries (shock)...

Dang this is good yogurt!! WoW!! Noose brand.

One of my Christmas favorites!

My favorite boys + a neighbor!! :) 38 degree basketball lol

I found this online - of a place in Addison, Dallas. Isn't it so pretty?

My tree makes me happy!

Happiness is a plate of pierogies! Love Polish food!

Santa outfit is too small. lol he's still darn cute!

My mom knits me the best socks!!!! I have the warmest feet every winter. 

They featured my post in discover on Happier. So cool!

Nick (left) is sleeping over. When these two play baseball we can't tell them apart lol. Same height. Same build. Same hair in a hat. Great friends!

Eggnog love and bedtime!

I love a made bed! My dog is hiding out among the pillows lol

Saturday, December 21, 2013

12/21 Happier moments

Remember this folks - I move mountains!

"Wakey Wakey", says Rascal!!

Coffee. iPad. Kids are doing errands with dad. Pandora streaming Christmas music on the sound bar. Life is good!!

This is a 'word cloud' using the words I use most on happier. Notice Happy is the biggest and then Justin lol. That kid makes me laugh

Awe got this from my little niece!!! It was a get well soon from my surgery two months ago. Awe!

My sweet niece made an ornament for me! 

My mom sent us chocolates. YUM

Kids are finding coins for their new coin albums. Dad collects coins so he's showing them how to start.

Mom and dad sent chocolates. Life is like a box of chocolates...

Chocolate goodies! Whitman's and Ghiradelli. Do I have to share?

Sent this to my bestie, Kelly. She LOVES Rosa's and Joe and I went here for lunch.

Rosa's Cafe for lunch. Eating really healthy lately (sarcasm)!

I'm happy to finally have a lap desk!!

Sun is trying to show her sunny rays after our rain today

My new lap desk, iPad and the weather channel is on - just a few of my favorite things!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday parties galore!

65 and cloudy. A little muggy because rain is coming. Beautiful morning to walk the dog in peace.

I love the rain which may be coming this way but the sun is trying to show her sunny ways anyhow, this morning. Blessed to have awesome weather in December.

Sun trying to show

Sun showing herself.

Be Happy. It's your choice.

Justin at his school Christmas party today.

They are happy to go to drop in daycare again!

Happy is eating deep fried pickles!!

Minecraft stocking stuffer score from Barnes and Noble! 

Starbucks Caramel brûlée blended frappucino drink. Mmmmm

Joey at his class party today. 

As you can see he is very creative haha!

Joey and his teacher. She is amazing and such an amazing teacher and gorgeous on top of it all!

Justin's best friend Carson, hanging out under the table.

Justin at his holiday party. He does the long hair so well.

The snow globe they made.

Justin's teacher who is also amazing and beautiful!! Justin loves her! He's not in this photo but I wanted to include the pic for memories. Carson, Justin's best friend, is in yellow.

This photo is not in focus. This little girl is Haley and is Justin's girlfriend. Her mom took the photo and sent it to me :)