OK, so I need to work on step 1, big time. Can someone get me a big flashing light and attach it to my stress response?
All part of self-awareness, I know. I have no idea I’m stressed until it’s too late. I’m already reacting physically and emotionally to whatever has caused this great big stress response in me. I know, I know…I need BIGcues to recognize small things. By the time I realize that I am stressed-out, it’s too late to do anything but react.
The time to cut off the source of stress has long past and I’m at the mercy of whatever physical reaction my body is having which in turn triggers an emotional response. Usually anger. At myself. For not recognizing what was happening to me. From frustration at missing the clues once again. Then I berate myself for not getting it…something so damn easy and I miss it completely. Totally unaware that the situation, the same situation, will make me bug out. That’s right, in retrospect, I know it’s everyday situations that I do not excel at but continue to attempt and fail each time that frustrates me. I realize the difference between symptom and behaviour…symptoms of ADHD cannot be changed but behaviour CANBE CHANGED. I keep trying to accomplish something simple, something normal people do without a second thought, but keep failing, which just pisses me off.
Hard headed…sure, I get that. Intellectually I get it. But the combination of childhood conditioning, tenacity and willfullness along with forgetfulness has put the habit of keep trying until it happens into my DNA. I even am smart enough to try different ways to accomplish those mundane tasks that frustrate me so much. Alas, it just doesn’t happen for me. I lose. Yet again. I hate that. So much.
What to do? I’m not really sure.
The tip says to recognize when my body starts to feel the stress, tightened muscles is a big one.
Ha! Tightened muscles are an all day thing for me. All day and all night. I’m pretty tensed up most of the time. As a matter of fact, I cannot identify a time or moment when my body is relaxed. Even when I’m sleeping my body is tense and my sleep is restless. I used to follow that popular trick all the experts push all the time…deliberately tense up each individual muscle, starting at your toesand working your way up to the top of your head. Tense it up, relax, tense, relax moving up and up until your body relaxes.
To be honest, it worked for a short time. Ok. It worked a couple of times. Then, when I would tense a part of my foot, it would cramp up. Yikes! Painful! Not only was it painful but disruptive to any kind of relaxation that may happen in bed.
Toes curling in agony I’d be rolling off the bed to hit the floor and try to massage that foot cramp out so my toes would uncurl, swearing and whining to boot. Funny? Oh yeah, it’s funny. At the same time, it frustrates me.
Now, I just don’t bother trying to relax the muscles in my body. I’m content with relaxing the brain muscle so I can fall asleep. That has become my top priority in life…sleeping.
Sleeping is good. Sleeping is great. Sleeping is the best thing since sliced bread.
Can I skip step 1 and move on to step 2? We’ll see next time.