S2 E12 5:25:20, 2.48 PM
7:01PM May 25, 2020
Lee Skallerup Bessette
All right. Welcome, everyone to this week's episode of all the things ADHD.
hey, and you managed not to cover your microphone this week. Awesome. Thank you. I'm Brad. I'm one of your co hosts Lee Skallerup Bessette, also known as ready writing on Twitter,
and I am your other co host, Amy Morrison also known as Digi wank on Twitter.
And we are so excited that we have another guest today. So Julio let you introduce yourself to
my name is Dr. Julie Alexander. Though if you if you knew me for a long time I my maiden name was plaid. I've been married for like four years. And on Twitter. I am at Julie rose Alex and I'm a professor at Miami University's Farmer School of Business and Oxford, Ohio.
Awesome, great so we know each other through that those sorts of writing circles on social media in a lot of cases. So we we've been friends, we've been online Twitter virtual friends for a number of years now I remember your wedding. So at least four years. Time has no meaning right now, so maybe it's four years, maybe it's been a whole decade. I don't know. Who knows. Yeah,
I had a socially distance wedding before it was cool to do. So I've been reminding people of that. I had an online and well, my wedding was broadcast online because I got married in Las Vegas. And now that's what people are doing out of necessity. And, you know, I like to think that it's because I set the trend for years.
That's amazing that it's Las Vegas, because we just recorded some episodes in which we were like, Lee went back to Las Vegas, even though she hated it the first time. And she thought she was supposed to like it, and she might like it better the next time and I think I had a socially distance wedding too, because we got married 15 years ago. After my first year on the tenure track, we've moved to a city we didn't know anybody and it was like very complicated. We just like 100 off to Jamaica, the two of us, and we like had a video and then we played the video for people Like enjoy was the greatest recommend would do again? Yeah, yeah.
Oh Same thing with the biggest wedding absolutely 10 out of 10
Yep, we did not quite that socially distant but we did the we had just a small handful of friends join us in Jasper and we had a lovely little outdoor wedding and then didn't even take video it was just pictures we just had pictures and had wedding receptions in various locations for both my husband's family and my family.
Did people plan that for you because like my sister kind of at the behest of my parents threw me and Tom kind of like reception in Waterloo when we got back and I didn't have to plan it. Which was great like which was the great thing about like the wedding moon of a sandals in Jamaica was like it's one phone call and they're like, these are the two timeslots and do you want pink or white flowers and vanilla cake or chocolate cake done. And like I wasn't diagnosed ADHD at that point, but like I at least knew myself well enough to know that like, in no way was I competent in my first year on the tenure track in a new city to like organize a wedding. So, uh, yeah, that I managed to download the party planning onto my sister and it was just like a small thing. And I mean, great. I'm like, to this day, I refuse to plan stuff for my family. I'm like, you guys like, yeah, organize the party and I will show my ass off. And that will be great. So is that what happened for you? Yeah,
yeah, yeah. Well, because basically, this was the compromise, right? It was sort of like, Okay, well, we're gonna have the wedding you we want. You guys can have the receptions you want because that at the end of the day is what? So just because of family dynamics, it was like there was the mom side of the family in Edmonton on so we got married on Friday, Saturday, we had one wedding reception. And then Sunday, we had another wedding reception for his dad's side of the family. And then my brother at that time, was working in the British Virgin Islands. And so it was only home in the office during hurricane season. So then, we have So we got married at the end of July, and then went back to Montreal at the end of October when my husband was sorry when my brother was back in Montreal, and and had it there and then my mom organized it all. And the only thing that I asked is that this is the most Canadian thing ever. The only thing that I asked in terms of it is it if it could be held at the curling club that my grandfather had been a longtime member of and was a senator of
Hurry, hurry hard hurry.
It just open to because it was it was October we'll see my grandfather was, was a longtime member was now like, Senator, which is, you know, like one of the senior members and on their board and he had done a lot of renovations there. So like he'd renovated the women's washroom he had literally built the bar in the bar section because every curling club has a bar section. It's Well, I mean, of course it does. Of course it does. So I just mean, I sort of felt like if there was anywhere that had some sort of meaning to even though I didn't curl and didn't really have anything to do with it if there's a place that it was like, we get meaning from but it also we had a, there was a cash bar, but all the money went to the curling club. So I was like, You know what? Great. Let's see if we could do it there. And of course they were thrilled to have it there. And it just, you know, worked out really well. But yeah, I same thing. I didn't have to plan it. Our our reception after we got married was we went to a pizza place and had pizza and beer.
Yeah, that's perfect. That's a fantastic wedding. We're so good. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. So
how did you wind up getting married in Las Vegas? How did that work out?
Well, it's it's kind of like a sad but happiest story. I got engaged. And my husband and I got engaged. We've been together for a long time I was working at a job that was very far away from him because you know, academia. And I was trying to find a place that you know, another job where I could get be closer to him, but it was just not really working out and I We got engaged, which was great. And then about six months later, my mom suddenly passed away. And so that really kind of threw a lot of things in return was very sad in and of itself. But my mom was one of those kind of matriarch type people were She not only was you know, the most beloved and sort of charismatic person in the family, but she kind of kept all of the family. She did all the kin keeping not just for our nuclear family, but for like the entire extended family. So losing her left a huge void kind of just throughout and so nobody really wanted to think about planning weddings or anything like that. So it took a little while before I was able to find a job and I knew I was going to be moving to where I live now. And my sister was she got married, got engaged. Not long after my mom passed away, and she wanted to have a very large wedding with because of her my brother in law, you know, had a had a large family and being from Pittsburgh and everything, you know, there's a lot of ethnic traditions that go along with lots and lots of families. And you know, it was great. And they wanted to have all of that, and that's awesome. But it was going to kind of like overshadow anything that we were going to do. She actually got married, like, six weeks after I got married. And so yeah, it was kind of an end she, you know, I was trying to kind of help her with her wedding at the same time as I was trying to finish the job that I had, which was not going very well and figure out what to do with my wedding and try to buy a house and try to get a new job. It was like the most stressful time in my life. And after I realized that what was going to have to happen. I already put like, $1,000 down on a place to like get married that I'd stick out with My mom before she died, and I forfeited my thousand dollar deposit and decided that I just didn't want to deal with all of this crap. And you know, I, I had to I had this squelch one stressor in my life. I was going to go and say, so, um, yeah, it was it was a lot with this.
I'm very sorry that you're, I mean, my mom died in January, and it was it hurts. And, I mean, at least I wasn't planning a wedding and I'm in the situation that you're describing sounds like you know, a lot like it's really a lot and, and Lee, I know that you were sort of like itinerant at the same time to when you got married. And when I got married, I had just started a new job in a new city like, and all of it and I just want to flag for our listeners. Because people always seem like really shocked by this when I tell them is like you can have the wedding that you want. Right? Like you don't have to have 400 people In a church, fish or chicken with a big reset the idea of doing that stresses you out and makes you miserable. Don't do it. Don't do it right and so the three of us for like various sort of like constitutional or neurological or circumstantial or geographic or family dynamic reasons successfully, I think opted out of the wedding industrial complex in ways that I hope each of us is able to look back on our weddings as a nice way to start our marriages right instead of like, Oh my god, like I can't believe how much money we pay for that. So like, Julie, I think forfeiting that thousand dollars was really an investment in your own mental health.
Gosh, I can I can absolutely agree with that.
Right? It was I would pay that just to get out of this obligation.
Yeah, I I had actually like never really wanted like a big wedding or anything. I said, I don't want a big wedding. I want a nice wedding. And after my mom passed away, And, you know, I had so many relatives that were getting older and I knew that everyone was gonna have to come down for my sister's wedding anyway. And I just, I was in Arkansas, my husband was in Ohio I was everyone was just everywhere. And I said, You know what? Forget this. We're gonna go to Vegas, we found a chapel that we could actually schedule and set up the entire thing online from Arkansas, which I did. Just like you described me it was like, okay, or it was like the flowers which flowers you want? Is the chapel okay? They actually and this was this is before I was diagnosed with ADHD was such a great thing that they had all these things in line. Like they actually took us by limo the day before the ceremony to go get our marriage license, taken care of there and then took us back so I didn't have to worry about that either. Oh,
Oh my god. Yes. It was perfect. They had everything. They The best, you know, we came like a day early and they chatted with us and told us everything that was going to happen and, you know, took care of everything. We picked out our music and everything ahead of time. The person who officiated The wedding was amazing, she was so sweet. And I should livestream the entire thing over the internet, which my dad did not understand. Because I don't think my dad understands what a computer is. But the greatest thing about it was that because I'd been in grad school for such a long time, all of the friends that I had made were just all over the world all over the country, there was no way that I could physically get them all to a place where I was going to have a wedding. And it not be like a massive financial struggle for everyone. So instead, I said, Hey, guys, I put like literally put the link on Facebook. I made like a Facebook event invited everybody and said, we're gonna be here at this time, show up in your jammies, whatever will be here. Write something in our guestbook. And it was like so many people every time I bring it up, I always say, Oh, that was so cool. And so a very good friend from my PhD program was kind enough to set up like a virtual bridal shower for me and everything. I was like this rocks, and it was so low stress and it was so chill. And afterwards we got our picture taken by the biggest sign and went and had dinner and it was just like the best.
Yeah, my husband and God.
Yes. And my husband got customized Air Jordans to wear and he was able to wear shorts, which I think made him happier than anything in the world. And it was just great. And your dress was gorgeous, too. I remember you
as well you
so much. I had these awesome like Kate Spade flowered shoes that I just like desperately wanted. And I was like, it's my stupid wedding. I'm gonna wear these flowered shoes. And yeah,
like, it's so interesting to know how like we've all kind of managed to magic our way into having these ceremonies that made us smile that are unconventional, like in their ways that somehow Both play to our strengths and work around like our challenges like executive function around planning a wedding. Like you could lose your mind on that, right? And I couldn't for a long time, I felt like am I supposed to want this thing that I don't want? Right? Like, should I be doing this and I felt like most people don't actually enjoy going to weddings like if you got to be honest about like, your friends from grad school don't want to like spend their like pittance to fly to wherever you are. I don't want to like subsidize your island wedding like making it. Why did you make in the middle April, which is like not a choice that they made. And I was like, both easier for me to organize the wedding that I really wanted. And it was exactly what I wanted. Right. And so, and I think I think it's really great because like I'm watching you both. When you talk about your weddings, you're you're smiling right now I want custom Air Jordans. I might as well just just put that out there for anybody. My husband's listening, right? That would be put that on the Christmas
list. Yeah, with the executive functioning Problems just with all the other cognitive load that I had at the time when trying to finish up my job trying to buy house trying to take try to participate my sister's wedding because I was in the bridal party for that. And trying to navigate the move with no money and everything else. It was like, I can't I can't Something has to end. So yeah,
yeah, we like we flew away. I remember this very discreetly, we flew way on April the 23rd. Because April, the 22nd was my grading deadline, right. So I handed all my grades from my first year on the tenure track. And then the next day, we got on an airplane, just the two of us, right. We weren't managing like 10 million relatives or whatever we like, wandered off to Jamaica and then 48 hours later because that's the residency period of time in Jamaica before you get married. We got married at 1030 in the morning on the beach, and it was like very low stress and I'd ordered a dress off the internet pick like between two colors of flowers and that was the end of it. But I don't think that like after that very intense year, first year on the tenure track, like having done this big move and like living in an apartment and we were also Have something at the same time and like, didn't have like, as my mom would say, a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of in terms of money.
Like that. I like that turn of phrase. I'm gonna use that. Yeah,
yeah, neither a pot to piss in nor a window to her nose,
like a certain type of poverty.
Right. And that felt like pretty much all I was able to do. And I'm, I'm pleased I was able to express that to people at the time. It helps that my mom was an incredibly practical person. And she was like, never wanted to say we need a big wedding. And we need to show off for this. And so like some of my capacity to listen to my own inner voice around, like, what do I want versus what do people tend to expect? I think I got that from, from my mom, who was very much like, after a certain number of years is like I'm not doing a Christmas tree anymore because I don't care. Right? Oh, all right. She's like I did that right. I don't want to do it anymore. Now I have like she had a light up. Plastic palm tree like a coconut palm like you would see it like one of those like fake Tiki Bar kind of installation things and she's like, we're going to Florida after Christmas. I want like a laid up palm tree and that's gonna be our Christmas tree and like All right, cool. Yeah, do you? Right? Yeah, I guess I thought that I got that from her. And I would definitely encourage all of our ADHD listeners, maybe you're not planning a wedding. But there's a lot of events that you get to plan a lot of things that you get to decide and you can decide to not do them. Right, you can decide that, that it you will authentically generally be happier. If you recognize your own limitations and desires, then you would be by really forcing yourself to try to meet other people's expectations around both what you should want, and what you should be able to produce. Right. Like we always think somehow that we're wrong and broken and that if we could just do it the right way that other people seem to like to do it, if we do it that way that we will be happy because other people will be happy. But normally when we try that, like I don't know about you, but normally like I fail, and I'm miserable, right? Yeah. So yeah, generally applicable to most life situations where you may not feel like you have a choice about what you get to do what you actually do.
Oh gosh, that resonates so much with me. Especially you were mentioning you know, Christmas trees Christmas was another one of those things that so like I hate Christmas and I hated Christmas for a long time because the the commercialism and that I always refer to Christmas was wore on America is like one of the things that I don't the major thing I don't care for about it. But my mom loves Christmas and put up a tree and make Christmas really beautiful for everyone not just in my family but our extended family as well wrote handwritten beautiful Christmas cards every year. And and I respected her local Christmas. Absolutely. But it was just not something I wanted. I remember her saying all the time. When you have your own house in your own household, you can do whatever you want. But after she passed away, there was no one to kind of pick up that timekeeping thing and I tried to do it myself, but I just I was not like her and that I couldn't keep all that stuff straight and remember what relatives were here and do all of the Christmas stuff and like have like $150 to spend on all these cards and send them out when you know I'm on a salary that reflected, you know, a massive cross country move a wedding, a new, a newly bought house and you know, all this other stuff the same time and two years ago, I eventually just was like, I'm not doing this anymore. I felt terribly guilty for a while, but I just I just couldn't do it. And I i think i it took me a while to kind of accept it in myself that I I'm not like her. It's okay. I'm allowed to hate Christmas. I don't have to be like, you know, belligerent about it, but people should not expect me to be like my mom. And if I expect me to be like my mom, that's a problem too.
I mean, it's Some kind of really. I mean, maybe this is why so many women get diagnosed ADHD in adulthood is because we reach a certain age and you like get married. And then all of a sudden, like, you not only have to remember the birthdays of all of your own family members, but somehow you have to remember. I mean, if you're in a heterosexual marriage, you have to remember the birthdays of all of your husband's relatives, right. Like, I don't know why it was my job to remind my husband to call his parents, right, like I'm not constitutionally suited to that kind of detail tracking endlessly repetitive series of like, birthday cards, and I love all these people. I love them. You know, half the time, I would not get my mom her Mother's Day card on time, not because I don't love her but because I'm really bad at doing the series of tasks that involve like purchasing a card, right remembering what her postal code is locating or purchasing a stamp when the stores are open, and then managing to get it into a mailbox with enough notice so that it will get to North Bay. Before the date, like that's a number of things, none of which I'm good at. Doesn't mean I don't love the people. Right. But I think it was like those things where I was like not really able to take on that, you know, not in not in a Kris Jenner sense like the momager right. I'm the manager of the household and all of the details. So it was not just like, you know, trying to remember to pay the bills all the time. But it was also like, having to remember the people that cards need to get sent to and when their birthdays are and people's anniversaries and somebody sent us a thing so we should send them a thing back and always having like stuff in the house to bring to people's places for you know, hostess gifts and stuff and like a struggle.
Exhausted just listening to this. I'm like, Oh, god, that's a nightmare. I actually wrote about that. I want to say recently, but ADHD time, maybe it was two years ago at this point. Who knows? But but that like in the lineage of like my grandmother to my mother to me, there was this, you know it the paper calendar, and so every year this sort of what you do is you take the paper calendar off of the refrigerator and then you take the next year's calendar and you transcribe all of the events and dates into that calendar. And that's like you're sort of until you keep track so I get these texts used to be emails now it's text from my mother asked me Do you know what day it is today?
And I'm like, nope,
nope. And I feel bad because it's like, sometimes they're they're some of them are like a dates that I'm like, this is when you're great. This is the day your great grandmother passed away or this is I'm like, Look, I like if she died when I was like five I don't like I have very few memories. Like I I get that these are important, but you know, and then I then I feel bad when say it's the date where my grandmother or my grandfather passed away, which is you know, a very emotional for my mom but emotional emotional for me too. I miss them tremendously. But it's also like, I don't have that written on my calendar. Right and like, I don't it's not one of those things where I'm setting my clock by it, you know, and I get that there are certain moments, which I do like I, you know, but, but, but also that's not me like, I'm not the one who's going to take that calendar and sit down every year I'm going to get to like February and be like, oh God, forget it like it doesn't like it'll, we'll figure it out. Somebody will shame me into like sending a card at one point or another. Um, and it just, you know, so yes, that that too, right? Like, you know, like, we'll remember Christmas because again, every you know, there's enough external reminders for Christmas that we get that, um, you know, but, but like, it took us Oh, gosh, it took my husband and I, up until last year, and we're about to come up on our 15th as well to remember, because every year we have a nice we every year, it's our niece's birthday and every year we're like, How old is she turning again? What year was she when she was born the same year we were married. It took us till two years ago to make that connection and be like, Oh, so well, however many years we've been married, that's how old she's turning on her birthday. Oh, what? 13 years. So it's 13 years to figure that out. Like, it's just like
I have really struggled with that. I mean, I have really struggled with that. Because what I'm always afraid of is like, I don't want to do that stuff. Like, I don't expect people to like do stuff for my birthday. Like the people. I want to do stuff for my birthday. I'm going to tell them, right, and it's my husband. I'm like, it's my birthday. It's my birthday all week. I'm gonna be super nice to me all week, right? That's what I want. I'm not expecting like friends to send me cards and stuff. And sometimes if I'm being perfectly honest, when they do, I feel like I'm a bad person, because I just know I'm not gonna send them a card. It doesn't mean I don't love them. I do. Right. My love for them is proportionate to the guilt I feel whenever you're I fail to reciprocate. Yeah, he's gestures of social lubrication, right? I cannot do that. And I have like, you know, in my sort of less self aware autistic past I have said that people could you know, buy me things, because I love you, but I'm never gonna buy you things. So I feel bad when you give me things, because I'm not going to reciprocate and I don't want you like, but people find that weird. Like, these are my expectations. I do not expect you to do this for me because I cannot do it for you. Right?
And, and some people I mean, I guess that's how you tell who's going to understand you're not like some people like alright, that's cool. Or they like I just like to get you things like I know who you are, right? And you're gonna randomly pick me something at some point, apropos of nothing cool. Or maybe you never will. But when I put out like a weird tweet, and I'm crying about something, you're going to come there and be there for four hours for me. And that's true, right? It's the slot machine. You never know when I'm what's going to come up right. So sometimes I'm available to do this stuff for people, but I'm never going to run according to the clock where I can remember, like somebody's wedding anniversary like I don't care Like really I care about the people like I just honestly don't see where the attachment of a of a relationship to a specific date is like the test that you have to pass in order to be a good daughter, or good wife or a good friend because like, I really struggle with that. And I think I've developed even some sort of pathological demand avoidance around stuff like obligations to get things for people's birthdays, of the people that I really, really love. Because I'm like, what they want, I have to order like three weeks in advance, because it's getting shipped from this place, then I go, and it's like, Ah, man, like, you start flapping my hands and I have a good cry, and then I have a nap. And then I don't do it. And then I'm mad. Right. So yeah, that's something I struggle with. And I think that's like, partially like a question of humanism for me, which is difficult part of it is executive function. And part of it is this gendered expectation that all women are going to be the ones that get the thoughtful gifts for people whose birthdays they have marked on the calendar. Yeah,
yeah, we can't do it.
Yeah, I think in a lot of ways, my mom, before she passed away, was kind of helping me to human more like a non ADHD person, because she would I remember, you know, doing this all through my childhood and into my, you know, young adulthood and later, it's all good, I guess I would say, you know, she would say, okay, we're going to sit down and write thank you notes to these relatives for your gifts. Or we're going to sign a card for grandma or she would, you know, remind me a couple of weeks before my grandmother's birthdays, like, okay, your grandma's birthday is in a couple of weeks. You know, don't forget to get her card. And then she would always tell me, make a list, make a list, make a list of things to do. And I have always kept to that kind of coping strategy, just making lists all the time like to do list or something that I've like never moved out of my life organization.
I have Around me right now. Oh yeah, I've had written to do lists. Oh, dude, I know.
I eventually switched to like doing it I have to do is right now, which is my app that I like because yeah, there's there's some reasons why like, Oh, I love it. I love it. I'm starting to do actually I'm starting to do more, like little yellow note isn't helpful. This is one of my work. This is one of my lists, one of my whiteboards one of four whiteboards I have in my area here. I mean, it's it's, yeah, you know, people want listening.
If you can hear things crashing around. It's because on the zoom call, the three of us can see each other. We're all like rifling around our desks, picking up our lists and showing them to each other. So the little exclamations of like, Oh, yeah, I love it. Or like, here's my whiteboard. clunk, clunk, clunk. We're actually like, looking delightedly at each other.
So we should like attach a screenshot of like all of us holding up our list like totally,
totally do that. Maybe We can do that while we're not recording so that people don't have to listen to us.
No, no, we're going to do it now while we're recording because I'm going to run out of time at the end and we're not going to do it. And then we're not going to have it. So we are currently on my yellow stickies. Amy has her bullet journal. Julie has her whiteboard. All right, good. I'll get
that. No, that's gonna be that's gonna be shot for the blog post. Like, let me tell
I could also just edit this part out as well, right? Like I have that power.
hour our conversation was like, you snap your fingers and it disappears. It disappears except I always forget I have that power. And I'm just like,
leave it in there.
So totally. You're saying your mom helped you with stuff like now we're gonna do this and now we're going to do that and I'm like, both embarrassed to say but also feel like I should give her props. My sister Just this for me now my sister will be like, Amy, if we're going to order the flowers from the place that delivers we need to do by this time or like, Amy if you're going to get a lawn service this year you need to book it by this time I'm booking mine would you like me to book it for you to like? Yes.
Well, you know, I don't know why
he stole my sister because like, I don't honestly don't see what she gets out of this relationship. order one for me too. And then I forget to transfer her the money for like six months. I always do but just like Amy, can you send me the money? I'm like, Yes, thank you for doing all these things for me. And now I can't even repay you in a timely fashion because I am a trash fire of a human being. You're not a trash for every human being and he
loves him. Well, there's something like there is also the people who are really good at this and this makes them feel good. Right? Like it feels good to help you. Right? It feels good to do Christmas. Right? And yeah, the sort of the the keeper it feels Yeah, Vegas feels good. Like it We talked about this last time it takes all types, right? And so like if you can find a way to play to your strengths and find somebody who, you know, it plays to their strengths and their strengths help you but your strengths, help them in other ways, then that's perfect. And if it happens to be your sister even better,
yeah. Interesting. Yeah, good.
Well, she sat in my driveway literally for half an hour this morning, because we're going to go to the garden center for 7am but I didn't sleep last night. And then I passed out hard at 6am. So she had to wake up my husband because my phone was on Do Not Disturb to come and wake me up. Half an hour late while she sat in my driveway. And then I staggered out of the house. And she waited for me so she is like an A plus human being. Because she was like, Oh, we were just reading our phones. We okay.
Yeah, same thing I would have been doing if I had been at home just in the car instead, right?
Yeah. My sister I remember the one time we went on vacation together when we after my mom had passed away. I she came down to visit me where I I was living in Arkansas, we drove to New Orleans. And I was like trying to I was in like tow Big Sister mode. And I was like, I'm going to show her this awesome time. And, you know, I've got booked us a nice like hope like historic Hotel in the French Quarter and everything. And because like Amy and and Leah, I'm wondering if you're a part of this, like, I can't sleep either. I've always had trouble sleeping. Yeah. My you know, total shifting of when I'm able to sleep. So I couldn't fall asleep till you know for I am one night, which meant that I wasn't awake until, you know, almost 1130 at night and or 1130 in the morning and my sister was super pissed at me, because she wanted to go she wanted to walk to cafe du monde and get big A's and coffee. And I was like, why don't you wake me up and she looked at me. She said
you're an adult.
You're an adult. Sorry.
For em, like as if I had control over Yeah. Go to sleep. Just go just go to sleep.
I've struggled. I've struggled financially since I was a child. Oh, yeah, yeah, absolutely.
I don't like discovering like, Billy Eilish is the patron saint of chronic insomnia X ray, like she's got all these lines about sleeping and all of her songs and the one I'm grooving on right now is like, if I could go to sleep, I would have slept by now. Right? Like, it would have like, honestly, like I woke up. The reason I was late today is because 645 is the earliest I've had to leave the house in some time. And normally I don't even get up until 730. So I went to bed, my regular time. And I was very nervous about making sure that I got enough sleep and I fell asleep. But then my brain woke me up. Yeah, I was asleep. Like it woke me up at two and then I was up until 530. Right and so like people like, you know, don't worry so much. I'm like, Look, I was unconscious. Like, I was literally not aware of what I was thinking because I was unconscious, right? So like when your panic attacks wake you up. In the middle of the night, right? That's your brain, right? That's not like try some deep breathing. I'm like, bitch, I was deep breathing. Right. I was asleep.
When people say, Don't think so much don't hurry. Yeah,
yeah, we talked about this. Kelly. Yeah, we talked about this with Kelly as well. It's just like, we would if we could like this is not I'm not being spiteful to like the general population like I would much I would. I mean, it's not even about fitting in. It's just like, I would like sleep. I enjoy sleeping. I enjoy how I feel after a full eight to 10 hours of sleep at night. You know, I am not like this isn't?
Yeah, I don't want to lay awake at 430 in the morning. Yeah. I don't want to be awake at 430 in the morning when I have to teach a class at 9am and I have an hour commute. Like, that's not that doesn't like give me a buzz or whatever. Like I just I hate it and every hour I'm laying in my bed unable to sleep. I'm screaming inside my head. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah. Not good. Okay. Do some yoga or something.
Oh, yeah. Let me do that. Yeah. Oh, great. Great.
Yeah, I am just, it's interesting that you had mentioned
trying to go back to what I was doing before. It's interesting that you would mention, you know, the way that our brains respond to different things. One thing that as I mentioned, I'm professor in business school. And one of the things that we that our program that I'm in does is we have a students take the HB di, assessment, self assessment, it's the Herman brain. Diagnostic something or other I can't think of any of it is yes instrument back. And it basically, I took it so long ago as faculty that I don't exactly remember everything. But I did learn because one of my students pointed out to me he's like better at interpreting those things. And I was that my brain stresses green, which means that when I am stressed out, instead of being creative and social, I get a lot more organizationally minded. So he said, Oh, you stress green, you must make list when you're stressed out. And I looked at him and I was like, I don't like that you notice about me? You immediately knew this about me looking at a piece of paper, but it was, after I, you know, was able to discover that a little bit about myself. I was like, Oh, God, and I had all these visions flashing through my mind all the times that I was on the phone with my mom during grad school crying, Okay, I get it all done. And she'd be like, make a list, make a list and then I would go make a list. Or I would be freaking out about something so bad that I would just stop and turn around and organize a drawer, you know, or something like that, or I was the stress was too much and I would tear everything out of a bookcase and dust it off and reorganize it.
Well, this is actually this is very, very common like so. Like Leah and I were talking about episode in season one about like, the the neurological difference attached to ADHD is like insufficient dopamine, right? Which means like, you're kind of pathologically bored all the time. And it's really hard. It's like you're stuck in deep mud, and it's just really, really hard to get going. But when you're panicked, or stressed, really stressed about something, it kind of like gooses, your adrenal system enough that your dopamine channels go back to normal. This is how stimulant medication works as well, too, right? It lifts you out of that pathological boredom. And then what sounded before in your head like so much static that was preventing you from doing it. Anything in moments of great stress, or amphetamine medication suddenly becomes a kind of clarity where you can get things done apparently that's how other people feel like all the time, right? So people with ADHD often like remark that they don't that cocaine makes them calm, right? But it's another one of those to me. Let me try that real quick. A neurological stimulant, right like OPERS, which tend to lift neurotypical people into a kind of really driven mania that's like out of control horse that they're trying to not get thrown by. For neurodivergent people, Eg people in particular tends to produce a state of calm right where the artist is installing anymore, where you can go, right so there's this kind of paradoxical relation to like stimulating situations where like, you kind of like okay, now I can focus right, everybody else is like running around like their own ponytails are on firing, you know, let's get this done. Now. I'm finally ready. Right or you take this like very powerful kind of like legal stimulants or legal simians, you're like, I actually feel
calm again, right? We're
really different about the brain there, right?
I'm remembering a time of think like maybe about eight or nine months ago where my husband was away from work for the night. I had nothing to do so I like played the Marshall Mathers EP like, over and over, and like, tore everything out off of my desk and my walls and like, cleaned it and rearranged it and everything and that whole time I felt like the flow state. Yeah, you know that. Like oh, wow. So like, heavy music. Anger cleaning. This is good. Yeah, this music do anything for you to like, what for me? Like I've always Yeah, for me. I've always had to have something with a beat. Yes. You feel like I could concentrate not necessarily vocals, but Like, I've always liked dance music and that was something that was like super uncool to say, you know, when I was growing up, but now that you know, EDM and everything is big, and I'm learning more about it, it's easier to find stuff. I read recently that, you know, ADHD people feel like they can focus when they hear beats, even heavier beats, and I absolutely feel that way.
Yeah, I do too. It's like it organizes, right, it gives like in tracks, where things can kind of like shoot forward. I listened a lot. I'm like a big fan of 80s like new romantic and new wave music, which is very sort of stuff repeating loop very heavy like and I also love like early industrial music, you know, stuff like Kraftwerk and ministry and stuff is like very, like thump, thump, thump, repetitive, and then I can just like move like sometimes I put music on still so that I can motivate myself to get in the shower. And like,
Yeah, it's like songs for marching. Right like, there's
That work songs because
they give your brain something to do and they also provide a rhythm that allows you to kind of like move your body in pace with that instead of like it's a kind of like external rotation or like an external structure for movement where you are sort of like, left hand right hand stand up, get in the shower, like what it's too complicated. It's less complicated when music is playing, right?
Well, I play music throughout my house all the time, like I have Sonos speakers and pretty much all the rooms that I would ever do work in including the kitchen and playing music in the kitchen helps me to get the dishes done and it helps me to do tasks that are repetitive like chopping and you know, it also helps for like you say, like, you know, getting in the shower, taking care of brushing my teeth and also sleeping like if I know my husband is a wonderful person, but he does not have the same kind of neurological issues that I do. So for him, he likes to have some thing a little more staticky and calm for sleeping but it like I could sleep to
really not like really loud industrial music, but I could sleep to like a chilled beach. Man, that would be ideal, but I don't think he can.
Yeah, well, and that's, I was I was always everybody was always amazed at me growing up that I would be reading and listening and singing along to music while I read. And they're like, God, I know you're doing and I'm, like, I'm reading. They're like, how and I'm like, I don't know. And same thing, like I know. And this is again, I have my argument was always and it's probably true, but it was like, I need something to occupy this part of my brain. And it's singing along with the lyrics while I do this other thing which is read or write or study. So it's got to be music with lyrics because I can't do not lyrics. And it's got to be music that I know well, because if it's a new song, then my brain will automatically turn its attention to learning the lyrics of the song even if I don't want to. So like it's got to be okay these so I have my playlist. So I have playlist that is like, I know No, these songs like the back of my hand, I know the order that the songs are in. It's predictable. It's got the rhythm that I like, I know what I work best with all of them. I could sing along to every single one of them in the back of my head or under my breath while I'm writing or while I'm reading or while I'm grading. You know, so yeah, I mean, I've always, you know, music, and we grew up I like, I don't actually I admitted this and Jamie's asked me She's like, Did you find any other good ADHD podcasts? I'm like, I don't like podcasts. But just because, well, I grew up and this might have been like, just the coping mechanism that that we sort of figured out is that I've never liked talk radio. I've never liked talk television. And so growing up in our house, we always had it on music radio stations. Now there is a lot of talking in the morning, but it's still so the radios were always on. They were always on loud. And it was always on stations that prioritize music like you know, over most other things. It wasn't like morning talk radio. It was like Yeah, okay, there's the morning and circus but like, there's A lot of music. That would be what we'd get through. And I, you know, and again, you grow up you think that's normal numbers like no, we watch talk TV or Morning Morning radio, talk radio, and I'm like, oh god, why?
Like, what are you? It's funny I received a CBC Radio One, right, which is like the national broadcaster in Canada. And it's like fairly high quality programming. And the morning shows are like interviews. And I like it. I like it's like having people to listen to it's like being in a conversation. And I tend to get bored when the music starts because I'm going to silly play or here's a Canadian band that everybody should know. But I'm like,
like the longest three minutes of acoustic guitar of my life. I'm so bored. But yeah, I do like listening to music and like some of those ways I feel I suggest you it's kind of like a stim right so like autistic people stim because it is a kind of structured activation of a sensory response that allows for other parts to get calm, right. Like, you know, feel like you're, you're to jigger Jagger, if you'd like start moving your hands around in a certain rhythmic way, it produces a kind of resonance in your own body that allows you to focus on the thing that you want to focus on without the distraction of the environment, overwhelming you and so listening to music, I think is is a kind of stim in that it's seeking out a particular sensory experience in order to be able to accomplish a goal that does not seem to be possible without that sensory experience.
Yeah, I think that's different for everyone too, because as you were saying, You grew up in a house where there was lots of music and not a lot of talk, you know, and then Amy said, Oh, that's the opposite. I'd like to hear the talk and not you know, really so much in the music I grew up in the house with the TV was on almost like 24 hours a day. And I could not deal with it because every time the television is on, that's where my attention goes. And so I can't like be in a room with the TV on and be trying to talk to people in the room. Yeah. Like my mother in law and my husband who we all live together like will be like watching the Food Network or something. And my husband and my mother in law be having a conversation and like I'm they'll ask me questions, but I can't hear them because even though I'm maybe not all that interested in the show, it's occupying everything like it's 100% of my face.
He is so
yeah, basically hyperstimulating like if you look at this from like, the 80s even they seem incredibly slow, right? Like we have a cut every like one to two seconds. And most television shows now and ads are worse and it's like bright lights, quick movement, loud music, I find it completely overwhelming. I can't hear myself. I know when TV is on like my house where I grew up. You had to ask permission to turn the TV on right and then and it was in the living room and usually the answer was no. Right. People are trying to talk Or people are trying to read or people are trying to like live their lives without the assault of like commercial television. And, and I can't say on TV, like I'm always looking for the spot in the airport where you can hear the TV. Like, what did
I have found that spawned the Atlanta airport because it's like CNN
corner Oh worse like I have all my favorite non favorite airports for like not being able to get away from the noise and like I have switched dentists because one dentist I went to there was a TV in every single room and you couldn't get away from it. And I don't want that like it was like loud and scratchy. Or like, you know, you'd go into a store and they're like, like playing some top 40 radio, but like it's not tuned right? So it's like, all the time. I'm like, I would rather die and spend one more
night I'm like, Yeah, I have turned off the TV in waiting rooms before. Oh, bless you. You're like, if I'm the only one in there and it's on I'll turn it off. I can't like you're crazy.
Like Could you turn them off? Maybe they're like what? The TV turn off the
I know, does it I think Yeah, I have a really hard time with television because and with movies too, because I have to. It has to be the only thing I'm paying attention to are all get lost. podcasts are the same way. Like my husband and I now have kind of like a routine where we listen to podcasts every night before you go to bed. And we'll be laying in bed and we'll both be playing video games while we're listening to podcasts. But then sometimes, it'll be a dramatic podcast. And while we're listening to it, and I'm trying to play my game, he's trying to play his game. He'll also talk to me at the same time and I lose everything like no no hope you like what you think that podcast Don't be like, I'm sorry, I got lost halfway through like, I don't know, you know? Yeah. And it's I'm sure it's frustrating for him because he's always been able to compartmentalize like all the different stimuli that kind of go into his his realms of thought like he can sit in front of the television and grade 40 papers. No, I could not know a guy. Yeah, I can. Always Yeah, I think I like wrestling because, um, you know, you can, it's very stimulating, but also like, you can look away from it and look back and there's not like a narrative that you necessarily have to follow. So for me, it's like excellent energy.
Yeah, no, I feel that way. Like, I'm so thankful I didn't have to grade because I you know, I'm not faculty anymore, at least not full time faculty. And be, thank goodness because there's no hockey season because now my brain is like wired that I grade during hockey playoffs, and that again, is sort of the perfect way to it's almost like I'm almost just listening to it. I might as well just be listening to it on the radio, right? Because it's like it's on in the background. And I know that when they start talking like this that I should look up, but other than that, just like in the puck and then the ice and then the whistles and it's sort of like the other the other one that I would that I always enjoyed working to is tennis because they Because everybody's very quiet and like Wimbledon is like, you know the nice little polite applause that golf to like you could listen to tennis is a little bit more action cough was hard like at least tennis there was like the rhythm of the ball going back and forth and the certain expectation of like, okay about every 45 seconds someone's gonna mess up and then they'll have to reset and everything like that and but it's like, you know
I'm kind of obsessed with the noise that the tennis balls make.
The teenage tennis ball makes a great noise. I could just listen to that forever.
Yeah, exciting things I can. There's certain things I can do while watching wrestling. Like sometimes, since we've been in quarantine. One of the wrestling TV services that we have because we have more than one because we're a wrestling household and I'm a wrestling fanatic. Nice. I'll I'll prop up my iPad with the wrestling with like independent wrestling television up and watch a match. While I have my two other screens in front Cuz I have a external monitor and my laptop. And I'll be like entering homework grades and stuff like that and doing stuff that for me is like, very repetitive. Yeah, but I have to do it. And I can do that. And there's a lot of it I have to do because I have a pretty heavy teaching load. And you have tons of homework and everything, but I can do that while I watch a match. And I can, you know, I can have all of those, you know, in front of me, but I couldn't do that. I couldn't grade papers that way. Like if I'm grading papers, like I, my mind has to be. There has to be the narrative. The narrative has to be here. Like, you know, it can't be on the screen in front of me.
Does that make sense? Yeah, no, no, because I cannot do repetitive tasks like that, like entering grades in silence because my brain is like it like you were saying, Our brains are naturally bored and then you give it something boring to do and like I might as well just yeah, so Yeah exactly the same thing when it comes time for the repetitive tasks then all have Deadliest Catch is my sort of like guilty pleasure for reality. Oh, yeah, no, I know I love it. Watching Jake grow up for the past like 15 years. So I'll have like something like Deadliest Catch on or you know, maybe hockey I can grade two but like some, some other form or like again, louder, faster music because just entering in grades like I can't, like if I don't have something that I like going on at the same time. I cannot do the thing that I hate
that I like that too. And like Julie as well in that like I can grade homeworks or I can like do the little things that kind of repetitive tasks and like batch up my emails and stuff like that, when listening to things and it's better when I'm listening to things but if I'm going to start to read something a little bit more complicated either I get very very annoyed at any noise that's happening anywhere in my environment, including music that I myself have chosen or Just like lead shield drops down over my head, and I can't hear anything anymore. Like, like in my family like when I was quite famous as a child in my family for being in the middle of our open concept, main floor and people would be standing 10 feet in front of me calling my name and I wouldn't hear them because oh yeah, same with me like saying once I get in the zone, like you could change my music wouldn't notice. Right. But to like ease yourself into that zone is a kind of like a little bit of magic either way, like, I need to listen to the music to get started. But as soon as I'm actually in it, I need the music to turn off right away, or am I going to lose my mind or like, you can like call my name if you want but it feels like I'm 200 feet underwater, you know, exploring a cave and you like just knocked on my diving helmet. I was completely surprised by that like, so there's like a kind of like having to goose yourself with like, stimulus in order to get the boring stuff done. But then this amazing capacity to like kind of completely fall into the flow so hard. You're like in an alternate dimension where stimulus can't reach you anymore. And I love that,
too. I used to tell students like these are things I I discovered about myself in the years leading up to my diagnosis, which I was only diagnosed about two years ago. But when I was working on my dissertation and stuff, and I really can say that I really started to understand. I've been in higher education for like, 17 years, almost. I don't think I really started to understand writing until maybe like five years ago, you know, five or six years ago. Don't Don't tell me. But like, I can't take it back. Yeah, that's true. That is taken. I make it back a notch. It's on the wall over here. You can't get it. Yeah. I used to tell my students like, everyone has this time to suck. Like everyone has this suck time at the beginning of their writing. What if you struggle with getting started with writing like I do. There's going to be a moment at the beginning of your writing process every time it doesn't matter how experienced you are, or how much you've coached yourself through it or how much you Want to write if you don't want to write, there's going to be a time at the beginning of the process where it's just going to feel like hell. I actually told my mom once that it felt like someone was trying to drown me. I would fight that hard against it. Mm hmm. And, you know, she didn't quite understand what that meant. But yeah, try because she was a good mom. And I started telling my students that I said, if this is what you feel like, you have to remind yourself every time that there's going to be that however many minutes it is where it feels like you're going to drown. If you can anticipate that and get through it and just keep going, you'll get to the side where it's a flow state where it's better where it's okay. And I always tell them, like, it doesn't matter if you have to remind yourself of that every time because I do. It doesn't mean you're mad. It doesn't mean you're dumb. It means that this is just what you have to do to get writing and, yeah, you know, one of the biggest,
I think that lifts us like kind of right back around to where we started. Which was like our weddings, which were unique to us, but also shared a common trait among them was that we had to know who we were as to successfully planning her own weddings. And I think what you're describing about the writing process is very much the same too, is that you have to actually shut out the noise of what people say, writing should feel like, or what you assume that writing should feel like or writing should look like, or whatever writing process is meant to be. And actually tune in to your own kind of experience. And know like, this is something I tell myself when I write to like, Oh, me, like when you get to this part, you always have the existential dread and the desire to quit your entire life. But that's just that lasts about a week, and then you get through it. Like every time it happens every time. But like, there's not a book that's going to tell me that that's going to happen, right? I had to learn that about myself. And then I had to trust myself enough to know that that's what writing is for me. Right? Even if I didn't write a book about writing with ADHD,
I would miss all my deadlines,
but Oh, yeah, totally.
When I actually get it. It'll be great.
I would get like real hyped up on planning it out. And I'd Make this cool outline and everything and then I'd never write anything.
So I would word vomit. And then I would be like, it's done and it's perfect. And then somebody would have to be like, we're gonna edit this and I'm like, okay, that's, that's the thing I had to learn about myself with writing is that writing for me actually comes fairly easily. But I was so attached to it for the longest time and I only got good at this again, like a couple years ago to understand it. Like it was physically painful for me to see someone criticize and like not even criticize, edit my writing, right? It was physically painful for me. And because it was so personal, right, it was just so much like I was a writer, and this is what I did. And I was and then toe to have any sort of any sort of feedback was just like, devastating. Like I just couldn't, I would fall apart every time just like this wrecked. So now I've almost gone too far in the other direction where I'm just like I write something and then I'm like do whatever you want with it I'm cool edited all you want because like I you know I apparently have no idea what how my own writing is or sounds so like personal growth Lee
yeah but I'd like it would be nice if there was like a middle ground where I was like oh please um you know yeah I know there's no middle ground we have a Bombay it's much more therapy we all need more therapy to find a way to not be all or nothing will get there I
have to tell you one more thing before I go that Now you mentioned like pain and physical pain about it I have to tell you this when I was writing my dissertation, which is like the ultimate project of doom for someone who struggles with writing in the way I struggle with writing like getting started
like how did we all die?
But we did it like it's so it out writing
concertation is like, you don't know what the fuck you're writing until you're like, two thirds of the way through it. Yeah. And then it starts to make sense but that first you know, two thirds of it is like starting over every day. Yeah, and trusting that you get there so, and it was so hard for me to get through that drowning period, you know, and I would start myself over a million times. So I actually ended up doing this. I take a thumbtack with the point facing up to my delete key I shit you not I did this because I would go through and I would try to write like the perfect sentence and then I would delete but I found that I could get into the writing zone faster if I just kept writing so deleting.
That's probably like a function of me being a poet and like everything had is like the the craziest thing I've ever heard and I love it. It's like you divine. Oh god. therapy for yourself.
Oh, God. Yeah. And I remember telling my mom about it. She was like, you know, whatever works. I told my story. Students about it. I tell my students stories all the time about like how terrible my writing processes so that they can feel their writing processes better like one time. One story I always tell them is that this is how bad my executive functioning is. in grad school, I had to write a book review. And I missed the deadline for this one. I'm a PhD student like you're not supposed to miss deadlines when you're a PhD student and the teacher will force was my professor was my dissertation advisor. And the second time I've asked her for a second fucking extension on a book review a book review for Christ's sake. And I just was in utter hell over the whole thing. And I remember because we were using AOL Instant Messenger at the time my now husband said you're having so much trouble with your your book review. I said, I don't know what I'm gonna do. He said, Well, what's
like, what's the book about?
You know, I didn't read it, what's what's in the introduction, and I would
Scott is this he
said, Okay, well, what do you say after that, like, what's the next step? And I finally end up typing them enough sentences that he copied and pasted the messages and send it back to me and said, Here's your first paragraph. Yeah. And I think that, yeah,
my husband manages me like that all the time to He's like, yeah, so about this problem while he's taking voice memos. He's like, they're salted. Like,
I hate that every time I tell them, like whatever it takes. I always tell them that my friend did that for me. And they say, Oh, that's a good friend. I said, Yeah, he was such a good friend that I married him.
Yeah. Yeah, well, I I've been telling so I've been says, of course, Amy and I are pretty open about having ADHD in this move to online has been so difficult for students with ADHD in universities. And so I've had people reach out to me and be like, is can you talk to my students or like, you know, this one student is really He's struggling, do you think, you know what can I help them with or, or whatever. And so I've been starting to say like, voice, you know, like, just do the voice recognition. Just talk it out, right? Yeah, record it. Do, you know, upload it to otter AI and we'll take a transcript of it or you know, do automatic voice to text or, you know, one of them. One shared with me, she's like, well, I just like writing everything out by hand. I said, Great. Write it out by hand, and then speak it to you know, the voice transcriber and got it into your Google doc and then and then you can edit it and you get all the great things and you can speak it while you're doing other things like you can speak while you're biking and you can you know, speak it while you're at work playing Yeah, drive, driving to work or playing
Candy Crush, like like we're gonna drive anywhere. Now. Julie, don't tease us about leaving the house.
I know. I know. I drove to the drugstore today, guys.
Go to the garden
to the drugstore to get my Adderall.
Yes. Because they won't mail it. They won't make
a schedule one. Yeah,
yeah, exactly. I can't get anything else any of the other medication mail but for the ADHD medication I gotta go to Hell yeah. To the health center. And and be like, Thankfully though, but this is when we start getting, you know, this is when we start getting into these ideas like why couldn't this be this way all the time? Because my my HMO is like, Okay, well, we'll give you 90 days of things. And I'm like, Oh, thank god finally. Yeah.
Awesome. I wish I had 90 days of Adderall. But they are
the opposite in Ontario. Right now. They're limiting everybody to 30 days supplies of stuff. And I'm like, you have no idea. You have just like tripled my capacity to forget to come get this renewed like acetone, and then I have to wait. And then I have to go and get it. No, right. Yeah, no, no, exactly. The more I have to do that the more likely it is that I'm going to make a catastrophic error there. So I'm glad you could get 90 days worth of stuff. I used to get 60 days, but now I only get 30 days. I'm like now that's twice as many opportunities for me to forget to refill my prescription.
And then and then have to wait five days. Yeah. Well, thank you so much.
Really appreciate it was
such a pleasure. Oh, my goodness. I could share. Yes.
You both all day and thank you so much for this podcast. When I heard that Lee was doing it, I it was not too long after that. I got my diagnosis and listening to it. It was like the first time I felt so many things about myself resonating with other people in ways that I didn't really have anybody to talk to about. So you guys have been a wonderful lifeline for me and I love this podcast and everything you do has been just awesome. I'm your biggest fan. Thank you so much.
I'm so glad you could come in that makes me I'm so happy that I'm sorry did you say that? Oh? Oh, can I
say it with you? Yes.
Oh every time you say that on the podcast Amy I like singing along when
I'm so glad it's like a terrible tick and I can't stop doing it and I'm annoying to myself but I cannot
stop just thinking about hyperbole and a half you know?
It's just like actually, guys.
I'm back. Yeah.
I would love to thank you.
So I have to improve my makeup and personal grooming game. You're gonna come back on because like you look amazing today with like your beautiful shirt and like your skin looks amazing. And I'm like, are you a middle aged woman wearing
I got pink hair too. Oh my god. I love my hair and quarantined I did okay on the Andre my hairstyles will be proud of me but I did not even wear that much makeup today. I had a full face on yesterday but I've not worn very much in look. So A team that I knew,
and I mean that in a good way.
Yeah. I'm glad that we all kind of have pinkish hair and yeah, I would love to help anybody with makeup at any time.
So, okay, we're gonna do a makeup episode later rightly.
Yes, sure. Okay, yeah.
Okay. All right. So take care everyone. Thank you for listening, and we'll see you next week.