Here’s today’s journal writing prompt along with my corresponding journal entry. Read more for details!
Ten of Wands
What are you struggling with most right now?
I recently got a new therapist and a new med doctor at the mental and behavior health hospital I go to. The bottom line is there is a very real possibility that I also have ADHD. Given how I have siblings, a child, and a nephew diagnosed with it the chances are high just on a genetic level.
I find myself easily overwhelmed. And maybe this is part of why I feel the way I do about the things I talked about in yesterday’s post. The debris feels insurmountable more often than not and I don’t have a clear idea of where to begin.
I can spend hours organizing and planning what logically is a simple task only to end up not completing it. How much of that is sensory? How much of that is maladaptive perfectionism? How much of that stems from fear and fatigue? I don’t know. There’s so much overlap but in order to address the root issues, one needs to know what is causing it.
And frankly, I’ve been doing a lot of work on identifying and healing trauma that frequently causes fear and fatigue. I address sensory issues whenever I’m aware of them. As for the perfectionism thing… well I know that is a symptom of fear, anxiety, and subconscious programming. The solution to that is identifying and addressing false beliefs (cognitive distortions).
Focus is a long standing issue for me. Yes, I can hyperfocus on something for an entire day but when I do that, the rest of the world doesn’t exist. When I’m not hyperfocused on something, I space out. How much of that is simply disassociating? No idea, and I’m not sure there is a clear way to differentiate between the two.
I have two kinds of “fuck it” modes. One is, “fuck it,” and shutdown. The other is, “fuck it,” let’s just do the the thing and find out. Both happen more than I’d like.
I have a lot of what appears to be pressured speech but the excessive talking of mine occurs even during baseline (stable) and depressive episodes. I don’t intentionally speak over people. More often than not it happens without me even realizing it until someone calls it out. Even then it’s incredibly difficult to reign it in. Like there is this drive to speak as I am thinking – especially when the topic is interesting or important to me. Nothing more devastating that to see in people’s body language how annoyed they are and the only recourse you have is to exit the conversation because the verbal vomit keeps happening even when you don’t want it to.
I lose things. If stuff does get put in the same place every time, I struggle to find it. I can’t just casually set something down. Everything requires a specific place to be. And everything is relative to each other. So moving or changing one thing often means losing many things for me.
Emotional turbulence. This is a thing. It’s a thing for everyone and tracks along a spectrum of severity. For me though, just like Little Bear, my emotions feel all over the place. The smallest things can completely tank my day. I frequently hear from others how my emotional responses are either unreasonable or non-existent. No in between. I know the flat or blunted affect is a result of alexithymia[1, 2, 3] and emotional disassociation. The other stems from rejection sensitive dysphoria.[4, 5, 6]
So things erupt from me and most people see it as coming from nowhere. It’s something I try to be very mindful of when interacting with my sons. Am I conveying presence and empathy in a way that is meaningful to them? Do I repair appropriately after ruptures occur? Am I able to recognize the trigger for this particular episode and mitigate its effect for next time?
Yes, this applies to my other relationships, but my children are the ones that are learning about the world around them directly from me and the interactions they have with me. If I can’t do this for them, how can I possibly expect myself to do it for others? What are they learning from the behavior I model consistently? Am I living an example I desire to set? Am I just plain fucking up and failing? Am I a bad parent?
I guess this is why I’m hypersensitive to the good parent vs. bad parent dichotomy. It is so easy for us as human to apply black and white thinking on ourselves and others when in truth we live and breathe in the realm of gray. Nothing truly fits into neat little boxes, do they? It would be nice if they did. Our brains like it when things are neat and easy, but life just isn’t.
And maybe, the root of my struggle simply just is the rejection sensitivity. I feel like I can’t do life the way everyone else seems to so I end up feeling like I’m subhuman. In many ways it feels worse than the idea of just being a bad parent. At least as just a “bad parent” I would still be a human being, albeit not a good one. Instead, I look around me and see that in comparison I’m just a constant hot mess.
On the upside of all this, 15 minutes into my appointment with the new med doctor she straight up asked me if I was receiving treatment for ADHD in any way. She strongly feels that the symptoms I have going on that she is seeing is in fact ADHD and she is pushing for a neuropsych to screen for it. She even started discussing non-stimulant med options with me. Non-stimulant being the first option since I’m already diagnosed with Bipolar Type I and since stimulants can trigger mania in some people, that class of med isn’t a first choice.
My new therapist is on board with working on the cognitive and behavioral factors of these symptoms regardless of diagnosis. Her attitude is that since it’s a thing I’m struggling with we’ll work on making it less of a struggle.
We’ll just keep plugging away until we find what works.
- Alexithymia and Autism
- Alexithymia and ADHD
- What is Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria?
- What is Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria?
- How ADHD Ignites Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria
- Dissociative Tendencies and Facilitated Emotional Processing
So I’m going to bring today’s question back to you. How does it apply to your life right now? How do you feel about it? What’s happening around that to make you feel this way? What would you like to do about it?Write the answers in your journal in detail.
If for some reason this prompt is leaving you stumped, that’s okay, you can either write about something else or just allow the image of the card inspire you instead. The entire point of this is to get you started, not to confine you in any way. Happy writing!
~ Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti (Illustrator and Author) © 2009
~ Credit for 3D model and assets used in this rendered image can be found here.
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