Closets are cozy and comforting if you are a coat or an umbrella. I am sure the same cannot be said for humans.
Not to fret, adults with ADD aren’t actually hiding in small, dark, out of the way closets. Nay they are too energetic, curious and distracted to tolerate confinement.
They may live in a closet of excuses, apologies, storytelling, uncertainty, short-lived promises and shame.
Some of these techniques are employed to thwart the judgment and displeasure of significant others, family members, employers, professors and friends. These strategies also quell the guilt and or shame produced by perceived shortcomings. It is simpler and less painful to create an explanation or scenario that places the blame on outside factors. You know; I misplaced my wife at the mall, the escalator stopped mid floor, no one told me the report was due today, I caught 7 trains on the way in to work, my uncle Louie dropped my report in his soup and it melted and the ever popular I didn’t know.
Excuses may deflect the blame and shame for a while. They get you off the hook temporarily. You may even get a second or third chance. Behavior problems for adults with ADD and the people in their lives will eventually generate significant personal and professional conflict and discomfort for them. The longer someone hides under the cover of their excuses the greater the burden of their behaviors and the more likely the risk their self-doubt, embarrassment and shame persist.
I am sure many adults have no idea why they: procrastinate even when it is painful to do so, lack the ability to sustain focus and complete projects on time, are continuously late, struggle with tasks that require organization and punctuality, over-respond to impulses, require more time and assistance to complete assignments than their peers, quickly become bored with projects or activities, struggle to remain attentive during meetings and to communicate thoughts effectively or why they constantly bombard themselves with negative self-judgments.
These traits have a profound and long-lasting effect on performance, self-esteem and identity. Painful self-doubt, shameful self-esteem and ineffective behaviors are the long-lasting consequences of repeating the same patterns.
You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Well, “they” are spot on. That “closet” may be cozy for a while, but eventually the walls close in.
Changing behaviors can be challenging and difficult but there are many resources that offer support and guidance. Doctor’s Russell Barkley and Ned Hallowell have written extensively on ADD. CHADD offers supportive resources for adults, children and their parents. Numerous helpful Apps and computer technologies now abound. Coaching and therapy offer guidance, support and opportunities to develop new skills and strategies.
Acceptance, accountability and intentional behavior lead the way out of that perpetual closet.
I partner with professional adults, together we highlight focused and intentional effort towards the changes and objectives that matter most to them.
All questions are welcome as is the opportunity to schedule a time to chat if you are interested in learning more or know of someone who might be.
Jim Sobosan, Success and ADD Coaching