Tuesday, October 13, 2009

10 Minute Rule, My Ass

I went to visit my therapist today and I hate her because she did her job.

I'd remarked that I had found myself at that lovely point where I was being very vigilant and aware of the habits I should not be indulging anymore, including anxiety-stoking and over-commitment ensuring...had gotten used to knowing when to tuck my impulsivity into an inner pocket instead of wearing it on my lapel and letting it call the shots (pow! pow!). And that armed with that knowledge I'm a bit stuck, and stressed, because I don't know how else to move forward.

So she handed me a sheet or two of paper, stapled together. They say things like "Quick Effective Daily Organization at Work" and "Tools You Can Use Today" and "Scheduling".

We didn't go over it together, she wanted me to check it out on my own first, probably because she knows that if left to my own devices, with just a small amount of prompting, I will torture myself far better than she ever could...I eyeballed it when I got out to my car. As I read it, my core began to degrade. A brown dwarf in my gut. When stars deteriorate they transform through several stages (brown dwarf is one of them; Dewey Decimal # 520, stars...uh, yeah, anyway...). Oh I'm aware that whatever stage I'M in is actually taking me in a positive direction even if I feel like crap right now. But my gut doesn't know that...and it feels like it is imploding., thanks to these two little white pages...matter becoming so dense that a spoonful would be too heavy to lift, as I read phrases like "10 Minute Rule!" and "Use A Timer" on the sheet before my eyes.

By the time I got home and was trying to explain this to my boyfriend, my voice had raised two octaves, the lead had already solidified in my core, I was overcome by the repetitive OCD-like gestures that I succumb to when under enormous stress and I was only speaking in partial sentences like "it's bad...it's bad...I hate my therapist"...which unfortunately had the boyfriend laughing. "But you love the therapist." he says. "No...hate her." I say.

I hand him the sheets of paper. He says "Oh cool! Ways to organize yourself...oh hey, what are all these notes in the margins...". I squeak out "...hate therapist. Stupid papers. Stupid 10 MINUTE RULE! STUPID TIMERS! STUPIDSTUPIDSTUPID! ...made notes...eeeeehhhhhhhhh...about hating 10 minutes rules, timers and therapists and fuckyou".

Clutching my stomach I wander around the dining room finally landing on a chair.

There's just no logical or reasonable way to explain this so I'm just going to let the ADHD do the talking for a minute...and she doesn't use punctuation or grammar very well so bear with us:

Can't do ten minute rule 'cause that is the LONGEST INCREMENT OF TIME IN THE UNIVERSE...I already work hard and get shit done, leave me the FRIG ALONE...jumping from one task to another in 1-2 minute intervals, that is how I GET IT DONE people...ten minutes, what kinda sick shit is that, ten minutes...ten minutes where I'll be thinking about what ten minutes means, and then thinking about the meaning of life as it relates to...wait, ten minutes...did I set a timer...okay look, don't even...timers, timers my ass, the only good thing (?)... just kidding, NOTHING GOOD ABOUT TIMERS timers are for stupid people who can't concentrate and I GET LOTS OF WORK DONE so leave me alone, and let me do something fun, that's the only thing i use timers for is screenprinting because I have to heat set the ink and you have to have a timer for that and you know what I do because I get so bored waiting for the THREE MINUTE timer to go off, I flippin' heat set 5-6 things at one time so can rotate through them until that looooooong THREE MINUTE timer goes off and while I'm doing it I'm thinking about inks and then I put the iron down because I have emails to send and if I don't write it down I'll forget so I'm looking for my notebook and there's the computer...oh wait, gotta finish the heat-setting...run back to ironing board, timer, timer, timer....TEN MINUTES is she joking that's like flashback to me being the classroom math retard who couldn't finish more than two math problems on a timed test because I couldn't think, and I couldn't fuckfuckfuckfuck timers...I punched a kid once because he made fun of me for being slow while the timer was on...uhhhh...ehhhhh....brown dwarf in the belly and universe on the shoulders...crap, I can't waste time thinking about this, I have THINGS TO DO and I have to KEEP MOVING TO DO THEM, and I just thought of 8 more things I need to DODODO...take your timer and shove it up your Amsterdam!

Okay...taking the pencil out of math-retard-girl's hands for a minute here, I think she needs to cool down, but at least now you have a taste of a) my double life with crunchy, sweet, spunky, seemingly together cookie on the outside, and friggin' stressed out 800MPH ADHD girl smooshing out the sides from the middle with the cookie girl just barely holding her in. And b) you see, clearly, that ADHD girl is a little stressed out right now. She's so stressed out I have to refer to her as "other" instead of as "self" right now and I'm sure that my thoroughly evil yet very effective therapist would have a heyday with that one...WILL have a heyday because I'll have to print this blog post for her to express myself next week instead of reliving the explanation because even THAT is too stressful.

And you KNOW she's gonna ask me about what I thought about those damn sheets of paper. And I'm gonna shove my iPhone right up her ass.


Okay fine, ADHD girl wants me to shove my iPhone up her ass, but I won't, because when I'm done freaking out maybe I'll try like .5 of one of these "new things". You know why? Okay, a couple of reasons. First being that I am very stubborn and hate to let my anxiety make decisions for me because I know I will regret it later if I do and I don't try new things. Which makes it into a game. Second...I have this blog and weirdly, it makes me feel really accountable to not just myself, but to others as well. Makes me feel like me and smooshy-ADHD-math-retard-girl-who-has-timer-phobia-because-they-make-her-feel-stupid-and-afraid-she-will-fail owe it to our audience to at least TRY new things, and least TRY to deal with ADHD in constructive ways instead of the same old ways. Plus, if the "same old" was working...I wouldn't have sought diagnosis in the first place. I was heading for a heart attack at 50.

Furthermore, clearly, while ADHD-girls feelings are TOTALLY valid...you read her shit...she should NOT be the one making all the decisions around here. Crunchy cookie girl will make the final call...but she'll be nice to ADHD-girl for a little while longer to get the hell-fire out of her gut and clear the way for something new. Something along the lines of surrendering to change.

The thought of which, right now, kinda makes me want to puke, so I'm gonna just stop writing while I'm ahead.


  1. I fucking hate timers. I never considered myself a math-retard, but when it came to timed anything, I would rather fake a hernia than take the test. "Okay, class. Read this page and we will discuss it... *a few minutes tick by*... Is everybody finished? If not, raise your hand? *several hands go up*... Okay, we'll give you a few more minutes... *tick, tick, tick*... Is anybody still reading?... *one hand this time(mine)*... Okay, Chris, just a few more minutes.... Chris, you done?" "Yes. (I lie and give up)". Fucking timers. Hate timers. I work with a man on the "7 Habits of Highly Boring People Who Like to Schedule Shit" method of time management. He wants me to schedule my week ahead of time on Sunday... yeah.. that works great. So now I have to schedule time to schedule the rest of my time knowing that I won't follow any of those schedules unless somebody is going to meet me for lunch or something. Even then, I will wait until the last minute to prepare. Timers, be damned! In short, I hear ya.


    Okay, so you have me thinking now...about scheduling.

    Scheduling is tricky for me. (Obviously for you too, haha.) I seem to be able to go one way or the other. Either totally unscheduled and who knows what will happen. OR, if I have a calendar, I go way overboard. I get so into having to maintain the structure that I go a little wacky...and hold onto the schedule and the perfection way too hard because I am so aware of how easily it can all fall apart for me, even if it's all in writing.

    For years I refused to have a calendar/dayplanner. Because it meant I would overcommit myself...and write, smaller and smaller if I had to. That was bad. So I stopped doing it. I have finally started using one again...a little weird, but because it's on the computer, I can't play tricks to fit more things in the boxes, which is good.

    I don't know how to go easy on the scheduling, in any sense of the word!

    Seven Habits of Highly Boring People, HAHA...

    I told myself I was going to just start with carrying a timer around in my purse. Hoping that if I just have it with me it might trick me into using it at some point. I AM very visual, so it's possible that if I see it every time I open my bag I might use it...or maybe just having it there will reassure me that just having it doesn't mean I have to use it...and once I exorcise THAT demon from my thinking then it will still be there when I'm ready to actually hit the GO button...we'll see. I would love to borrow your coach...I would probably implode, haha, just reading about organizing makes me hurt :) Good luck with that!

  3. I have numerous timers (on my computer desktop; my blackberry) and can't live without them. While I go thru scheduling "phases" (sometimes...I don't wanna schedule anything), nonetheless, I've found that sticking with a calendar and scheduling out the day is definitely more productive than not doing so. Sure I have lots of breaks in the day but, still, it helps to know that I've accomplished something by the end of the day (or week).