Sunday, January 26, 2014

Oh There You Are, Julie

So I have been on my meds for a little over a month now and it has been journey of self-discovery. See ADHD meds don't just make me attentive to things that need to get done in the material world, they have lifted the emotional fog in my head that allows for me to see where the *heart* work has to happen. The heart (aka hard) work started when I made the choice to begin active cognitive behavior therapy with my counselor last month.  For those of you new to the mental health world, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), is a form of counseling that teaches me the cognitive steps I need to take to get out of my ADHD funks (and boy do I get into those).  But see what cognitive behavior therapy has taught me is that when I am alone, I am responsible for my thoughts and when I am with people I am responsible for my actions.  That continues to be a pill that is hard to swallow, especially the thoughts. Since I have a brain that races, my ADHD thoughts can create a tyranny of anxiety and lies in my head. 

My thoughts can go anywhere from creative optimism to self-doubt lows where I am convinced the world is against me and I am probably responsible for it.  See, on my meds with cognitive behavior therapy, I am learning that becoming responsible for my thoughts is a hard pill to swallow.  See for us ADHDers and others who suffer from frontal cortex mental challenges (of gifts), I am learning we do have control over the thoughts we allow ourselves to believe and that's why I am holding myself accountable to them instead of being a victim to them. It is easier for me to me to hold myself accountable to my actions then it is my thoughts because another person in my presence can tell me I am not crazy.  But when I am sitting alone, in my own ADHD thoughts that swing from optimism to self-defeat in 10 seconds or less, it is me and God that are sharing the airwaves between the truth that lives in my heart and the lies that fester in my brain (if I let it).  I have a choice to believe them or not.  But what I am noticing is that, the stronger my faith gets, the softer the self-defeatest voices get. One day, with my ninja skills I am acquiring through CBT, I am going to nearly silence it.

While I love being in community and being with my friends, I have learned that I require times of solitude where me, God and ADHD get to have a pow-wow in prayer.  It usually goes something like this:

Julie: Hey God, my ADHD thoughts are out of control.  They are making me feel hopeless even though I have a heart that is full of hope.

ADHD: You are full of hope, Julie.  Just think of all the awesome hopeful things you do for people but then think of how many peope you leave feeling hopeless when you let them down. You are responsible for their unhappiness.

God: Julie, I have gifted you everything in your power to turn off the noise in your head.  You have the choice to sit in lies or believe in truth.

See cognitive behavior therapy is learning to hear God's voice through the deluge of lies that live in my brain.  The meds slow the thoughts down and I have to make the choice to know whose voice is telling the truth. CBT teaches me to find God's love through the mental fog.  His voice is always there if I choose to listen and feel it. Then I can focus on the gifts that come with ADHD: creativity, curiosity and energy. But I have to learn to turn off the self-defeatest voices of shame and guilt first.

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