Tag Archives: adhd

Alone with my Pizza

I’m sitting at a bar. Alone.

I was working late and I wanted pizza so of course I Google-mapped “pizza” and here I am at a wood-fire pizza grill and bar.

If I could eat pizza every single day I would. Now I bet a lot of people roll their eyes when they hear people say things like that. Thinking, “no one could eat the same thing every day and still enjoy it.” But I totally could, especially if challenged, because I am a very determined person when I want to be. And if it wouldn’t jeopardize my health I would accept any pizza eating challenge you could give me. The normal pizza intake for me right now is about two days a week, but I think about pizza everyday.

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But pizza is not the point here.

I am alone. Remember, alone at a bar? Okay okay, the bar part is just for shock value. I am sitting at a table. The main reason being I don’t want to have to talk to the bartender. I want to be alone. I love to be alone. Sometimes, I love to be with people. I wish I wanted to be with people more. I remember a joke from years ago on last comic standing. He said something to the effect of, “I’m like a battery operated screwdriver, 12 hours of charge for 30 minutes of use.” If it takes you more than half a second to get the joke then you are not an introvert or an HSP.

What the heck is an HSP? Let me tell you, because I am actually more of an HSP than an introvert.

In an article written by Laurie M. Stewart, she summarizes some of the latest research on HSP.  She writes:

In her book The Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Aron explains that 15 percent to 20 percent of all people are born with a central nervous system that is more sensitive to sensory stimuli than that of the rest of the population. In simpler terms, an HSP responds strongly to sensations like sight, sound and touch. Even internal events like pain, emotions and thoughts are felt more profoundly by HSPs.

The difference is believed by Aron and other experts to be biological and present at birth. Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan refers to the difference as high versus low reactivity. Kagan’s research pinpointed specific areas in the brain as more active and more excitable in highly reactive individuals. Input such as a sound or a sight that causes little effect in most people may arouse the highly sensitive person’s nervous system enough to raise his heart rate and breathing. He not only notices—he may feel frazzled by it.

Keep in mind that Aron, Kagan and other researchers refer to this trait as a difference in temperament, not a defect.

Great, I am so glad it is not a defect because I have plenty of those.  It does explain why I can’t watch even a Disney Movie or why I can’t watch a sad movie because I grieve like I am actually there.  It explains  A LOT!

An HSP can have the following traits:

-easily overwhelmed or frazzled (ME!)
-startle easily (ME!)
-often need to be alone (ME!)
-more sensitive to pain, caffeine and medication (ME!)
-easily affected by others’ moods (ME!)
-uncomfortable with loud noises, bright lights, strong smells or lots of activity (ME!)
-upset easily by change of most kinds (ME!)
-deeply moved by music, art, nature, etc. (ME!, except for some art, mainly nature and music)

BIG PROBLEM, alone is not my season of life right now or the near future. Back to life, back to reality. Noise and chaos is my season of life.  None of my kids want to be alone (shocker!). They want to be with me. They want to be on me and talking to me at the same time. That is how it should be. I don’t want it any other way. Except for sometimes, when I become overwhelmed and want to be alone.

But I’m not going to kick and scream and cry like a baby about it. (Anymore, that was immature that I did that. It had to do with my inability to cope.)  Jachin gives me grace and I runaway sometimes to recharge. Even working can recharge me. Tonight I was supposed to work until 9, but I had worked until 9 last night and I was missing the kids. I was recharged enough to go home early and got to see this amazing performance that the kids had been working on. It included boxes. I swear by giving kids boxes, they come up with amazing box creations. Sometimes I give them tons of boxes and markers and glue and whatever else I can find just so that I can have a few minutes ALONE while they are making their box creations.

Of course, I only want to be alone on my terms. If I want to be with other people and no one is available, well then, I am lonely. Of course.

My older sister is good about pointing out when to get over it, and to this she would definitely roll her eyes and be like, “I’m so over you wanting to be alone. Just be all in with what you’ve got.” That is her strength, she is all in, at whatever day, week, or season she is in. She is the opposite of HSP, she is BIOP (I just made that up, she is a Bring It On Person). Sometimes this overwhelms me about her, but it keeps me in line for sure. I would be ten times the hermit I am now if it wasn’t for her. She signs me up for things and makes me go. She will actually register me for events and pay the fee and then tell me what time she is picking me up for it. It is awesome!

There are references in Scripture where Jesus withdrew to pray, and references where He withdrew with His disciples. Withdrawing to pray makes sense.  Withdrawing to be with your “tribe”, or “community group”, that makes sense too. I have certain people in my life that when I am with them it recharges me as if I was alone. They recharge me. And so does prayer. But I am certainly not entitled to time alone. My kids and my husband and my friends and family and community are a gift. What a waste it would be to throw the gift away for the sake of “being alone”.

So I’m highly sensitive with ADD and Lupus. I get very overwhelmed and anxious and literally feel the need to hide. But even with all that I want to be content when I am with people and when alone.  And I am certainly content with pizza.

So I will eat pizza with people and sometimes alone. Thankfully my kids like to eat pizza with me.

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*Books I will be reading in the near future, meaning this week, this month, or in my life time.  I don’t want to over promise and under deliver.

1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

2. The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N Aron Ph.D

3. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

Nothing Plus Everything

A few years ago I half-jokingly said to Jachin that I was going to write a book titled “You Lost Me At Hello” detailing my struggles with adult ADD. I briefly thought the idea was brilliant until I realized that my target audience of adults with ADD don’t really read books. (We prefer short stories, or essays, or anything SUMMARIZED!).

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So sad how quickly my brain tells my brain that my brilliant idea was not brilliant.

A few years later we were laughing about my non-existent book again and I asked him to reserve me a blog with that title. It was taken! I was so mad at whoever took my blog title and was not even using it.

A year or so after that I was ready to write. So here I am. Thank you so much for all your well wishes and support. It has been so encouraging.

But now I have to be honest about something. Today I am suffering from major brain overload and my brain has almost shut down entirely. This happens.

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So my post tonight is about nothing.

Because everything is running through my brain, really and truly everything. So nothing gets done.

Here is something to help you understand:

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Ahh! Bananas! That reminds me I have to do something about dinner. I always forget that comes every day.

The dryer just buzzed. Jachin just walked in. Morgan wants to know what’s for dinner. Homework. Must go.

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The end.

My Pain is Real, and So Is Yours

Warning: this is not funny. Every now and then I am serious.

I have precious friends. They love me to the ends of the earth. When I say I cannot live without them, believe me, I mean it. My sweet friend Simone says she doesn’t know exactly how to process some of the things I write. I don’t know what that means. I think she gets concerned because my life always seems too complicated. My life is too complicated because God wants it to be. I believe everybody I meet and know is struggling with something. To what degree only they and God really know.

I told Simone not to worry about me until I lost my sense of humor. But tonight I have lost my sense of humor and I still don’t think she should worry, or anybody else for that matter.

Everybody is different and everybody is the same. Simple, right? We all hurt, we all struggle, and we all survive. How we do all those things is what makes us different.

So tonight I am laying in bed because my body is in so much pain I literally can no longer put one foot in front of the other. I think if my house was on fire, I would barely be able to crawl out.

Everyone stay calm. Nobody needs to bring a casserole, this is not a SOS. This is just me writing about my physical pain. No one needs to come running over. This is my life and me and my husband and kids are somewhat used to it. We know how to survive it. Sometimes our survival doesn’t look pretty and sometimes it is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. Sometimes we yell and sometimes we cry and sometimes we hold each other so tight time stands still. It’s all a lesson, a learning curve, and even though it is so hard and sometimes feels too hard, it’s a curve I want to be on because God uses it to make me who I really want to be. I want to be humble and wise so I can be used effectively to minister to the brokenhearted. So it is okay for me to be in pain and it is okay for me to lose my sense of humor because good comes out of the suffering. Beauty from ashes, right?

So I rethought what I told Simone. Years ago I told her something somebody else had told me. “Without hope we have nothing.” Lenny said it to me, I don’t remember about what, but it stuck with me. So when I lose hope, that is when you should bring over casseroles and interventions and whatever you have in your bag of tricks. When I have lost hope, that is when you should come. Hope is a terrible thing to lose. And feeling hopeless is much worse than being in pain, in my opinion.

I have only one time in my life lost all hope. It was a dark time and I was so sick. So sick I can’t even comprehend it looking back. I wanted to die. I had lost hope. God restored my hope over time and now I lay here feeling very sick, but not hopeless.

My heart is sad about a few things, my mind is racing about all the things I have to get done, and my body is not working, but my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. He is the ultimate hope giver.

Do not lose hope. And if you do, call me and I will bring you some tacos.

And just because I love me some pictures, here is a little pic of me lying sick in bed, just so you can have a pathetic visual.

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The Doctors Office and Happy Meals

I wish you could have been there.

I really wish it.

It was that turning point in my day where all my defeats of parenting became funny. Let me lead you up to that moment.

The day started with the kids waking up as happy as can be that it was a no school day and they immediately immersed themselves into a very intense rainbow loom project. Jachin and I were getting ready for the day when the bliss quickly turned to sorrow. I don’t exactly know what happened but one kid hit the other kid and the other kid hit back and hubs and I had had enough. ENOUGH. The past week there has been some exchanges of unkind words between the sisters, general intolerance to each other and so on. I realize enough should have come sooner but anyways, now was our moment. I love my kids too much to let them get away with hitting. Husband made a genius move and picked up the rainbow loom and told them that was over for the day. He started to explain the consequences for their actions. Older child wailed and wailed. Perfect. That means he was doing it right. I came out to help and noticed that younger child who had hit first, seemed unphased by the the rainbow loom punishment. So I told her that it was sin to hit and hurt her sister and that her lovie and blankie would be taken away for the day. Younger child is now wailing. Hubs and I high five secretly in the hall and go about our morning. He leaves. Oh I hate when he leaves. I know he has to. But I want him with me, laughing with me, helping with me, suffering through the parenting woes with me.

Bye husband, you’re wonderful.

The morning passes by and we need to go run errands. I ask the kids to get ready and they do. It is February 17 and they all have flip flops on. I am a no-flip-flops-in-the-winter girl based on the principle that it is technically winter. Every winter I hide the flip flops and they somehow find them. Today it was sunny and 70 so I let this technicality go because today I was focusing on heart issues, and unfortunately fashion mistakes are not a heart issue. Unfortunately. Our first stop is Target to get a new pair of glasses for Kait because hers broke in half. Actually in half:

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Kind Target lady helping us orders a new pair and tells me that it will be $27.30. I say “but they are under warranty”, and kind Target lady replies, “yes, every time you get them fixed under warranty it is $27.30.” Anger and frustration start to fill my body. Because I paid for the warranty and now I am paying to use the warranty. But God reminds me that we are working on heart issues today and this is mine. So I pay up. Kind Target lady informs us it will be 7-10 days until the glasses come in and I see Kait’s eyes well up with tears.

Kait hates not having her glasses because she hates not being able to see. Makes sense. But this is deep. Something else goes on here. Every time Kait is without her glasses she falls apart, all the way apart. So here is my next moment to help her heart. We walk out of Target quietly (besides the flipping and flopping) hand in hand and get in the car. I ask her if she knows why she is so upset. “No,” she mutters. “Let me help,” I quietly said. “I think when you don’t have your glasses you feel really helpless and things feel out of control and that makes you feel really uncomfortable.” “Yes, that.” She quietly cried. I held her and prayed for her and then I told her that Jesus and I both want to comfort her during this uncomfortable feeling. “Okay.” And she pulled out her packed lunch, which you should note was a lunchable. Now on to ballet class for Sadie. Should be a simple thing. Drive to ballet.

No. Half way there an argument erupts over the words to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Morgan gets real mad that her version is not being heard and so she screams a very high pitched ear-piercing scream and I almost get in a wreck.

Inches people. Inches of hitting another car.

Now I stay calm, and this is no small miracle. We call this in our household PROGRESS. And we celebrate PROGRESS because sometimes it’s all we got. I calmly explain to Morgan that I am trying to drive and it is disrespectful to scream like that at any time and that her consequence for her bad choice (see, we have a theme here) was she could not talk or sing for five minutes. Kait said, “Morgan, we are on that highway,” which means 635.

I believe the devil lives on 635 and causes wrecks, and cursing, and road rage and that is why 635 is hell.

We drop off Sadie and go to the fabric store where Morgan has to use the public restroom TWICE. I die.

Back to pick up Sadie and now back on 635 (Back away from me SATAN!) to go to from Lake Highlands to Plano to take Morgan to the pediatrician. Of course at this point they are hungry. And so am I. I also know that the only food stop at the exit to the doctor’s office is McDonald’s.

So here we are, line around the building, of course, because I have to build character today too, apparently:

Drive-thru line

So picture this. We arrive at the doctor:

Frowny Face

I missed the picture I really needed. This is why I so wish you had been there. Morgan has her happy meal spread out on the kids table in the waiting room happily eating her happy meal. Layering on top of her Lunchable in her stomach. And next to us is the newborn. This is the turning point for me. I am now amused by all of it. This was not just a newborn, but it was the first time parents with their just born baby who has never had a happy meal, never hit his sister, never screamed about the words to Twinkle Twinkle, never used a public bathroom.

Never ever.

He was precious and small. So my kids began asking if they were that small. “Yes you were.” “How much did I weigh?” “7 pounds something.” “What about me?” “6 pounds something.” I am not even caring that I don’t remember. NOT EVEN CARING. New Parents look at me. I tell them their baby is precious and that they will sleep again one day. They say thank you as I wipe the crusted-on-ketchup off Sadie’s mouth. Morgan is just sitting there coughing and eating. Cough. Dip french fry in ranch and eat. Cough. And they are now witnessing the Happy-Meal-in-the-waiting-room-I-don’t-even-care situation. New parents were thankfully so enamored with their new baby they did not seem phased by this ridiculous scene. Ketchup on faces, happy meals, flip flops, mom doesn’t remember children’s birth weight, and so on.

We are called back. Morgan has Bronchitis:

Morgan in doctors office

Yippee, she might even have pneumonia so my beloved pediatrician puts her on steroids. If you have never had a four year old on steroids you should totally try it. IF YOU WANT TO LOSE YOUR MIND. Now it is time to head home and figure out dinner, and we know how that goes. AGHH DINNER!

But after a Lunchable and a Happy Meal, dinner can only be an improvement.

Tomorrow we will eat all organic fruits and vegetables all day long. Unless we have bigger issues than food.

Dinner

Things that are unhealthy for me:
Dinnertime

Things that make me anxious:
Dinnertime

Things that make me lose my mind:
Coming up with dinner

My doctor tells me that I need to eliminate stressors in my life in order to control my lupus. “Can I eliminate dinner?” Yes, I really asked her this. My doctors don’t think I’m nearly as funny as I do. They don’t laugh. I think it has something to do with the fact that they are seriously trying to help me. I totally get that. I am seriously trying to help me too, but with a sense of humor. So in all honesty I have given up on cooking dinner as much as it is possible with a husband and three kids.

I attempted a real dinner one night and they didn’t like it. So I asked them what they wanted to eat for dinner. They really actually told me that all the wanted for dinner was tacos.

Stop. You are thinking this was just my kids response. Nooooooo. My husband said this too. For the love of tacos. Fine. Tacos it is. Two to three nights a week we have tacos. Bless whoever invented this perfect dinner creation.

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But there are still the other four nights of the week. Order Pizza. Now we are down to three nights. This should be easy. It should be. I still can’t quite figure out why I can’t pull dinner together just a few nights a week.

Maybe this is why, my text to Jachin at this afternoon:

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Please don’t think that we don’t have problems in our marriage. We have conquered some rough things and I’m sure there are more to come, but isn’t he precious? He gets me. He sees the defeat in my eyes when he walks in the door and I’m trying to get dinner ready. The digression in my attempts at dinner have been so severe. It’s not even worth trying anymore. I can’t even flip a pancake when I make pancakes and scrambled eggs for dinner. And eggs end up on the floor and on the ceiling. And then I cry. My dinners are more and more ending like this:

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I used to love to cook. That was when cooking was my only responsibility. Cooking had no competition in my life, it had my full attention and me and cooking had fun. Those were the days. Things change so fast, but we tend to accept the change so slow. I would have saved my family and I so much heartache if I had just given on up on cooking long ago. I should have accepted the reality that 5:45 is a very bad time if day for me and I cannot multi-task. So what used to be my domestic bliss of cooking and enjoying it now ends up looking like this:

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Please do not be too concerned. We eat. Maybe not the way you do, but we do eat. Frozen lasagna, takeout, spaghetti, takeout, tuna fish, takeout. And a special shout out to grilled cheese. Whatever it is we are grateful to have it. My kids and husband do not seem to even care what we eat.  All along I was creating my own idea of what dinner should look like.

Life will move on and maybe one day I will cook again. And then maybe one day it will actually taste good and I won’t burn it. Maybe. Please, nobody hold your breath.

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