First Contact and coming in hot

Hello there Brains and hearts!

Preface:

I found the channel last week and about this forum here a couple days ago and since I’m struggling to join and make this post, because I got reaaaaaaaaaaaaaally anxious and nervous, so I was working up on my willpower to just join and post here when I read that post about the forums being decommissioned and that just got me that “Oh just my luck, really?” and the planning went south, but after a good night of sleep, I wake up and get all of my strength to sigh in and make the dawn post before I give up again and engage in procrastination mode again… and here I am, so YAY me, I did!!! (Actually, I’m in the middle of doing it, but let’s hope I will go trough it until I finish without further interruptions).

1. Intro (a.k.a. the short version of me):

My name is Leandro, I’m 38, from Brazil, have ADHD predominantly inattentive (and thanks the gods for the spell checker!!!), I was diagnosed about 6 year ago, used the meds for a couple of months but dropped them (because it’s complicated and reasons) and been learning how to adapt and function in a mostly non adhd friendly world since. I had to figure most of the things by myself (and actually got really good at figuring things on my own), but that “alien stigma” of being so different that you don’t feel you like belonging anywhere sticks like bubblegum in the shoe when you are the only person with adhd around.

So that I got really excited and happy when I found Jessica’s channel and specially about this forum (I’m introvert and social media is kind of complicated for me (still trying to work my way on Instagram and join discord), so for me getting excited about socializing and exposing myself publicly really means a lot), so I’m glad to being here besides all the “drama” involved for me to being able to push me on doing it.

Also to make matter MOAR complicated (because who doesn’t like an extra challenge?), my “job” (more on this latter on) is taking care of my elderly grandparents with my mother, so it’s been a big challenge for me to manage to take care of myself all the while taking care of other people without freaking out (a lot… ).

2. Goals and Accomplishments (aka bragging about myself time!):

a) I got 2 bachelor degrees, my first one in Computer Science, I didn’t really like it, so it took me 2 extra years than the usual 4 and I almost went totally nuts by the last year, but I got really got proud of it because of the ultra extra effort I put on to finish it. My second one is on Sculpture, that one was really hard because of the sheer amount of work I had to do, but I really liked and enjoyed it and I’m working on making my workshop/atelier/workplace for the last couple of years (being intermittently working on organizing and improving it as I can and its turning out really nice already).

b) I made my own electric guitar!!! I really love music and electric guitars since my early teens, music helped me cope with a lot of adhd stuff so I’m very fond of how It helps set my mood when I can’t do it all by myself (also blocks external annoying noises/persons) it took me almost 10 years from I want to make an electric guitar to finishing the thing with lots of tears and rage quitting and almost giving up but finishing it kind of marked my first victory over overcoming my own hardships with my perfectionism, managinf long term projects and sticking to something until you finish it, even if you fail at it or it doesn’t come out as you imagined it would, also planning things… I also finished the speaker cab for it this weekend and am planning on how to make the actual amplifier for it next…

c) Learning to play guitar, I started taking lessons online last year, but it wasn’t working very well, so I decided I should take regular guitar lessons instead, tried a music school but it didn’t went well, so I’m getting personal lessons from a teacher, it got a lot better, still some of the thing he try to make me study is not very adhd friendly so I get frustrated with it sometimes, also I’m struggling on creating the habit of practicing everyday (that might have something to do with hyper focusing on making a certain guitar cabinet last month), but somehow I’m improving, still not good enough to play and sing at the same time (even not at the same time to be honest…) also I may or may not take singing lessons in the future as well, but I want to get good at playing the guitar first before starting another thing (learned that the hard that I should try to learn two different new things at the same time as it usually my brain meshes up both together in weird ways that are hard to split after…).

d) Making friends, I don’t really have any close friends anymore, so I’m hoping to make a couple of friends that can understand that sometimes I just forget to talk to them (because I’m hyperfocused in something else), but that doesn’t mean I don’t like them (this is not a true story at all and I may or may not be lying about it right now) or when I remember that it’s like 2 months since we last talk that I don’t feel ashamed about it or have a hard time even talking to them because I feel like I’m interrupting or being somehow inconvenient because they should have something better to do than spending time with me (now this is getting somewhere that might make me cry… lol).

2.5 (Because obviously I remembered another thing that I totally wanted to put here after I have written everything else):

I didn’t knew that fidgeting was a thing (or had a name) until I saw it in the channel, I do have a couple that I know I do consistently (pen and fork spinning, feet and finger taping, also drawing on school was my way to go to manage to listen to my teachers), now that I’m aware of it I will sure put it to some good uses, thanks for that!

There was something else that I saw in the channel that I didn’t knew that I wanted to address a thanks here but I totally forget what it was! :smile:

3. (or 4?) Outro:

Hope it didn’t get toooo long (I have a hard time reading long texts, I wonder why, so I usually try, in vain, to be as short and concise and objective as possible, so sorry if it’s hard to read, also sorry if bad grammar, I hate to proof read my own texts so it goes usually as I dump it from my brain and gods, that is (mostly) messy sometimes…

Also if someone wants to try some Portuguese talking (or aren’t good enough with English) feel free to send an “Olá”, (I don’t speak Spanish but it’s similar enough I can manage to understand it so if you know it, you can try throw some español at me as well! :slight_smile:

I guess thats enough for now and thanks for having made this place so I can meet fellow brains and hearts!!!

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Welcome to the community!

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@Leandro

Good to have you here . . . Our “family” is growing everyday! I hardly ever miss a day coming here . . .

:sunglasses:

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My job is in supporting those with intellectual disabilities. I feel your struggle here every day. :sweat_smile:

Always trying to figure out how to perform executive function tasks and look after others when I’m struggling nearly just as much taking care of myself! Some days my clients even help me a little! :see_no_evil::grin:

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Also, Welcome! :raising_hand_man:

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Well done on your accomplishments by the way!
I’m still yet to finish any of my Bachelor’s degrees :sweat_smile:

Friends are funny thing, I very much have ended up with three close friends over the years that just seem to fit. When things are important, we make time for each other, when we’re busy were busy. :man_shrugging: if I didn’t get distracted so often, I would fall into that well of social anxiety with my friends too, it’s very easy to over think these dynamics of friendships. :speak_no_evil:

You’re English is amazing by the way. And well done on getting through your post. :raised_hands:

And your post wasn’t too long, as long as you understand, being the community that we are, that there will be those that skim your post, because it’s not ‘short’, but there will also be those that get through it as well.
Either way, I’m sure everyone here realises we all have our moments of monologuing and at times like this, I feel it’s 100% necessary. :grin:

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Thanks!

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Thanks, it’s actually pretty mind blowing how having a safe place to go makes people gather together like that, and it really helps easy the burden of having to figure it out all by yourself! It’s so easy to feel alone and alien sometimes that just knowing there are more like us somewhere is on its own very soothing.

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Trying to be organized when you own family acts like they are actively trying to derail all your efforts in all the possible and imaginable ways really can make things interesting… I use to say that when I was born to play this game of life I must have chosen to play it on impossible, because things really get complicated with me for some reason, but I can’t even imagine how you manage to manage other people and yourself as well, I would get pissed off and start yelling and be mad because they keep screwing my planning!!! :rofl:

I got really good with my organization skills, I even manage to be mostly on time to my appointments as well, but I’m really bad with the emotional side of things, I have a hard time decoupling the feelings and emotions and reacting without thinking by them, so getting me triggered usually messes everything up easilly…

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I think because of the particular clients I have, the emotional side isn’t too hard, they’re pretty easy going, my biggest struggle is starting things and following through on ‘big plans’ to really help them and staying concentrated enough to see them through! :see_no_evil::speak_no_evil:
Sometimes both my client and I both get distracted!

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Well, the first degree was more on my mother, as she didn’t allowed me to drop it in the middle as I didn’t want to keep going to the classes because of my social anxiety as I got some flashback episodes of bullying that didn’t help me with all the struggle I was already having in adapting to university style of “you are on your own” study approach we had here, I wasn’t able to have a proper schedule and planning (I had no real idea about my adhd impairments at that time) my first semester was as bad as possible I got reproved in 5 of 6 classes so I basically had to redo the first semester again, and as someone that until that time never had a bad grade in school that “failure” felt deep and I get really demotivated on keeping up, by the 3rd year I decided to change to a private university, lost a year in the transfer but I got at least a bit better friendlier environment to study and somehow I managed to finish it besides being deeply stressed and exhausted by the last year.

And after finishing another one I really don’t think it’s necessary to go to the trouble of getting a bachelor’s degree unless you really want it or need it to do what you want, specially nowadays where you can pretty much learn anything from the internet.

I can relate to the friends triggering social anxiety, not sure how it would work with friends with adhd as I never had one with it (that I knew at least), my neurotypical friendly friends usually turned pretty unfriendly after I forget to call them back after a while, and that really made me carry a ton of blame and shame as I put on myself as being a bad friend or bad person, because I didn’t care enough about than or when I finally managed to remember to call I usually get anxious because I would think they already where mad at me and didn’t like me anymore so I usually didn’t call back afterwards and gods forbid if somehow we crossed paths again somewhere (insert some hiding in plain view comedy scene here), but I really miss having someone to talk about and hang on, or just play some game together and have some fun sometimes, also I think it helps getting my focus out of work-family cycle I usually am mentally in.

Thanks for the compliment, that is another thing I got proud of, I’m mostly self taught in english (I reaaaaaaaaaally wanted to play legend of zelda… #truestory), but I still think its not that good and sometimes I mix up with portuguese and it can get really weird and nonsense, also I need to work on my vocabulary as I kept rephrasing things in another way because I coulnd’t remember/don’t know the work I wanted to use and was lazy/too focused to look at the time annnnnd spell checking really saves me a lot as I can focus on what I want to write instead of how to write it properly (and that is true for my portuguese as well).

I know it wan’t really that big of a post, but for me if I’m not really on the mood to read (and reading for me is complicated because I’m a very slow reader so it takes really some time to read/write things, actually It took a almost all my morning to manage to sit in the computer, sign in the forum and write it all), and I know how hard it cant be to manage my attention to read a text from start to finish without “fast reading” it to the end, so no worries with this, I wrote what I felt the need to share (maybe too much too soon… but whatever) thanks for your kindness anyway! :smile:

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Well, if I can say I’m good at sometime it’s not staying on topic and totally derailing a conversation to the point no one remembers what was the goal of the conversation anymore… :sweat_smile:

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You’re not alone in any of this, my friend. :slightly_smiling_face::raised_hands:

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There’s a few things to unpack here.

  1. Friends with ADHD, pretty sure one of my three friends has undiagnosed ADHD.
    That aside, from others I’ve met with ADHD, it can be a bit funny sometimes, I’m always weary when I’m around others with ADHD in person, because if I get close or am at work and need to spend a lot of time with them, I can quickly find myself clashing with them and it goes south quick. But when that’s not happening, I’m usually getting on with them ‘like a house on fire’ (really well). Kinda have to take it on a case by case basis.

  2. It’s very hard for it not to feel like your fault, 100%. But dwelling on it and using that against yourself when it comes to a point where you do remember, is only going to make it worse, as I’m sure you’ve experienced.
    An approach that will take a while possibly to work up towards, is being honest with your struggles, communicate it with your friends, mention that sometimes you get busy with life and that you still care about them and want to know how they’re doing, or at least be there when they need you.
    If they don’t want to be your friend because of this, they’re probably not worth your time.

My 3 friends are very chill and understanding and we’ve been in and out of phases together over the years where we’ve hung all the time and others where we’ve gone months without speaking. What we always try to do though is invite each other to the big things like birthday parties, weddings, if we need help moving house sometimes etc. I find that an easy way to see each other and remain friends.

I’m not saying you need friends exactly like this, but understand that even friendships go through phases and the ones that you want around should be ones that understand who you are and what you struggle with. And are there when it’s important. :slightly_smiling_face:

Once you have friends that are ok with this side of you, it should also help reduce at least, the anxiety surrounding keeping in touch. :crossed_fingers::grin:

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I get your point, I really don’t have that experience (hopefully yet) under my belt to know how it will go, but I guess any kind of friendship works in a case by case or we could just be friends with everyone else…

And I get it that friends have issues as any other relationship because people are peoples anywhere anytime and mess things up eventually (some more than others… lol), I got to the point that I can understand myself enough so I can explain those things to other people and be comfortable with however they decide and not get really mad about it, I just didn’t had the opportunity to make any new friendships since and as I don’t hang out that much nor am very fond of social media at all, I get some trouble meeting new people, and also is kind of hard to explain adhd to people that don’t have adhd… so I think that might make part of the issue easier, but as I said, I don’t have experienced that out yet, so can’t say for sure, just some hypothesis I have…

One thing that I really had trouble with was being myself in front of others (personally or virtually), I usually tried to people please my way to people I wanted to be friends with and found out that this doesn’t work very well specially on long term, I still have to keep an eye on myself with this, but I’m really feeling a lot more comfortable about myself and being myself without so much worrying about what others might thing about what I do/say/whatever…

Anyway thanks for all the replies, I sure took a chunk of your time today, hope you enjoyed as much as I did, but it’s getting late here and I’m trying to not loose track of the time!!! :rofl:

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All good!
I often find myself ‘absorbing’ environments I’m frequently immersed in. Morphing part of who I am into part of where I am and who I’m with.

It’s kinda part of who I am and how I usually ‘appear’ to mildly fit in. :man_shrugging:
It’s an interesting dynamic. :sweat_smile:
Not sure if that’s partly an ADHD thing or just me. :thinking:

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This is how I attempt to combat ‘forgetting everything’, as well as attempting to organise my thoughts, ideas and schedule. :sweat_smile:
And even all that helps with nothing when I simply can’t concentrate. :man_facepalming:

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I’m not exactly sure by what you meant with you absorbing the environments you are in, if it’s something along the lines of trying to blending with the type of place and people in that place I can relate to that as well, I think it has to do with our ultra high empathy and perception and sensibility to others and the environment and trying to reflect what we think might be the most appropriate/best for that person/situation, I kind of joke that I have multiple me’s inside of myself because of this kind of behavior and that kind of explain why I usually have a very individual way of relating to each people.

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Duuuude, that’s tooo maaany planners!!! (Also, nice drawing, it’s a tree? #supernotderailingthetopicalready).

I manage to use planers effectively only during my later years in school/high school, tried to pick up the habit again a couple of times later in life and again after I was officially diagnosed but it didn’t stick back well, I mostly use a notes app for most of my stuff and a calendar to keep appointments, when I do have to come with some big planning I have a couple of spare notebooks that use for drawing and laying out it, to help me figure out how to tackle the problem/situation, also I end up them more as sketchbooks for when I’m making some more complex furniture that I need to help me figuring out how to do all the joinery and/or how much wood I need to buy.

I do have a planner from 2016(!) here in my desk that I do use to write some quick notes/toughs and do some quick sketches sometimes, also I used to try a wall to put stickers and notes of important things and due dates but I always forgot to keep checking/updating it as it stayed in my room, It got a lot more easier when I put it all on my phone so I could check whenever I started panicking because I was thinking I might be forgetting to do something, it’s took some time to get used to keeping it updated and remembering checking it, but as it’s all in the same place it made a lot more easier so I didn’t freak out so much about it nor kept forgetting about it, and what helps me keeping it update is writing it down in it right away as soon as I have the chance to put the thing in it (also I can add pictures, links to make it even easier on my brain), and it also have those todo ticks that you can check when done, so that helps a lot when doing todo lists, buying lists for supermarket. I’m the kind of guy that goes to buy things and keep tracking the progress on my phone so I’m sure I’m not forgetting anything… it must be fun to watch…

And as far as I can tell, even on medication, nothing can make us concentrate when we are on those days that even our breathing annoys us so much that we just can’t keep on the focus on where we need, I try to somewhat cope with that by cycling between activities when I kind of get stuck with something if I can, or try to avoid my power tools when I’m on those days, because I’m really afraid of messing up my finger because I got somewhat distracted while cutting something on the table saw, that’s why I’m try to do most of my stuff with hand tools, I enjoy it more doing it all by hand as well, takes more time but I think it’s usually worth the effort.

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@Leandro! We have so much in common! I mean aside from the obvious ADHD and procrastination. I was also diagnosed in my early 30’s (ok I’m still in my early 30’s, haha it was last year), I’m an introvert, trouble with social media (I get excited about posting things and then lose my nerve within a day and take them down again… it’s the old rejection sensitivity. But happens less here though because I feel secure knowing that people on this forum are really nice and if they don’t reply, it’s probably not because they don’t like me, but because they forgot :p), I looked after my grandmother for YEARS (she passed away a few years ago. My brother never had to do it because he’s a boy, but I didn’t mind because my grandma and I were really close. Are you an only child?), I have a “serious” degree (philosophy), and now slooooowly working on an art diploma (illustration). What kind of sculpture did you do? I’m also terrible with keeping up with communications and I am actively trying to connect with people more. Oh and I like to build things too! Not musical instruments but I made the bookshelves and desks for my house.

Aren’t we basically the same person??

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