In my younger days I would have screamed and said horrible, hurtful things. These days, I collapse into tears, like yesterday.
The reality is that each day is very hard for me. My ADHD and Dyslexia are quite debilitating and even with the best accommodations it is hard to muster the mental energy to get through most days without feeling completely exhausted.
Last week was Spring Break and the quiet house that makes it so much easier to focus and rest when I need to was no longer available to me. I still had clients to serve and my three rambunctious boys had a lot of down time to fill. The stress built up.
I had several projects that required my attention including a new one with a colleague. I’m very excited about the new project but then I was confronted with a lengthy list of To Do’s.
A list my scattered brain with multiple processing challenges didn’t know how to prioritize, to organize, to analyze and so my brain simply froze. On the back burner it went.
Saturday we celebrated my youngest son Connor’s 8th Birthday, where? In a loud bowling alley. We scheduled this a few weeks ago. We were there for two hours and when we got home I took a three hour nap.
Yesterday was Easter. I was exhausted, under slept and was hanging on by a thread.
We were invited to dinner at my in-laws, a small gathering but still something that would require a lot of attention. By the time we arrived I realized I had nothing left.
I found myself fighting back the tears so I walked out of the house to my car, opened the door and sat in the driver’s seat. Cathy followed and sat next to me. All she had to ask is whether everything was okay and I lost it.
I sobbed for several minutes with my face in my hands. When I removed my hands and opened my eyes I saw a stack of tissues sitting on the console that Cathy had placed there.
When I could talk I explained how hard the week had been, how hard I work to keep it together for everyone else and how I felt like I failed for not being able to stay strong.
Cathy looked at me and simply said, “We all fall apart sometimes.”
It was Easter and though I’m not a Christian I remember the story of Jesus losing his temper and turning over the tables of the merchants who were conducting business in the temple.
I practice Buddhism and told Cathy, “I wonder if there were days when the Buddha fell apart when no one was looking.”
What’s the lesson?
I don’t share this with you to elicit your sympathies. I share this because it’s another reminder that living with invisible challenges such as ADHD, Dyslexia and others are harder that most can possibly imagine. No matter how well it appears we’re doing.
I am one of the most positive people you will ever meet but there are moments I feel down, defeated, stupid and like a failure. The key word here is “moments.”
The key is not to allow those “moments” to accumulate. Last week however, I did, and they overwhelmed me.
I lost my sense of balance, I allowed my self-care to have a Spring Break and I paid the price.
Do you ever do this?
I am not superhuman, I am simply human.
But like every other human I am resilient.
I had a meltdown, I fell apart, but as I was reminded by my kind and loving wife Cathy, “We all fall apart sometimes.”
In those moments, we can humbly take the hand of another who can help us collect the pieces and put them back together.
After all, we’re all in this together, even though we sometimes forget.
Thanks for being you.
About the Author:
As a cancer survivor, adult with Dyslexia, A.D.D., the father of three sons on the autism spectrum as well as someone who lives on the autism spectrum myself, I’ve learned something very critical. That success in life has nothing to do with circumstances but everything to do with strategies.
I’ve learned that Fear and Excitement are the same feeling, the difference being whether you decide the feeling means that “I can’t” or that “I’m ready!”
I’ve become a master of turning Problems into Possibilities and Obstacles into Opportunities and I’ve learned to teach my clients to do the same thing using what I refer to as “The Effective Factor.” A laser focused ability to make small shifts that create massive results in every area of your life.
I look forward to serving you,
Brian R. King LCSW