January 10, 2023

ADHD Coaching: Letting Go of Neurotypical Expectations for Ourselves

As an adult with ADHD, I know how hard it can be to fight the way my brain works and spend too much energy shaming myself and wishing I was different. But in Episode 193 of the podcast, I coach three separate, amazing adults dealing with very different life challenges and help them embrace and accept who they are and find ways to live their best lives alongside ADHD.

The first coaching session focuses on how to tackle a new, unstructured career by building in the accountability and framework needed to manage new challenges with patience and gentleness.

The second session deals with parent/child dynamics between spouses where one has a neurotypical brain and the other has ADHD. I coach on how to surf reactionary emotions, take stock of the message of trauma or justified need that your brain is sending you, and how to set appropriate boundaries to protect your autonomy.

Finally, in session three, I support a newly diagnosed ADHDer in accepting their brain’s differences, educating their loved ones on how to accept it, and finding peace amidst all the distractions.

If you loved listening in on these coaching sessions and would like my support for yourself, come join my group coaching program, FOCUSED. You’ll be in great company!



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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.

Hey, what’s up? This is Kristen Carter and you’re listening to the I have ADHD podcast episode number 193. I am medicated I am caffeinated and I am ready to roll. Happy New Year. How are you? Welcome. Come on in. Join me join me I am so glad that you are here with me today. It’s January in Pennsylvania, which means it’s absolutely freezing like the coldest. And the thing with Pennsylvania Winters is that it’s not a dry cold. We don’t get a ton of those like crisp, dry cold days, we get a lot of damp cold which means it goes straight through me right to my bones. But I’m really really really trying to embrace winter this year. I think that might be like my resolution for the year embrace. Winter. I’m trying so hard. Being outside is so healing for me. I’ve always known that. But in the last two years, it has really become so obvious that it’s not something that I can avoid. I really, really really need to do it. But in the past, I’ve kind of been a hermit in the winter. I don’t usually go out for walks I just stay inside and complain. I just say inciting complaint a lot.

Okay, but this year, I’m trying to change this about myself. One of the ways I’m like really working toward this change is I’ve given myself permission to just buy weather appropriate clothing. There’s a saying that I’ve heard a couple times from a couple different places. It goes like this. There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing, or there’s no such thing as bad weather only bad gear. It’s a quote that I think’s been attributed to Alfred Wainwright. But I’ve also heard that it’s like a Norse thing. So I’m not exactly sure where it originated. But I’ve really tried to take it to heart this year. What does it mean? If there’s no such thing as bad weather, that means I can go on a hike in the cold it means I can hike in the winds. And I can hike in the rain, even the cold January rain if I have the appropriate gear. So I went out, I bought myself some snow pants, like the kind with the bib like the overall snow pants. Some weatherproof like waterproof hiking boots and a warm vest and hat gloves. I’m just really trying to invest in practical, not cute, practical pieces of weather appropriate gear that will help me to brave the Pennsylvania winter and get outside in nature because I like myself so much better when I get outside and hike sometimes it’s a rage hike. Sometimes it’s just like an enjoy nature hike. It depends on the day, okay. So if you need someone to cosign making movement or getting into nature a little easier for you, here you go, Chris Carter cosines it, make it as easy as possible, spend a little money if you need to. I used to, like intentionally not meet this need for myself, I would be like, you shouldn’t have to spend so much money in the winter, it shouldn’t be this hard, you should just do it with the coat that you have just deal with it. Which now when I look back is so silly. And it’s the exact reason why I’ve spent the last 40 winters of my life indoors. That’s this a lot. And I want to change it does matter of fact, I should just mention right after I record this intro, I’m going to lace up my waterproof hiking boots. And I’m going to throw on a vest because it’s not very, very cold at all. And I’m going to go for a hike. And it’s actually a balmy 37 and sunny today 37 degrees and sunny. And I’m going to let that sunshine warm up my face and I’m going to feel the wind and I’m going to hear the birds chirping and the ground crunch underneath my feet. And it’s going to be amazing.

Okay. And a few notes too much. You know too much. Let’s move on. I’m curious. Have you ever wondered why you can be so smart and know exactly what to do but not be able to make yourself do the thing that you know you need to do? Have you ever had a week long fight with your partner and not been able to get to the bottom of why you’re so mad at the person that you love the most in the whole world? Have you ever secretly wanted to cure your ADHD so that you can feel Home? The answer to all these questions for me is yes. And what I love about ADHD years and just humans in general, it’s shocking how alike we are. And I’m really looking forward to sharing these coaching sessions with you. Because I know they’re going to be so helpful to you. If you don’t already know I’m a life coach for adults with ADHD. I’ve been coaching for about three and a half years. And in that time, I’ve coached over 1000 adults with ADHD, which is absolutely wild. I’ve seen it all. I’ve heard it all. I’ve coached on it all. And I know that sharing these coaching conversations with you, will be so helpful to you as you navigate life with ADHD. So I want you to notice how similar you are to each client who is being coached. And I invite you apply the coaching that I offer to them to yourself, you can change your whole life this way. I’ve done it. I’ve changed my whole life by listening to others being coached in my former coaches coaching program. And I have seen this happen in my own coaching program, hearing other people identifying with their struggles and being able to apply the coaching that’s offered to them to yourself, can change your whole dang life. I hope this is so helpful to you. Please enjoy.

There he is.I recognize that picture from slack.

Coaching 1 6:28
Hello. Hey, nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, too.

Kristen Carder 6:34
Thank you. How can I help you today?

Coaching 1 6:37
Well, as you as you noted, I am I am new, I’ve been in just over a month. Okay. My story is very briefly that I, I was diagnosed about 30 years ago, I was given a prescription that didn’t really do anything for me, and no other tools. And then I just kind of spent the next 30 years forgetting that I had ADHD and double, kind of floundering around and not really doing the things that are anywhere near the living the kind of life or at the kind of level that I that I wanted. And I did a bunch of careers. And I just started a new one. And it is because of the starting the new one, which is real estate. Okay, that I decided that I need to revisit this this diagnosis because I am completely overwhelmed with information. You know, I’ve always felt like I was a pretty, pretty smart cookie. And I did really well in school, and which is why I went till the age of 30 or so without ever. Nobody ever noticing that I had these issues. But the transition into the new into the new field is I’m completely overwhelmed with the demands of the training. Like it’s not like anything so complicated. It’s all pretty simple, but there’s just so much of it. I don’t know what to do first. And I don’t know, I don’t know how to manage my time. And every single little thing in my schedule that comes up that I’m not anticipating can throw me off for a whole day. Like I woke up at four today, which never ever happens. And I got some of my work done. I got. But then I know I’m just off again.

Kristen Carder 8:38
Okay, I have a question for you. What accountability do you have in place right now to help you meet the demands of what is required of you?

Coaching 1 8:50
Very little, the, for the for the real estate, it’s, you know, I work on my own at home. My brokerage is virtual, so I don’t have an office to go into. And it’s really up to me how much how much effort of time I put into it and how I spend that time. Yeah.

Kristen Carder 9:08
So I think that’s probably a problem that I think I think probably that we could identify that as being like the main issue here. It’s not that you’re not smart enough. It’s not that you don’t have the time. It’s not that you don’t have the resources. Am I understanding those things correctly? Yeah. It’s more like people talk about businesses like real estate or other ones like, it’s so great. You just work at your own pace. You just do it whenever you want. That’s actually not great for us. Because they really need the accountability. When did you think about when you were in school?

how successful you are.

There’s so much structure. There’s so much accountability. There’s like mid semester progress reports and there’s papers do it Certain times and there’s feedback constantly. Your brain really like that. Right? So I think understanding yourself and just knowing like, oh, I need to have those accountabilities in place. Like, if we just accept that as true. Let’s just play whatever we’re just playing here. Let’s just accept that as true. What would you do to solve that? Well, the

Coaching 1 10:28
first thing I would do is make sure that I had somebody, I got somebody in place like a partner to be accountable to.

Kristen Carder 10:37
An assistant can do the same. Yeah. You can literally hire someone to hold you accountable. If you don’t want to go the partner route. Those have been the most valuable things that my assistants bring to me. So I have a director of operations and an assistant. But even when it was just like one person working with me, the most valuable thing was knowing they were expecting something from me at a certain time. So I have an email list. My email list does not care if I email them or not. Right? But if I tell my assistant, hey, I’m gonna get that email to you tomorrow, so you can schedule it, then I have some accountability there. And I’m like, Okay, now I have an actual reason to write this email. Not just the reason of like, I really should do, it’s something that I should do all business owners have to send emails, right. It’s like, those kinds of fake deadlines that we give to ourselves. For some people that works, it doesn’t seem like you’re the kind of person that that’s going to work for. And guess what? Neither am I. I have to build in more accountability for myself. And it sounds like that’s something that would be really helpful to you, too.

Coaching 1 11:58
Yeah, I think looking back at the things that I’ve done in my life, where I’ve succeeded, it was all those there was all because that accountability was there. And even if I created it, because I’ve owned my own business, I’ve owned my own business before. I’ve created a job for my the last job that I had, I created it, and that created all the deadlines. Because it was a totally nebulous job. When I took it, I put the structure in over time. And after a while it was operating, it was very, I knew what I had to do out almost every day. I knew when I had to get it done. And I got it all done. And that was it was like, you know, dopamine rush, dopamine rush, dopamine, rush

Kristen Carder 12:36
1,000,000% 1,000,000%, this is going I want you to think of this in the same light. Right now, it’s all just kind of like, it seems like you’re just carrying a weight, like this big, huge split. Like if you think about a laundry machine, a washing machine that’s kind of like on the spin cycle. And you’re just like carrying that on your back. Just like everything’s spinning. And you’re just like carrying it. And what we need to do is take out each individual piece of clothing, and know exactly what goes where, and when it’s needed. And who’s in charge of it, and who you’re responsible to give it to. Right instead of just having it spin and wake you up at 4am.

Coaching 1 13:21
Yeah. So when you say an assistant, getting back to that, huh? That just brings up fear. Fear of money? Oh,

Kristen Carder 13:37
fear of money? Yeah. I thought it was fear of vulnerability. That’s why I did the Pucci lap. Because for me, it was it’s like the vulnerability of like someone else seeing my messiness. Yeah, I totally get that.

Coaching 1 13:50
Yeah, I mean, I left, I left the job to do what I’m doing now. And, like, every time I, you know, my wife and I, you know, try to make these decisions together. And when I, I, I kept saying, Oh, it’s so I need I need, I need this kind of coaching. It’s like, Well, why don’t you let’s make some money first, before you pay for additional coaching, not not this coaching, but real estate coaching. Like she’s gonna say the same thing about an assistant. So I’m gonna, I think, really, and I, if I were in her place, I would say the same thing. I think, I think, you know, we don’t really have the resources unless we make some significant additional sacrifices. So, I think finding the park I mean, there’s a lot of real estate agents out there that are also starting, but also probably, I think it’d be easier to find a colleague who’s a Partner.

Kristen Carder 14:47
I think that that makes a lot of sense. And I think that what you can use for yourself is it doesn’t have to be permanent. I wouldn’t find any Permanent agreements? Yeah, I think it would be amazing to start out with like a trial period. And you know, like, let’s see how this goes. That kind of thing. Don’t commit to anything long term. But what you want to do is see if it can work for you. And if it works, amazing, that’s amazing. The truth is that either way, there’s going to need to be some trial and error, there’s going to need to be maybe like, this person isn’t the right partner, maybe I go find someone else. It’s probably the same with an assistant, it’s very rare to get the perfect assistant, you know, a compatible fit the first time. So not none of this is like, I don’t want to offer the fantasy of like, this is an easy solution, you know, like, it’s going to take some finesse. Either way, whether we’re finding a partner who’s compatible or an assistant who’s compatible. What I would start saying to your wife, if you don’t mind me being bossy is, hey, I’m realizing I need a lot more accountability. I’m willing to do that. At first, through trying to work with a partner, I understand finances are a little tight, I understand that, you know, I don’t want to over invest in this business. And so I’m willing to do that through working with a partner. But I want to give, you know, in six months, if this hasn’t improved, I want to invest in hiring an assistant and just like start laying the groundwork for that. She’s gonna have to, like wrap her brain around some things. Right. And that’s totally understandable. Maybe finding a partner or a colleague to work with is a beautiful solution.

Coaching 1 16:55
Yeah, you know, the more I think about it, the more I think that’s, that’s what I that’s what I really need, if somebody who’s doing the same thing I’m doing and it has to learn the same things that I’m learning. Yeah. Who also who also might need need an accountability partner? So

Kristen Carder 17:12
it’s not, I don’t think there’s any perfect solution, right? It’s like building a structure with your ADHD. The medication is, if it works for you, medication is great, but it doesn’t teach you how to like function, right? And like, then the like, therapy is good. But then how do you work on your, it’s like, all of these things that we need to begin to implement. And so give yourself time to just try a couple things out.

Coaching 1 17:38
That’s been that’s what’s been the hardest with this. I’m trying to internalize the the acceptance part of this whole thing. And after a month of 30 years of denial, and also having my son diagnosed last week, as well. It’s been, you know, there’s a lot, I have a lot on my plate, and I like, it is overwhelming. And I’m trying to be trying to be gentle with myself, just not my normal mode of operating. So I’m learning that too.

Kristen Carder 18:17
Yeah. And I want to just like the patience part is hard for everyone when they enter the program, because they’re like, Okay, like, let’s go ahead and cure it. Let’s go ahead and like, make it go away. Let’s go ahead and make all like the last 50 years of this obnoxious disorder just disappear. And the truth is, like, the letting go of it happening immediately, and just accepting like, Okay, this is the journey. Some days, I’m going to feel amazing. And other days, I’m going to be really mad at myself, that I don’t feel any better now than I did 10 years ago. And we kind of like swing back and forth. And eventually we have more good days than bad. But it’s just not a linear process. And it’s usually not a fast process. It is a deep process and you’re doing it but it’s hard because then it’s like bringing people along for the journey. Right. So like you’re doing it but then like, well, how does wife feel about spending? Like, it’s all it’s complicated. The web of it is just it’s, it is complicated. You’re doing it little by little, I know.

Coaching 1 19:37
Little bit the baby steps out there like the baby steps are just so hard to learn how to take like a run and then want to jump on a run, get it get it done, right. The heart The hardest part is to be able to go slow and be okay with it.

Kristen Carder 19:55
Yeah, and be able to take two steps forward and three steps back without it spiraling in shame and stagnating because of that spiral. Yeah. Like, oh, no, this is just how I do it. I take two steps forward, I take three steps back, just like Paula Abdul. Not quite as fun, right? But just like Paula, we’re going to take two steps forward and take three steps back. And that’s how we’re going to make progress and it’s okay. Alright, so accountability. Your job is to notice, when you are feeling overwhelmed, and when you’re not getting things done, what is the need? And your need, it seems, is accountability. And then it’s your responsibility to solve for that. Okay, all right. No, go be great.

Coaching 1 20:45
Thank you.

Kristen Carder 20:46
You’re welcome, honey. Great to meet you. All right. All right. His next. Suzanne says I’m having a harder time with accepting than I thought I would. Yeah, I makes.

That makes a lot of sense.

politis Felicity said, we have to accept it as a permanent disorder. I have to live with it. Not something to be solved. Oh, that is good. I have to learn. I have to learn to scaffold my weaknesses. Not make them go away. I’m going to read that again. It was so good. I have to learn to scaffold my weaknesses. Not make them go away. Yeah, we could just make them go away. I mean, that would be incredible. I’d be down for it.

Coaching 2 21:28
Hi, Kristen. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, too. I have been I feel like I’m like one of those callers on the radio show. That’s like, caller first time listener or I mean, you’re you know, the other.

Kristen Carder 21:42
Yes. First time, longtime listener first time caller. I love it. That’s hilarious. Tell me how I can help you.

Coaching 2 21:51
Um, so I get like, really the best way I can describe it is like, I’m kind of having an attitude problem. I

Kristen Carder 21:59
have it.

Coaching 2 22:02
Specifically, like with my husband, he is neurotypical I got diagnosed, I mean, I, I’ve been, I’m kind of like one of those stereotypical, like, mom in my 30s, who like, has been through the wringer of like, bipolar, depression, anxiety, like all these, like, there’s always been something that like, is wrong with me, so to speak, but like, nobody can ever figure out none of these meds were working. And then like, I had kids, and it was just like, to let like, it was just terrible. And I finally like, I found your podcast and some other, you know, things on social media. And I was like, Wow, this like really resonates with me. And so I talked to my psychiatrist, and he gave me the test. And he was like, Yeah, I agree. But I was pregnant with my second kid at the time. And so that was a whole thing. Like, we didn’t do meds or anything. And so then I tried to do your program, kind of like I did your program for a little while. And like, I just, I couldn’t. I just wasn’t there. I wasn’t ready to, like commit to it. It just wasn’t, I felt like I was wasting a bunch of money every month and not getting anything out of it. So I like took a break for a while. And now I’m back. The emotional course was my like, tier two. That month was my tier two. So that’s kind of amazing that

Kristen Carder 23:33
Yeah, are you? Did you find a medication that works well for you?

Coaching 2 23:37
So I started on my first month of we did Ritalin this time just because of the Adderall shortage. Full disclosure, I took Adderall when I was in high school in college, because that was like the cool thing to do, but not because I had a diagnosis or it. I mean, it definitely helped a lot. But I probably took I did it without a doctor which I do not advocate don’t do that. Right. Right. Right. And, you know, it didn’t, didn’t really do a lot for me in in terms of like helping with the problems that I had. But yeah, so I’m about to close out my first first month on Ritalin and I’m going back to my doctor actually this week to kind of talk about where we’re at and how we’ve been doing on it. I don’t love it, but I think that’s a conversation for a different time for sure. But anyway, I yeah, I mean, I’m just I’m really like, having an attitude problem. Like that’s the best way you can just

Kristen Carder 24:43
tell me what you think about your husband.

Coaching 2 24:48
Macro like he’s amazing. I love him. He is my best friend. He obviously is the fathers, my kids. He’s awesome. He is smart and hey, It’s um, and driven and loving and caring and graceful

Kristen Carder 25:06
sounds like someone that we should never have an attitude problem with.

Coaching 2 25:10
Right? Right. Um, but yeah, I don’t know, I just lately we’ve been in this like, rut of just like I feel like everything like I don’t this is obviously I’m on a journey and I’m trying to like change a lot of things about myself Lee are in therapy, like weeds together and then I obviously am as well. He, he is like, he’s a he’s a pilot, he buys for a major airline. So he’s like, I think that probably plays a little bit into it is that like, he’s only here for a couple of days a week. And then he leaves. And so it’s like, we have these issues and like, they don’t necessarily get resolved right away. Sometimes I’ve like moved on, but the like, issue hasn’t been resolved. And so then I like, we have to like, then it you know, we go and we’re fine for a while and then all of a sudden, like something happens. And it triggers the the same issue from before. And I’m like, I just like rage. Yeah. But I was like,

Kristen Carder 26:16
what caused you to bring it up today? Like, what, what’s kind of at the core of what you want to talk about today?

Coaching 2 26:23
We, I just I feel like he’s nitpicking every single thing about me and the things that I’m doing. And when I talked to him about it, he’s like, I’m just trying to help you. Like, I understand that your brain doesn’t work this way. And like, I’m trying to help you.

Kristen Carder 26:43
Can you give me an example, take me to a specific nitpicky combo.

Coaching 2 26:47
So like, literally, like two days ago, yesterday, two days ago, he I was eating like a late, like, I didn’t eat lunch. And so I was having like a late, like snack, lunch, before dinner thing. And he was eating something at that point, too. And he had like, warmed up some like meat or like, whatever. And I was having an avocado and cottage cheese, which is like, I love that matter. No, I just

Kristen Carder 27:15
noticed. Okay, separately. I felt like

Coaching 2 27:18
that was it was I don’t know, it’s just a that’s my like, hyper fixation. Okay, what

Kristen Carder 27:23
time was it? Like 3pm

Coaching 2 27:25
and healthy, you know, protein, carbs, you know, the things. And he was like, Can you eat something more than that? And I was just like, I was like, could not even respond, because I was just like, You know what, at least I’m freaking eating. Okay, like, I forgot to eat earlier. And now I’m eating now. Like, can you just be like, either not say anything, or just be like, Hey,

Kristen Carder 27:53
okay, so husband says can you eat something more than that? And your thought is what are your feeling? Give me a thought or an emotion.

Coaching 2 28:02
It’s just it’s like a it’s like a tightness in my chest. I can’t I don’t even have a word for tightness in my chest. My like, I like start sweating. Like my shoulders and like, just as like, I’m just like, what, like, back off is like literally. Yeah, it puts me into the you

Kristen Carder 28:23
feel it right now? Yeah, yeah. Okay. Do you mind if we surf it just for a sec? Sure. Okay, let’s do it. Okay, so for those of you who are new or might not know, Mike says I can feel it too. What we’re gonna do is we’re gonna just stop. So notice how I stopped. I was like, let’s just stop here. And we’re going to surrender to what is coming up. Okay. As you let it unfold in your body, I want you to allow it to be intense. I know it can feel scary, and it can feel like inappropriate. Like, I’m just like sitting in my bed. Why am I getting so worked up, right? But this is a beautiful time for you to let it unfold. So tell me what’s your feeling? Yeah, I feel a lot of like physical.

Coaching 2 29:15
It’s like a it’s like a pressure in my chest. Like, I feel like I can’t actually breathe. Like it’s just right here. And I just feel like something is like, like, just pushing inside. And it’s like, it’s starting to be a little bit like I don’t feel as tingly anymore. Like my fingers. Were all tingly.

Kristen Carder 29:33
Were Yep. Because I saw you shaking them out. Yep. So it was tingly fingers. It was pressure in your chest.

Coaching 2 29:43
Yeah. I’m still like feeling that pressure in my chest, but it’s getting a little bit less.

Kristen Carder 29:50
Okay, so it’s starting to recede. Yeah. Yeah. If you had to give that emotion a name I don’t think that was like, I know like the word that’s kind of coming to me. It’s like embarrassment or like, shame. Yeah. Yeah, a little bit of both. It’s embarrassing comparison and range. Like, why are you watching me? Like don’t watch me do this?

Coaching 2 30:23
Yeah. Like that. Just like, Yeah, I mean, yeah, I guess it almost kind of comes back into shame. It’s like, like, why, like, why? Like, why? Like, why don’t you trust me to like, eat myself? Or like, Why can’t? Why don’t you trust me to make decisions myself? So good.

Kristen Carder 30:47
And when you felt that rage, let’s go back to two days ago when you were eating the avocado and cottage cheese at 3pm. And your husband says to you, you eat something more than that. And you start to feel that rage? Slash shame, which is totally fine. You can feel two things at once.

Coaching 2 31:05
Would you do? Like in that moment? I did in that particular moment. I didn’t say anything.

Kristen Carder 31:11
Okay, so stepping down. Yep.

Coaching 2 31:15
A lot of times I

Kristen Carder 31:19
sit on, let’s just say with this one, just for a sec. Okay, because I’m curious. Sort of stuff it down. Don’t say anything. Keep going. And I just ate my food and got up like literally no response to him. Yep. Okay. Did it end up coming out at a different time? Oh, yeah. When did it come out?

Coaching 2 31:42
I mean, it just, like, I mean, like I said, it’s been, like, probably a week of us just kind of like, back and forth at each other. So I can’t I don’t even remember. So maybe some

Kristen Carder 31:55
passive aggressiveness maybe? snipping this?

Coaching 2 31:59
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Okay. Is what’s the

Kristen Carder 32:08
thought that brought on rage? Is it can you back off? Or is it like, you need to trust me to eat? What is that thought?

Coaching 2 32:19
Like, the initial thought is like, is back off. Because it really like, and I know that this is somebody, like, we had a therapy session yesterday, actually. And I talked to our therapist about it. Like, I can tell now after the emotional course, more of like, when I’m having just like an emotional response, or like, a trauma response. And I can, and like, that’s something that my therapist and I are going to work on is like how to come out. Have

Kristen Carder 32:53
you experienced this as a trauma response? Do you think I,

Coaching 2 32:58
I don’t, because it really puts me back into this, like, parent child dynamic that like, I can’t I like I don’t, I don’t function well in that child dynamic. But it’s like, which is hard for me. Maybe it was but at the same time, it’s like, then like basically every single interaction we have is a trauma response as of lately, and that’s like so

Kristen Carder 33:28
I want to really cosine cosine cosine cosine. That commenting on someone else’s food choices is a parent child thing. Yeah, right. And it’s appropriate for you to hold a boundary of

Coaching 1 33:53
thanks, I’m an adult

Kristen Carder 33:56
I can make my own food choices. So I’m not going to coach you out of wanting him to back off with this.

My co sign it

maybe three years ago, me would have been like, you know, where can we find the problem here and bla bla bla, and I think your work which we’re going to circle back to at the end of this. I know the chat is going on, she does like to focus on turning it on work is going to be to figure out where you need to back off from him. That’s gonna be your work. Okay. I already know alert. Okay. Because a lot of times when we want someone to back off, we take the step or really with anything we are we’re going to be During the same thing to them. And so, my guess is that there are some areas where you’re going to need to figure out where to back off. We’re going to talk about that in a second. But first, it is extremely legitimate for you to hold the boundary of no one gets to come in at my food choices. boundary, there are certain things that grownups get to decide for themselves.

And so

your work with your therapist in this is going to be, how do I first set that boundary for myself and validate it? And then how do I communicate that to him? In a way that’s not super aggressive? And like, malicious? Yeah. Like back off age, you don’t have? Like, that’s what we’re looking for. Right? Yes, yes, you get to eat what you want to eat. When you want to eat it. It is the privilege of being an autonomous adult human. Okay, so I’m not going to coach you out of that, I want you to understand that that rage that you feel is because a boundary is being crossed. And, and that rage is important. It is telling you just like you said, there’s this like parent child dynamic, and I do not consent to it.

Coaching 1 36:32
So the dream,

Kristen Carder 36:34
after you’ve done some work on this, the dream is to be like, Please don’t come out my food choices. I know you’re trying to be helpful, it doesn’t feel helpful. I don’t want you to talk about what I’m eating. Yeah, that’s the dream. So I know, there’s a lot of steps for you to get there. And I know you’re in therapy, you’re seeing a therapist on your own. You’re seeing a therapist with your husband, and you’re in this program. So like, you’ve got a lot of support to get there. It’s not gonna happen right away. Yeah. Okay. The dream has to be like, love you. But no,

Coaching 1 37:09
don’t come in and want to meaning.

Kristen Carder 37:12
So when someone responds, defensively, I’m just trying to be helpful. You might want to give them language for what would be helpful. Actually, what’s helpful to me is, hey, is there anything else that you want to eat? I’m happy to make something for you. Yeah, me personally, that would be so helpful. Yeah. Not you’re eating the wrong thing. What are you doing? You’re so stupid. Right? But hey, are you still hungry? I would be happy to make something for you. Yeah. So when I’m rushing out the door in the morning, my husband sitting in his office, quietly, just minding his own business typing away, and I’m running around like crazy woman trying to get out of the house. He will just be like,

Coaching 2 38:00
you look in a mirror and see my house does that.

Kristen Carder 38:04
Tell me like, Do you need any help? Going pack a lunch for you. He won’t say if you would just start getting ready earlier. You wouldn’t be in this situation right now. This is years of training. Right? Do not start out this way. Hey, this is years of conflict of showing up autonomously knowing that I am my own individual person with agency. And, and beginning to understand and validate my own needs. I don’t need you to tell me to get ready earlier. What I do need from you is, is there anything I can help you with as you’re getting out the door? Right. And then conflict with that, and then figuring it out and then practicing it? Right. So it’s like it’s a long process, but you will get there. That rage is valid. Okay. I’m not saying rage at him. Right? Right. Surf the rage. Understand what it’s there to tell you. What is the rage telling you?

Coaching 2 39:10
That that’s not okay. It’s a boundary

Kristen Carder 39:12
boundary crossing. What we’ve been groomed to do most of us I’m projecting and you can tell me if this is incorrect. What most of us have been groomed to do in our families of origin is we had no choice but allow our boundaries to be crossed. Because it was unsafe for us if we held a boundary, maybe physically unsafe, maybe emotionally unsafe, maybe mentally unsafe. We had no choice. And so as little kids we had to stuffed down that rage. We have no choice because it wasn’t safe to say no I don’t like that. Don’t do that. Right because there was consequences and punishment for not liking it. Whatever. As an adult, your body is raging the same way that you did as a kid. But now you’re safe. You’re married to a great guy. He’s saying, I mean, when you describe him, I’m like, he sounds great, right? But it’s the little, it’s the little that shows up in those moments. What you want to do with your therapist is work toward being adult. Adult, feels the rage.

But she knows she’s safe.

And she can communicate calmly. This is not how to help me, please don’t talk about my food choices. If you want to help, you can say, hey, is there anything else you want me to make? Or you could just leave it alone? Because I’m really happy with what I’m eating. That’s how adult is going to communicate.

Coaching 2 40:51
I’ve been talking a lot. No, that’s, it’s, it’s good. I needed I yeah, there’s in I can relate to a lot of the, like, newer people were like, it’s, I just try to like, do everything and like, get everything and figure out everything and like, sometimes it’s like, I don’t know, and it’s probably a product of you know, being traumatized as a child little T trauma of like, yeah, yeah, like, I just like I’m really good at gaslighting myself. And you’re the problem like, why can you not like handle this? And yes, like, yeah, and the boundaries thing is I cannot I am a chronic people pleaser, I am a light on person when my amygdala is triggered, and unless it’s my kids, and then I’m like, No, I will. I will eat you like, but if it’s me, I’m like, oh, no, no, like, this is fine. We can fix this. It’s not a big deal. Like it’s gonna be okay. So yeah, it’s just, I do I like this is this has been great. Thank you. It’s really helpful for me to just be like, Yeah, this is okay. The way you’re communicating, if not okay, but like, the need behind the communication is okay.

Kristen Carder 42:18
Yeah, you I really sense from you, that you need agency over yourself. You need autonomy. And I think that that is a perfect thing to take to your therapist and be like, I’ve discovered needs. And, and, and figuring out like, food is a really easy, perfect example. But figuring out what, where else this might show up. And that rage will show you that rage will be your teacher. Yeah. So guys, like, it’s so important that we don’t just coach ourselves out of feeling certain things, right, which is what we what we talked about so much in the emotional regulation courts, like, if we were to just coach you out of rage, then you wouldn’t be in tune with yourself and your needs and what you want as a human, which is boundaries, agency autonomy over your own decisions. Of course, when they affect your whole family, you’re going to make those decisions with your husband, but what you eat is nobody else’s business. Yeah, okay. Gaby. Great.

Coaching 2 43:26
Thank you so much.

Kristen Carder 43:27
All of this. Your therapist. You’re so welcome. We’ll do. Okay, good. All right, sending a big hug. And then a big hug. Okay, no one’s coaching today. Raise your hand. Thanks.

Coaching 3 43:38
It’s good to meet you, too. Yeah, I’ve had a long journey with ADHD, as I’m sure a lot of us have found your podcast, just the normal, non focused version about maybe a month ago. And yeah, and that came after about six months working with a therapist, just a therapist, and we kind of, I told him what made me uncomfortable and I have a lot of physical uncomfortability a lot of my anxiety manifests in my body not being able to sit still not being able to ever feel like fully, physically relaxed. And I was just thinking I was like off the charts anxious. That’s what I went to therapy for. And I’ve always known deep down that I had some sort of I always just called it like an attention deficit. I wasn’t brave enough to go all the way to like I have ADHD for some reason that felt scary. But yeah, my therapist after you know, only about six months, like I think, I’m not totally qualified to handle this, but like, you definitely have ADHD and I’m going to refer you to someone else. And so I’ve been seeing that therapists are there At a psychiatrist. So now I’m now I’m here I’ve arrived at knowing that, you know, this is me, and I’m a little bit different and that’s fine. So now I’m just trying to work on on this on the new me on you know, okay, I have this Is this me. And I haven’t, you know, haven’t found a tremendous amount of success yet because I know it’s gonna take time. But I’m working on some of the workbooks. And essentially what I’d like coaching with today I would describe it as like the, the nanosecond, ADHD, the like, Okay, I’m working, I’m working, and then I wake up, like, five minutes later. And I’ve been, you know, humming a song and looking at the wall for like, five minutes. I’ve heard, you know, I’ve heard a lot of talking in these podcasts. And I’ve been listening to the recorded focused sessions as well, about long term planning, impulse control, that kind of stuff. And that’s super, super helpful. But what I haven’t heard a lot of is that is how to mitigate that just like, all of a sudden, I’m completely distracted. Like, how can I start to kind of like work on that, because I love my job. I’m sitting exactly right here where I work. And I’m an audio engineer and a musician. But I’ll be like, literally enjoying what I’m doing. And then all of a sudden, I’m just yeah, like I said, like, five minutes later, I’ve been like humming a loop in my head, staring at some spot on the wall. And I want to try and fix that. Yeah.

Kristen Carder 46:46
Okay. So my question is, what’s the problem with that, with staring off into space and kind of being gone for five minutes coming back? Like, what do you see as the as the problem there?

Coaching 3 47:00
I feel out of control, I feel like I didn’t want that. I didn’t, you know, give myself permission to do that. It gets in the way, it takes so much longer to do things. And also, when it happens, when I’m by myself, great. When I’m with other people that would look really rude and or weird. And so I have to wrestle with myself to not do it. And it takes so much energy.

Kristen Carder 47:34
Hmm. I’m curious about that. Because it sounds like when you’re alone, it happens naturally. And it’s like, it doesn’t feel like a choice. But when you’re with people, you’re wrestling with yourself, meaning you’re there’s awareness there. So tell me about that awareness.

Coaching 3 47:59
The awareness feels like, I’m very self conscious, and not present with the person that I want to be present with. And I feel like oftentimes ADHD is this like, helmet that’s over my head. And I just went, I just wish I could, like, be more present with the person that I love and who I’m you know, right there with. But there’s this constant, like, you know, oh, there’s a lot more that just went on, I’m going to just listen to that for a while, like, right, while they’re talking. And it just, it feels really rude and not like the person that I want to be.

Kristen Carder 48:39
Hmm. What’s so interesting, and you’ve got so much to unravel, right? I mean, you’re a month into, like this realization and this understanding. So I don’t want to throw too much at you at the beginning, because so much of the beginning is like self discovery, really allowing yourself to kind of ease into it, and kind of learn and apply and figure out like, what what’s for me and what’s not for me, and it sounds like you’re doing that really, really beautifully. The thought like, this is not the person who I want to be or this is not the person that I am. It’s so interesting, because it is the person that you are,

Coaching 3 49:23

Kristen Carder 49:25
Right. And that’s who I am.

Coaching 3 49:29
And it’s that’s the hard part with with psychiatrists. And I wonder if any of you have run into this too. It’s like, they keep wanting to suggest you know, like, Oh, are you depressed? Do you not like yourself? Are you suicidal? And I’m like, wait, no, like, I absolutely love myself. There’s no problem with positivity. I absolutely love myself, but I just feel like, like life is just wrestling. And I want to feel like life isn’t wrestling. It’s commonly sitting in a chair, you know, holding my wife’s hand or something like, I just need this, this calm, because I’m just exhausted from feeling like it’s just a wrestling match.

Kristen Carder 50:14
what’s so fascinating is you are like, the calm will come, if I can just stay present. And essentially, no offense, I have a neurotypical brain that will just be focused on the thing that I want it to be focused on at the right times, all the time. Okay, I like that. Right? And, like, same. I want that to 1,000,000% think your journey is figuring out? How do I give myself the gift of calm and not make the currency or the price of it? Be I have to be present and essentially have a neurotypical brain?

Coaching 3 51:07
Sure, that’s a great point. It makes me think of someone with, with like tics, or someone that has even more visible. I don’t know the right word for, you know, tics. Their journey isn’t to like, end up not having tics, it’s to be alright with having them. And

Kristen Carder 51:31
surrounding themselves with people who accept them for who they are, and making sure they have all the supports in place, and that they’re giving themselves like, meeting their needs. Like, the journey is, I totally resonate with that actually have a kiddo who went through a season, a couple years of having very visible tics. And it is it’s such a journey. And it is such a more physical manifestation of what’s happening neurologically. And it is so much more vulnerable, right? You’re it’s a forced PHONER ability. razz your vulnerability. I wonder if you’re being invited into vulnerability?

Coaching 3 52:21
And hear answer by myself

Kristen Carder 52:24
by your ADHD.

Coaching 3 52:26

Kristen Carder 52:27
I wonder if ADHD, if we can personify it is inviting you into vulnerability. The calm will come as I as I like, understand and accept myself. And as I’m willing to share with other people like, Hey, you are so important to me. And we’re going to sit down and have this meal together. And I can’t wait. And if you notice that I’m wondering, I really invite you not to take it personally. Do you mind just bringing me back? Because I want to be here with you. Do you see the connection and the vulnerability there in that? And obviously you reserve that for like the safest people in your life? Yeah, I totally resonate with like, I totally resonate with what you’re saying. I think that what you could really use from me as permission to have the calm now and permission to even maybe give up some of that fight. Okay. And even just try it out. What would that look like? What would it look like? If instead of being like, angry and upset, or however you feel after you like come to so to speak? Yeah. Which, if your brain is anything like mine, what happens is then I go into like a judgment spiral. I’m just like, oh my gosh, like I just lost all this time. Where am I? Christian? You’re never gonna get anything done. Oh,

Coaching 3 53:59
okay. What am I doing? Let’s get back on track. Yeah, it’s

Kristen Carder 54:01
like, oh, there you go again, honey. Let’s bring it back. Yeah, Jack, right. Like, do you see how we can drop the drama with that? And just be like, All right, our brains being a brain again, like, I can get back to work. What we often do, and I think this is so this is so typical for all of us in this community, at least in some point in our lives is we heap on shame and judgment and blame and like, all of the things onto ourselves. I can’t believe you did this. I was so stupid. Why did I can’t like now we’re not gonna get anything done. Here you go again, if you could just get this under control, and it just becomes the spiral. That’s really where the energy is spent. So if you’re feeling like there’s this like, I’m exhausted, it’s so much energy. I wonder if the energy is like, if you could drop the drama of it, if so much less energy would be put out. Probably, how does that feel to you? What does that feel? Does that resonate?

Coaching 3 55:10
It does, I think, yeah, I think the biggest takeaway is just, I realized that I really came into this, like, how do I fix getting distracted? There, and I definitely see how, you know, there’s, there’s no fixing me being me. And I have to just be 100% Alright, with me being me, and not sinking to just acceptance, and there’s nothing I can do about it. But you know, I feel like sometimes, like I’m picking, like, I’m stuck in indecision, looking down at a tool box. And I’m like, I’ve got these tools, and how do I use them for me, and then I just stopped there, and then get distracted and go make a sandwich or something I don’t, I just like, I’m stuck, not knowing which tools to use. And so that’s why I don’t use any of them. But I like having been steered a little bit back to just, you know, okay, I did just hum the same weird three notes in my head for five minutes, that’s fine. You know, that’s, that makes me me. Here we go back on track. Like, I just dropped my mouse, but you know, here I go back on track back into work. And so totally,

Kristen Carder 56:27
and you if, if work didn’t take you longer, if things weren’t more difficult, if you if you were able to focus all of the time, you wouldn’t have ADHD. Right. And so like, those are the things that we just have to kind of like, okay, this is going to be harder for me, it’s probably going to take me longer than my colleagues, except for that, like, once a month thing that happens where I get more work done than anybody else, you know, in a short period of time, but that’s like, we don’t plan for that to happen, we just know that it’s going to magically happen once in a while. So those kinds of acceptance things, that’s more of just like, not adding on the layers of drama, and just being like, okay, and then again, I want to pull it back to vulnerability with the relationships in your life. Exposing as much as you are able to safely with just being like, I am here, like, I am present, and I love you. But like, also, my brain will probably wander and feel free. Like you’re not being rude, feel free to be like, hello, and be like, Oh, I’m back. Hi. Yeah,

Coaching 3 57:47
I agree. I think that will take some of the energy that I spend masking or like, hoping that they don’t see it. Hopefully, that’ll take some of that energy and redirecting it towards just listening. me knowing that, okay, I’m vulnerable enough that this person knows that I might, you know, start stripping, but yeah, but I’m here I am here.

Kristen Carder 58:16
That’s beautiful.

Thank you. Appreciate you.

Coaching 3 58:19
Thank you, and wonderful to meet you in person. Thank you so much for all of the I closed my chat because there’s literally no way I would have been able to have this conversation if I was reading all of this. So I gotta go back and

Kristen Carder 58:33
check it all out. That’s well, that’s it for today, my friend, I am so glad that you are here with me. And if you want my support, if you loved these coaching sessions, if you want more of them, come join my focused coaching program and I would love to coach you. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye bye. 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. It couldn’t find anything. So I researched and I studied and I hired coaches and I figured it out. 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 Ihaveadhd.com/focus for all details

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