OCD, ADHD and loving yourself

16 Jan

I seem to have struck a chord with my post on my son’s and my ADHD tendencies and it got me thinking. I know several people who are born organized. One of them is so organized that she has all of her spices in alphabetical order and all labels in her pantry facing forward. I am amazed by her organizational skills and have threatened on more than one occasion to lock her in my house for a week to have her organize it for me. I have a family member who gives the most beautifully wrapped presents I’ve ever seen. They are so exquisite that I almost don’t want to open them. Then there is my mom. My mom is so organized that I can tell you what she is doing based on the day of the week. I know when she does laundry and grocery shopping and what days she lunches with friends. I find these women fascinating in their orderliness.
I, on the other hand, am what you might call a free spirit. I never saw the value of a clean room growing up. Make a bed? I was just going to get back in it that night. Pick up my clean clothes? They were easier to find on the floor than in my even messier drawers. Cleaning? Boring! Order? Overrated! Life was about fun and I wasn’t about to let some house cleaning get in my way. Living in the moment and by the moment was a thrilling, joyful ride and I loved it. That life, however, comes with a cost of frantically looking for misplaced note cards, homework, car keys and creating stress for yourself and those around you.
I could go on forever about the love hate relationship I’ve had with my ADHD in the past, and there were many days I wished I could be like those incredibly organized people in my life. There were even times I hated myself for my failure at what I thought was a pivotal point of being a mom, keeping a clean and orderly home. I am a college educated woman for goodness sake. Why couldn’t I figure out how to keep my house clean and organized?
It took years of learning, but I realized something. So many organized people I know are as stifled by their organization, schedules and need to have control over their lives and homes as I had been by my inability to organize, schedule and have control over my life. I would drop everything to run out to lunch, finger paint with my children, go to the park or make popcorn and watch a movie with my family, but I would beat myself up later for not getting the housework done. My organized friends didn’t do those things with their children because they weren’t in the schedule or would make a mess they didn’t want to clean up. I wanted and needed a solution and I found it. It’s called balance, and it’s amazingly simple, but not always as easy as it sounds.
For me, the answer to keeping my house came in the form of a lovely southern lady named Marla Cilley, aka The Flylady. Her website, http://www.flylady.net, was a life changer for me. If you struggle like I did, she can help you realize that housework isn’t a chore if you choose to do it as a blessing to your family. She breaks it down into steps and doesn’t expect you to have a perfect house EVER!! As a matter of fact, she doesn’t use “the p word” as she calls it and that is just fine with me. Ironically, she has some born organized members who are learning how to temper their tendencies to over clean and learning how to stop and play.
The bottom line is that we all have tendencies toward over working or under working based on our task versus people orientation and our level of perfectionism, (I’ll cover that in another post) but we can all find balance and peace with ourselves and our situation, and we can appreciate the strengths of each other as we live this crazy thing called life. I am still learning to be a fun, but very organized person and the journey is a blast! Have a great day!!


One Response to “OCD, ADHD and loving yourself”

  1. nikkinickell January 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    This is a sentence that applies to me “One of them is so organized that she has all of her spices in alphabetical order and all labels in her pantry facing forward.” But that’s it. I have control over that..but am overwhelmed when tying to put order in the rest of the house. Bill [he’d never admit that all his fishing and skiing gear is clutter…because it’s his stuff] and I are both hoarders…mine looks worse because it’s thousands of pages of research on family history started in 1986 after our house fire zen cleaned our home. Soon all the notes from miles and miles of travel to birth places and counties for any clue overran the computer desk, then my bedroom and now sneaking into other areas of the house. Kelly has tried to convince me, I don’t need hard copy, but I still don’t trust computers [they crash] and no one else seems to want the 10,000 plus names and info I have…except my inspiration and mentor, Uncle Dick. I have started tossing out boxes of research notes…because I don’t want someone to have to do it when I am gone, but sometimes I get so fascinated with the history or remebering the excitement of finding some nugget that I get distracted and the day is done.

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