Saturday, February 24, 2018

You Just Have to Show Up

December 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Coping, Success!

Just Show UpWoody Allen had said that 80% of success is just showing up. I can relate to that.

If I had shown up more often in high school and college, those experiences would have worked out better the first time around. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. These days, PJ is missing at least one day each week in school, sometimes with valid, physical illness and often not.

How many of us have avoided our day, just because we couldn’t face our fears or expectations? How often was it easier to quit before the day began, with promises of “starting fresh tomorrow”?

Very often the things that can bring us to a dead stop aren’t that difficult, yet they can feel impossible. This is the work of our ADHD partner in crime – procrastination. Fortunately, the moments where I find my greatest strength, in the face of procrastination are getting more frequent.

  • I remind myself that I am stuck in a trap, avoiding that which is not difficult.
  • I remind myself that the easiest, quickest and least painful solution is to just do it.
  • I remind myself that I will feel stronger, once I reach the other side.
  • Then lastly, I stop thinking and just take action – make that baby step or knock it out in one shot.

You can’t succeed frozen in place. You have to at least show up.

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8 Responses to “You Just Have to Show Up”
  1. I’m making Caleb read this one. As long as I’m @ his house, and I have him ‘captive’, he’s going to read this if I have to read it to him! 😉

    I asked him to sit down and talk to me about how his ADD affects him today, and his answer was “let’s go ride bikes”. I’ll email you with any insights he gives me, if I can get him to sit and DO it.:)

  2. Ali says:

    What a lot of people forget is that ADHD is a behavioral problem, not a full learning disorder(even though, yes, it can hinder the ability to put yourself fully into your lessons to learn better). With it comes a lot of other issues that one wouldn’t expect; OCD, performance anxiety, social anxiety, depression, and generalized anxiety and panic disorder.
    I am 26 years old and have dealt with and have worked around my ADHD with ALL of these subdisorders since I was 6. Many times it is VERY difficult for us to stand up to our fears and apprehension. Even now I have periods of agoraphobia and difficulty getting over my social anxiety where I am fully aware that I really CAN do these things and my fears are completely irrational, but I still cannot force myself to do what I need to do. I haven’t driven a car in a year because of this(though I am making progress with building up my courage).

    I remember trying to pretend to be sick to get out of going to school. I don’t really remember ever having a reason other than not enjoying my time there for wanting to avoid it. I think we’re just more apt to want to avoid something we don’t like than face it. Ostrich syndrome: put your head in the ground and if we don’t see it, it doesn’t exist.
    It takes a LOT of counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy to get over these instances, and often times it will continue to come back to haunt us in different ways for the rest of our lives.

    I think it is important for parents of children with ADHD and ADD to realize that often times we cannot control the way we feel when it comes to fear and anxiety. I often have issues dealing with situations where someone may disapprove of me. Whether it’s the fear of making a mistake at a job, or simply being afraid that someone doesn’t like me. This can be crippling.
    We also have interest-based priorities, meaning that we’d rather do something we LIKE than something we HAVE to do. This can apply to school as well; I remember flipping to the World War II section of my history books and reading that during class instead of the early history of Europe simply because it perked my interest more; I would read my assigned English books during Math class because I preferred one over the other. Even though they were equally educational, I would be doing one assignment over the one I was supposed to do.
    As for procrastination: I have no answer for that because even now, twenty years after I was diagnosed with ADHD, I still have difficulty managing my procrastination and what compels me to procrastinate. Honestly, I have no idea why I do it, nor do I realize I’m doing it until it’s already too late.

    Rewards are a good way to teach your children to stay focused on their work. I was raised through school with a reward every week that I didn’t have any problems at school(whether it was acting out in class or not handing in homework), usually it was something like going out for ice cream with my mother, or spending time at the park with her. I would be rewarded with something I had wanted every semester I brought home a report card that I had grades above a B- in every class and a good behavior assessment(it’s VERY important that your child’s teachers understand and work with you when it comes to your child’s behavior in class). I had required progress reports every other week once I hit middle school(when it was a bit more difficult to give rewards. Ah teenagers!), and my councilors and teachers worked closely with my parents to ensure that I tried the best I could(and even then, sometimes it didn’t work very well LoL!).
    As I’m older, this hasn’t really changed much, actually. Those days that I would sit outside my work and debate just turning around and going home and calling in sick, I set a goal for myself. For every month I went into work every day, I would reward myself with a new outfit or some new art supplies…something I really wanted and would motivate me to go into work and do my very best. My fiance has helped me with this as well and it has helped a lot when it came to doing something I was holding back on doing.

    And sometimes you just have to sit down with your child until they finish what they’re supposed to do(but don’t forget to praise them when they’ve finished!)…after fussing at a table having nothing to do but your homework for a half hour, the wish to get as far away from that table and do what they want to do will end up winning out and homework will get done.

  3. Chris G. says:

    Hello Ali –

    You obviously have spent substantial time and effort in coming to grips with your ADHD. You have covered quite a bit in your comments and well done at that. Thanks for sharing.

    My own procrastination seems to come most when the next steps are not clear or a positive outcome feels unlikely.

    You mentioned “art supplies”. Please consider sharing some of your artwork with us. Any ADHD artists who would like to show their work here are welcome. Just e-mail me with any pieces you would like to show, what name you would like to use and any titles you would like. Send them to and they will be shown at

    Thanks again for sharing and for your great insight.

    – Chris

  4. Ali,

    Thank you for sharing the ins and outs you’ve been through since age 6. You’re the same age as my oldest son who is ADD.
    Sounds as though you had parents who was very on top of your issues and strong in getting your teachers to work with them and you as those years went by. You were very lucky in that.
    I too, hope to hear more from you as well as possibly see some of your artwork if your feel you want to share.
    Again, thanks for your insight AND input!
    Amy Fry

  5. Ali says:

    I’ve always been someone who wanted to help others! I think these days, ADHD is almost as much of a taboo subject as it was when I was first diagnosed. People(and sometimes even teachers!) tend to relate ADHD as something to do with the way a child was raised and not a true medical condition. My fiance, who has learned to accept that ADHD is real now that he’s lived with me and seen the way it works, but still refuses to accept ADD(without the hyperactivity) exists. As for me, I’ve had theories that ADD without hyperactivity doesn’t really exist as well, BUT that ALL children and adults with ADD experience SOME form of hyperactivity thus ALL that are diagnosed with this disorder have ADHD no matter if the hyperactivity is outwardly shown or not. Me, personally, show the hyperactivity in the form of not being able to slow my thoughts down, especially when it comes to sleeping, thus I’m an insomniac.

    I was lucky growing up. My mother was a nurse and always had done her research and my doctor was well versed in ADHD, which at the time was still very new and where Ritalin was the only medication that was available to us. I had some great councilors to help me and have just been so extremely fortunate to have the people around me understand that this is a very real disorder.
    I’ll be more than happy to post my thoughts as I have them in efforts to help others get an idea about what it’s like to have grown up with this. I know that there are a lot of adults out there who are just learning that they have had this all along, but since they didn’t know it growing up, they never were able to tie one thing to another and think “Ah…so this is the ADHD!”
    Heck, I even know that many people don’t realize that you really don’t grow out of this disorder…and while as an adult, one can definitely sit still, it doesn’t mean that they still don’t experience the symptoms and difficulties associated with ADHD. I’ve always been more than willing to spread the word, especially as an adult with severe ADHD.

  6. Chris G. says:

    That’s a large part of what this site is about: helping others understand – understand that they are not alone in their ADHD; understanding that their kids are dealing with very real challenges; understanding that ADHD is a real executive dysfunction and not an excuse for bad parenting or a lack of effort. Keep spreading the word. 🙂

  7. Ali says:

    Oh! And I forgot(ha…got stuck on one thought!)! I will definitely look through my work and pick out some pieces for you guys!

  8. Chris G. says:

    Thanks Ali! I’ll be keeping an eye on my inbox for them!

    – Chris

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