The Struggle to Stay Connected to Those We Care About

The struggle is real when you are focused on not forgetting appointments or finding your stuff. And how about that time awareness and staying on track with an actual clock and not on ADHD time in my head? That is almost a full-time job right there.

Add a heaping helping of wrestling my impulsivity and taking a pause to filter my thoughts before gushing out the thoughts in my head. If I don’t, words are “slipping off my tongue like turpentine” and lousy outcomes are distinctly possible.

Let’s not forget the constant push and pull with all the shiny things that call my attention. Anyone can see I have a lot of balls in the air to juggle. Actually, I am having a tug of war right now between writing this blog and doing something else, to be frank just about anything else seems interesting at this point (except cleaning bathrooms).

Today, however, I was going through my never-ending to-do list. And I noticed this post-it list of “people to stay in touch with” that hasn’t been touched since like the middle of summer. My initial gut reaction was to pummel myself with blame and shame. “How shallow can I be to not take a few minutes to reach out to these special people. What a crappy friend I am. Bet everyone on that list has given up on me as a friend. And how embarrassing to try and reach out now. With friends like me, who needs enemies, right?”

So, I basted myself in all those negative (and rather useless) ruminations until I had the proverbial “snap out of it” moment. You know, like the one in the movie “Moonstruck” where Cher smacks the guy while telling him to “snap out of it”. Okay, I didn’t physically slap my face. But my imagination did conjure up a make-believe smack to jar my rumination train off the looping track and back on the track of forward motion.

Once back on track I started planning my daily connection with the people who mean a lot to me. I gave myself the option to use either a call or a text to reach out and let them know they were in my thoughts, and how thankful I was for their friendship. I thought about using Facebook to reconnect but remembered it’s my Kryptonite of time sucks. I know from previous history I don’t want to get pulled into that vortex again. Keeping the messaging simple helps restart the habit of reaching out to one person on my list every day. I also did not try to craft a special message explaining why I have been AWOL so long or ask forgiveness for my tardiness. No need to release those demons of recrimination or I would bog down in the swamp of shame again.

If you have ADHD, chances are you also struggle with staying connected with friends and loved ones on a regular basis. We tend to think of ADHD as problems with losing things or staying on time or even remembering to do what we really should be doing. But as much as we dislike losing our phones or keys, we should loathe the loss of our community and comrades. We need those people connections more than just about anything else except for food and water. The extent of that loss is not always understood until we find ourselves in a tight spot and yearn for people to care about us.

Perhaps you might want to think about how your ADHD is affecting your interaction with those significant relationships. Maybe it is time for your own “snap out of it” moment and an opportunity to develop a structure to help you stay in touch and connected. Keep it simple so it can be done quickly and easily.

Attention means “I care about you” so show your affection by reaching out and touching someone on a regular basis.  

Katherine Jahnke

Katherine Jahnke

ADHD Coach and Life Coach, Executive Skills Coach, Owner/Founder

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