I HAVE ADHD PODCAST - Episode #250

February 13, 2024

Everything On My Mind Lately

If you’ve ever wanted a look inside the brain of Kristen Carder, this episode is for you. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been sick or that I’ve just got things I want to say that don’t fit into a topic we’ve covered on the podcast lately… but this episode is going to be me dumping the contents of my brain for all to see (or…hear?!).
So, find a comfy spot on the couch, grab your beverage of choice, and let’s chat!
In this episode, I’m sharing about…How it’s so dang *hard* to be human.

  1. The actual meltdown I had after a crazy successful FOCUSED launch last month
  2. Why success is scarier for us ADHDers than failure. See point #1.
  3. The struggle happening in my mind after working for years to stop overcommitting
  4. Whether I’ll actually commit to going to yoga classes this year… tbd
  5. All the things I learned from Dry January and the takeaway that surprised me most

This episode is no-holds-barred. If you like a structured podcast episode, you may want to check out one of the other 249 I Have ADHD Podcast episodes.



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Kristen Carder

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. Hey, what’s up? This is Kristen Carter and you were listening to the I have ADHD podcast. I am medicated. I’m caffeinated. I am regulated. And I’m ready to roll.

How are you? Welcome to the show. As always, so glad that you’re here with me. Thanks for being here. It’s great to be with you. I’ve been sick for. I don’t know, it feels like forever, but I’ve been sick for a couple weeks. And I don’t feel like I have been here in quite some time. Winter got me. You know, like, sometimes it just gets your real good. And it got me. So welcome. I hope that you are happy and healthy. And that winter is leaving you alone. So that you can be healthy and do your job and parent your kids and do your work and show up in your life. And just like do what you want to do. I just have felt so under the weather. It’s not like an old lady thing to say I’ve just been so under the weather, it has not been fun at all. But we are back in action today. I’ve got just so many things on my mind. And as I was thinking through a podcast episode for today, and really considering what I wanted to chat about, I was like, You know what I could? For me for my own selfish, just what is it called, like kind of detox, I would just love to just sit here and ramble for a little while. So that’s what I’m going to do. Just that, you know, if you’re brand new around here, that is not usually what happens. Usually we have a very clear goal. And we reach that goal on during our podcast episodes together.

Okay, so if you’re new around these parts, and you need something clear and concise, this might not be the episode for you. But I’ve just got some stuff in my mind that I cannot not say there’s just some things that I’m like, I need my people to sit here with me and have a conversation. And I think that that is one of the amazing benefits of being a podcaster, at least for me, is I get to have a space where I can just talk and work out my thoughts about random stuff. And usually it is ADHD related. And usually I have a plan and like, you know, five steps to XYZ.

But today, I’m just going to work out some stuff on my own. And the first thing I’m going to work out is it is so hard to be human. It’s so hard to be human. And I just want to normalize that for all of us. I don’t know if you are feeling it, but like 2024, it’s starting off with a bang. And I would just say that like it. It is so hard to be human, no one escapes the human experience. I think that we may have this perception that people who are wealthy or people who are successful, or people who are, whatever, whatever you think about maybe famous or, you know, Mary, whatever, like people who are, quote unquote better than us are not really like us that they have it easier. And what I am just really sitting with is Life is hard for every one. Of course there are factors that can make it harder or easier, right. So like, oppression, systemic racism, all of that is going to make life harder. And having money oftentimes will make life easier. It solves a lot of problems. But overall, across the board in general, nobody gets out of the human experience just being difficult. And I just want to say that as we start off, let’s just start off on a really light note.

This life is hard. And if you are feeling that way, I just want to validate it. And I also want to assure you that nobody like your neighbor, your best friend, that person that you like Taylor Swift even let’s just say Taylor Swift. My gosh, God bless Taylor Swift. And Travis Kelsey, thank you for giving us hope in love. Anyway, she doesn’t get out of having a difficult life. I don’t look at Taylor Swift and say, she has it so easy. Life must be so much easier for her at the ripe old age of 40 Two and a half. I know now that life is just hard. Life is just hard. And what has struck me is that even when things are going the way that you always wanted them to go, life can still be hard.

For example, you’ve heard me talk about the self trust course and the sale that was going on. And my goodness, did it go? Well, it went so well, shockingly, well, shockingly, we welcome in to my coaching program, more new members than we’ve ever welcomed in before ever, you know, in one launch series, hundreds of new people joined us, that is better than I expected. And instead of feeling amazing about it, I melted down, I melted right down, and I was like, I can’t do this. I I don’t have the ability to coach and serve this many people, I should probably just throw in the towel. Let’s just close up the whole thing. It’s been a good run. Let’s shut it down. There’s literally what my brain and body wanted to do. Let’s just shut it down. And what I’m realizing as as I’ve processed all of that, and no, I did not shut it all down. But Gosh, darn it did I want to sabotage it. Because I think that success is actually scarier for those of us with ADHD than failure is success can be harder for us to tolerate than failure. What do you think about that? I think we have this idea that like, if I could just be successful, if I could just earn XYZ money, if I could just get that promotion, if I could just get that whatever partner, then everything will feel so much better.

Then I will be happy, then I will be satisfied that I will be content, and then I will really feel like a success, then I will really feel worthy. And I am here to tell you that that is not true. I think in my experience, and from hearing from so many of you so many ADHD years, that success is actually scarier, and feels more uncomfortable than failure. Here’s why. As someone with ADHD, we know how to do failure. We’ve been there, we’ve done that we’ve, we’ve done failure hundreds and hundreds of times, we have a map for it. We know what happens. We know how it feels, we know what to expect, and we know how to recover. We know how to do failure.

What we are not well versed in is success. What we’re not well versed in is everything going right, everything working out the way that we wanted it to. That’s something that’s unfamiliar. And let me tell you, my nervous system was not prepared. It was not prepared for everything to go better than I expected with this launch. And so what did I do? I freaked out, I freaked the heck out. And I was like, I can’t do this imposter syndrome just covered me like a blanket like, like a straight jacket, actually. And I was so uncomfortable. I was I was actually kind of freaking out. And I was saying to my team like this is not what we expected. Are we even prepared? Can we even do this I don’t even know. And my coach was like, Oh, honey, this is what you’ve been working toward. This is what you’ve been wanting. This is what the plan has been all along. This is what all of your work has been going toward. And now it’s working. And you’re freaking out. And that’s normal. And so I just want to say, if it had gone wrong, if we hadn’t really gotten that many people in, if if like nobody was really interested in the self trust course, I would have been really disappointed. I would have felt like a failure, maybe I would have had some shame. But that would have been more familiar, and more comfortable than welcoming in hundreds of people. And now having all of these people with expectations that it is my job to meet.

It’s my job to deliver on my promises. It’s my job now to show up and teach this course. It’s my job now to follow through and do what I said I was going to do and do you know what? That takes a lot of self trust. And so I had to use my own material on myself, which is annoying, and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to have to do that. I don’t want to do that I don’t want to have to use my own stuff on myself, I don’t want to have to use the self trust course, for myself, I want to teach it. I want to feel kind of authoritative in it, but having to use it on myself, Gosh, darn it that is uncomfortable. So I am just curious, dear listener, in the first of many ramblings today, if you also resonate with success being scarier, and more uncomfortable than failure, if you resonate with the idea that like, yeah, I don’t really have a map for success I shared you have a map for failure. And while it’s uncomfortable, and I don’t want to do it, and I tell myself, that I don’t try because I’m scared to fail.

What if I’m actually scared to succeed? What if I don’t go out for that promotion, because I’m not sure what I would do. If I got it. I’m not sure that I can trust myself to follow through, and, and to be the person that is successful. And I just want to hold some space for you, if you are noticing that in your own life, because this is part of our evolvement as adults with ADHD, as people who were once living on aware of why we couldn’t really succeed, and why everything was so hard. And then all of a sudden, we have this diagnosis, we have this awareness. And we’re like, Oh, I understand now. Why. And so maybe we start treatment will hopefully, hopefully, we start treatment, and we start working a program meaning like an ADHD recovery program. And we’re and we’re doing things that are helping us to succeed. And then we have opportunities to succeed. And then that feels really weird. That feels really dis regulating, that feels really intolerable. Because we don’t have a map for that we haven’t been down that road, we don’t really know what happens when we actually succeed. And things actually go our way. And we’re actually doing a great job.

And doors are opening and opportunities are coming up for us to step into this new version of ourselves. And then we waver with, can I do it? Can I be that person? Can I follow through on these promises? Can I deliver what I said I could deliver. And in that moment is our choice. Where if we are not aware, we will often self sabotage, we will burn it down, we will make it so that it doesn’t work. So that we can be in the familiar place of failure. Because we know what failure is like we know how to do failure. We know how to recover from failure. We know how to handle failure because we’ve been down that road 100 times. But we are unfamiliar with what we don’t know how to do it success is things working out well. There’s this like age old story of a person who has continual bad relationships, bad relationships, bad relationships, and then they get into a good relationship. And the person that they’re with is loving and empathetic and understanding and compassionate. And because it’s so unfamiliar, because it’s so different from what they’ve normally experienced relationships, they push the person away. They self sabotage, I’m thinking of Meredith gray right now. And I have to admit, I have watched more Grey’s Anatomy in the last couple weeks, than is healthy for any person to watch. Just, that’s just the truth. It’s like comfort food for me. And I’ve been sick, and I haven’t had much to do. And it’s winter. And my husband has hobbies, and I don’t have hobbies, as I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy. And my gosh, I just like this is Meredith gray. Right? She I mean, I’m sorry, if you haven’t watched it. If you haven’t watch it, you really should. It’s like it’s such a bingeable show. And I’ve been through it several times. And like I said, It’s comfort food. I know these people I know. They’re my friends. I know where it’s going. There’s nothing scary that I haven’t seen.

Anyway. She’s suffered a lot of trauma, and a lot of relational, a lot of relational abandonment, when she met the love of her life who was dependable, and actually there for her. She pushed him away for years and years and years because it was so unfamiliar and this is exactly what I’m talking about. What are you pushing away in your life because you’re just afraid of success? Because you don’t know how to handle things going well because you are more uncomfortable with success than you are with failure. My good Ness, like transitioning here And Grey’s Anatomy is the perfect transition. I have been watching so much Grey’s Anatomy that it is to an unhealthy level. And I’m realizing that I am a lonely person right now. This is like it’s going in a whole direction here. I’m just a woman in her 40s, who has worked so hard over the last three years to become relationally, and emotionally healthy. And I’ve invited the people in my life to come along with me for that journey. And a couple of them have, but most of them haven’t. And because most of them have just chosen not to come along with me, for that journey, I have a lot fewer relationships than I’ve ever had, I have the fewest relationships now than I have, since I was a child isolated, and having no friends, which is a whole other story.

So I have got to say, and I actually just made a connection of why this feels so uncomfortable is because it reminds me of my childhood. When I wasn’t surrounded by the community that I craved. Everybody else went to school, my parents kept me home. And we were in. We lived in Guam. So I was one of the only white kids, which was an amazing experience. And it’s, it gave me so much perspective. But it’s also really hard and really isolating in a lot of ways. And what I’m experiencing now, as a 40, something year old woman who is intentionally prioritizing healthy relationships and healthy connections, and mourning the loss of a lot of my relationships, it feels really isolating, and that feels really sad. Really, really sad. I have so many fewer obligations, because I am not someone who does things out of obligation anymore. But when you have spent years freeing up your schedule, and freeing up your time, because you realize that you are people pleasing, and doing so many things out of obligation. Now now you have time on your hands.

So I’m in this transition, I’m in an in between place where I was running myself ragged, and people pleasing and saying yes to so many things, and doing things out of obligation and having so many things on my calendar that I didn’t actually want to do. And I’ve transitioned from that. And it took years. And we’ll talk about that a little bit later. But it took years for me to do that. But now my calendar is free, y’all. What do you do with a free? What do you do with a free calendar like I work? Then I come home and I drive my kids around. But if the kids are having a slow week, that means I’m having a slow week. And then what do I do with my time I watch Grey’s Anatomy. So there’s a little bit of an unhealthy pattern, which I recognize and I am, I am working to remedy. But my husband, you know, like he’s created this life for himself where he has a community of hockey players that he hangs out with. And he plays hockey once at least once a week. And he has these like hockey bros that he loves to be around and he’s got like this group text with and they go out and they play Call of Duty. And it’s like, it’s so great. And I’m so glad that he has I don’t I don’t resent it at all, but I am jealous.

Jealous. What What is that for females? Or for people who don’t play sports? Like what is that thing? Where do you find a community like that? For people who, who don’t have like this skill set? Should I learn ice hockey? No, that’s a no. So this is me. Just letting you know that there. There is this ideal that I’ve been working toward which is I want my calendar to reflect authenticity and truth. Which means I’m not saying yes to things that I don’t want to say yes to I’m not saying yes to people that I don’t want to say yes to. And I’m I’m clearing a lot of toxicity out of my life. It’s great.

But then what? Like, I just want to be honest with you, then what? Then then you have time and then what are you going to do with your time, Kristen? And what do you do? And so now, I think especially because it’s winter And in the summertime, we just we go to the pool, or I’ll sit on the back porch and I’ll go for a walk or a hike. It just feels different in the summer, but in the winter, it’s dark, it’s freezing cold. What’s the solution? My friends are only available so often, right? My three friends, three friends are only available so often.

So part of this is I need a hobby. And I think that yoga is the answer. I think. I think yoga is the answer, y’all. I’ve always enjoyed yoga. And I think going to a yoga studio is the answer. But I struggle with commitment, ADHD, or do you resonate, like I have to show up at a certain time to a class and like, if I’m not there on time, they lock the door. Like, that is hard for me. But I do think one or two yoga classes a week would be really helpful, first of all would get me out. And it would get me moving. And especially if I could drag a friend along with me, I think that would be great. People in my community are not very open. So I have absolutely no fantasy of showing up to yoga and creating a community there. That’s not how reading Pennsylvania works. I don’t know if that like maybe if I was in the Midwest, maybe that would be a thing where people would be open, and they would want a new friend and they would talk to me. But I will go and no one will talk to me. That’s that’s the way it is. Here.

Okay. I don’t know if that’s the way it is where you are. But that’s the way it is here. I will go, no one will look at me, no one will talk to me. I will try to make small talk with a couple people. It won’t go anywhere. And then whatever, I’ll just leave. And even if I go regularly and see the same people every time, they’re still not going to talk to me. I’ve been in this area for 20 years. And so my fantasy of meeting people and creating a community. It’s not it’s not a thing. And so that’s fine. But yeah, I do think that that yoga is the answer. I also know that I need to be more intentional with getting together with people. And so I have, like, especially this weekend set up hangouts with with families that we love. And so that’s great. But are you also struggling with? Like? How do I make friends? As a 40? year old?

How, how does somebody do that? Where where are where are the friend groups? I just don’t understand. i One of the things that’s always been helpful to me is church. So, you know, like meeting people at church. And we love the people that we go to church with my husband, planted a church, he started a church. And it’s been wonderful. It’s very small. And that’s great. We love going to a small church, but like how do you meet new people? I don’t know. I just don’t know. Is there like a an app? To me? Please reach out to me if there’s like an app where you’re not dating, but you’re like dating friends? Like could you date friends? Here’s what my profile would say. It would same 40s mom of three looking to connect with other moms who’ve done at least a year in therapy, like you need please, you need to have done some work. That needs to be a requirement, at least a year of therapy or coaching. loves the outdoors, long walks on the beach. Probably won’t text you back for a couple of weeks. You need to be pretty secure in your self worth. But I am a good time when I have the capacity.

But do you want to be my friend? I don’t know. Okay, moving on. I told you this was random ramblings. I hope you’re loving it if you’re not like I said, this is not the way it usually is. I just got a couple things to get off my chest. I did dry January, I was realizing that I was drinking every day. And I just didn’t love that I couldn’t not drink every day. So I wasn’t drinking a lot. I was never getting drunk. I can count on one hand the amount of times that I’ve been drunk in my life. It was not about like, you know, oh, if I if I have one glass of wine, I have to have four glasses of wine that’s not at all what it was. It was just like, I have to have that one glass of wine. And I wasn’t loving that. It just it felt weird that it couldn’t not have that glass of wine. And I sent that I was using it for emotional regulation. I’m positive that I was. It was like When things got stressful, I wanted a glass of wine and guess what life is life, things always get stressful.

Or when I would have a fight with my kid, I want a glass of wine or if I had a long day, or if it was a Tuesday, right, like it was just like anything, anything was a reason to drink. And I noticed that I just wasn’t feeling well. I’ve mentioned it so many times. This is really not that relevant. But I guess now that I’m in my 40s, and I’m in perimenopause, I had headaches all the time. Even though I wasn’t ever drinking more than one or two drinks. I was tired and fuzzy, constantly. And my sleep was just like, not great. I could fall asleep. But then I would wake up to use the restroom. And then I just couldn’t go back to sleep and everything was fitful, I just didn’t feel like I was getting healthy restorative sleep. And I kept reading and hearing that alcohol is bad for you, which like, what the heck it people used to say was good for you and how it’s bad for you. So I was just like, Okay, let’s just do dry January and just see if I noticed any difference. First of all, I just wanted to take a break. I wanted to just be like, I want to be in charge of this. I want to take a break. I want to make sure that I’m the one in charge of my life that alcohol is not in charge of me. And I wanted to see like, is it worth it? Is it worth it? Like how much better do I feel? And so the last time I drank was New Year’s Eve. And I’ve got to say a couple things. Number one, I’m shocked at how much I craved it. I’m actually embarrassed about it. I’m a little embarrassed about how much I craved it. The first 16 days. I had crazy cravings for alcohol. To the point where I really had to like self regulate, do some breathing. Make myself like a fun mocktail. I don’t like how much I craved it, I gotta be honest, was pretty vulnerable. I’m like, it’s kind of like, whoa, what’s up with that? And again, I want to reiterate, I wouldn’t say that it was over like I was one or two drinks a night. That’s not a lot. In my opinion. Like it wasn’t, I was not drunk I, I was a functioning adult. I was drinking it in quote unquote, moderation to society standards. But Gosh, darn it did I crave it hard core. And after 16 days, I was keeping track because I was trying to figure out what my response would be after about 16 days the cravings really lessened. I’ve got to say in the last week, they’ve come back up. This is interesting, like, what’s going on? Why do I crave it so much? I will say I have been sleeping so much better. My sleep has improved so much. Since I’ve stopped drinking so much. I can’t even get over how much my sleep has improved. I definitely feel more clear, less fuzzy. I haven’t had headaches, except for when I was sick. And I’ll be really interested to see if I get headaches with my cycle, which is maybe too much information. But I will keep you posted. No, I’m not going to keep you posted. That’s just too weird. But that’s something that I’m going to pay attention to is if I get headaches with my cycle, so I’m just I’m not sure where I’m gonna go from here I am in no way saying like, I’ll never drink again. But I’m just still paying attention to it. You’re hearing this in February, I’m recording this on January 30. It’s been 30 days since I’ve had alcohol. I do feel clearer. I do feel less fuzzy. My sleep is amazing. I do feel like my life is better without it. And I have got to say I am a little like trepidatious is that the word about going back to it and then having to deal with all of the cravings again? Yeah. So anyway, I’m just letting you know about an experiment that I’m doing. I’m definitely not calling myself sober, that feels like a precious word that people who are sober have worked really hard to achieve. And so I’m going to leave that word for that community as just like a precious word for them. But I can tell you, it’s pretty obvious to me that my brain and body are happier without all alcohol. And I’m just curious now and I’m trying to figure out like, what does this mean for me? If I thought that I could just drink once a week or once a month? I would definitely do that. But I I don’t think I can, which is really interesting how you think, I don’t think I can be that person who just has it once a week or once a month, because it is. So it really does regulate me in a way that I crave. And I believe I’m not positive. But I believe that if I go back to allowing it to regulate me, that I will just be like, Yeah, this is great. Let’s do this every day. I’m just, it’s just really, really interesting conversation. So, I’m not really sure why I’m telling you this other than I like to tell you stuff about my life. And I think that most of you enjoy hearing stuff about my life. And this has been a podcast all about me and my life. I am recovering from being sick. I think being human is really, really hard. I’m struggling to know what to do with my time, and don’t really know how to make friends or new friends. And I’m considering what my life would be like without alcohol. And I’m doing some experimenting around that. And that’s, that’s my story. I just want you to have a window into what it’s like to be human for someone else. I don’t know that we share that enough with each other. And I think that there, again, there’s this fantasy about what would it look like if I were famous or successful or rich or fill in the blank. And I just want to say, I don’t think any of us get out of having a human experience on this planet. And I think it’s really hard for all of us. And I think we’re all looking for relationship and connection. We’re all looking to evolve and be healthy. And there are new challenges that come when you do evolve. And when you do become more healthy, and peeling back the layers of that together, I think is really beneficial. And so this is just a window into my soul today. Like I said, and this is your first episode that you’re listening to, I promise so I usually like this. But you get all of Kristen Carter today, all of the vulnerability, all of the random thoughts. I can’t wait to talk to you next week. Thanks for being here. If you’re being treated for your ADHD, but you still don’t feel like you’re reaching your potential you’ve got to join focused. It’s my monthly coaching membership where I teach you how to tame your wild thoughts and create the life that you’ve always wanted. No matter what season of life you’re in or where you are in the world. Focus is for you. All materials and call recordings are stored in the site for you to access at your convenience. Go to Ihaveadhd.com/focused for all the info.

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