I'm a 47 year old adult that can't adult....

Once upon a time I could quasi-adult. I worked out of the house, I was able to somewhat keep the house clean, & I even paid bills.

Now…the motivation to clean is VERY lacking. When the dishes stack up, I get overwhelmed & the desire to clean them is gone. (We have no dishwasher as the landlord won’t allow it.) Sweeping the floors is something I constantly forget about…then when I DO remember, it’s either too late to do it…or my desire to do it is zip…zilch…nopeity nope nope nope. My bedroom looks like a bomb of STUFF just went off in there & every time I try to clean it, I get overwhelmed & wander away from it.

I SHOULD be able to do this. I’m “old enough to know better” (I’ve heard that phrase so many times in my life it almost has no meaning anymore). I’m lucky that my husband is supremely responsible & pays the bills, keeps track of the money…or we’d be on the street right now.

The problem is…I have that set of mantras running through my head. “You’re old enough to know better, Moni.” “You should be able to DO this, Moni” “Stop procrastinating & just DO it, Moni” & I can’t seem to stop it all. It’s like a carousel that sped up & now I just can’t get off of it. Unfortunately, these mantras sabotage ANY gumption or inspiration I would normally get.

It doesn’t help that when it comes to my professional life, I haven’t written a book in nearly 2 years. I see others in the micropress I’m with putting out 2 or more books a year. I KNOW I shouldn’t “compare” myself, but it’s hard when I see them DOING it. Getting their work done…adulting…& being productive. Something I’m not able to do.

How am I supposed to stop the carousel? I don’t even know where to START…let alone where the button is. Does anyone have hints, tips, or tricks? I’d really like to try something else.

FYI, I have tried planners (paper) & I always forget to update, consult them. I have tried apps, & again, I forget to update, consult them. I’m not sure what else I can try to be able to keep on track. I DO use alarms…they’ve helped a little…but I need more. More to be able to do my work, take care of my FIL, keep the house clean, & just be an adult in general. Am I asking for too much?? Other people seem to be able to do it…why can’t I?


Hello! My name is Wendy, I’m 38 years old. Trying to be organized especially when it comes to office is hard for me. Paper planner I’m trying again and liking it. Right now I’m trying to rearrange my office (what a nightmare!)
I’m not the best with choosing and sticking to mantras but I have gotten better at listening to the voice in my head and when I say something negative or mean I correct myself by saying something nice.
When I was reading your post the first thing that popped into my head was that maybe your ready for a change of scenery. Have you ever thought about moving? Maybe you move to a different city or state or maybe you move to a different part of town or he’ll if you love the area you live in how about a different home with a different landlord?
Sometimes we get in a funk and don’t know why. Are you feeling pressure because you haven’t written anything lately? It might help if you do something nice for yourself try something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t maybe that’s taking an adult leisure class like painting or pottery. I find that sometimes when you let go of the problem and focus on something you enjoy the answers will come to you.
One more thing. If you feel like you’re drowning and the struggle is too much to handle see your doctor


I’m a few months shy of 50 and I feel like I’m only just now getting a handle on a lot of adulting. Things were easier when I was married because my wife handled the bills and kept track of what we could and couldn’t afford to buy, plus she’s very driven when it comes to cleaning, so I didn’t have to worry about dishes or vacuuming or bathrooms. Since we split, it’s been a lot harder. It took me very little time to get way over my head in debt. I had trouble keeping up on housework (and I still do).

On one hand, I’m very proud of the fact that I recently paid off my car. I use my anxiety about a negative bank balance to keep up with the spreadsheet budgets I make every month. (Fun fact: as meticulous as I try to be with my budgets, I’m never exact with how much is left by the end of a pay period. I’ll go back through my bank records and can’t see anything I missed, the math all seems to check out, but I’ll still have more than I should have left over, or I’ll have to dip into my savings–HEY, I HAVE MONEY IN MY SAVINGS ACCOUNT! AMAZING!–to make it to the next paycheck. I have no idea why this is beyond “Welp, that’s what keeping track of money on ADHD is like!”) I haven’t had a negative bank account in well over a year and I haven’t missed a single rent payment or bill.

On the other hand, I’ve lived in my apartment for a year and a half and haven’t hung up the framed posters I own. They just sit against the walls where I want to hang them. My carpets are in dire need of vacuuming, I just ran a load of dishes and still have a sink and counter piled with dirty dishes, and I will do a quick spot clean of my bathroom only because the alternative is being grossed out in my own dirty bathroom. But a real, deep cleaning? It’s been months since I’ve done it.

I have a bullet journal that I’ve taught myself to keep up with. Same with my Google calendar. I recently started using the app Brili and am having success with it. I’m proud of how I’ve been able to get a handle on this. BUT…I also kind of resent it because I HATE adulting and I only do what I have to to keep my anxiety of being broke and homeless and hearing other people talk about me being “old enough to know better” at bay.

And writing? I’ve only finished a few stories in the past 15 years, and those were all rough first drafts that nobody should ever be forced to read. Despite having success at my job as a librarian, I still tend to think of myself as a failed novelist more than anything else.

I hear you and I recognize your troubles. I wish I had advice beyond “be so terrified of screwing up that you force yourself to get a handle on some adulting.” (Lately I’ve been trying to instill a fear of never being able to have guests over to get myself motivated to clean. It’s hasn’t worked yet.) I totally empathize and am hear to at least listen and let you know that you aren’t alone.

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Also, I wish I had the money to employ a personal assistant who could take care of the adulting so I didn’t have to.


Thank you, Wendy. Yeah, I’ve been TRYING to see my doctor. All they see is an adult seeking ADHD meds & keep giving me the run around. I have gone to MANY appointments with no joy.

As far as moving, that’s not possible. Because #reasons (That are WAY too much & long to type out)

And yes, the pressure of not having written a book is seriously weighing me down. Like 3 lead weights on my chest.

Thank you for understanding. Sometimes I feel like a mutlicolored gold fish in a pond of catfish.


Joshua, thank you! Yes, being terrified of screwing up IS how I’ve been living my life lately. LOL Fear IS a great motivator…but not how we want to live our lives.

And I second that personal assistant. If ONLY we could find one that would work for coffee & good conversation! LOL


I like the way you described the way you see yourself. What type of books do you write? Call around for Psychiatrist and asked what experience they have with adult adhd.
I think for me getting out into nature going for a walk helps all kinds.

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I write teen fiction. Usually thrillers, urban fantasies, & dystopians.

Here in my area of California, finding a psychiatrist has been a pain. I think I’ve seen or talked to every one of them & they’re all either unwilling to help, or won’t help until I spend a lot of money (we don’t have) on testings. I don’t mind the testings, except my insurance doesn’t cover them & we just don’t have the money.

And, the nature walks would be great, except there isn’t much in my area.

And thank you for the compliment on how I described myself. That’s the hardest part, isn’t it? Putting words together that describe you? At least that’s how I find it.

Do you have a contract with someone who wants you to write these type of books? I’m just curious how it works. I’m 38 years old and was never a good reader then my mom gave me a book to read Nightbird by Alice Hoffman it’s a young persons book and I loved it. I also read granted by John Anderson.
I’m going to talk to my friend in California she is adhd and she recently started seeing a doctor online idk how to explain it all but she’s very happy with her doctor. I’ll see what kind of info she can give me and I’ll pass it on to you

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Wow! That NorCal ADHD thing is cool! I’m looking into it. It MAY work…but I’m not sure. Thank you for posting it!!

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You’re welcome :blush: and good luck :four_leaf_clover:

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Thank you! I’m trying what I can. My big thing right now is to try to find a NON-medicated way to cope. Since I can’t always rely on having meds. So, I’m trying to find a way to go about my life where I can be productive without meds.

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Insofar as my books, I tend to write them alone. I plot them out, then I write them. I can USUALLY do something I call #wordmongering which is, I set a timer for 30 minutes & write like my fingers are on fire & the keyboard is the ONLY thing that can put it out. When the timer goes off, I set the timer for another 30 minutes & do anything BUT writing. Clean, play games, let the dog outside for her constitutional, you get the picture. When the timer goes off again, I start from Square # A & do it all over again.

Because us writers tend to think of things in word counts rather than page counts (at least the ones that I’ve had the most contact with…I can’t speak for ALL writers.) I DID manage a 12,000 word count for the day doing it in that method.

I want to get back into that…but I feel that I’ve let myself get too out of control with how horrible the house is…& I want to at least tame it a little before I dive back in.

I DO want to challenge myself…see if I can beat that 12,000 word day. :smile: Who knows? Maybe I CAN do it? Although, I’ve never done #wordmongering while doing CNA duties for someone. So, I may have to modify a few things.


Thanks for sharing that, it’s very interesting, I like learning new things. All of my jobs have been kinda manual labor so it’s neat learning about what and how other people do their work.
If money is tight I understand but if you could just swing it and pay someone to clean your house that may be so worth it and then you will feel better. It’s a lot of work keeping up the house especially if you’re doing laundry and dishes for more than you. And pets not only do they need your love and attention cleaning up after them it adds up. See if you can treat yourself with a house cleaner. If not, you and your partner on his day off should make a plan to spend the day cleaning maybe you guys can even make a list of everything beforehand

The hard thing is…now that he’s working out of the house, I don’t want to make his world harder. He NEEDS to be working. Not only for our financial well being…but for his own mental well being, too. He’s been better since he’s been employed again. I want to do whatever I can to make sure it STAYS that way. The last thing he needs is his scatter brained wife putting more on his plate than he’s already got.

I wish that I could have a house cleaner come here. But for the expense, it would be kind of a waste. Our house is only 600 square feet. Not big enough to warrant outside cleaning help. LOL

I just need to get used to how things are NOW. I used to have no set schedule. My FIL didn’t have a set schedule for food…etc either. Now that he’s on a schedule…my schedule has to niche in with his. I just need to be able to fit everything “I” need to do in with things needed for him as well.

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You shouldn’t say that last thing he needs is a scattered brain wife putting more on his plate. It’s putting yourself done and it needs to stop. I put myself down my whole life my parents put me down my whole life. We’re adults now and come on you know you’re amazing and your husband loves you and everything that goes with it. Okay maybe we all can make improvements and that’s why your on this forum and so am I because we want to improve. You and your husband are a team and I think it’s not asking a lot to plan I weekend day we’re the two of you knock it out and clean the house. For a small house throw away stuff less is more :smiley: one more idea when you guys clean is there a kind of music he likes to listen to or talk radio. You should do something like that because you feel he’s helping you do something nice for him. Also maybe when the cleaning is done you two can treat yourself to something fun together.
I hope I’m not being to forward and sound too pushy, I just want to inspire you

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I have found something out just last night, in fact. I’m an overnight person. I have been for over 20 years (maybe even more) when I try to force myself to be a “day person”…it doesn’t work. In fact…it twigs my ADHD even more. Last night, while he slept, I took apart & cleaned the dishes, got the counters cleaned, & cleaned the stove top so it barely looks like we even use it. I’m able to nap between alarms to take care of my FIL & not over sleep them. Maybe if I just give in & BE an overnight person…I’ll stop fighting myself & actually be PRODUCTIVE. This week will be the case study. LOL

I think I needed the 2 weeks of fighting the day schedule & being a “slave” to my alarms to actually become alerted by them & spurred into action. Maybe the fighting my inner clock has been causing me the MOST issues.


That’s kick ass. You became more self aware though this process you went though. Learning how your brain works is tuff but that’s all I’ve been hearing about the last year. You know I’ve heard a lot of adhd people tend to be night owls. That’s when there the most productive. Excellent! And as my therapist would say give yourself a sticker :smiley::crescent_moon::dizzy::boom:

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I’ve figured out that if I don’t take sleep meds and don’t have to work, I can easily and happily stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning, sleep until somewhere between 7-9, take a nap in the afternoon, repeat, live my best life. Unfortunately, I work a mostly 8-5 job, so I have to force myself into an unnatural sleep cycle. It’s not ideal, but I have to pay my bills and I really do love my job. I do my best to find little ways to cope.

But if you don’t have to work a standard 8-5 job, I absolutely support not fighting and letting your natural sleep cycle be what guides you. :slight_smile:

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