I HAVE ADHD PODCAST - Episode #247

January 23, 2024

Living in ADHD Recovery with Jen Kirkman: Part 2 of My Interview with "My Most Famous Client"

We get to enjoy the delicious Jen Kirkman on another episode of the podcast!

The TV writer, comedian, New York Times best-selling author, podcaster, and FOCUSED member shared part 1 of her ADHD story.

Jen’s story of misdiagnosis, navigating a career in the public eye, and figuring out how to use her diagnosis to help other people inspired so many of you.

In part 2, we get to learn… 

  1. How Jen found ADHD coaching (spoiler: it was listening to this very podcast)
  2. The different ways she uses talk therapy and coaching 
  3. Her daily morning routine she calls “Bedquarters”
  4. How she was able to step away from burnout and into a life she loves
  5. What her career plans are for 2024 and beyond 

For being the *most* famous person in my group coaching program, Jen is incredibly relatable. You can use the tools and routines she’s incorporated into her daily life to set yourself up for success in living a life with ADHD.

Jen is encouraging, entertaining, and educational. I can’t recommend part 2 of my interview with Jen Kirkman enough.



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This totally free printable includes a psychologist-approved list of symptoms that adults with ADHD commonly experience. This could give you the answers you’ve been begging for your entire life.

Kristen Carder 0:05
Welcome to the I have ADHD podcast, where it’s all about education, encouragement and coaching for adults with ADHD. I’m your host, Kristen Carter and I have ADHD. Let’s chat about the frustrations, humor and challenges of adulting relationships working and achieving with this neurodevelopmental disorder. I’ll help you understand your unique brain. Unlock your potential and move from point A to point B.

What’s up? This is Kristen Crowder and you are listening to the I have ADHD podcast. I am medicated. I am caffeinated. I am regulated and I am ready to roll.

My friends, my friends, what’s up? How are you? So glad that you’re back with me today for part two of my conversation with the kind of famous Jen Kirkman, we’re going to be talking about ADHD recovery. And I’ve got to tell you, I love that concept. I told Jen like, I need to steal this from you. I absolutely love the concept of thinking through your ADHD journey as in being in ADHD recovery. Okay, I’ve discovered I have ADHD. I now know how I want to treat my ADHD. What does it look like for me to live a life in ADHD recovery? By far my favorite part of this conversation is Jen’s description of her mornings, and working from what she calls bed quarters. It’s so good. It’s a pun on headquarters. Hilarious, very practical. And I think we’re all going to be wanting to work from our bed quarters from now on. Jen Kirkman is a writer producer podcaster formerly touring stand up comedian, and New York Times bestselling author of not one but two books. She’s a focus member and a beautiful part of our ADHD community. But most importantly, for our purposes here today on the podcast, she is a person with ADHD, who was really figuring out how to thrive with this disorder. And she’s sharing all about her journey here. Today with us, please enjoy part two of my conversation with Jen Kirkman. Okay, so you are properly medicated. You feel validated in like we finally are treating the right. issue. Yeah. How did you find coaching? Like how did that come into your life? And like, how, how has that helped? Like, what does that tool been like for you?

Jen Kirkman 2:47
I’ve always been a fan of the concept of coaching, but I never wanted to get a life coach. Because you know, that’s kind of icky sounding. And I lived in LA for 20 years, I met a lot of life coaches. It’s building a life that you want, you know? Yeah. So I’ve always been a bit but I’m a fan of like, look, I love therapy. Let’s talk about trauma. I’ve got a great talk therapist. Now. Anything that ADHD coaching or reading or journaling can’t get at. I take it there, you know. And it’s very helpful. And it actually helps me stay on target with a therapist. So each week, we’re picking up where we left off. Because we’re following this very specific emotional thread. Yeah. And all the like what happened this week? And Baba, baba, baba, bah. Yeah, I get those jollies out via doing my coaching work. So how I found coaching and you were the first coach I found was, I was open to it in general I was looking for. Can you give me some not tips and tricks, but give me some things I can do? What can I do day to day? Yeah. And so I started listening to your podcast. I listened to a lot of podcasts. I just searched the word ADHD in my favorite podcast up slowly. You know, most of them do talk about coaching. I just, you know, and again, I know that you didn’t ask me this because you’re trying to advertise your thing. But I’m just telling everyone listening totally organically. Like Kristen is my person like she speaks to me. And like, I will relate it back to being a comedian. Like, I’m sure all the jokes I’m saying aren’t totally original, like lots of comedians joke about their families. But some people might think my friend isn’t for them. They want to go see Jen Talk about her family. So people want to go see Bill, talk about his family, you find your person that speaks to you. And you just spoke to me, I don’t know what it was. It’s just an energy thing. So like you’re my ADHD coach person, like I want to hear it from you. I want to hear your podcast I want to see your coaching. So it is it It came to me because I was listening to a bunch of different podcasts and just seeing which ones I didn’t know I was doing this just naturally happen like yours was the one I played and everyone else’s fell away. So yeah, you, you know, you’ve mentioned coaching in your podcast. And I’m like, the only thing that kept me from doing it was the two things that keep me from doing everything. What if I know everything already, and it doesn’t help? And while I have to sign up, and then that whole process is going to take too long, and then, you know, it’s like saying, like, just read the directions on an Ikea. Oh, I’m never reading the directions like never. Yeah, get the a pillow. It was like those two things, you know, it wasn’t. And then I just thought, well, maybe I need a personal. I don’t know. It’s just like, yeah. And then one day, I’m like, Hey, how about you do like you try it? And you can cancel if it doesn’t work? Yeah, yeah. And I was blown away with how right away it worked. And you made it so easy. There was this not overwhelming sense of where do I start? And of course, you keep saying start anywhere. There’s no wrong way to do it. But I’m always like, I know she’s telling the truth. But I’m like, so But secretly, there’s always a right way to do everything. 

Kristen Carder 6:04
There is a secret, right way, right? 

Jen Kirkman 6:08
She’s just saying that for those like, you know, less a type A types. Yeah. But no, of course, and of course, I do it my own way and is totally fine. But from there, it’s like, now I feel like I’m in grad school. Like, I kept being like, should I go to school for like, I don’t know, psychologies. But now I have like every ADHD book ever written. And I, this is how I told you at the beginning of the podcast, I do bed quarters. I do this thing I call every morning, bed quarters. The pun is headquarters. My headquarters is my bed. So I’m a morning person, but not like, Let’s go running at 8am Or let’s, but I love to be awake before everyone else. It suits me. It calms me I feel some autonomy, some ownership over my life. You know, with my writing job, I get to work at 1010 30, which is a great time to start the day. And very lucky, it’s not nine. But writing is talking. You’re in a room with six other people for eight hours a day. And it’s a lot of big personalities. Writers are not these little nerds quietly sitting there. Yeah, everyone, whether they have ADHD or not, they’re acting like it no filter, blah, blah, talking no boundaries, it just has to be that way. That’s why we make shows everyone relates to because we’re saying the wildest things that you would never say at work in the writers room. So it’s a lot. But it’s fun. But when I’m home, like after that, I’m like, I can’t socialize. I just had eight hours of like, intimate conversation with no break. So I need this alone time in the morning, I can’t get out of bed and run to work, or else I’m I’m unregulated. So I’m not getting up early in this productivity, rah rah way, I set the alarm for 545 or six. I know. But check out how good I am to myself. I put the alarm in the kitchen, you know, but luckily, I’m in a one bedroom apartment in New York so I can hear it. I go turn off the alarm. I turn on the coffee pot, which I’ve preset with everything in it. I grab my coffee, I take my Vyvanse I make the bed. So marketing back into bed.

Kristen Carder 8:27
Oh, that’s a key point.

Jen Kirkman 8:30
And I have all these throw pillows that like you know, I prop myself up like a queen. I’ve got a furry weighted blanket, it is my happy place. I’m allowed to put that over my legs. But we don’t get back in bed. And then I put my little laptop desk there. And I call it bed quarters I run my life. Now if I have things to do that morning, like some podcasts research or return emails, I can do that. But I have to read some like self help literature of any kind like ADHD books is my new thing. I use a highlighter, I highlight everything as though I’m going to have to give a lecture on it. I take notes, I usually body double with the focus program. So I’ll have a cool I’ll have one of your coaching calls on and I like the video version because I like to feel like you guys are all there with me. That’s always on. And then I do some like EFT or do the tapping. Yep, yeah, I’ll do some of that. I’ll do like 10 minutes of meditation, even five. That’s all I want to do. Then this is the most delicious part. I forgot. When I grabbed my coffee in the kitchen, I grab a sheet mask out of the fridge. And I have those like ice cooling globe rollers. And it’s like a spa. I put the sheet mask on my cool I rub with the calling rollers. And I’m reading myself help and I’m watching a focused call and I’m taking notes of something relates I have a whole note section on my laptop Have inspirational things I’ve heard things to remember about ADHD. I mean, it’s like I’m in school. And then I around 9am I feel like I’ve had enough me time. I mean, I’m so lucky you guys, I don’t have kids. I don’t know if that’s so good. This is exactly the life I want. Like, there was never a want of kids and pets and and even with relationships I’ve had, like, I don’t do good with living with people. So yeah, in my next big relationship, I don’t know what that’s gonna look like, it’s definitely not gonna look like a one bedroom. But like, I’m just like, we’ll get to that when we get to that. But like, this me time is so indulgent. And I need it. I need it. Everyone in my life. If anyone had a problem with it, I’d be like, Well, the reason you like me is because I do this. So yes,

Kristen Carder 10:49
oh, I cosign that sentiment 100%. The reason why I can show up, why can be cool, why can look like half put together? Why I can function and have a conversation with you and maybe even add some value to my work or my life or my kids, is because I have to take that time, all by myself. And just for me, it’s like pets with my plan. Yeah, you know, like that go for a walk or a hike. But there’s a lot of white space that is just mine. And I’m a mom of three. I know. And I still carve that out? Well, I think that what we don’t realize as people with ADHD is that we are so receptive to all of the stimulation around us that we have to, like you said, in ADHD recovery, which I want to get to, we have to understand that because we are so receptive to all of the stimulation around us, we have to really care for ourselves and process. All of that. How do I, like maybe read myself is going a little too far, but like, how do I soothe myself? How do I cleanse, you know, all of this stimulation? How do I start back at the starting line? Right? How do I start back at a good starting point? Well, I have to take all of this white space, and really just allow myself to cleanse and I think that that can look so different for everybody. Oh, yeah. When we are on that hamster wheel, that chaos that go from one thing to the next, which I think so many ADHD is identify with, we don’t have that white space. We don’t have that time to cleanse. We don’t have that time to putt and soothe and self care and prep for the day. And so it’s it’s like we’re always starting from a mile behind. Everyone else is starting line, right? And we’re just like, always scrambling to try to catch up, try to meet people where they are. And if you are familiar with spoon theory, it’s like we’re starting with negative spoons, right? And so like, it’s just so unfair to us. And so let’s talk about what you mean by ADHD recovery. I love that.

Jen Kirkman 13:14
Well, even like this bed quarters thing is ADHD recovery. I never did this before. Yeah, I didn’t know I needed this time. And I experimented. So I thought maybe nighttime is a good time for me to do all the self care and actually wasn’t I don’t have anything left at the end of the day, not even for relaxing things. And I realized when I come into an environment, that is, you know, most of us don’t control our work environment. So if I have to be in an environment that I can’t totally control. If I have a little sense of control in the morning, that works better for me. I never thought of myself as a morning person. And I’m very adamant about the fact that I’m only a morning person in this specific way. Yes. Yes, I’m not working out at 7am. Yeah, so I have a few friends that are an AE. And even though they may not have the urge to drink anymore, they say that’s the first thing that goes it’s actually a lot easier to not drink than you think in a way. Ah, but if you don’t keep up with what you’ve replaced drinking with, or if you haven’t realized what not drinking has done for you like all this, like new room you have in your life, even in your own mind. It doesn’t mean that you drink again but like they call them dry drunks. So like you’re still doing all the like, I don’t know maybe behaviors that aren’t so great. But

Kristen Carder 14:35
so now we’re addicted to work instead of addicted to alcohol is that kind of

Jen Kirkman 14:40
you that he could just be like maybe you’re kind of a cranky jerk.

Kristen Carder 14:44
Oh yeah.

Jen Kirkman 14:45
And now you still are because you’re not like you’re not thriving or surviving. So for me like I think about my friends in a and stuff and like all I’ve learned from them about like, what it takes to thrive like so. So like you always say in your coaching Like, the first few workbooks we get are kind of triage. Like, let’s just stop the bleeding. Yes. So like in comparing it to like, what everyone, for my friends in AAA is like, let’s just stop the drinking now. Right? They do all these steps, it’s like, let’s take a fearless moral inventory of our lives. And let’s make a man’s and let’s now let’s like live a good life, you know, where we like, honor ourselves and respect or I mean, think of all the shame that has built up, you know, from being an ADHD or like, all of the stuff that’s like, so for me when I say recovery, because I’m discovering every day new things like I didn’t know about self trust, and that I suffered from it until I started. So in other words, like, what is the day to day of recovery? So Recovery to me is like a lifestyle. It’s sort of like, I want to do more than just know I have ADHD and take a pill. Yeah. How do I have to like redesign my whole life? And luckily, I love doing it. I think it would be hard if you didn’t like doing it. But so what I’ve learned from your coaching course is, what’s my self concept? What do I think about myself? Do I really think that or did other people say that about me? And I believe it? Or like, if I am a lot, I know I am. Is that though? Yeah, it’s cool, actually. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. You know what I heard someone say, Yes, I am too much. And so you have my permission to go and leave and get yourself less. Go find less go find less. Did

Kristen Carder 16:30
I hear that from you? Were to hear that. Now. I think that’s at least Myers. She says that. Yeah. You

Jen Kirkman 16:35
know, self concept work. So in your course, specifically, you know, you have these workbooks, it might be procrastination. And that’s what I’m doing right now. And you ask us questions, and we write. And you know, whenever I read a self help book, that’s like, the part I blow off is the questions questions on my Yeah. And I come to do your workbooks very intentionally, like, of course, I don’t want to write in them. My favorite ones are the ones I just get to read. Yeah, why don’t want to write and then I frickin learn something every time. There is just something about taking a pen and paper or my stylus and my iPad. It takes two seconds is just, I learned something that I didn’t even know was thinking. And then anything I see on that paper that like, seems like bring to a therapist, therapist. But that’s what it looks like. So like, one of the biggest things I would say recovery looks like for me is my perfect example is you did a podcast episode called archive all your to do list. So my biggest ADHD suffering was this. I had 700 things on my to do list. I had no sense of how long things take. And I would feel like a failure if I only got 10 things done. And I’d be like, how is the sun setting right now? I’ve been up since six. And I only got these 10 things done. And I’d be like, and I didn’t procrastinate and I didn’t get sidetracked What the eff and I’d be like, Okay, well, I guess I can’t have any fun or friends or a job. Because I have to do all this stuff. And if you ask me what the stuff is, I’d be like, I don’t know. And I used to get like, literally, like aggressively internally angry at questions like How was your weekend? I’m like, shut that bleep up. Like, I don’t know how it was, like, literally, I’m not kidding. Like, or if I go get a manicure big plans this weekend. I’m like, oh, because there was a period of my life the last two years where I was working so much. It wasn’t having any fun. And I thought the problem was that I had too many jobs, or I am a workaholic. The problem is, I was not scheduling correctly. I had plenty of time to do all the things I needed to do. And then I had to be like, What do I need to do this? Yeah, and I don’t mean job stuff. I mean, stuff stuff around the house like laundry?

Kristen Carder 18:50
Is laundry really the most dire important thing for me to do right now. Question mark, question mark.

Jen Kirkman 18:58
And so my weekends were spent catching up, ya know, catching up at one point was like, I need a bullet journal. Everyone says they work. So I use my iCal. And I’m very organized with it. But I also like to write things down. I don’t know why I figured out some of it’s a dopamine hit. Yeah, like don’t need to be doing it. So I would then rewrite everything in a notebook and then make my bullet journal calendar that took hours. Yeah. And I would write it to do list every night. And I would go to bed. I’ve heard you talk about this. And I didn’t know this was a thing until you said it. And a lot of times when you don’t know something’s a thing until someone says it. It provides relief. But I was angry and grieving when I heard you say it. I was like, No, this is my secret thing. No, it’s Campion ADHD symptoms. Don’t take away

Kristen Carder 19:46
from me. Go into bed. When you’re like, planning tomorrow. Planning

Jen Kirkman 19:51
tomorrow. The To Do list with a million things. You didn’t learn anything from you didn’t get them all done today. Tomorrow I’ll be different. Hmm, that Oh, feels good. I’ve never done a casual drug in my life. But I imagine it’s like heroin. I like the feeling. And then you wake up the next day. Dopamine is gone. Yeah. And you look at the list, and it’s just like, what? And so for me, the recovery looked like listening that podcast, feeling my feelings when I heard you say, archive your whole list, because I know you know what you’re talking about. You know, if that was the first episode, I heard, I might be like, This woman’s crazy,

Kristen Carder 20:34
for sure. But I still might be a little crazy.

Jen Kirkman 20:39
But crazy in a way that you know, I need? No, but literally, I’m like, I know she’s right. But I don’t want to and I was like, great. So what is, but because I learned to surf and sit in my feelings. Okay, great. Let’s investigate with curiosity. Like, why don’t I want to? Well, I don’t know. I just, it didn’t even matter. I just got to like, I don’t have an answer. But this feels really sad. And so I got rid of all the planners, all the bedazzling all of it. And I said, You challenged me and another book I read challenge me on this as well. It’s Do you want to make a list? Or do you want to do the thing on the list? That is the question. And it was like, I just want to make a list. Yeah, I don’t actually want to do the thing. Yeah. So how about the things you want to do and kind of need to do like, you know, you’re a writer, you want to write a? A thing? Okay, how can you write for half an hour a day? Yeah, I can do that. Okay, put it in your don’t put it on the to do list. You’ll never do it. You’ll do progressivity first Oh, organize my songs. So I started putting things in my calendar. Yeah. But my calendar used to be a sacred space for other people. I put the doctor’s appointment in the calendar when my friend asked me to hang out. And I say, well, technically, I could I don’t have any thing else to do on the calendar, I put that. But I don’t put myself in the calendar. And I was like, why don’t I? And I was like, I don’t know, you just don’t. But I never related to people who are like, I can’t get a mani pedi that’s extravagant. I’m like, you know, I’ll take care of myself in so many ways, but I will not put my own life on the calendar, I will not schedule in advance and say, What do I think I’m gonna feel this weekend, you know, so if anyone asked me to hang out, I would say yes, because I’m zooming on the calendar. And then I am resentful when I’m hanging out with them. Because I can’t I don’t have time. And I realized it wasn’t letting myself have any fun. And I thought it was because my life was so busy. And it was like, it’s not as busy as I thought. It’s full, but it’s not busy. Sure, sure. It’s not unmanageable. And if it was, then I would still have to take a look at it. The painful thing was looking at it and realizing I’m actually not that busy. What have I been doing? I’ve been like squandering my time. And that was really painful. Because I didn’t have a big social life, like in 2021. And again, like work took care of a lot of that need being met. But come on, you got to see other people and like, I just worked on my other projects. And so I now don’t have a to do list. I put everything in my calendar. And then there’s a reminder thing on iPhone or Mac, I put that in with a timer. And so that’s my to do it’s on a list that I look at and zone out. I learned from you, when you’re at your executive functioning best that make decisions for the week. And then when it comes around, of course, you’re not gonna want to do it. Toddler brain goes. And I mean, do you think now? Yeah, and if you really can do it, but just don’t want to you just have to do it and sit and out boring it is. or uncomfortable, or whatever your fear is, like for me with writing, it’s like failure. What if I write and it sucks, but there’s no more to do list. And now I use my notes section on my phone or piece of paper, because it’s going to, you know, the thoughts going to fall out of my head, right? I’ll be like, oh by sponges, right? But that doesn’t go on this 100 item list, right? Then I go into like, I have a running shopping cart on target. And I I’ll write it down and then be like, What do I do with this? Buy sponges, I go to target, put it in the cart. And at the end of the month, they do a big order. And I pick it up or have it delivered and things like that is recovery things like being like, I don’t have time to go shopping at Target because I’m working 45 hours a week and then my brain goes but you don’t have a husband you don’t have kids. You don’t pets, you have time. Well, yeah, technically, if time is that how I want to spend my Saturday like, Why did I get into a fun job like show business? Why do I have extra money if not to live exactly the life I want? Well, because that’s selfish. Look at your life. You’re not. And it’s like, what Who is this? Yeah, I don’t know who this is. It’s not even my family. They’re not like that. Wow. It’s just me going. That’s a little bougie. Okay. A

Kristen Carder 24:51
target order is bougie rather than like going to the store. It’s like, well, I mean, maybe but maybe it’s just smart to save your time, it’s

Jen Kirkman 25:01
also better for my ADHD that I don’t wander into a store. It’s better to just buy what I need online. And I don’t have any temptations, because I’d be coming out with a potted fake plant, you know, like, but it’s things like that where it’s like, make your life simple and easy. And if you have the money to pay, you know, I have enough money to pay for this company where they kind of give you this like as needed. Running errands person. Cool. And like, once a week for a couple hours, I would have this person come and like they return or whatever. And yeah, they might like, you know, I’d have a grocery order they do some food prep, things like that, where it’s like, I don’t want to do food prep. Yeah, I can’t say that I would I did all this for a while. I don’t want to do food prep, I don’t want to go to Target. But what am I going to do? hire an assistant? And it’s like, yeah, actually, that’s what you’re going to do. Sure, you can work 40 hours a week, and you don’t need that. But maybe if you just took five seconds to research it, maybe there’s someone that can do that. And I found so I would spend every Sunday running errands, doing laundry, I soaking the vegetables. And I felt like well, this is what life is. And it’s like, sometimes it can be but if I have one day off, and it’s not just a day off, I do my other projects. And I decompress. Like that’s not enough for me. Yeah. And I finally realized it’s okay. But it took so much emotional work. And I did do that emotional work through coaching. I didn’t have to take that to therapy. It wasn’t some big deep trauma. Yeah, it was just sitting in the feelings. And being like, I’m allowed, I’m allowed.

Kristen Carder 26:44
And now a word from our sponsor. Hey, Kristen here. I’m the host of this podcast, an ADHD expert and a certified life coach who’s helped hundreds of adults with ADHD understand their unique brains and make real changes in their lives. If you’re not sure what a life coaches, let me tell you, a life coach is someone who helps you achieve your goals like a personal trainer for your life. A life coach is a guide who holds your hand along the way as you take baby step after baby step to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish. A good life coach is a trained expert, who knows how to look at situations or situations with non judgmental neutrality, and offer you solutions that you’ve probably never even considered before. If you’re being treated for your ADHD, and maybe even you’ve done some work in therapy, and you want to add to your scaffolding of support, you’ve got to join my group coaching program focused. Focused is where functional adults with ADHD surround each other with encouragement and support. And I lead the way with innovative and creative solutions to help you fully accept yourself, understand your ADHD and create the life that you’ve always wanted to create. Even with ADHD. Go to I have adhd.com/focused to join. And I hope to see you in our community today. Was it a one time thing that helped you to really understand at a deep core level that you’re allowed or was it just over time kind of being in the community and just hearing coaching and the experiences of others and then also tuning into your own self trust I’m

Jen Kirkman 28:33
it was over time it was doing all the different workbooks, it was watching coaching calls, it was hearing you talk about this. And I think a lot of it too, is like, I think I’m a very moral person. I’m a very generous person. I’m kind I do things for others, whether it’s in my own family, you know, helping with things financial or helping with things timewise charity, whatever. I’m not selfish. I know this about myself, you know, I do have a very cushy life compared to some people and compared to some people also not like, yeah, you know, like I say, I don’t have a husband kids pets as though it’s like the greatest luxury in the world. And it is but it’s also like, I don’t have built in support at home shut that a pet is going to help you but you know, I can’t say to my kids take out the trash or my husband go go cut the veggies. Like as much as that may seem like a luxury. It’s also not in some ways. Like there’s it’s okay to get home for things and I have this like growing up like working class fear of like, Oh, it’s too extravagant. Yes. And I don’t want to tell anyone because the other thing is if I tell people that I can afford this, or I can do this, like they won’t help me like, never let anyone know you’re doing okay, because then they won’t buy your work anymore. You know, like these weird things. And so when you talk about I want to run a million dollar business I’m like, Oh, I’m allowed to say I’m gonna talk about money to like my have fans and say, gee, I’d love if you join the paid version of my podcast, because that’s also how I make a living like, should I go? They must be wondering what she writes and does this. What does she want all the money? It’s like, they don’t need to know my finances. Yeah. But I have a very parasocial relationship with my fans. And there’s a lot of knowledge that we all have been on the internet about wealth. And yeah, and there’s a lot of people that think because you’ve been on Netflix, they paid you millions. And it’s just not true. So I have a lot of people taking my inventory, and doing my budget in a way, like, I have fans saying, you have enough money I’m not joining, they don’t know that I’m not a millionaire. So that gets to me. And I had to realize that it’s not just our parents that can screw us up, like society screws me up just as much. And I listened to it. And I didn’t used to think society was a factor to wow. And I don’t know where I came to that but, but at all, in doing the work and focused about self concept, it’s like, all this stuff comes from like having a relationship with the public in a way. Yes. And it’s very unhealthy for me to always be like, I’m not doing enough for the world. It’s great to note your privilege, but like, for the love of all things, I’m allowed to just say, without starting every sentence, I know, I’m very lucky. Like, I’m alone. I need help. Right? I gotta hate someone to go to Target because I don’t have anything left. I don’t have to do the whole speech. So I had these voices in my head are real, they’re real people, you know, but it’s like, so that kind of thing. Like, I now have the guts to be like, I want to accomplish this. And I was I lived in a scarcity mindset of like, if I tell people what I want, they might decide that’s too much. And they’ll pull their support away. Wow. And that’s happened. Yeah, those aren’t my people. That’s

Kristen Carder 31:50
the thing is that so often our self concepts, and like the way that we think about ourselves, like, yes, it has been handed to us by maybe our parents or teachers, you know, sports coaches, society, or like the public, like your audience, but they’re not unfounded fears that we now have, like, they are fears built on experience of, I’ve done this, and then this has happened, A plus B equals C, it will probably happen again. And I think it’s so important when we think about the fears that we have, maybe it’s like a scarcity mindset, or whatever the case may be. It’s not just made, like, we’re not just making stuff up, like, this is what has happened. And so we have to honor like, yeah, that did happen. And we’re still going to be okay. That did happen. That was said, and it’s okay, that we move forward in this way. And I’m going to take care of you now, do not worry, or I’m going to protect you from that. I think that oftentimes we kind of want to dismiss the things, you know, the thoughts like, oh, I can’t believe I have the self concept. That’s so stupid. You know, it’s because my teacher said that to me when I was little, but it doesn’t matter anymore. But it’s like, no, it’s, it’s still affecting us. And we can honor that. And we can self soothe and move forward.

Jen Kirkman 33:13
That’s what I’ve gotten most of the coaching is like, so many things, you know, intellectually Oh, yeah, my teacher said that, but Okay, forget it. I’m fine. It’s like, no, no pause. Does that still affect you? It’s fine. If it doesn’t, but if to be like, you know, like, and I recently began to accept that, yes, I’m not George Clooney. I’m not hugely famous. But my job for a long time was in the public eye, some of the public knew me and I met them in person, I interacted with them online, it affected me good and bad. And I never took stock and how it affected me in the, in the ways that didn’t work for me. And so now I’ve set boundaries around all that stuff. I do not interact in the same way or at all anymore. Wow, I do not take in if people think I have too much, or they have a false idea of what I have. I’m not like running around explaining things. Like, I’m not emotionally reactive anymore to having this. I’m alive. It’s helped that I’m not. I don’t do public jobs, really. But I all these weird things that are very specific to my job, like I’m allowed to. I would always just brush it aside, like, well, most people don’t have this life. So don’t even think about it. It’s like, okay, they shouldn’t think about it then. But you do. And so like, how do you run a business and not have to people please and be like, Don’t worry, I really do need the money. Like, how do I run a business and confidently say, This is what I want to make somebody this is why and if you’re on board, pay me and if you’re not and you’re busy worrying about like that you’re giving me too much money. Then great bye. Yeah. Because I know when I like someone, I want them to like when, like when you talk about that all the time, and it’s what the community at Slack is like, I want you to have a billion dollar business, I want you to like, I want whatever you want, I want for you, because you’re my coach, I need you to win. Because I need you around, you know what I mean? But also, like, I just You just want, you know, people, you just want that for them. And if I didn’t want that, then you probably wouldn’t be my person in the coach world. And so like, with fans, it’s like, then my people want me to have everything and the ones that are going to complain and say, Why do I have to pay for this podcast? And I would start to believe it. Yeah. And it’s like, because I’m paying a producer, I spend money to have this cause so

Kristen Carder 35:45
much money to have a podcast, so much like people don’t understand that. And that’s, of course, they don’t just like they don’t understand that, like you can be in show business and not be a millionaire, just like they don’t understand that like it. And it’s all because we don’t, we’re not really good at stepping into other people’s shoes. And so we look at the projected images, and then we make judgments. Like it costs a lot of money to have a podcast, it’s like 1000s of dollars every month. Let’s

Jen Kirkman 36:13
say it cost zero cents.

Kristen Carder 36:15
It’s work. It’s hours and hours. Yeah. You know,

Jen Kirkman 36:20
so I just have gotten so much out of the coaching that’s like, like you always say we’re not here for tips and tricks. And it is deep emotional work, but it’s not that deep. Someone said that to me. I’d picture like trauma, but it’s not. It’s like weird things you don’t know you have an emotional attachment to like my weird To Do List ritual. It was like not joking. I had to grieve it. The way I would grieve like a relationship ending. I mean, much less time on it, but I grieved, I was like, This is so weird. These, like sad feelings are coming up, someone’s taking my pinky away, you know, because but then when I experienced the other side of it, which is I have a lot less in the back of my head that I have to do. And there’s some things I don’t need to write down. I’m gonna do them, right. I’m gonna brush my teeth, you know? But like, just putting things in a calendar. You see how much free time there actually is? Yeah, and I don’t need to fill it all up. Yeah, so I can schedule free time to play with my socks or whatever weird thing I’m going to do. You know, or organize them. But like, I have been given the gift of more time more headspace more confidence. And like I’m allowed to make a schedule. I’m allowed to say no to a friend even if Saturday at 10am is free, I’m allowed to. And, but also like, in approaching ADHD from that way, I end up with the benefit of having been given tips and tricks because I am doing things on the day to day different for me, coaching really works because I live with it. Like I said with the meds I don’t not have ADHD on the weekend. So I have ADHD in every situation in life. And I would like to find a way to manage it. And like give myself like two legs to stand on instead of one or whatever. Yes, yeah. So again, I always say especially because I’m on strike right now I have a lot of free time. So I spend a lot of time watching all the video replays and doing all the workbooks. It’s like I’m in grad school, but like, it’d be also fine if I didn’t do it that much. Because I normally when I go back to work, and it might be like two hours a week. That’s so amazing. Totally. When

Kristen Carder 38:27
you said that you are now passionate about helping people with ADHD, what do you think that might look like for you? I got very excited when you said it. Well,

Jen Kirkman 38:35
you know, I would love to coach. I mean, I would I’m like dying to take your course. I know I would love it. But

Kristen Carder 38:43
don’t play with my emotions situps gender. But when I go

Jen Kirkman 38:47
back to work, like I will have such a My schedule is non negotiable. Kind of like I don’t have it’s one of those jobs. That’s just there’s no like, oh work from home of couple days a week. Sure, sure on set or whatever. But I was like, I think, you know, I’m really tired of doing this podcast that I do have been doing it 11 years. And I love doing the anxiety podcasts. Even though halfway through I was like, I don’t think I have anxiety. But I’m like, I talked about ADHD, a lot of my podcasts, but like, in a fun way. And I’m like, why don’t I just let this podcast kind of, yeah, die at the end of the year. Just pause it, you know, take a break. I would love to do a podcast, but ADHD from my perspective. That’s like, Hey, here’s a funny story from this week about how my ADHD manifested. And then like, here’s some things I read, like I won’t see anything. As an expert. I’ll say, here’s like, an actual definition of something or here’s a thing. It’s from this book. This person I don’t ever want to be I’m not a coach. I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m just a person. But it does seem to be the thing people resonate with most when I get feedback. Yeah, it’s the you know, so the scary thing is I will have to let this other podcast because I don’t have the ability to do too. And I do have a patreon and it is pretty nice little side hustle, but I don’t love it anymore. It’s bothering me. Yeah. So I have to release like, do I have enough money through my writing job to get my needs met? And more? Yep. The Why would you hang on to the podcast you don’t love doing right now? Cuz I’m scared. Yeah. That’s like, if I just pause it, and I do the ADHD one, like, I don’t know what will happen with it. So I’m doing it because I love it. And I’m not doing it. Like even if there’s some kind of paid version, like, it’s not gonna make money right away. I have to put it out in the world for a while first. And I’m excited about that. And not in a like, I have an idea. Let me start a business. Like I’ve been quietly sitting on this and researching and putting episodes together without saying it to a soul. I’m just now starting to discuss.

Kristen Carder 40:58
So you know, people are gonna hear this right? Yeah,

Jen Kirkman 41:00
yeah. Okay, good. I pack no turning back. No, but I’m just saying that like, and, you know, I know there’s room for everyone. I know you have an ADHD? Yes, people can like yours. Yes. One’s a comedian once. It’s like, but that’s what I love is like, I just want to be part of if I can help anyone to go. That’s yeah, that’s why I want to help. Right? That’s why I have the capacity to help right now is like from a distance. I can’t like coach someone right now. But I definitely feel at this part of my career that like my side hustle, I want it to be about being of service and some Yeah, helping connect, people feel less alone feels a little dramatic to say being of service. I’m not, you know, self deprecating, but like, I want it to have meaning and not just like, be for more entertainment. So

Kristen Carder 41:55
I want to say a couple of things. First, I just want to honor the work that you’ve already done in realizing when the thing is no longer the thing. Yeah. Because you’ve been down that road. And you know what that’s like, you know what it’s like to be like, Oh, I thought I wanted to do this. And I did want to do it. And now I just don’t love it anymore. And I want to make a shift, you have done that your brain has a map for it. So I think this time, you’re getting there faster, probably than you would have if you had started that process, like a couple years ago, because you’ve already heard, we’ve already done it. You’ve already been down that road where you’ve like had this internal like, I don’t love this anymore. Yeah. So how do I? How do I decide and you already, you have a mat for deciding, oh, it’s like, how much money would I have to make in order to continue to love this, right? And it’s like, oh, it’s actually not about the money. Like, really have that internal dialogue. So I love that. And then second, I just want to warn you that I also started a podcast saying, I’m not a coach. I’m not an expert. I used to say on my podcast, I’m just a girl with ADHD.

Jen Kirkman 43:07
So I must have not gone back far enough in your catalog. What I’m

Kristen Carder 43:11
saying is just be careful, because something happens when you get started. And I am telling you, I see I see it for you. But yeah, wanting to help people. I just want to like, check the vibe and make sure you understand that when I say just be careful. It’s like a funny warning of like, you’re gonna be helping a hell of a lot of people. Yeah, way more than you think you’re you’re ever having the capacity to. And I think people will be so drawn to it. And I want you to do it like run. Walk. Imagine a

Jen Kirkman 43:46
guitar player and like, I don’t know, do it. KEITH RICHARDS from the Rolling Stones was like, You should be a guitar like,

Kristen Carder 43:54
go do it. But yeah,

Jen Kirkman 43:55
I mean, I really feel like I felt this way. You know, during COVID A lot of comedians, were doing zoom shows, and I just didn’t want to I was like if I’m going to connect with people. So I started leading these classes for breathing, exercises, and, and relaxation. And I was like, I’m not a meditation teacher. This is a meditation. This is just what I’ve learned about breathing and relaxing. And I loved it. It was like I was so flow in the zone high on life, I was so happy. And I was like, oh, whatever this is with the talking to the people and using my experience in public speaking like more of this, please. Yes. And then I started the anxiety podcast and then was like, oh, something’s weird here. But yeah, I mean, I don’t know how it’ll go. But I I do vaguely know that in my future. Like, I don’t plan that it just will stay up pockets. I’m going to try it. See, I do see something I don’t know what it’ll look like maybe it would even be some kind of public speaking or who knows. I love it. But I know it will reveal itself to me because most of my best ideas don’t seem like they’re mine. I start with the colonel it’s like the best that I know how to think. And then by doing it, it creates this energy and, and like you said earlier with your husband and God’s plan. Like that’s when the plan comes in. And takes takes over. So I just have to take that first step and see where things go. And if they go nowhere, like also fine as long as I’m sure that. Sure. Well, that’s so sweet. Thank you. I mean, that’s, I just You

Kristen Carder 45:35
just did this for those of you who are listening, she just did this like whole motion. What how would you describe that was like this full body. Like, I just wanna,

Jen Kirkman 45:45
I talk with my hands, but I just, it is a calling for me to I like to help other people within reason, like not, you know, giving up all of myself Wait, but I, it just kills me to think someone’s out there. And they’re feeling the way I felt like no, I get to rescue them not rescue, but the way people feel called to like rescue dogs. I’m like, I gotta find the ADHD people that haven’t been found yet.

Kristen Carder 46:07
I love it. I love it. And there’s millions and millions and millions and millions. Like there’s space for everybody. Yeah, and this is why I’m training coaches. I’ve had people say, Aren’t you just training your competition? And I’m like, no, come on. There’s like, there’s so many people in the world who need help. And my voice is gonna call in my people. But yeah, then there’s people that are not going to resonate with the like the way I coach or my podcasts or whatever. So we need all different types of voices out there to call in on the lost and lonely and just like broken ADHD errs, who think there’s something wrong with them. Who think that they’re just flawed that their character is is weak that they just are lazy. And they they just can’t get it together. We need to tell them that that is not what’s going on. Yep.

Jen Kirkman 46:58
And I used to think I was broken. And then when I found out I wasn’t it’s not like oh, but I still feel broken. But at least I know what it is. I don’t feel broken anymore.

Kristen Carder 47:07
That say more words, say more words about that. That’s all I’m telling

Jen Kirkman 47:11
you. It’s the most succinct I’ve ever been in my life. That’s all I got. Yeah, I’ve no more words. It’s like, don’t be afraid to find out what’s wrong, or don’t worry that you’ll find out and then it just stays there. Like, minding out. I just don’t feel broken anymore. I know I’m different. But I knew that anyways, we’re all different. Right? Right. But now I’m like, Uh huh. There’s a thing requires a lot of maintenance. But yeah, I can call off the search. I’ve got an answer.

Kristen Carder 47:44
Jen, thank you so much. For being here. This is so much fun. Tell all the people where they can find you that I have.

Jen Kirkman 47:53
Just go to my website, Jen. kirkman.com. Instagram is like the social I’m really the only one I use. Same. Yeah, so they can find me there. And, you know, I’m always talking about what I’m up to. So if I say something that you want to investigate, you can find all my work on my website. And you can find me so I’m not in Slack a lot. But you can find me in slack on focus.

Kristen Carder 48:16
I see you there once in a while. Yeah, I respect it. I like it. It’s not for everybody. But when you need support, or when you have the capacity, it is a really warm, fun place to be. Yeah. Cool. Thanks. Thank you

Jen Kirkman 48:29
for all you do. I mean, you literally have changed my life in ways that I needed it change and that I was looking so I don’t know what magic that was. But I’m so glad I found all of your work and I’m just you can never stop. Like anytime you want to stop you cannot

Kristen Carder 48:48
notice a few years ago I went looking for help. I wanted to find someone to teach me how to feel better about myself and to help me improve my organization productivity time management, emotional regulation. You know, all the things that we adults with ADHD struggle with, I couldn’t find anything. So I researched and I studied and I hired coaches and I figured it out. And then I created focused for you. Focus is my monthly coaching membership where I teach educated professional adults how to accept their ADHD brain and hijack their ability to get stuff done. Hundreds of people from all over the world are already benefiting from this program and I’m confident that you will to go to Ihav adhd.com/focused for all details.

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