Having ADHD means worshiping the God of Hard Work. Until you're diagnosed and get that the problem is chemical and not a lack of effort or caring or discipline you're constantly trying harder--at everything. And that includes trying to stay present in the moment.
And that brings us to meditation, which is something I keep meaning to do. I've been listening to a podcast by meditation teacher/therapist Tara Brach centered on embodied presence. She talks about the trance we live in, where we're just going on autopilot, always chattering to ourselves in our minds, thinking about what's next, and she describes this as the unlived life. And this makes me feel sad because it so aptly describes much of my own life.
Paying attention has been the greatest, fiercest struggle of my life.
When I mentioned to my ex-husband that I have ADHD he said, "Well of course you do. It's always on to the next thing, on to the next thing. I've been telling you this for years." And he probably has been. People who get diagnosed as adults often say they're diagnosed multiple times throughout their lives but they just keep forgetting. Because who knows where you really are at any given moment? Probably not right there, with your body, getting that information.
But being present is hard for everyone because then you have to feel your feelings and that can often be yuck. As Brach puts it:
And Brach also asks, "What are you unwilling to feel right now?"
I asked myself that question this morning and the answer was immediate: fragile, weak, vulnerable.
Still, being awake in the moment is so delicious, so necessary. And I need to practice regularly. So I'm carving out a designated time in my schedule to practice paying attention--doing meditation. Systems, not goals, my friends. Instead of trying harder, you make it easier.