May 9, 2023

Real Conversations on Daily ADHD Struggles

Have you ever felt emotionally hungover? I think all of us adults experience this semi-regularly, especially if you have ADHD. When you have a full life of responsibilities, it can be challenging managing your energy and stewarding your capacity.

In this week’s episode of the podcast, I am sharing a recording of my group coaching program FOCUSED, where I chat with three people who feel overwhelmed.

Adult #1 is dealing with the grief of losing a loved one and feeling unable to move forward with their own life. Could perfectionism and excuses be keeping her from taking any action? Could the answer lie in starting small and simple? 

Adult #2 is physically, mentally and emotionally carrying burdens for herself, her family and her community. How does she decipher what her priorities are so she can do it all? Should she even be the one to do it all? 

Adult #3 feels like she is cheating her students by waiting til the last minute to create lesson plans. But if everyone is successfully learning and leaving positive feedback, is there even a problem to worry about?

I hope you can take something from these coaching sessions and apply it to your own life to feel more regulated and in balance.



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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 are listening to the I have ADHD podcast. I am medicated. I am caffeinated. I’m struggling to be regulated today. I am struggling y’all. But I’m trying. And I am ready to roll. Hello, hello. Hello, welcome. I’m so drained today. I can’t even express to you how much I just want to run home. Throw on my sweat pants hop into bed. So when I say that I am on the struggle bus when it comes to regulation. It’s the it’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth this week has been a lot of output from me, and a lot of emotional energy spent at home. And I woke up today feeling dreadful, not sick. Not sick, thank God, but emotionally, physically, spiritually hungover from what this week has been. And it’s only Wednesday. It’s Wednesday morning right now. Well, I’m recording this. So Oh, dear. I did an Instagram Live q&a yesterday. And one of the questions that I got was like, Why do I feel that sometimes my medication is not working? Am I on the wrong dosage of that medication. And my response to that was, listen, if we’re not sleeping, if we’re not managing our energy, if we’re not careful with our capacity, and understanding our own limits, there’s not really much that our ADHD medication can do to help us like, they’re not a cure all, you know what I’m saying. So our energy, our focus, our sleep, or nutrition, our rest, our ability to play as that ebbs and flows, all of that. So will our ability to stay focused and self regulated? So maybe it’s not the medication that’s not working? I mean, maybe it is, obviously consult your doctor. But maybe it’s just that you’re not getting enough sleep, like me, or enough downtime, like me, or you’re not stewarding your energy wisely like me, you’re not allowing yourself to rest and recharge, like me, as I look back over the last four days and like, oh, Kristin, my, my sweet girl, what have you done? So that’s the case for me today. I am struggling, but it’s not my medications fault. It’s the fault of way too much output, not managing my energy, not stewarding my capacity. Our capacity is limited. We are not robots, we have to be able to say no and I did not do a good job of saying no. And so now here we are, here we are. And that’s okay. Like sometimes this is just life, right? It’s not something that we can always control. Sometimes we just have to roll with the punches, go to work hungover, so to speak. Not like actually, but like energy wise, go to work hungover, try to do our best even when we’re not feeling our best. I think that’s one of the realities of life. That’s just like maybe a little harder to accept. I know it is for me. So I woke up this morning, and I was like, Oh, am I gonna do this? How am I gonna get through my day, I had a lot of drama around it. And it took me forever. And by forever, I mean, like three full hours to just come to terms with the fact that like, Okay, I don’t feel great, but I still have a job to do. I still have kids to parent, I still have a husband to love. I still have like these things in my life that are non negotiable to me. So speaking of all of that, I want you to hear from my client, Darling. Yes, that’s her name, Darling. And let me just tell you, she is the best. Not only is she a client and focused, but I’m also training her to be an ADHD coach, and she is so talented. She’s learning so much. She’s gonna make an amazing ADHD coach, but listen to what she has to say about the focus ADHD coaching program. I think it really emphasizes what I’m trying to say here.

Darling 4:35
I think one of the things I’ve noticed going through focused is that probably my greatest weakness is my greatest strength. Really, through this program. I think I’ve learned a lot about helping myself first. It sounds so cliche, it sounds so cliche, but yeah, helping myself first. counseling to not have as big of an issue act on my life, as I feel like focus has or maybe it was the two of them in conjunction, but I feel like focus was able to put words to all of the things of figuring out how to do life that I like, could not figure out on my own.

Kristen Carder 5:16
In focused, Darling learned how to take care of herself first, which is really hard to do. And if you struggle with this, like I sometimes do, come join my coaching program, and I will teach you how to do it, even as I struggle with it, I will model it for you, even as I struggle with it, and you will have a community of ADHD adults cheering for you, as you tolerate the discomfort of learning how to put yourself first, manage your own energy, Steward your capacity and ultimately live a very full life. Go to I have adhd.com/focused To learn more, and join us today. And I’m going to model putting myself first for you right now, by sharing a focused call with you today on this podcast. Instead of forcing myself to write a solo show, I am in no condition to force myself to do the hardest part of my job right now. So I’m going to share some of the most valuable coaching calls that I have done in the last couple of months. With you absolutely free, this is going to be an incredible life changing call for you. I know it will be and it means that I don’t have to use what little teeny, teeny, teeny, tiny brain space I have left to dream up a solo show. So you’re going to hear my first client get coached on grief and perfectionism. The second client gets coached on deciphering what’s hers to carry, and what she can and should drop so that her life is less chaotic. I think you’re going to really resonate with that one. And the third client, I cannot wait for you to hear this one because she thinks that not preparing for her work as a professor is a problem. But spoiler alert, we actually discover, and it’s not a problem. So what I want you to do, as you listen to this call, is see yourself in these clients and apply the coaching that I give to them to your own life. This is how the focused program works. You can change your whole dang life by hearing other people get coached. And if you love this call, I want you to know that this is exactly what you’ll get in my focused ADHD coaching program. So go ahead and visit the website. I have adhd.com/focused to learn more about it and join us today. I would love to coach you. Now enjoy this life changing incredible ADHD coaching session.

Coaching 1 7:48

hi. I wasn’t planning on actually asking for coaching today.

Kristen Carder 7:54
Oh, do you want to be coached Your hand was raised? That’s why no, no,

Coaching 1 7:57
it was raised. I do want to be coached. I’m just not 100% sure everything. I said

Kristen Carder 8:05
when you raise your hand, it’s not your job to do it perfectly. It’s my job to just help you to like, figure out what you want coaching on.

Coaching 1 8:14

Kristen Carder 8:17
don’t worry, no problem. Where are you in the world?

Coaching 1 8:22
I feel lost basically. Like, I feel like I don’t have any direction. Okay. And I’m working on my values. And so I’ve kind of got that established, but I’m still not working. Okay. It’s been a while. And my dad recently passed away a couple of weeks ago. Sorry. Thank you.

And I just Yeah, struggling with

finding purpose or direction. I have lots of to do lists of,

of different things. But they’re, you know, the normal,

everyday type of things that have to get done. And even before my father passed away, it’s hard to find joy in in anything. So just trying to figure out where to start.

When you think about

Kristen Carder 9:37
do you ever fantasize about like, what life could be or what you would want life to be like?

Coaching 1 9:45
I do, but they vary. Yeah. And they’re not founded in any real reality. Huh?

Kristen Carder 10:02
Well, they’re just I mean, fantasies aren’t supposed to be Yeah.

Coaching 1 10:05
Well, it’s just

kind of nothing’s really concrete. And so there’s

there’s thoughts on I really liked. I’m an accountant by trade, usually taxes. But I really liked fascinated with money therapy, financial therapy.

So, you know,

there’s that, like to get my CPA, though. It’s been so long since I’ve done all those courses, that would be take a lot of work.

So there’s just things thrown out there.

I like Joy making and and then after that, so it’s just a lot of things that are just, oh, that might be nice. But Sure. Even the fantasy is not fully rounded. Well thought out, it’s

Kristen Carder 11:14
what do you talk? How do you talk to yourself, when you when you think about that, when you think about like jewelry making? And you’re like, Oh, that would be nice. And then what’s your next thought?

Coaching 1 11:26
That’d be nice. But it’s expensive, very difficult to make money on. So more of a hobby. Okay. That should be okay, if I was making money, and something else.

Kristen Carder 11:44
So it’s making money,

Coaching 1 11:47
the primary need

it does cause stress. But then I’m like, what, this summer? Basically,

for two months, this summer, I’m kind of going to be out in California with my brother and doing this trip and that trip. So it’s. And I’ve gone to California a bunch of times recently for different things. So it’s kind of well, okay, I can’t take a job yet because I’m scheduled to do these things. And that’s, oh, well, I can do a job, but it needs to be a remote job.

And then I feel Do you feel like you’re able to take a job right now? Feel like you have enough support in place for yourself to be able to take a job?

I think at least a part time job. I don’t think a full time job.

Are you seeing a therapist right now?

No, I need to start that again.

Do you want to? I do.

Just want to find someone who’s good. That takes no insurance. Yeah. Totally. Yeah, don’t we all? Yeah,

that’s the hard part. Right? Yeah. Okay. I think that you are believing some lies about yourself.

I think that

Kristen Carder 13:42
you feel like you are lost. Because you’re thinking that you’re directionless, and that there’s really no options. But the truth is part time remote job. You could totally do that.

Coaching 1 14:01
And it doesn’t have to be the perfect job.

Kristen Carder 14:05
It doesn’t have to be a long term job. I think there might be some like

Coaching 1 14:11
black and white thinking.

Kristen Carder 14:14
Does that resonate? Or it’s like, well, I can’t start until like after this trip and like all of this, like there’s no way to make it work, thinking. Whereas, like, if you just let it be imperfect. I’m gonna get a crappy job for six months.

Coaching 1 14:34
I’m gonna do it for six months.

Kristen Carder 14:37
A crappy remote, part time job for six months, where it’s like, I’m gonna go out and find an imperfect job. Instead of I need to find and you didn’t say anything about perfectionism. But I just like sense it. Yes. Okay, you’re you’re nodding. I sense.

Coaching 1 14:58
I sense that it’s like creeping in.

Kristen Carder 15:04
And I just really want to encourage you to go find something really imperfect, so that you can grieve, and cry, and BMS, and then just doing like an half hearted job at your crappy job that you know, you’re not going to keep forever.

Coaching 1 15:25
Just to get the ball rolling.

How does that feel?

It feels doable? Of course. Yeah, anxiety, because

let’s spend so long. But yeah, going in with

that, it’s only going to be for a little bit, and

tiny, tiny bit.

I want you to understand that you’re not lost, that you can make really good decisions for you. I don’t know that you trust that about yourself yet? And I wonder if that would be a really beautiful place to start with your therapist

is like, I don’t trust myself to make decisions for myself. Yeah,

Kristen Carder 16:25
there. Maybe job number one needs to be I’m gonna just find a therapist. And what about like a grief support group?

Coaching 1 16:40
That would be a possibility to

Kristen Carder 16:43
just when we’re stuck like this, it’s not necessarily about like, we need to change our thoughts. And we need to make more less, it’s a lot of times like, I don’t have the support that I need to move forward. I think you’re probably telling yourself that you should be fine. And that you should just get on with it. And like, let’s just make a list and let’s just do it. But the fact that you’re not able to take that action is evidence that like there’s something happening in your body that needs to be supported.

Coaching 1 17:20
That makes sense.

Kristen Carder 17:22
I wish it was just like, let’s just change your thoughts. Now, that’d be really cute and convenient.

Coaching 1 17:28
And great. But

Kristen Carder 17:32
I do think that there is some perfectionism so you can kind of work on that, like, I’m gonna go find a terrible job for six months, a remote job that suits my needs. I don’t care if it pays 10 bucks an hour, that’s at least something I can make a couple 100 bucks a week. And great. Right? So like, if, even if it’s just like low paying crappy, but it’s a start, like, I think that you might want to build some evidence for yourself of like, I can go and do something. I’m not going to be perfect. It’s not going to be the thing, but it’s going to

Coaching 1 18:09
be something it’s going to get that ball rolling.

Yeah, I think I still feel and I try to tell myself differently that. Yes, I have to find the perfect job that I can do and and then even if it comes up, then I get into that impostor syndrome.

Kristen Carder 18:32
Which is why you might want to start with something that you kind of feel is beneath you. Does that make sense? It does, because then you can the imposter syndrome will probably still come. But you can say like, hello. It’s like, go get a job in McDonald’s. Who cares? Right, like, prove to yourself that you can have a job that you can go work that you can show up for a shift like or whatever the online what’s the online version of McDonald’s right now y’all like that. There’s no shame in just getting like a basic, easy. I’m just going to show up. Like, I’m going to work at Starbucks for 20 hours a week. Who cares? It’s great. Go do it. So that you can show yourself like oh, I can work. And then after six months, you go and find something different. That’s like a step up from that. And you do that for Oh golly, I can do that and you just kind of like, work your way up instead of being like I’m gonna go be a CPA.

Coaching 1 19:34
Because that is the dream.

Kristen Carder 19:39
But it is like your brain and your body are going to have a lot of resistance to it. Uber Eats you’re getting recommendations for for what to do. Says I work front desk at a hotel, even though I have a master’s degree. And it has been so are helpful to have something so easy in the wake of my grief.

Coaching 1 20:06
That’s beautiful.

Kristen Carder 20:10
It’s so hard to navigate life and be functional when you’re swimming in grief and heavy emotions. There are many online grief support groups, some are even free. says she’ll drop some links in Slack if you want. Thank you beautiful. Yeah. So I just want to encourage you to be really gentle and kind with yourself right now and give yourself a lot of support. Go find a therapist, maybe a grief support group, and whatever else you might need, and then start so simple and easy. almost too easy with your job. Okay, almost too easy, where your brain is gonna be like, that’s not even worth it. And just be like, Oh, can I Okay, brain, okay. It’s a stepping stone, like three months. Even if you’re just like we’re gonna do for three months. It’s a it’s a step where you’re like, I can get a job, I can interview for a job, I can hold a job, and I can change jobs.

Coaching 1 21:06
Okay, all right. Thank you.

Kristen Carder 21:08
You’re welcome. Sending a big like? All right, everyone’s offering a lot of support. I hope you can see that in the chat. Alright, changing your role. Okay. Who’s next? Hi. Hi. Great to see you.

Coaching 2 21:26
Oh, well, that was really helpful. The last one was, I almost brought my hand down, but I’m not exactly.

Coaching 1 21:34
So glad it was helpful. That’s great. How can I help you? Um, I

Coaching 2 21:43
keep coming back. Every time I think about what I’m going to talk to you about, I keep coming back to just asking for help to get through what is a very in between time in my life. So I I’m the one who lost my home and my community burned in wildfire a

Kristen Carder 22:06
couple of years ago. Oh, my goodness.

Coaching 2 22:08
I’ve mentioned that a couple times and talked about it on Slack. But, um, so a couple of months before that I had lost my you know, it happened in late 2020. So COVID was, you know, spring 2020. And we were already dealing with that and I had lost my work my freelance work during that time and then lost my house and all my books and resources and backup servers and everything. I mean, literally everything except, you know, two bags, and my cat and my family

Coaching 1 22:46
so, um

Coaching 2 22:52
so yeah, I’m managing, it’s hard to explain I live I’m part of a collectively owned community. It’s a rural community in the hills above Santa Rosa in California and all our houses but one burned so we lost something bigger. And I’m managing with my husband, we’re like CO managing the rebuild of what we can afford to rebuild which is five residences. So it’s my basically my almost full time job but unpaid like everything I do is unpaid being a mother and trying to I’m also a writer so I have a PhD in history. So I was like kind of trying to get myself back into a career after being mostly a stay at home mom in the mountains for a decade. Everything got derailed. Wow. So yeah, it’s just my time management and and I got this I’m newly diagnosed and I know the trauma of the fire like amplified a lot of things so my time management like it just my head feels like chaos all the time because so many details and I my husband just got laid off two months ago like as part of that big tech layoff thing. So there’s just a

Coaching 1 24:17
lot that I’m holding like all the time and

Coaching 2 24:26
so I guess I just like just I just need to get through the rebuild, you know, and settle and land again and hopefully, you know, I I applied for a part time remote job last week easy. As I’m like, oh my god, we have no income right now. And we have a house we’re going to need to furnish in hopefully late summer and we’ll be done. And you know, almost everything in our house now is donated and it’s fine, but it’s like it would be nice to feel like we’re making our own home again.

Coaching 1 25:02
So yeah, just,

Coaching 2 25:03
I guess I just want coaching on like how to get through the next six months. Waiting, criminal time, you

Coaching 1 25:11
know? How to not? Yeah. Any,

Kristen Carder 25:21
the only thing that comes to mind is you are not meant to be holding all of this

it’s not, it’s not yours, to carry all of this. I know that like, with your role as mother and wife and community leader. It seems like all of this is your responsibility, but you are just a person.

Coaching 1 26:00
And so the only advice that I have is like, work daily to, like,

Kristen Carder 26:17
unload. That’s the word I’m looking for.

Coaching 1 26:20
Unload all of it.

Kristen Carder 26:23
Not that you won’t continue in the roles that you are. That’s not what I’m saying. But the mental and emotional load that you’re carrying? It’s not a SNOWBOY. No. No. Because it’s what’s making you so heavy and maybe a little chaotic and a little like jumping around to all the things and never really able to rest and never really able to like recharge, and refuel and feel like, like you’re being poured into it’s because you’re carrying so much.

Coaching 1 27:01
What, what

Coaching 2 27:02
I mean, can you give some concrete? Yeah, examples of what unloading it looks like,

Kristen Carder 27:08
yeah. Okay, so first, you’re already participating in the unloading by coming to this call, raising your hands. And so this type of thing is exactly what I mean. Where it’s like, I cannot bear this

Coaching 1 27:26
alone. I need

Kristen Carder 27:29
someone else to shoulder this with me. Know that that is really, really beautiful that you are already doing that. So I would just really as much as you can, if you need more support.

Coaching 2 27:45
Yeah, and I’m also in between therapists, I broke up with my therapist after my diagnosis because she didn’t really think it was real. Anyway, it was like thicker to the dream, you know, dream work kind of union psychoanalysis, which as a poet and writer I love but it’s not what I need right now. I have an appointment with someone through I have Kaiser so their mental health system is like, really hard to navigate. But I do have an appointment at the end of the month. And I am in between I tried my first Med and it was not right for me because my blood pressure is guanfacine. And so I had to go off that. So I’m waiting. And I broke up with the first psychiatrists for this appointment, the second a new psychiatrist to see so I am like, Yeah, I’m literally in between a lot.

Kristen Carder 28:42
I’m glad that you’re breaking up with people who are just not for you. It’s good. Very good. That does pose a problem though, right? Because then you’re kind of like in between, but it’s still really healthy to not be seeing clinicians who are not for you. It’s good. Okay, so practical practicalities of like how do I actually unload? How do I actually get rid

Coaching 2 29:07
of literally when I wake up and swing my feet off the edge of the bed? What do I do so I don’t enter every day in chaos? Yeah, yeah, we’re feeling that fool you know that I’d so I don’t enter the day with all of those.

Coaching 1 29:25
So hanging over me that’s like really going to tell you what works for me. Yeah. A couple big things work for me. Number one,

Kristen Carder 29:40
getting it all out of my head and onto paper. So your writer, I, when I’m carrying a lot in my head, I have to get it on paper and I can’t type it I have to kind of slowly and methodically get it all down the the brain body connection for me of like writing it out is so wouldn’t, and then actually looking at it and saying like, what do I want to do with all of this? Like, your brain right now is a storage locker for all of the crap that you’ve been carrying. And I want to re structure it so that you’re not storing everything in your brain and body. Right, so like getting all of those thoughts and to dues and like, even, I have these gigantic sticky notes, they’re 24 by 36. And they’re all over my office. And I’m just like, constantly getting things out of my brain. I still have them. They’re categorized, but they are not, it’s not like, I have to carry them around with me on the daily because I have them. They’re externalized Well, I don’t have to keep ruminating on all of it. You had coached someone

Coaching 2 30:53
a while ago and suggested like doing the, you know, writing down all the two dues and then choosing like three things to do that day. And I did that for a while, but I was so shocked by how much it was that it like almost increased the overwhelm. So

so I’ve been hesitant to go back. Yeah.

Kristen Carder 31:17
Tell me Tell me about that. Was it the writing it down? Or was it the choosing the thing like what was it that increased the overwhelm? It’s

Coaching 1 31:26
a really good question.

Coaching 2 31:28
I think it was like the sheer volume volume of it. And then I loved the idea of choosing three things like even before the fire I used to on my own I came up with idea of only doing a to dues that would fit on a post it note. So I was like Oh, I’m going back to that you know, like making my to do list everyday that day instead of three page. But I think it was the volume of what I didn’t get done and all the people who are waiting for their homes to be ready who are relying on me to keep all that organized like cabinet

Kristen Carder 32:03
are still understand why you are the one that has to do at all. It’s so complicated,

Coaching 2 32:09
because we’ve gotten much smaller a lot of people left after the fire understandably and several of them are elderly and their trauma has also amplified things and they cannot track things like

Coaching 1 32:24
they are. I think you are carrying a lot that you are not meant to carry.

Coaching 2 32:35
Yeah, and I think I held I also like did too much hand holding for too long. So they got used to the pattern of me like doing it like yesterday literally asked someone if she could just count the number of cabinet polls she means in her kitchen, and she like rolled her eyes and was like I’ll do my best

Kristen Carder 32:59
to let grownups be grownups I know

Coaching 2 33:02
that’s like when one launches you.

Kristen Carder 33:06
I know I’m being really bossy right now. I was like shifty like a mama. You need to let the grown ups be grownups

Coaching 1 33:16
cut it out.

Kristen Carder 33:18
Because you are breaking yourself carrying other people’s stuff that you are not meant to carry. It is not healthy for you. It will not be helpful, but healthy for your core family system. And it’s also not healthy for the other person. Yeah. It is, it is time to drop that. It is going to be super uncomfortable. But you find that therapist tomorrow and you say these exact words, I’m caring way more than I should be carrying. And I need to figure out how to separate myself and only take responsibility for the things that I am meant to take response. Somebody else’s cabinet pulls. Are you kidding me? And then she reacts like that to you. I am getting a man on your behalf and you should be mad to

Coaching 1 34:19
no more excusing people’s behavior. No,

Kristen Carder 34:22
no more saying oh, they’re elderly. Oh, they went through trauma. Yeah. You went through trauma too. And then being elderly like that is not on you. They are still responsible to take care of themselves. So here’s what you’re going to do. Are you ready?

I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. But I am fired up. You need to create a

Coaching 1 34:52
list that looks like this. Okay, and you need to put it

Kristen Carder 35:02
oh gosh, she can’t write mine, not mine. First, you’re going to do a download, okay, here are the steps, you’re going to do a thought download of all of the things. And then you’re going to split it up and you’re to say, these are

Coaching 1 35:16
mine. These are not mine. And you’re just going to start telling people that’s not mine. And you’re they’re going to be pissed. Because you’re changing the role.

Kristen Carder 35:32
But you are carrying way too much of other people’s stuff.

Coaching 1 35:40
You need to figure out,

Kristen Carder 35:41
this is so dumb. My sister’s friend said this one time, I thought it was so cute. She She says, Those pigs are not in my pen. Those pigs are not in my pen, you need to you need to make a fence. And you need to figure out which pigs are in your pen. Because you’re chasing other people’s pigs. And you’re killing yourself doing it. Yeah,

Coaching 1 36:08
I actually ended up in

Coaching 2 36:09
the ER one week because I had like such intense stomach. The so I have been trying like that me asking her to count her damn cat cow nipples was part of me trying to, to do this. But you know, it’s the I asked them to do something and they come back with eight questions that I have to field anyway. So

Kristen Carder 36:35
a it’s all hot mess. It’s all very a meshed.

Coaching 2 36:39
It’s very enmeshed. And it’s

Coaching 1 36:44

Kristen Carder 36:47
I was very much

Coaching 2 36:47
a normal rebuild. I mean, not like any wildfire. Rebuild is normal. It’s not, but it’s more than that.

Coaching 1 36:56
Yep. Okay, you need more support. And you need you need to do a deep dive on boundaries.

Coaching 2 37:06
Yeah, and I also you shared something about problematic positive thinking recently. That’s been low. And I’ve been catching myself like, oh, yeah, I can do that, too. I can Oh, yeah, I can take that on. I can fit this into. So I’ve been, I’m definitely at that first stage of like, noticing it after the fact. Yeah, I have language for it now.

Coaching 1 37:26
That’s good. Yeah. Okay. So

Kristen Carder 37:32
what we have uncovered is that you truly are carrying so much more than your little body is meant to carry. And so when you are feeling resentment, heavy, chaotic, scattered, overwhelmed. The solution is,

Coaching 1 37:52
feel it. Notice it,

Kristen Carder 37:56
and, and then say, what do I need to unload? Because that’s how we feel when we’re carrying too much. What we’ve done, and I’m going to assume that you’ve done this as well, is gaslight ourselves into thinking, well, this is it. This is just my fault, because I have ADHD or I should be able to do more, I should be able to get this done. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Coaching 2 38:27
If I could pick the right spreadsheet, it would be so

Kristen Carder 38:31
bad. I know, this spreadsheet you’re gonna make this is what I’m willing to do. This is what I’m not willing to do. You’re gonna hand it over to Deb. You know, elderly Deb and your say here, Deb. These are these are on you. I’m not able to I’m not able to do your stuff anymore. Now, I know that it’s complicated in a mesh, which is why you need a therapist to help you like delineate all of those boundaries. But the book set boundaries, find peace by Nedra twap. You already have I can see it in your face library next to my bed for a while and then we’re gonna give it That’s incredible. The book boundaries by Townsend and cloud so good. And really, it’s it is more of like, just deciding what’s mine and what’s not mine. Because right now you’re saying oh sure, it’s all mine.

Coaching 1 39:34
You need to let the grownups be grownups.

Coaching 2 39:35
I say it’s not mine. They come back and in all those ways, say oh, we’re

Kristen Carder 39:40
gonna say yes it is. How dare you? It’s inconvenient for me.

Coaching 2 39:45
It’s like a second round of gene. I just want

Coaching 1 39:49
you to flip them the bird walk away. Like sorry, I It’s yeah, they’re also complicated. It’s so beautiful and so, yeah, sounds beautiful. sounds super beautiful. Honey.

Kristen Carder 40:08
Okay, you got some work to do. This is beyond my paygrade. Yeah, I know, I know. But what I want you to know is the feelings that you’re having. I’m not going to coach you out of them, because they’re good. And they’re right. And they’re true. And they’re indicative of the change that is necessary. So I, I want that to be your biggest takeaway is that what you’re feeling is valid and real. And it is an indicator that things need to change that you cannot go on like this that this is in

Coaching 1 40:48
appropriate. Okay, thank you.

Kristen Carder 40:53
I am sending you so much courage. I’m just throwing it on you right now. All the courage. I see at Washington all over you. All right. Big hugs. Big hugs. Alright, I’m sending you back, honey. By changing role.

Coaching 1 41:09
Okay. I’m excited to coach you.

Coaching 3 41:15

Kristen Carder 41:17
Hi. Have I ever coached you like this?

Coaching 3 41:24
I was like, sonar. I was took my hand down. But I didn’t. So this is good. I have never Yeah, funny enough. Right? Yeah. Yeah. What’s that? So I think he’s sort of celebrating wins. Like, there’s been so many things that I’ve been able to, you know, see differences in, like, things that I’m learning in the program, you know, around emotion regulation, and just, you know, fewer things are slipping through the cracks, I just feel more on top of things, you know, and just generally like competence, you know, it’s just, it’s been great. So there’s lots of improvements. So I’m not kind of beating myself up. But here’s the problem.

Kristen Carder 42:04
I sensed it, but coming.

Coaching 3 42:08
It’s, uh, but and so I think, you know, Bella, Terry, we talked about this in Gosh, when was that months ago. So, my role, I’m an academic, so I, I teach and do research at university, and I’m teaching, and I’ve been doing it for 16 years. And so I’ve been doing this thing for 16 years to the problem, the thing that I you know, and is really about, really, really, really last minute preparations for teaching. And, like, when I’m talking last minutes, like, I’ll give you want to be like, a specific example from the recent past was this morning, I taught a class at 830 I was, you know, still sitting on my couch, you know, like, not ready to leave the house and finishing my slides at like, 806. Okay, so, you know, it was, you know, it’s like, really, you know, it just always just getting it just done enough. I know, B plus work and all that. But this is like, yeah, I don’t know, if it’s B plus work, I don’t know, maybe it’s B plus work, maybe it’s C minus work, I just know that like, what I could do, you know, I could deliver something that’s much more in the A range, and I just am so consistently leaving it to the point where it’s just, like, gotta be done. It’s just got to be done. It’s got to be done enough so that I can like put on some clothes and screech, you know, to the, to the lecture. Sure. And get there I do the thing. So it’s, it’s, you know, I’ve been, I’ve been working on, you know, scheduling, all the things, all the tricks, but it’s like, it’s really, really persistent. And I don’t. Yeah, I’ve been really having a hard time cracking

Kristen Carder 43:50
that. Okay, couple questions.

Coaching 1 43:54
How do you classes go?

Coaching 3 44:00
I mean, I feel like from the students perspective, they, I don’t think that their experience is aside from the fact that I’m, like, you know, screeching in and I’m like, getting there like, just to start things off, you know, but I’m sure like, I’m trying to remember my own you know, instructors and undergrad and like, Did I did I did that? Would that have bothered me or you know, it adults? But I think it’s they go I think they go okay, it’s just

Kristen Carder 44:29
are they learning are the students learning? Yes. Okay. How? And like, when you get feedback from students, are they ever like, I don’t feel like she’s prepared or anything like that. Oh, it’s

Coaching 3 44:44
not you know, it’s not at all because I think it’s I think, yeah, I think that yeah, yeah.

Kristen Carder 44:50
Okay. So, from the student experience, they’re getting what they need with you You showing up at the very last minute?

Coaching 3 45:04
I think so. And I guess the reason I say I think so is because I mean, I feel I see so many, you know, things that I could do if I only had more time, you know, I could have added this or it could have had, you know, a better example of that, or I would have a better explanation. And, you know,

Kristen Carder 45:25
is there a gap in their learning?

Coaching 3 45:30
I don’t, it’s such a hard it’s such a hard. It’s a hard question for me to answer because I think it is,

Kristen Carder 45:36
I think, either they’re, they’re either they’re passing the class, or they’re not passing the class.

Coaching 3 45:42
Yeah. Okay. So they’re passing the class. I mean, you know, the,

Kristen Carder 45:46
either they’re like, is there an opportunity to, for them to give feedback at the end? Okay. And so either they’re saying, I learned, or they’re saying, I didn’t learn. Yeah,

Coaching 3 45:58
no. And so the feedback and again, like, it’s never it doesn’t really show up in like, you know, teaching evaluations are always generally positive, you know?

Kristen Carder 46:12
You’re not gonna like what I have to say. And I know you sense it coming. There’s zero problem here.

Coaching 3 46:22
How though, like I’m in I’m literally in my like pajamas, and I’m just like, die? And then? No,

Kristen Carder 46:30
I think the problem is the Dalai Lama around it.

I just can we just play with that? Like, let’s just give that a month. Okay. What if it’s 1,000,000% not a problem, who cares? Your students are getting exactly what they need. Now, you’re telling yourself, well, if I had more time, this could be better. That that’s because we could do that to ourselves endlessly. There’s no end to that. I could make myself crazy with, if I just gave focused more time, it would be better if I just showed up more prepared to my classes, they would be better if I just had thought about this example. It would be better, like I would not be able to survive, if that’s the way I thought about this program. What I have to do is say are people learning? Am I getting positive feedback or negative feedback? Is anyone ever saying I don’t feel like you’re giving me what I paid for? That’s feedback that I would take very seriously.

Coaching 3 48:01
Yeah, no, and it’s not I mean, it’s the predominant, you know, feedback over that, you know, what I’m gonna say something here that it’s like, occurring to me as I’m going, it’s almost like, I feel like I’m, like cheating them. Like, I’m like, they respond well, you know, to me, because I think I have I have something to offer in the role as like, just, you know, that they know that I care. And they like, you know, they, they get a you know, there’s like a, you know, a good vibe, you know, like I and I like without saying, like, I’m looking at them. And that’s something I think I do well, with students. I Oh, but I feel like they’re, like, overlooking the shitty stuff. Because I’m like, you know, they like me, you know, and I just feel like, that’s, like, I almost feel guilty that I get like a boost, you know, like a performance rating side, because I’m like, they liked me as a, you know, they like how I make them feel in the classroom, even though I don’t know. So yes. So there’s still not a problem here. Is there?

Kristen Carder 48:58
She Yeah. Because then I would go right back to is the content lacking? Are they not learning? Are they are they doing poorly on their tests? When you’re evaluated by your superiors? Are they saying like, this is not substantive. Is that a word?

Coaching 3 49:17
Yeah. Yeah, no, that would Yeah, that’s not that does not happen.

Kristen Carder 49:23
Okay, so the thought I’m cheating them leads to what emotion?

Coaching 3 49:33
Probably guilt, guilt. And also just like the like, you know, I’m not doing enough like, whether it’s like I’m cheating them or I’m not doing enough for them or some version of that is like, Yeah, I think guilt. Guilt is a big one.

Kristen Carder 49:48
Okay. Let’s hop into that guilt for a second. So it’s this morning. It’s 806. Or let’s go back to like 730 And you’re like Frick i So To prepare for this class, if I could, if I would give them more time, I wouldn’t be cheating them. And you’re going into all of the drama and you’re feeling guilty. Tell me what’s happening. What are you doing?

Coaching 3 50:11
I mean, I am I will say so at 730. You know, I am I’m in like the midst of sort of, you know, I’m going back to the, my, the slides from the previous year and adding some content and doing and I’m just, I am working on it. But I wouldn’t work on it. Like I did a million other things last night that I could have. I could have, I could have done it last night, but I didn’t in some ways. I feel like it’s almost like it’s like a containment strategy. Like, I just want to, if I leave myself six hours, I’ll spend six hours so I’m gonna leave myself one hour, but it’s like, never quite enough. Like I’m not like, okay, ah, and now I’ve put a full hour in and I can feel

Kristen Carder 50:52
good. It’s like, right? Because when do you allow yourself to feel good? Okay, what would be the standard for you?

Coaching 3 51:07
It’s a good question. I know, I’ve ever, ever, ever, ever in my entire teaching career, walked into the classroom and went like, I really did. Like, just, you know, I did, I did everything possible to make this as good as I just got it done enough that I could go into teach and do it. You know, you’re not

Kristen Carder 51:27
letting yourself feel good. About having it done enough. Why? Because you’re, you’re believing that’s cheating them? Yeah, I know that I know that of how many times have you taught the class? Do you think how many years in a row?

Coaching 3 51:41
This particular one has been? You know, it’s only been a few years, but there’s like, you know, like, how many?

Coaching 1 51:48
Three years?

Coaching 3 51:49
Three years? Let’s go just today’s example. And three years,

Kristen Carder 51:53
I’ve taught this content three times. Yeah, it’s enough. Yeah. Yeah. You academics are making yourselves crazy. I can see it in the chat. I’m cheating my students because it cut it out. Oh, wow. It’s enough. If you showed up having not prepared at all, using last year slides, it would be enough. You would be able to teach it, you’d be able. The fact that you’re even giving it 30 minutes of additional time. First of all, why? Second? That’s amazing.

Coaching 3 52:43
Yeah, that’s, it’s a completely different thought than the one that I have. It’s a very different thought. And I’ve never considered that this isn’t a problem. It’s like this is the problem that keeps going. And it’s persistent. And I need to fix it. Because I’ve been doing it for so long. And it just like nothing that I’m learning me out of this. But now I actually don’t have a problem.

Kristen Carder 53:03
There’s no problem. The problem is your drama. You’re real dramatic about you’re like I am cheating people. Okay, here’s a question for you.

Coaching 1 53:19
Deep breath. How has the thoughts

Kristen Carder 53:25
I’m cheating my students? How has that caused you? Where have you cheated yourself? In all of this,

Coaching 3 53:37
I think, you know, when you’re asking about teaching evaluations and like, how did like, you know, are you effective? Like, I think that I have, I have ignored evidence that I am effective, and focused on the, you know, the stuff the drama, I guess, whatever we call it, the drama, not the problem, but, you know, the, like, seeing the evidence for like, where I’m falling down, you know, rather than seeing the seeing how, where I’m doing well, you know, and that’s, yeah, that’s interesting. So I’ve, you know, my like, self worth or sense of worth as a you know, it’s something that’s really important.

Kristen Carder 54:18
I think that you deserve a good cry over what you’ve withheld from yourself.

Like, if it’s possible to go back and reread evaluations and celebrate how much people love your classes, how much your teaching has impacted them. And kind of pull apart the overshadowing of like, Yeah, but it’s not enough. Yeah, but, you know, like, if they only knew how unprepared I was and like how much I didn’t Yeah, I know. No, if they only knew if they only knew how intelligent you are, and like how much you have to give, and the fact that you can do it with a 15 minute review and like adding a couple things in, they’d all be jealous. Oh, it’s such a completely different framing. Yeah, they’d all be jealous. They would all be like, this woman is incredible. The fact that she’s just like, gets to review for 30 minutes and then come in and teach like a baller class. Like, that’s incredible. So these are, I’m able to coach you on this, because this is drama that I have gone through for myself. Yeah. Because when you’re supporting humans, here, that’s a big responsibility. And you know that you want to give them your best, but also you’re just a person. And how prepared is hard enough? If we have a standard we’re never going to meet? We’re never it’s impossible. Yeah. And so my thought about me is like, I, I can jot notes down 30 seconds before a call and teach a fire class. Because it’s in me. And I know that’s true. And if you feel like the content is in you, I want you to lean on that drop all of the drama, this is not a problem.

Coaching 3 56:48
That is so interesting, because those are like ones where I really am unprepared. It’s like a new class and like, okay, like, we’re just gonna nit those sometimes are the ones that go. But the students that I’ve told myself is not Wow, look at me teaching a baller class. It’s like,

Kristen Carder 57:09
well, I can’t believe I just did that. And like, man, if they only knew and like, who like that was lucky, it wasn’t lucky. The content, like your intelligence, your empathy, and everything that you’ve studied over the last 16 plus years. I mean, that was like, you’ve been a professor for 16 years, but you’ve, like had to go through so much rigorous academic training to even get there.

Coaching 1 57:34

Kristen Carder 57:36
in you, you don’t even need the sides. Allow it to come up and out and drop the drama. And if people start to say, I’m not really learning. Yeah, I I’m feeling like, you know, I’m not getting what I what I asked or what I paid for I you know, of course, we’re gonna pay attention to that. Yeah, I don’t,

Coaching 3 57:58
I’m gonna happen. No, it’s not what I’m hearing. So no, that’s really helpful. And I think you’re banging on about like the, you know, there’s a need to serve here because it’s the story I’ve been telling myself for a long time feels really bad. So

Kristen Carder 58:15
alright, so you good cry and go find some some old evaluations that you dismissed. Because you’re like No, like I didn’t work hard enough to earn feeling good about this. And you go let it sink in.

Coaching 3 58:35
Thanks, coach. That was fun.

Kristen Carder 58:39
All right. sending you back big hugs. Oh, man, that was beautiful. That’s so good. All right. Yeah. Thanks to the memes. Talk soon. Hey, ADHD, or I see you I know exactly what it’s like to feel lost, confused, frustrated and like no one out there really understand the way that your brain works. That’s why I created Focus. Focus is my monthly coaching program where I lead you through a step by step process of understanding yourself feeling better and creating the life that you know you’re meant for. You’ll study be coached, grow, and make amazing changes alongside of other educated professional adults with ADHD from all over the world. Visit I have adhd.com/focused to learn more.

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