I have Halloween on my mind – scary ghosts, wicked vampires and long legged creepy spiders! This is the time of year when many of us look forward to being scared and spooked! That is the fun kind of scared. The kind that gets your heart pumping and then laughing when you realize the giant rat sitting on your kitchen floor is plastic.
But what about those other fears? The ones we usually don’t talk about that keep us up at night? Or keep us from living the life that we want? Or drain our energy? Fears about the future, our jobs, our relationships? Fears that lurk in those dark, lonely places of our mind that haunt us about our ADHD. Fears like…
Ghostly ADHD fears – no, not actual ghosts. I mean the thinly veiled always lurking, lives in the shadows fear that has made you work incredibly hard to hide your ADHD. The fears you keep hidden behind the daily façade you put up, just waiting to come out and reveal the “truth”. Fear that people will see through your intelligence, creativity, good job or successes to the unorganized, forgetful, easily distracted ADHD person underneath. The fear that once these things are known, all we have will disappear and we will be seen as someone less than, incompetent, or irresponsible.
Reality behind the fear? These fears, like ghosts, have no substance. And like ghosts they live in the past and we keep them alive only by believing in them. The truth is we live now, in the present. And today, in the now, it’s likely everyone around you already knows these things about you…and guess what? The ones that matter, love you anyway.
Vampire fears – the ones that drain you. These ADHD fears exhaust you because they keep you up at night and suck the energy from you during the day. The ‘What ifs’…what if my ADHD keeps me from getting that promotion? What if my spouse gets fed up with my forgetting things? What if my son has ADHD? These ADHD fears never stop, they feed on your life, leave you feeling empty.
Reality behind the fear? This worrying is not going to change anything and often results in bringing to life your worst fears coming true. Instead, notice the fear, ask yourself is this something you can change and begin to channel your worry into action – shining a light on our fears helps us see them for what they are – much smaller once the dark shadows are gone.
Creeping spider fears – these are the worst. That creeping sensation that something is wrong with you because you have ADHD. These fears crawl along your skin and settle there quietly, waiting for just the right moment when success or even possibility is within reach. It’s then they show themselves and we are caught helpless in the ‘I don’t deserve this’ or ‘I can’t do that’ web.
Reality behind the fear? You can do anything! ADHD is not an excuse or a reason that you can’t do or have the life you want. These fears have no hold over you if you stop struggling and learn how to maximize your ADHD strengths.
We all have those fears…the ones that creep into our minds at the worst moment (usually right before a big presentation or an important life change). Thoughts that hold us back and prevent us from success. But as long as you learn the tricks to deal with your ADHD, you can enjoy all the treats along the way!