Issues with sticking to schedule, intentions, motivation, commitment (help!) :)

Hello brains, it’s me

I wasn’t sure whether or not to post this in Toolbox or Support so I just posted it in both, I tried to format it as best as I could, hope it makes it a bit easier for some of you to read it, and more followable. Thank you for reading as well.

Intro
I have a bit of a complex issue, that I’ve really always had my whole life but it needs to stop soon, but still having issues with getting better habits relating to this issue.

I know tons of coping strategies and information, but still have trouble with sticking to schedules, even if I’m the one who created the schedule. Any advice or information is welcomed as always.

I will be going through a cold turkey tolerance break as well, for about a week, and this also noticeably makes this issue more pronounced.

I have a lot of commitment issues and issues with doing what I intend to do. I’ve quit a lot of things, and a lot of the time when I intend to do something, reality if far off of what my initial intentions were. i.e if I have a project coming up in school for something, I might instantly plan to do something, how i’m going to do my outline, the research im going to do, some of my sources maybe, but either I forget about it until the day after its due, the process feels to mentally daunting and arduous, or I just either lose track of time or outright forget about it or steps.

I am aware part of the issue of not being able to do what I intend to do, is part of ADHD having trouble with intrinsic motivation, that being said I struggle greatly with also sticking to my own rules.

Moderation issues
I also lack any faucet of being able to regulate just about anything in moderation, sometimes if I force myself to do something, I end up forcing myself to be productive to a point where it’s negatively consequential, which ends up a lot of the time, making my returns more unproductive than productive; an example of this, is sometimes through out the school year, believe it or not, I had issues with deadlines, I know, surprising isn’t it? This sometimes would cause a surplus of stuff that’s late and more pressure to do it, this would sometimes cause me to get overwhelmed and anxious, feeding procrastination, but sometimes in this deep whole I would get pissed off at myself, Force myself to do incredible amounts of work whether unmedicated or medicated, but end up in doing some, draining myself, by subjecting myself to very unhealthy behaviors, such as long periods of sleep deprivation to do work, long periods of not eating or drinking, dehydration, sometimes lack of hygiene, lack of any stress relief, etc. And i’ve done that cycle even before I was medicated, so I see how some of the effects could seem drug-induced, like forgetting to eat and such, but it’s more so I’ll get so pissed off at myself, I forget that you need to eat to live, and just kinda keep going not realising it for a long periods of time, and I’ve done this before I was diagnosed or treated, so It’s not just a medication effect, because I did it before meds.

Moderation issues pt.2
This lack of being able to do anything in moderation also is expressed in the other side of the spectrum, doing leisure activities a lot of the time causes me to binge these activities. My addiction is being addicted to addictions, if I do video games, A great chance I do them in a unhealthy and addictive manner, depriving me of sleep, food, etc. I’m currently anti-social just due to the fact that when I was a lot more social, it was all I was capable of doing, and it was causing me to fail school, because all I could do was talk and talk during class, not doing work because i’m taking, not learning a thing not because im not capable, but because im talking or thinking about my plans for the weekend. Etc. This applies to just about everything that can be seen as a leisure activity, I can’t do it in moderation, and even if I can for a little, it’s not long before I fall off the wagon per se. This creates cycles of abstinence and addictions, phases where for periods of time I completely avoid a leisure behavior or just about all of them, which as you can imagine having just about no way of stress relief or fun eventually leads to depression phases. But partaking in just about any leisure event, leads to excessively partaking in that event, which rapidly deteriorates my academic life, and responsibilities, and causes addictive behaviors to that activity and sometimes domino effected into other to arise. Even seemingly healthy ones, like working out, I can get into a cycle of working out where I go too far and end up injuring myself, or get addicted to it and other departments of my life suffer. Which right now, I haven’t been working out, and I have trouble getting myself to do so, but it’s a double edged sword, because if I do start working out again, there’s a big chance I could get addicted to it, because i’ve seen myself do it before.

Doing good today, leads to doing bad tomorrow.
Worst part being, If I ever do, by some stretch of the imagination, do a decent or perfect job of following my schedule for 1 day, the next day is almost bound to go in the exact opposite direction. I don’t know if it’s because I end up feeling too comfortable because I did good one day or what, but when ever I’m really productive one day, especially if that productivity comes while being unmedicated, the next day im bound to be attracted to a magnet to maddess, causing a complete disaster even when I have the best intentions.

Even if sometimes I follow part of my schedule, like lets say that first 6 hours I follow a schedule I set out for myself the night before really well, If i realise that, there’s a solid chance, the rest of the schedule just disappears and I forget about it and go into the opposite direction.

My schedule’s should be easy, key word being should.
One of the worst parts being is that, a lot of these schedules I’m trying to set for myself, aren’t demanding, so they should be easy to follow, I mean i’ve followed and done way more difficult things before. There will be just about no responsibilities for me, no work for me to do, nothing really, just maybe I want myself to workout a little and meditate twice, but that will still be difficult for me to do; which is mind boggling to say the least considering I’ve held 2 jobs at the same time at 14, went to a hard academically achieving private school, trained and practiced for 2 sports, maintained a bit of a social life, and that was before I was treated for ADHD.

But yet, especially off medication, I could just set out my only responsibility to be workout today, and I just don’t get to it, for one excuse or another.

I can only rely on myself.
It’s also important to disclaim I have no environmental-social scaffolding here to help, I’m anti-social, not a concern at the moment, and my family in really no way would be able to help me with any of this honestly, so depending on someone to stay on me isn’t really an option, it has to be something I can consistently do by myself, but also has to be something that can realistically be done and last a bit, so like forcing myself to go above and beyond, might work for a day or 2, then the consequences of doing some come in, and set me back 2 feet from where I started.

This is all very overwhelming, consistency is one of the main issues, and also being realistic, sometimes I have aspirations that just aren’t there and going for unrealistic aspirations is just a recipe for guaranteed failure, which decreases motivation. Sometimes i’m too productive that it bites me in the butt, others I barely move for 16 hours.

Bit of an medical issue exercising.
It’s also hard because, a big reason I want to start doing cardio again, is to promote more neurogenesis during a tolerance break, but I do have considerably bad exercise induced asthma as well as fibromyalgia, so for the asthma, I essentially have to take albuterol or ephedrine, but ephedrine is a CNS stimulant, so it kinda defeats the purpose of the whole tolerance break, but it tends to be more effective for me. But sometimes I get really annoyed if I take ephedrine with the intent of working out, but I don’t work out, because then I cause more oxidative brain damage, but do not really get the benefit in which I took it for. Cardio is like very hard for me sometimes, because it’s complicated for me. I have dyspraxia, possibly brain damage induced from birth, I didn’t really delve into the the specifics because there’s not much I’ll do about it or w.e. But this in conjunction with the fibromyalgia can make things like running complicated, i.e the last time I jogged 2 miles, I had to stop and it wasn’t even due to muscle fatigue or out of breathe, I took albuterol and ephedrine, I was seriously breathing so easily and well I was stunned, but I couldn’t continue jogging because my one should was having such severe pain that no matter how I positioned it, it just wouldn’t stop. So as for running and stuff, it’s a lot for me to take in mentally, because even if I focus on my breathing and such, I can be stopped by so many other factors that I forget exist. Not to mention I haven’t worked out in awhile, but since the lockdown I gained 20 lbs, so it’s gonna be a lot less fun, i’m a lot less fit, but I tend to be an all or nothing person, so I have a propensity to overdo things, even like exercise because I’ve done that much before, but I don’t factor in, that I haven’t been working out, and end up causing injury.

P.S
There may be more points to this or something, maybe i’ll go over it later or add a reply, but it’s already a lot to take in, I apologize if it’s difficult to read or too long, or the bad line of reasoning, I have a propensity to jump around a lot and write a lot, if you read all of this Thank you, I really appreciate it, if not, trust me I get it, all suggestions and opinions are welcomed with an open mind.

Toodles !

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When it comes to commitment issues, I can definitely relate, ESPECIALLY if I get interrupted while I’m in the middle of something (I’ll totally forget to get back to it later; when I was in college and I had to do large assignments, I’d put them off until the last minute, of course… and then I’d have to sit and do the entire assignment all in one go, knowing that if I stopped for breaks and stuff, I’d never go back to it). Now, in order to get myself to go back to doing the thing, I have to put it somewhere I’ll see it and/or where it will actually be in my way – for work, I will sometimes put papers for whatever pressing matter I need to do first on my keyboard… then, I can’t even log into my computer (something that is done multiple times a day) without seeing the papers. I also keep a Post-It note right next to my work computer with a list of tasks I need to complete (and sometimes a breakdown of smaller tasks for each big task – what all I need to do in order to complete the big task)… and, honestly, my work desk has Post-It notes all over the place with reminders and piles of papers for projects I need to get back to and finish (I always have several things going at once; juggling everything can be difficult). I also have a tiny notebook that I scribble things down in when I have an idea so that I don’t forget; I try to keep said notebook in a place where I’ll see it/can’t forget it (if I was a guy, I would probably just keep it in my pocket… alas, I wear women’s pants, which seldom have pockets and, if they do have pockets, they’re rarely ever big enough to actually USE). Medication has helped a lot with these things, as well… my memory and emotional dysregulation problems have definitely improved (motivation not so much, unfortunately).

I missed a lot of deadlines in middle school and high school, too, especially when it came to assignments that were going to take a lot of time and mental effort… lots of frustration and tears over schoolwork. I had to start writing my assignments down in one of those daily planners that I took everywhere with me. If it was a large assignment, I had to break it up into smaller chunks – what do I have to do first, before I can do anything else to progress with this project? When I hyperfocus, I forget to eat… there have been times when I’ve had to use my cell phone to set alarms to remind myself to eat… I’ve also found it to be helpful to have a smart watch (I don’t know whether or not you have one or if getting one is an option), because uh… :sweat_smile: my phone alarms aren’t going to be helpful if I forget my phone in the restroom at work. I used to get really frustrated with myself, too… especially since people (like my grandfather) just told me I was full of it whenever I complained about the problems I was having with getting schoolwork done… I just thought, “If the problems I’m having are unfounded, then the only conclusion is that I’m just not trying hard enough… I must be lazy; I need to try harder.” Of course, trying harder and harder just meant burn-out (and still didn’t help/fix the problem)… and being frustrated with myself meant more anxiety which meant more forgetfulness and less productivity and, eventually, I became very depressed. Sometimes alarms also help with moderation issues… I have a sort of “rule” for myself – I cannot completely dismiss (only snooze) the alarm until I’ve done the thing… so, for my night meds, it goes off every 5 minutes (continuously), which is irritating/obnoxious to me, so I eventually take my meds just so I can allow myself to shut the stupid alarm up and not have to listen to it anymore. If I only want to allow myself to play video games for an hour, I set an alarm for one hour from the current time. I also have to set alarms to remember to take breaks when working on something… and set alarms to get back to work after a break. These things all take a lot of mindfulness and purposeful thoughts and actions, so I do practice mindfulness and self-check-ins regularly (yuuuup… self-improvement takes a lot of time, mental energy, and practice). I also find that, when I am keeping busy and have a tight schedule, I’m more likely to get things done… but being busy constantly comes with other consequences.

I used to work out during lunchtime – we have a gym at work. If I didn’t shower that morning before going to work, there was a better chance that I would go downstairs and work out come lunchtime… because I felt dirty and gross, so I wanted a shower… and the showers were in the gym locker rooms. Sometimes half of my struggle is getting myself to the place to do the thing, so once I was already at the gym… well, I’d work out and THEN I’d go shower. I, too, have exercise induced asthma, so I had to take my inhaler before going to the gym… after running/walking on a treadmill multiple days a week for a few months, I no longer needed to take my inhaler before working out. I also took an NSAID before going to work out (Goody Powder always worked well and quickly for me) at first, because I’d be in so much pain from old injuries and such… after a while of eating healthier, strength training, and cardio, I didn’t need to do that as often, either. This pandemic has turned me into a Jell-O blob… straight up butter-ball… I, too, need to start working out again… and it’s really hard to find the motivation, especially when I KNOW I’m going to have to start back at square one (i.e. taking my inhaler and an NSAID before working out, barely being able to run for any length of time, barely being able to lift any weight, etc.) or I’ll end up overdoing it and hurting myself (and/or puking… which also happens when I overdo it)… AND I’d actually have to leave my home in order to exercise. I keep telling myself I’ll do it once we return to the (work) building (instead of teleworking), buuuut… it has been MONTHS, and that hasn’t happened, yet.

Yes, these things sound “so simple”… they ARE simple… but they are NOT “easy”.

I hope this at least makes sense… I, too, jump around a lot… and my ADHD meds haven’t kicked in yet today!

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