so, like i said, im taking you all (whatever figurative "you" and "all" that may entail) on my journey as i go to therapy and deal with shit i have never thought to face before.
sometimes all it takes is that outside perspective to put your racing brain to rest and affirm some of the truths that your rambling has brought about.
yesterday i learned a lot more about ADHD. i was diagnosed with it in december and before learning about ADHD i assumed i was just immature, space cadet-ish, out there, and just not meant for the world that we live in. that, im assuming, is why i was a miserable little creature growing up. a second therapist sat in on my session (which of course i was thinking, holy shit why are there 2 of you now?!?! am i that nuts?!?!) who specializes in ADHD because her husband and son are that way.
the more i learn about ADHD, the more im understanding that my brain and thoughts just function differently than most. i don't see in numbers and letters and figures and order. granted, i thrive on structure and organization, but that is mostly due to how i was conditioned as a youngster. in all of the uncertainties i am facing right now, my brain is resorting to the safety i knew as a child in that regards. my happiest.... my absolute, utmost, HAPPIEST times are when i am free.... when i can go to the playground with bubs and roll down hills or blow bubbles, when i can make a fort in the living room and eat lunch in there with her, when i just drive and go exploring, when i am throwing paint on the wall or drawing with bathtub crayons in the shower, when im baking cupcakes and coming up with new concoctions, when im playing music or dancing or writing.... these are the times i feel at peace with the world and myself.
for so long, i was feeling guilty for taking a few days here and there to hang out with friends and not work or i was feeling guilty for ignoring some housework to be a human and interact with others. i feel guilty if bubs doesnt have a spotless house but then also feel guilty for not paying as much attention to her and being the silly, fun mom i really want to be.
so that is what we discussed last nite.... an appreciation of self.
i cant recall all of the details that we talked about since my ADHD brain and mouth were in full swing, but what i do remember is leaving her office and walking toward the elevator with this light feeling and a huge smile on my face (which after the day i had of my phone and laptop shitting out on me at the same time was a miracle in itself). i felt peaceful and happy. why?
because i realized for the first time that this is me.
the things about me that people always strayed from and called "weird" or "immature," the things my parents never encouraged or fostered, they're ME. and no, to the rest of the world they are not "NORMAL," and no, i never got any words of affirmation or appreciation for me as a person, but i dont need anyone else to accept and love me but me. that is the reality. the real thing that needs to happen before anything else in my life can move forward and change is that i need to love and accept me, for ME.
i remember one thing we honed in on was that i constantly feel like i have to be doing and accomplishing things, yet when i DO, i never even give myself ONE WORD of props. i never step back and go, "hey, totes did that." i just push on to the next thing. that's how i was brought up. i was brought up to put my head down, nose to the grind and just go go go go go. maybe that's a product of living in the city that never sleeps (good ol NY), and maybe it has to do with the fact that my parents were always working and busy and doing stuff and things...but regardless... im my own person now. im nearly 30 years old and while i encourage my daughter and praise her for accomplishing the smallest of tasks, i forget that i still need to hear that too.
we are bred as a society to either stray from self all together, or to be entirely selfish as a whole. there's no learned balance. there's something im missing and that is my homework for the week.... to find a few kind words for myself, to take a step back at the end of the day and be like "look at what i did today! awesome shit!"
im not used to receiving compliments. it's really really hard for me. i hadnt gotten many if any for most of my life and lately the more im learning to just let the walls down and open up to people and let people let their guards down around me and open up as well, they have been coming .... the biggest one that makes me tear up to no end is when people look at bubs and tell me im a good mom. i dont know that i had the BEST example from my own and i am just working so hard to give bubs the love and encouragement and support i dont feel like i had growing up. so for people to look at her and tell me she's beautiful and smart and funny and empathetic and well mannered and imaginative and talented... when people tell me im doing a good job... i cry like a lil kid. it's hard to take. it's nothing fleeting like "oh your hair is nice," or "you look pretty" or some shit like that. this is a reflection of work im intentionally doing to make sure that she is a good little human and a benefit to the world around her. i want her to be loving and giving and have a heart for those around her... and she does. i think that may be the hardest hurdle for me tho...
this whole appreciation of self thing is easier said than done. im trying with little things such as "oh i made the kitchen shiny" or "i folded that laundry hella tight." maybe some day i will be able to take the bigger ones such as "kelly youre a good mom," or "kelly youre a really warm and welcoming person." i'll get there. one little step at a time.
it was also nice to have both of the therapists tell me that possibly due to all my blog rambling that i actually know all of the incrimental steps i need to take to get where i need to be, i just need a little help piecing them all together. for the first time, i am trying super hard to not be focused on the finish line and final product that is ME at my best and the way im meant to function in society. for once im trying to not worry about what mark im leaving on the people around me and just realizing, there are steps to take and ill get there one at a time. even if you try sprinting to your final destination, it still takes putting one foot in front of the other.... so no matter the speed at which i get there, it still takes steps.
im actually quite excited. im actually appreciating my quirks and my nature. no one has to accept it but me. for the first time, i think i actually am, and for the first time, i think i may have a perma-smile all day.