I’ve been working from home exclusively since March of 2020, and it’s a nightmare.
Don’t get me wrong, there are parts of it that are great. I can work in sweatpants on the couch, get up and grab a snack whenever I want and cuddle my roommate’s kitten on breaks. My schedule is also somewhat flexible, so if there’s an emergancy during the day when my best friend needs me to bring her some insulin at work, I can adjust and make that happen.
But working from home is also very challenging for me due to my ever shifting focus. I know I need to work from 10am-3pm, but the dishes also need to be done and oh shoot, that’s right I need to do laundry and what if I just played Breath of the Wild for just a few minutes? Somedays I’ll sit down in my workspace (wherever it might be that day) but I just can’t work. My mind is so cluttered and I just don’t have the mental energy to put toward work. My chill space and my productive space have become one in the same, and some days I can’t tell the two apart.
I’ve been unmedicated my entire life. For the most part, my ADHD didn’t hinder my school performance, so the doctor saw no reason to perscribe me medicine for it. Sure, it manifested in other ways, but for the most part I kept a lid on it. Through high school and college, I learned new coping techinques that allowed me to thrive despite my inabilty to direct my energy and focus. I became a pro at masking and pretending to be neurotypical.
I never really thought about medication until my junior year of college, when I noticed my grades beginning to drop. I was constantly distracted in class and while working on schoolwork, and many of my assignments were submitted late or not completed at all. I couldn’t understand why all of a sudden this was so hard for me. I debated whether or not medication would be beneficial, but at that point I figured I’d done okay so far, so I didn’t need medicaton. I just had to buckle down and work harder.
But working from home has been one of the biggest challenges of my adulthood thus far. I’ve been feeling so frustrated at myself recently. I know I need to work, but some days I just can’t, and I carry that guilt and shame with me for days. Recently, my supervisor for my most recent job shared that the executive board was pleased with my work and wanted to contract me for more hours. This is a high compliment, and I should have been excited. But when I read that, my heart grew heavy inside my chest. I didn’t deserve that. I wasn’t a good employee. I made too many mistakes.
I don’t want to feel this way. I want to feel accomplished in the work that I do. I want to be disciplined and focused. So today I reached out to my doctor about getting perscribed help for my ADHD. For those who know me, you know I am wary of medication. I never want to take it unless I absolutely need it. I am also aware of the side effects of some ADHD mediciaton, which I am not looking forward to. But if taking medication can help me not only perform better but take pride in what I do, then I think it’s a fair exchange.
How long have you been putting off something that can help you because you’re afraid of the change? It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been waiting, it’s not too late to get help. I waited 23 years. They say that ADHD gets better as you age, but most people I have talked to would disagree with that. It’s okay if you need something now that you didn’t then. You’re changing! Whether it’s beginning medication or starting counseling or opening up to a family member, it’s okay to need something now that you didn’t then.
You are worth the investment. You are worth the time. The growth is worth it. Don’t let your fear or uncertainty paralyze you from becoming your best self.
I put off counseling for five years because I kept convincing myself I didn’t need it. And I was right. I didn’t need it. But man, did I benefit from it. I don’t need mediation, either. I’ve survived this long without it, and I will continue to do so.
But this life isn’t just about surviving.
It’s about thriving.
What help have you been putting off?
What steps can you take to grow into a better you?