everyone welcome to another episode of our little podcast that could all the things ADHD. Oh, the the things. We do it yes we do. I'm one of your co hosts Lee Skallerup Bessette
and I am another one of your co hosts, Amy hope Morrison finally got a good night of sleep is returning to human status. Oh lujah still completely forgot about this recording session, but did not cry.
Yeah, so look, as I said, those of you who may not live on the east coast of Canada and United States and East Coast, I guess I mean, Eastern because you're not on the coast or in Ontario. But anyways, it snowed it is it is to currently April 19. And it snowed which is not out of the ordinary for northeastern United States, but still will throw you for a loop. Yeah, just you know.
Yes, we're used to being disappointed like this. I guess we have experienced what in Canada we call false spring and the spring of deception right where you think like, Oh, finally, I must be done with this. But we never are. Yeah, never our
hope nobody planted anything important. But anyway, so confusion is warranted. It's a April's a confusing month. It's just maybe it'll snow maybe you can go to the beach. Who knows? knows, knows nose. Alright, so today we are going to talk about boredom.
Sure we are. Yeah, it's I don't know if you know this about boredom, Li. But Wikipedia defines boredom. I'd read you the opening of the Wikipedia page. In conventional usage. Boredom is an emotional and occasionally psychological state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do is not interested in their surroundings, or feels that a day or period is dull or tedious. There we go. There is no universally accepted definition of boredom. But whatever it is, research argues it is not simply another name for depression, or apathy. It seems to be a specific mental state that people find unpleasant, a lack of stimulation that leaves them craving relief with a host of behavioral, medical and social consequences. You're nodding sagely, does that bring anything up for you?
Well, I think I think those first two like the nothing is interesting. I'm like, that never happens. There's nothing to do. Oh, that never happens. But under stimulated, yes, constantly happens.
Yeah, a specific mental state that people find unpleasant, a lack of stimulation that leaves them craving relief with a host of behavioral medical and social consequences. So
we because we both sit here fidgeting with her. Absolutely. Yeah.
So like, you know, people think of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder as one in which you can't pay attention to things, and one in which you are constantly moving. But what has prompted both of those outwardly visible behavioral states right in attentiveness or hyperactivity is what most people with ADHD describe as a constant overwhelming sense of boredom? Right? Or under stimulation, it's either overwhelm or under stimulation, right? A guy, there's a lot of tasks that I can't bring my focus to, because I find them boring, right? I find the task boring, is a lot of like, you know, I can't watch TV without doing something with my hands because TV is too slow. And I get bored. If I'm not doing something else simultaneously. I find lots of things boring. People talk too slowly for me. And as a compensatory gesture. My therapist points out to me, I talk incredibly fast. I'm like, well, at least I can make my part of the conversation. move quicker. Definitely don't get bored.
Right. Oh, and the more excited we get the faster we talk. Yeah, yeah. So I get louder.
Yeah, I mean, sometimes our inattentiveness is like, we're not paying attention, because something was so boring. But then we had a party in our heads that was more interesting. And we went there when we're studying, right, like and so like, you can have stuff going on inside your your head will be like, Oh, you're not paying attention. And you're like, Oh, I'm paying attention to the thing inside my head. Why can't I pay attention to like filling out my taxes? Well, because one of those things is boring. And the other one is not. Right. So I'd like to think about the kind of state of boredom right? Because there's no test for for boredom, right? Where you and I might be in the same room at the same time and one of us might be Bored and the other one might not be right. Boredom is subjective. It is a personal it is the interaction of a person with their environment. And it produces, according to Wikipedia, a host of what was it? That my screen is going dark? I'll see if I can remember social, behavioral and medical consequences, like behavioral medical and social contract. Oh my god, I got it. Right. Yeah. That's amazing. You heard it here first. I wasn't bored. So I was paying attention when I did that. Yeah. If you bored today, at any point.
I need to format articles as my job as an editor. So yeah, so yes. But I listen to podcasts, right. So I've got my hockey podcasts that I'm listening to. What's interesting to me about boredom that was I think, the just because of that, the whole dopamine levels and everything. I think we feel boredom, if this makes sense more acutely. Yeah. Then neurotypical people where it's like, it is literally the worst thing. It is, and, and that we we work and what drives me nuts was almost like last week's right episode about like, you know, advice for neurotypical people that for us is just like, I don't understand your thoughts. Please go. Yeah, no, but but also that boredom is a good thing. You know, how everybody's saying that we're too. You know, there's too many things to alleviate boredom, kids these days, aren't bored. And so it's like stifling creativity. And I'm just like, boredom has never once in my life led to something creative for me. And productive.
Yeah. Boredom usually leads to naps for me.
Yeah. Or, or just like, you know, the, you know, the parents, they don't let your kids be idle, because they'll get into trouble. You know, but I do think that there is something to that, right, that, you know, we see, it's those consequences, right, we seek stimulation, and so often will seek stimulation in non productive ways. Right, right.
Or in ways that are, like designed to keep us awake, not in ways that are designed to complete tasks that are important in our lives. Right, like, exactly. And so, yeah, I mean, like, when people say, Oh, it's important for kids to get bored. I mean, what they mean is, it's important for kids to not have every last minute of their lives scheduled, right? Yeah. So being overscheduled is not the opposite of being bored. Right? Yeah. So like, maybe like this type of boredom. And I've read those articles too, because as you know, I don't sleep. I read them a little tonight. And you know, it basically means leaving somebody at loose ends, so that they can hear their own voice telling them what they might like to do next. Or it's about building like a little bit of grit about, like, no one is going to give me something to do. Yeah, I need to what do I want to do? What could I do? Right? Like that's, that's the kind of boredom which is basically a little bit of unstructured time that's not been sort of full of entertainment by somebody else. Like, I don't know if your mom used to say this to you. But my mom used to say this to me, and I suspect other people's moms did too, which is, are you looking for something to do? Because I will find you something to do, right? We like Mom, bored. You know, like I played with my Barbies this morning. And then I played with my stuffies. And like, I'm so bored, like, well, either you find yourself something to do, right? Or I veg and then should always be like, and you're not going to like it right? Yeah. Are you looking for something to do? I'll find you something to do, and you're not going to like it. That's exactly how she would say it. So like, we have that idea of boredom. But like, boredom is an effective state. Right? So boredom in here is in an individual, I could be bored watching a movie, not because I don't, I don't like the movie, or I don't admire the movie. I don't respect the movie, you're not even like I don't want to say like Korea watches at like three times the speed, right? Because it's too slow. And my brain is going somewhere else, which is a marker of me being bored, like only to do my ironing now or do some knitting and now I can sit here longer, and not be bored. So sometimes I know my own boredom prevents me from paying attention to things I'm actually trying to pay attention to. But boredom, I think that that definitional aspect that links it to under stimulation is what makes boredom such a crucial concept for neurodivergent people particularly people with ADHD because I mean, part of what the the treatment the medical treatment for ADHD is like a stimulant medication, right? stimulant medication that like makes us stop doing stuff like 52 Jumping Jacks while trying to brush your teeth because it's too boring to brush your teeth, right that you fill your body with stimulants. Paradoxically, we calm down aren't enough to be less bored so that we could do one thing at a time, instead of doing 10 things at a time, two of them are destructive, right? And, and similarly, like exciting things release adrenaline for us. So we'd rather do high stimulation activities, often or, you know, we're trying to release dopamine and happiness, chemicals, and nobody ever enjoyed doing their taxes, and it takes a task you don't want to do that you have trouble focusing on and makes it even more boring, which makes it very, very, very, very extra difficult to get these things done. And I think probably, boredom is at the root of most ADHD misery, it makes us behave in ways that are often counter to our own interests, and goals. And what other people see our our behaviors, our avoidant behaviors or our hyperactive behaviors, or are having daytime naps behaviors. And try to talk to us about the importance of the things that need to get done. But like maybe the root cause here is we're just like, at some level, you might either call that affective state of boredom, or just dramatically under stimulated and unable to deal with what's in front of us because of that sort of existential level. Chemical boredom.
Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, it's it really is that idea. Of Yeah. Because like you said, I, you know, was I born today? Yes. And no. I mean, like, I knew I had to edit this thing. And it's also you know, why we put things off to the last minute, because I'm like, I do have that adrenaline from the pressure of having to have this in for today, because I'm not, because I gotta meet my deadline. You know, but then also listen to the hockey podcast. So it wasn't nearly as bored as I could have been. And, you know, and I was thinking about that, too, because my daughter can't sit through movie either. And so she'll watch them on Netflix on her laptop, but she'll watch it not watch you to double speak. So you can't watch the movies. But she'll just fast forward. Well just be like advance advance, advance advance advance advance. She's like, I'm never, you know, I always know what's going on. Yeah. And also, I, as I told her, like, you're also understood, deeply understand narrative structure, and so therefore, are very good at filling in the gaps, right? She says that too, in her. In her English class, she's like, I'd forgotten to do the reading, but I got the reference. And I read a couple pages around it, and I was able to explain everything. And, you know, it's like, it's just so she's saying, it's like, it's just so cliche. And I'm like, No, it's classic. They're called tropes for a reason, right? Um, you know, what you're reading and she would they were reading the Odyssey. I'm like, what you are reading basically invented the trope for Western civilization. So like, unsurprising that it is deeply familiar to you. And that you are able to fill in the gaps very easily, because also you understand archetypes, and character types. And so therefore, you know, understand all of the same things, because she passwords through the movies. But it's one of the reasons why I still, like, enjoy going to the theater. And you know, your mileage may vary, but it's big. It's loud. Yeah. Is an onslaught on the senses. Where, okay, I'm stimulated enough to sit through this.
Yeah. It's like being in the middle of a hurricane going to a movie theater. Yeah, I'm sure but I can't put it but
it's only pretty much you know, the blockbusters. Right. If I had to go to a movie theater and sit through a rom com now, I'd be like,
you know, I've done that. I went to go see everything everywhere. All at once last week. Yeah, yes, I saw that it was out and like, texted my husband who loves actually was like, we should go see this movie. He's like house 4pm I'm like, Are you gonna leave work? And he's like, yes. All right. He's like, do you want to bring your earplugs with this? I was like, No, I want to eat candy. And I want to eat popcorn and I want to have a pop and I want to sit in this like deep chair and have the like, enormous screen blast me through the eyeballs. And the enormous sound just kind of like rattle the interior of my brain like going to a rock concert is completely immersive and overwhelming in a way that like going to the shopping mall is similarly overwhelming, but it's chaos and hate it. Right? Yeah. If I'm gonna go to a movie like that I'm like, ready to be fully immersed and not bored in this like, you know, ramped up to 11 sensory assault, right? Yeah. And then the rest of the time, I'm quite happy to sit in my house like wishing my entire family was not here. So it would be more quiet. So I could just read one book for eight hours in a row. So right, so
it's exactly how did you like the movie?
I loved it. Everybody should go right now and repeatedly.
So did you see that I tagged you on Facebook? I did say that. They based her character on ADHD. On someone with ADHD.
Like I did not read that but I love it. Yeah, I love it. They actually
researched into it like the character traits. People with ADHD and those kinds of things. What?
I love it so much. Yeah, irritable and scattered and shattered hobbies and very bad with receipts because like it's so funny. The IRS at the beginning I'm like, Oh God, Tom, it's my nightmare. Yes. Like, well, I know which person you are. I know which person I am. I'm like, yeah, yeah, you're Linda with the receipts. Yes. Very bad.
I'd be too. Yeah. But anyways, side quest, but I just it's, it's great that that's the last movie you saw, because I just saw this morning that they were like, oh, yeah, no, we, we researched ADHD and incorporated that into our character. No, it's like,
yeah, impossible to be bored there. Because there was 800 things happening on the screen at the same time. And that's my, my preferred mode is everything everywhere all at once. Right? Yeah, or one thing for eight hours a row in perfect silence, right. So it's not the under stimulation is not like, Oh, these ADHD people need everything, like, you know, super loud, super bright and lots of jump cuts, sometimes yes, but sometimes yes or no, right. Other things can be boring, too, or other things can produce the psychological sort of effect of apathy that boredom produces in a highly chaotic environment, like a mall or something, right? Like you can be bored. In those spaces, too. You wouldn't name it as boredom. But you're having that sort of physiological effect of like, withdrawal and apathy and a kind of like, inability to decide what to do next. Right. And a lack of will to do anything at all except remove self from this place. Maybe nap, right? Yeah, boredom, I think is like is pretty. Pretty fundamental. Boredom makes people do all kinds of crazy things. And what do you do when your brain like part of its disorders that it is under stimulated constantly making you always on the knife edge of a boredom episode? Yeah, you can resolve either by sleeping retreating into your own brain, or like engaging in frantic actions designed to goose up your adrenaline, right? Yeah.
And I was I was just thinking, like, there's the boredom lash out. Mm hmm. Right? Because again, you're looking for that kind of the that's that that stimulation, you're looking for that dopamine hit or adrenaline. And so what better way to do it than to lash out? Yep. In a lot of ways and and just like you because you hate everything in that moment, because you're so bored. And so I gotta take out this hatred. Yeah, my current mental status or, you know, my active status of boredom,
like smashed some cardboard boxes. So I'm really mad about the recycling and I'm so bored. By chores. I'm gonna like yeah,
I'm bored by the actually unfolding and folding and flattening the recycling that I'm going to take out all of my boredom rage.
Yeah, that's right. Listen to like, Hulk smash the cardboard boxes. And yet, like boredom is is interesting to me. Because I think also boredom is a situation that the environment produces in me because I you know that that article that's talking about, we should let kids be bored so they can figure out what they want to do. Like if you let me figure out what I want to do, I will not be bored for long, right? I won't be like I'm sitting here for too long, staring out the window thinking I should do something but I just don't know what but then if I get to pick what I'm going to do next, I will not be bored and I will do it right. The the trouble for me is to be in environments. Like let's say when I go to conferences, I'm trying to imagine what that's like because I haven't been to one for many years but when you have like a series of like panels you have to go to back to back to back and there's like a boring paper that's like the second one on the panel of five and lawyer want to see is fourth and you can't leave the room and I'm like so bored up but I can't change what I'm doing right I can't I can't leave the room or I don't want to leave the room out and so now I'm bored and I will just sit there and go almost catatonic I'm not even got the will to like work on some email or something. I just get so bored. Because I can't change what I'm doing. That's when the boredom becomes pathological right? Because of boredom that you can act on and say like yeah, this is boring. I am bored I'm going to change my situation and then I will not be bored well that was a nice spur to action right but often we get trapped you know in meetings at work or email threads or like
having to do your taxes I need
to do my tasks or I've just gone through it with my like reimbursements again at work where it's like no, we need the bank statement from like, this year and I'm like, I hate it and it's boring. If I don't do it I'm gonna lose 1000s of dollars and I'm resentful and bored and reaching out and it's not great so boredom can make us ask
me my to do list right now is half of fully half of paperwork for reimbursements getting
paid Yeah, and that's that's where I get my boredom lash out as you call it. That's I take it out on like the poor person who's asking me for extravagant levels of receipts that I've never seen in my life, let alone collected up like I found with the original invoice that says paid I'm holding the object in my hands. That was pay paid for via this invoice, what do you want from me? And I'm like lashing out at people. And that's not fair. It's because I'm bored. And I don't see a way out of it. Right. And I hate to do it. But yeah, I'm usually not bored at home. Right? Because I can change what I want to do. I used to get bored as a student a lot. Oh, trapped in. Like, sometimes I know the word of is a student, right? Like, sometimes the lecture was boring. But what often was God helped me worse was like student discussion. Oh, Christ. People would take 400 years to like, say anything. And then it would be like, I didn't finish the book all the way that I thought this one character when their mom died, and they're like, you know, her mother didn't die, go. She didn't know she didn't. Oh, here, I'm like, Oh, my God, kidney. May God strike me right now, I can't stay in this classroom. One more minute. And like maybe like your mileage may vary. But I'm sure all of our listeners have been in that situation where it's like, you know, boredom seems like it's supposed to be like the absence of stuff. But boredom can like build up like an aggression in your body where you think you're gonna claw my own skin off? Yeah, if I can't get out of this room.
Right now, it's interesting is that I don't think people typically would identify that as
boredom. Right? State Yeah. Or frustrated? Frustrated? Yeah. But, yeah.
But the root is sort of boredom, right? Because like I would, because there's a difference between the boring lecture where you're just like, Oh, my God, this is just a but there's also, as you said, the kind of boring interaction or the boring under stimulus. Which, again, you typically wouldn't say, I'm bored.
Right? Right. I would say like, everybody in my class is so dumb. I don't want to go to the discussion. We love you. We love because It enrages me. Yeah. Right. But really, what I'm suffering from is boredom. That's coming out as anger towards other people. And
resentments and resulting frustration. Yeah, all that stuff. And I mean, I'm now that we're talking about it. I see that again, in my own kids in terms of like, how they are engaging in their classes. And the subjects but also like, their attitude towards, you know, their classmates. Yeah, sometimes. Where were there, they're bored of them. Right. It sounds like, and I think that one of the things, one of the things that why we why we don't identify it as boredom, perhaps is that often we we associate that with somebody who has like a superior attitude, you know, like the flute and super educated like, oh, you bore me or oh, this conversation bores me. You don't want to say that because you sound like an asshole. But the and, but that's the truth. Yeah. Right. Like it is the deep seated truth of it. But it's a different form of boredom than what I think neurotypicals experience.
Yeah, yeah, I think that's right. And even even as I'm like, giving you my examples from like, when I'm in my undergrad, I'm getting mad in discussion sections. Like I'm hesitating to share those because I sound like a real asshole. Who thinks I'm smarter than everybody. But like, I get bored, like, I get so bored like that. It's a feeling of desperation. Yep. builds in my body am I like, I'm so bored. Like, my body is shutting down, like my fingers get cold and my feet get cold in my eyes start to get really heavy. Like I went through my entire university educational 11 years of my university education, like trying to get through seminars where by the end of it, like my heart rate was down to like 35 beats a minute, and my eyelids are slamming shut. Like I'm shutting down. I'm so understood stimulated, I guess, with the neuro chemicals that would help us pay attention and be awake. So like, the more bored I get, the less attention I'm able to pay, which means I'm going to get even more bored, which means I can pay even less attention. Because I'm just like a like, not like the energy Energizer Bunny I am actually running out of batteries sitting in this room. being bored like it's, it's an bored like, I am experiencing boredom does not mean that other people are boring, right? But you're right, there's that, that dimension to it, right? Like if people say like, oh, you're acting out or you're not paying attention, like I'm not doing that on purpose, right? I'm having trouble in this situation. Literally staying awake. Like I used to fall asleep everywhere all the time, like so bored and but I would experience not as being bored. I was experienced as being just bone numbingly exhausted. Yeah, right. But I was probably bored. Yeah, and there's
your body sort of reacting to it right physically, physiologically, that's the way Yes. reacting to this particular A lack of stimulation.
Oh, yeah, I mean, you'd see me shrinking in my chair and my shoulders would kind of roll forward. And I would like stop writing things down. I was just like experiencing a shutdown in my head, and I would it would come out as irritation towards other people, and then a lot of self loathing towards myself, like, I'm very interested in, you know, of course on satire, but you know, these Dum Dums, in my class do not seem to have read the novel. And I don't know why it takes them a minute and a half to get 10 seconds of words out of their mouths and why they have to him and this is like me now on Zoom calls, where my latest bit of Rage is like, how many hours of my life in total? Have I lost to watch the people flap their belts? Before they unmute, and then spend in further 30 seconds talking about how they forgot to unmute themselves. Karen just finished your fucking thought I hit getting older, I feel myself aging, waiting for you to say what is probably not even going to be on point about whatever it is. We're brainstorming about. But it doesn't matter what we're brainstorming about. Because this is a fake consultation session, when really the decision has already been made. Why am I here? I want to die. And I hate everybody on board.
Yeah. Board. Yeah. Well, and I think that there's there's something and again, it's the ADHD board. I was it's what are the things that we're looking for? Right? What are those things that are going to keep our attention? What are those things that we're going to be attracted to? That we're going to want to do? And part of it is purpose, right? Why am I here? Right? Like, in not the existential sense, although that'd be one thing that would distract us and keep us from being you get very
bored. That's where you wind up why that's your Why am I here? Generally,
but like, the this specificity of that question in that moment, like you just said on that Zoom call. Right. This is, like, you know, we it's harder to play act. And maybe that's the artistic part as well. But yeah, it's harder to play act. Yes. You know, it's harder to to feign interest. Particularly when it there is very little, you know, there is no reason to you're like, This is literally a waste of time, this is literally going through the motions. Yeah, this is, you know, and so, you know, I can't even muster up enough. Like, if I know something is important, even if, you know, it's not really interesting to me, it's the you know, there's the there's that little bit of motivation, right? Yeah, this is important look like you're paying attention, you know, find ways, again, it's like when I had to do my editing, and I found a way I knew I had to do it. Now I found a way to do it. And, you know, you can't listen to a podcast while you're in the middle of a meeting, but at least you know, that okay, I need to be able to pay attention to this because x y, it is important for X y&z reasons. Okay. Yeah,
well, important is hard. Like, those are the things I got my little hacks for, like do some knitting, right? So the four, the four horsemen of the ADHD motivation are urgency, challenge, novelty and interest, right? If it's interesting, I'll do it. But interesting has to be interesting to me. If it's something brand new, I'll be like, Oh, what is this now? Right? If it's challenging, it's just like challenging is like leaving something to the last minute. And I'll also make something urgent. So any of those four things will help us pay attention. Just repeatedly telling yourself that it's important is, is a tough slog. So usually, we will do stuff like slip under the table or play some candy crush surreptitiously, or Yeah, start composing, like, across sticks in our heads or something like to look like we're paying attention or trying to find a way to stimulate ourselves. Yeah, like, this is why we fidget so hard to so important. But I'm bored half to death I am experiencing for non judgmentally, right, other people are not bored. And then you hate yourself for being like, Oh, I'm such an ADHD person. Like I'm bored. And this like, important thing, like what is wrong with me? I'm so antisocial. But it's just like, for me, I need most talk to happen about 40% faster than it actually happens. And I need people to have read the briefing materials before we get there. Like, all of these things, because I just want it to come very fast and very hard. Right? That's how I want to get it done. That's why I like teaching because there's still class discussion. But I'm in charge of it. And I'm trying to read everybody's emotions. And I'm trying to wrap a lesson around. Oh, yeah, I'm doing 10 things. Right. So just let you know, 10 of them can talk at the same time. And I'm like, Bring it on. Like I'm ready for that. But like, it has become important for me to think about, like the problem here is not that I don't care. And it's not that I'm elitist or snobby or Are any of those things. It's like my brain cannot handle things that are this slow, right? They can handle lots of slow things as long as I'm interested in them. But if I'm not, there's nothing in the world that I can do to convince myself that is morally reprehensible to be bored. Right? And thus become onboard. I can't I have to get that stimulation from somewhere, either jumping jacks or ironing or flicking my fingers or bouncing my leg around anything, right or, you know, creating a disruption. Like that's why kids get disruptive with ADHD as they need something to happen. Yeah, if they're getting yelled at by somebody, it's more exciting than sitting still. And trying to trace out your letters, right?
Yeah. Oh, yeah, definitely. And I think I mean, the school systems have started to try to address that where you can sit in on the bouncy ball, or you can, you know, or on the balance board, or you can do standing desk. Yeah, do the standing desk on a wobble thing and all of that. And so I think that that helps. In some cases, that there's some recognition that this is this needs to that, you know, they could do this. And there's, but it's, it's interesting to describe it that way to it. Because again, I'm thinking of the school example. Where, again, paying attention is typically seen as sitting still and being quiet. Yeah. But also, it's almost like a chicken and egg. Kind of, you know, it's hard for me to describe because I've been thinking about this as well. So, I can remember my mom saying that I you know, I went to French immersion, we both went to French Immersion School. Hey, oh, sometimes I would ask like, Oh, why did you send me to French immersion school? Right. You know, stupid French language exceptions. Yeah, don't like English is any better, but you know. But why do I? Why do things have? Why do things have gender? Why?
Why? Needlessly gender?
Why do I remember? Yeah. Why is there why is there three different ways to describe something that happened in the past? But why must you sign off on all of your letters with like, a 12? word sentence that basically could be translated to sincerely? Yeah, except it's very, except T. Mme will miss your list explicitly on the email, Satsuma, they may
have sent you a mail or something that yeah,
how many times do I have to write that all through high school? But anyways, what's what what she said to me, she said, you know, if I hadn't put you in French immersion, you would have been so bored in school. Truth. Truth, right. That I mean, I think, you know, and I think back to my own undergraduate years, where I decided, Oh, I'm gonna go to school in French, because why not University in French? And challenge about our novel, yeah, challenging and no novel. Right. But, but it was one of those like, Well, that was because I was, you know, I was a smart kid,
like, are a word. We've
had PhDs we're nerds like, okay, we're smart people. It's not a you know, it's not a value judgment. It's, it is what it is. Um, which again, makes me sound like an asshole too. So like, maybe we should just call today's episode an episode. Yes. whole episode. Yeah. AKA boredom. But, but it's like the there's the it was the assumption was it was because I was smart or twice marked. Not that I had ADHD. Right. Right. Like so it's so that it's less I guess about chicken and egg then it is more about rethinking how we view the disruptive kids how we view boredom how we view? Yeah, what stimulating?
I mean, not every kid with ADHD is going to have like, as the recommended treatment plan, do all of your education in a second language. You know, like, that's not gonna work. Yeah. But for you, it turned out that that was interesting, and challenging enough to stop the boredom script in your head from putting you to sleep at school, or from like, eating glue, or like doing
that anyways. That anyways, it's very nice. I would chew on I wouldn't eat glue, actually. But I would shoot the shit out of my pens and pencils.
Oh, yeah. Like, I can see that hurt or the ends of those. Yeah. And like, you know, previewing my whole life. I used to like to put the glue on my hand and then let it dry. They peel it off.
Yeah. Yeah, I just used my skin. While I was
gonna say picking disorder without the self harm. Yeah, no, there were actual effects picking.
There was also there was also the notes that came home, where, you know, it was the 80s in elementary school, and so everything had bows on them and everything was high necked and had bows and ribbons. And there was a note that came home saying you must cut all of the bows and ribbons. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
So yeah, it's something Do it's a fidget it's you put something in your mouth and now your mouth is this eat so that you will keep you from there's
something satisfying about it too. You're like longer break the end of this, or I'm gonna lie no crack this metal end of the pencil,
or I'm gonna make a perfect pattern of teeth indentations on this wooden pencil. That's what autistic people do is we make like tessellations on our pencils with our teeth. Yeah, so yeah. So boredom looks like that behavior. Right? It looks like not paying attention. But it's like, I'm trying to stay awake. Yeah, basically. So even the kids that like, you know, are the seat kickers and the squirm errs, and the ones that like seemed very, very physical. I mean, it's not that they actually have an excess of energy. It's that they have an undue amount of dopamine, and they're trying to stay awake. Right? So it's like, oh, he's got so much ants in his pants. Like, he doesn't though. He's bored, right? He's bored, bored into like, chemical level, not a like, you're an obstreperous child who, like, is demanding that other people give you entertainment. It's not that it's like, I cannot sit here for one minute longer, I will explode. Right? And that feels like
to me, they do explode. That's the whole thing. We're
gonna do explore them. Yeah, it's existential boredom, where your brain just does not have enough like, like, you're the lawn or you just buttering out, like you can yell at a lawn mower without any gas in it, that it's important to mow the lawn, but it's a shot of gas. It's not gonna mow the lawn. Right. And, and that's, that's how our brains are. And it's like, when we, you know, when I start writing notes to my friends in class as a way to be busy, or I start like doing little doodle sketches or like making up fonts, because I can't get anywhere for a class or I start playing 2048 bricks, it's because like, I'm ocean, I'm gonna fall asleep. Yeah. Oh, yeah. If I don't do this, right. It's not like, I'm not like, I'm making a choice. It's not like, oh, I believe I understand this history of Greek drama. I mean, I probably do, because I read ahead. And I like to be trying to pay attention and like, every minute or so, it'd be something that was said that was interesting. And I'd be like, sitting there not paying attention, wishing I could pay attention, but like, just really fighting my own eyelids. Yep. At that point, like, just I just spent so much time sitting in lecture halls thinking like, I'm gonna take my coat off, like, maybe I'm too hot. Is this the problem? Or like, Oh, my, my shoes are too tight. Or like maybe if I change pens, maybe I try to write everything down. But it was just like this constant battle against unconsciously so
I try maybe if I try I'm right handed me if I try doing it as a left handed.
Well, yeah, that's like going to school in French, right. Like I struggle left handed. And like what I needed probably was some strategies. There around like, like, somebody did help me, but in grad school, because I was like, obviously very impatient, waiting for Fidel to finish really, you don't say? No, like, I'm really it's difficult to be ready. I'm sorry, to everybody I went to school with, I look like a real impatient, asshole. But also talking is how I pay attention. It's how I stay awake. So I tend to be an over talker, just because I get bored. I mean, it's not that I find what other people are saying boring if I can't stay awake, right? Unless.
And I also can't stop talking. Yeah, right. And this just keeps just
coming out. Yeah, it's a way of like, remaining present, right? And so like, I've had to learn some strategies, even for studentship to sort of like, what if I tried to really listen to what this person is saying? And even if I know right away, they're making an error? Can I reverse engineer? Where did that error come from? Right? Like, and how am I the reasonable person have come to that error? And why would that be right? Which is basically like preparing to be a teacher. What I should have been doing, like or find something a way that you can, like turn a difficult experience into something else like it. I also, at that time, preferred just to take the 50 minute classes three times a week, because I lived on campus, it wasn't that hard to get to them, rather than take like hour and a half twice a week because like with all the busyness of like, coming in sitting down, you only like 40 minutes, then you're up and you're gone again. I could stay awake probably for that long when I moved off campus that wasn't so tenable anymore, because now it was like, I gotta guess the bus schedule, right? Yeah, more times to go. I'm not going to make it but but having shorter periods of class times, helps for me switching tasks more frequently helped.
So you would never have survived at Sherbrooke?
No with a three hour classes. Oh, yeah.
Like just that would that was it like even undergraduate classes? It was three hours once a week. Oh my god. Yeah, it was like those.
In my fourth year like those were the seminars, right?
No. First year undergraduate writing class three hours per three already. Yeah, that's Oh, yeah. That's all Yeah. asked me how many times I went to their writing class. On Friday.
Yeah, you hit us up at the end of the year. They're like who are you? And you're like bites me and like they're all we didn't know you existed. We thought you dropped out.
Guess No, that's literally what I got away with it. And I felt so bad literally because they were just so relieved. I didn't drop out. Right. We were so really done. dropped out. I was just like, I'm really sorry. You're all like, Oh, good. You're still here. And I'm like, Oh, yes, yes. I.
Yeah, yeah. So just I would get that to like, you will be surprised at how well I did on my essays and separate like, oh, like you kept leaving class earlier. You didn't come I was like, like, did all the reading like I did all the work it just like cannot sit for this parade of idiotic comments. That's called a seminar. I'm sorry. Okay, that did so I was feeling judgmental there. I had a really hard.
Yeah. Well, then I sort of would, because again, like, I went to university in French, but I was doing an English program. And so I was taking like this writing class. Yeah. With English second language learners. Oh, my gosh. So yeah. So like, I'd be like, we have to write page. I'm like, Okay, write a page. And then everybody's like, now what first sentence? Yeah. And it was maybe that made it easier to because I was like, it's their second language. Like, if I was trying to do this in French, I would be terrible at it. So or struggle with it, right? Like, this is this software. I was like, I don't I've had all of my practice writing in English, compared to their practice writing in English up until that point. So it was like, I don't need all this. I'm good.
I mean, but it's funny, because you probably could have done something with that time, right? Like, you could have been like, Okay, we the next challenge for you, Lee, I see that you're done. This is like do this now. Right, which like I do for people in class sometimes like, Okay, I know, you know how to do this, you're doing something different. Right?
Yeah. And that would have been like, and I did help out. Like, that was the other thing again, training to be a teacher, I helped my friends an awful lot. Right. And, you know, because I knew when they helped me with my French, you know, I just take my French grammar class that I almost failed, but they you know, they helped me with my French and I, you know, it was, it was kind of a mutual exchange in that kind of way, where we we sort of understood and knew where we were coming from in terms of like, our shortcomings, yeah. When it came to language, and we were in language programs. So that makes sense. Guys, yeah. Yeah.
Like it occurs to me thinking back on like, I feel it welling up in me right now my continual irritation with the slowness of large group discussion, like, I can see that I was probably a real jackass. And I can see that I was blaming other people for my boredom.
As as far as though, right, like it Sure, I
didn't know I didn't know it. And I would say like, that really did not help me grow as a person, right to be Miss diagnosing the source of my own boredom, it did not help me develop my social skills, it did not help me develop my empathy and interpersonal skills, it did not help me actually become a better scholar, it just gave me a sense of like, I was not cut out for scholarship, because I couldn't sit through like an entire class without wishing I was dead. But at the same time, feeling smarter than everybody because everybody talked so slow. They couldn't take it. And they were wrong all the time. And so I was like, Miss diagnosing the cause and solution of all of my difficulties, right in ways that it would have been a lot nicer for the other people who had to take classes with me. If I'd had a little bit more insight into what my problems were, I bet you if I would have knit in class in university, I would not have appeared to be such a stuck up, bitch, which I'm sure that I did. Because I talk too much. And I was visibly irritated. Didn't have time I was falling asleep. Yeah. And if I knit, I would have been able to listen a bit more generously and not be bored.
Yeah. Because also beautiful sweater or a scarf or whatever,
right? It would have all been black at that point. Everything was black. Still beautiful. Yeah. So they're on with black.
As she wears a salt and pepper sweatshirt, everything was black back in the day, and yet still.
Yeah, like if you hate yourself, I recommend like doing a complicated cable knit pattern on an enormous cardigan in black because it's really actually hard to see what you're doing. In most light situations. There's a reason those sweaters are all beige. It's because you need a lot of light to see what you're doing. But yeah, I would say like because of my boredom I misdiagnosed with the source of most of my problems were and that I came across as aloof and unpleasant to people. I was aloof and unpleasant to people. I'm impatient, and irritable which feels like character flaws, but they largely come out of boredom or another way brain under stimulation in like a sort of fundamental chronic and chemical way is that it just really feels like everything is on 1/3 speed for me all the time. Well, yeah. Like walking through molasses. Everything is too slow for me. Everybody else is experiencing it like in the correct temper. Probably because I'm like, oh my god, could you just finish the sentence? I yell at my kids sometimes because like, they're like, mom, and I'm like, Yes. I had. And when like, they start like that, I know, they're gonna ask me some thing. And there's a potential for conflict. But now I have to wait 40 years for them. Like, just like, getting, and I will stop. And I'll say, Listen, I'm already getting impatient, because you're going to ask me something that you think I'm going to say no to. And now I'm getting anxious, because I don't wanna have a conflict with you. But I am getting irritated, you know, you know, way sooner than necessary. Because I'm building up anxiety, the longer it takes you to ask me just ask me it's not healthy, to call this slow. And then they got that because like a block up to you, because they're like, I don't want to ask you because I'm scared. I'm like, I'm scared. I'm gonna murder you if you don't get it out in the next 10 seconds. Because like, I feel like I say all the time, I feel myself aging, while waiting for you to finish this sentence, could you just rip the band aid off? Let's get this done. But I'm not sure like in those situations, how to deal with it. Do you know like, I can knit while going to a meeting. But I slept
all the time at home just like all the time.
Or like doing yoga like balancing on one foot. Like, I'm just trying to find some other activity to occupy part of my attention. But like when you do that, when you start, like balancing on one foot, and challenging your balance while listening to somebody tell you about their day. Like they'll be like, you're not even interested in this story. I'm like, but I am like, but the only way I can pay attention like is by doing something else. Yeah, at the same time, right? I want to stand here and listen to you. But I know that it's going to start to sound like bees inside my head. Because I'm going to be under stimulated. If I stand still listening. And the harder I try to listen, because it's important to me, the louder the bees are going to get inside my head. But if I stand on one foot, and like try to lift up individual toes, I can listen to you and there's no bees. Yeah.
Because these are all now in my toes. The bees
are in my toes, like they're occupied. They're doing something right. They're off making honey somewhere. I don't know what they're doing. And I don't care because I'm able to pay attention to my toes and you simultaneously, right. But I know very often we deny ourselves, those kinds of stems that we need to pay attention because people look hurt. They're trying to have a conversation with you. I tried to knit and like family therapy the other night. And like, you know, could you just pay attention to this? And like, this is how I pay attention. Yes, this is how I stare at myself in the zoom window and think about what next haircut right? I can just listen better. When I'm doing this, like I would not say in that situation. I'm bored. I would say like, I'm like kind of anxious that comes from being under stimulated.
Yeah. Yeah. And that's, but then there's also, I mean, again, there's like I see this with my, with my son, right? There is also like, it makes sense in that and it's interesting use family therapy. But there's also a level of intimacy and discomfort that like when that happens, my son stops making eye contact, and he just like, pulls away. And so it's a way to stay present. Yeah, in a situation where it's overwhelming. Yeah, it's overwhelming. Right now you've got too much stimulus. Now there's too much going on. It is too overwhelming. And you can't handle it. And so it has to go somewhere. Yeah, and let's put it in the knitting or let's put it in Candy Crush, or let's put it in a balanced pose. You know, and, and I think that that's, you know, again, it's a different, it's a different kind of discomfort, right? Like there's the boredom, discomfort. And then there's the overstimulation discomfort.
Yeah. I think we can be overstimulated and under stimulated at the same time, right? So like, maybe you and your son are having an emotionally difficult conversation. And his he's gonna be like, probably triggered to be like, Ron, like, you know how that is like, what the rejection sensitive dysphoria is like, you could be having a conversation with someone they're like, like, we need to talk. And you'll be like, this is very important, but your urge will be or cry. Yeah, right. And now you're not listening, like we talked about in the feedback. So yeah, exactly. We talked about that. So you're like very much attuned. So you're overstimulated in one sense, but like, there was nowhere for that energy to go in your body. So like, if you can't run away, then you either like have to start fidgeting, or, like, alternatively, I do this too. I get small and myself, like I'll pull my knees up towards my chest, and I'll put my chin down on my knees. And I'll just try to breathe really slowly so that I can like let that kind of panic reaction dissipate. And now it looks like I'm bored, but I'm not I'm fighting off an urge to run away, or lash out. Right? So things can be emotionally overstimulating, but then it produces a whole bunch of sensations in your body that are like jumping jacks or running way, or yell, right? Yeah, be hurtful. And none of that is appropriate. It takes a lot of work to manage that. Yeah, down into something quite. And sometimes it looks like, you know, we say my family stopped drop and Wet Mop, right? When you things become overwhelming and you're like, you might break something, you just stop what you're doing, like put down things, so you're not holding on anything. And then wet mop is like just sit down on the floor and turn into a puddle right like do not clench it, like literally unclenching. You right, so that you do not act on those violent impulses that are building up in your body from your emotional discomfort or physical discomfort or a shame trigger that theater an interpersonal conflict, right. So, so sometimes we have to assume that posture of looking like we're incredibly bored, just so that we don't freak out. Yeah. Right.
Yeah. And it's a different kind. And again, it's that whole fine line with ADHD people between boredom and being accused to being lazy, of just developing coping mechanisms. You know, and so it gets, it gets hazy, right. And I think that this is important to give people. Like, again, we want to be able to better distinguish all of these confusing, I don't even want to say feelings, but sensations Yeah, that we have within our bodies as reactions to situations, right. And in being able to kind of name it and categorize it, right. Because I think that that maybe, again, like you're saying, we are like, I would never have said in those situations in your undergrad or whatever it is that we were bored. No. But if we'd had that language, as you said, right, instead of blaming someone else you could at least know, like, like my RSD, as well. Right? That I know now that I'm having these reactions because of RSD. Yeah, okay. So now what in this moment that I'm having, right? Like, I can do a whole bunch of stuff to try and cope with it beforehand and try to avoid it or whatever. But now I'm in this moment, and same thing we're talking about is like I am, I now recognize, you know, I'm getting like you started getting antsy or wanting people to talk faster, I just want to like, get out of the situation, I want to fall asleep. And now you can kind of take a step back and say, Okay, I'm bored. Yeah. All right. Now, you know, and then it's like, now what? Right? To be able to be able to think about that. And I think that that's, again, like being able to name the problem is the first step is finding a solution. Where Yeah, I
think that's really that's really important. Like, and I'm thinking like, places I've been born, I've been born like having to line up for stuff. sometimes have to line up for stuff like I don't know, I used to I try to think of lining up, I don't line up anymore, because I know it makes me too angry. But like,
everyone's on the internet. Nobody lines up for tickets anymore.
So let's say you have to line up for something and it's just like stupid line, and you have to stay on there for two hours. And you're like, it's just boring. Okay, great. Oh, actually, my first vaccine, I had to line up for two hours. And I was like, Well, what can I do that that is a boring situation. And the goal there is get through the situation without ragequitting, right? Because it's important to get to the front line. So what can I do? I can bring my phone, I can read the entire New York Times on my phone, or I can listen to podcasts or I can like hang out with Tom and sometimes like with Tom will be like, I'm so bored. I just need to disappear into my phone for a bit like I need to make some time evaporate, right? Yeah. Okay, great. And then there's like, you know, but my physiological sensations are very much the same. If I'm like a grad student sitting in a three hour seminar, it for me feels exactly the same as having to stand in the lineup. Yeah, to get my shots because it doesn't feel like there's anything I can do in that space. I just have to get through it. Right. But the strategy there is not disappear into my phone. It's like, well, how can I turn this time into something sufficiently engaging for my brain that I don't have to fight off my slamming shut eyelids for this, like I could get 10 hours of sleep and go to grad seminar and fall asleep sitting up? Because I'm just under So what could I do? Could I knit there? Could I find a different way to take notes? Can I like I don't know, what can I be doing in that space in that time to remain engaged so that if somebody asks a question that I can answer, I will be present enough to be participating or like I sometimes get bored in a conversation with my kid because they are talking too slowly. But the relationship is important to me. So I really don't want
also about things that you could care less about. Oh, yeah. Oh,
asked me about tension impact. No, don't I don't want to talk about it anymore. I talk about way too much.
So they're like it's important, like, SMP, I must
make maintain eye contact. This is important. I need to orient my body towards the person who's talking to me. I know. I'm just like, you're not going to figure out this sense. For another 20 seconds. I could just check my Instagram real quick. Like, I will not do that. Like I'm learning that. Even though like in my body, it feels the same. It feels like I'm gonna die. There's nothing in my head right now. So I can't leave this situation. Even right now I'm going to die or fall asleep, right standing in a line or being in a seminar or having a very slow conversation with my 15 year old, same sensation, but different strategies that I have to use to get through that because it requires different levels of my attention, but I have to learn, and I am learning to stop blaming myself, right? Because my brain just needs different inputs. Yep. And it needs a lot more inputs. Like, that's why I'm like, I don't watch who watches videos on YouTube, right? That's too slow. It is. It's much too slow. That's like, I'm like God. Isn't there a transcript? Can
I just read the transcript? Right? Yeah, cuz I just read the transcript because I can read it in like, literally 30 seconds.
But I don't want to go through like 20 minutes of stupid video content that's got like canned royalty free music behind it. And a bunch of like interstitial, like, Instagram posts was like, just fucking kill me that's so slow, and my life is too short. Like, just let me read it. I can read your 25th video in four minutes. Done, right? And it was fast enough. And the content might be great. I just don't want to slow, right. And that's not my fault. That doesn't mean I don't have an attention span. Right? It just means that the speed at which I like to get my information differs or the modality in which I like to get my information.
And it's high in in in universal design. One of the features they do talk about is giving students the option to watch the video at a faster speed. Yeah, right. Because for some people, it's you know, because some people do need it slow. Right? at the pace that they sort of tell you that you need to do it in instructional video,
or pause the video here think about Yes, right. Yeah.
And for but but for others. You wanted it if you need it at a faster speed. And so in the universal design, that's actually what they talk about. And that's also why they say have a transcript not just for those who are perhaps hearing impaired, but but for me. Yeah, but for people who, you know, can look at a page of text and read it in 30 seconds, where it would take 10 minutes for somebody else to actually orally read it.
Yeah, he's a terrible microphone. And now I have a migraine from watching other video that was too slow and had that audio. Yeah. Why do you think all my videos for my classes are two minutes or shorter? Right, because I'm like, I wouldn't sit through a video that was longer than this. I would not. So yeah, yeah. So universal design, there is less about finding the one correct way to do it for everybody, but offering some systems of redundancy, right? You can watch us at the regular speed. You could watch us at twice the speed, we allow you to pause it here or there's a transcript. Right, which I
could rewatch it again, and you can watch it. So if you did tune out for a second because girl
going back, you know, you can go back or like it's in short chunks. So like you're like, oh, somewhere in this like 90 minute video lecture was something about Bliley I have to wear the is it right? Like no, just make shorter videos or have
control over it or in the transcript Ctrl F Ctrl or Command F or,
like, so it's it's not about, you know, finding the one way that no one can ever claim to be bored, or that's perfectly accessible for everybody. It's like, like, I don't want to be bored. And I don't want to be that person who's always rolling their eyes about like, oh my god, like, you know, Clarissa if you'd like one more time with the mute button, and then the apologizing for the mute button and then accidentally muting yourself again, and then telling us you don't know how to raise your hands. So that's why you actually raised your hand like, I will reach through the screen and throttle you, myself.
So can I give you the can I give you my trick that I do? Sure. And I think a lot of people do this. Have a back channel?
Oh, I do. I absolutely do. Okay, I can get it. Yeah. And a group chat and two other chats going at the same time. And I need to be nice to people. Yeah, I need to have sidebar conversations, not where I'm snarking always know. But usually just like trying to be productive or advance the discussion by other means.
Sometimes just vent right. Like sometimes you just need to, like if you say oh my god, Clarissa. Yeah, yeah, pop it in the chat. And then and then get your little LLS and some funny gift. And then suddenly, it's diffused the situation, right? You're like, okay, yeah. All right. This is not.
Yeah, yeah, do what you need to do so that you can be the way that you want to be in your public facing self. Right? Like, yeah, that's pretty important too. And like, like, you know what, sometimes I mess up the hand button. That happens, but you know what, when it does, and the chairs like Amy you have your hand up, or is that an old hand and I will do this, I will wave my hand like, No, that's wrong. And then I will take my hand I don't have to unmute myself and give a big speech. I've just like mistaken I just take it down. If you forget to unmute yourself and you mute yourself. And now you're back on don't give a speech just say sorry. And then say the thing because you do not. You do not make up for people's last 30 seconds by engaging in one minute of apology. You just don't please for my sake people. I love you. Everybody makes mistakes. because that's how we move on from them. Please move on from them. Please. Please, please, I can't take it anymore. No single word.
I know. It is an overstimulated, stimulating, overstimulated, and just like just give me some dopamine just just can I just like, is there a more efficient way that we can get this to just? I mean, ultimately, that's, that's what? And so now this is this would usually be if we were going to cut it into two episodes where we would do it because I just got incoherent. But I don't think we're gonna go on for that long. No, but because that would get boring. Lee Oh, gosh. Yeah. Although I would put it into so it wouldn't be that boring, because there would be Oh, I'm incoherent time to time to wrap the episode in two. And then. Yeah, but but I really do think about that, though. Like if we could better define our physiological and psychological state. Yeah. Could that mean better treatment?
Yeah, I think this is a mindfulness practice for us. Because sometimes I was having a discussion with my therapist yesterday about, like this backlog of grading that I have to do now because I went two weeks, but the worst bout of insomnia I have had in probably about a decade, like where I was not really able to drive a car, I was so impaired. And I was like, Well, I'm feeling better now. But I'm ready for perimenopause. Yeah, I don't I don't even know if I've had this for a long time. But I was like, you know, I could work now I have a backlog of grading to do. But every time I sit down to try to do it, I start doing other things. And then I panic and then I want to have a nap even though I'm not tired. And it came down to that I what I was feeling was conflict with my values is that I wish that the work was already done. Because the type of teacher I want to be, I would not have had insomnia and the things would be done now. And so by confronting the scale of the not doneness of it, and how to take most of it out of my email now it conflicts with my values, and it makes me feel shame. So that even though I have enough sleep in my system, now that I'm cognitively able to do it, I have a psychological injury related. Disappointed myself here, right. So like, that's, that's one thing, but sometimes, like, you know, I might feel an emotion that I think is frustration with people who are disappointing me, but what I'm actually feeling is under stimulated, right, like so sometimes, like, my body is giving me a signal that I am interpreting as an emotion that's being produced by other people's behaviors, but it's not. And it's good to be like, Do you know what I think I just have sat still for too long, and I need to go for a walk, like I will be better able to do this task. Once I get a little bit of fresh air in my lungs, or sometimes I'll be like, I learned a long time ago, I can have emotionally difficult conversations with people after 9pm. Everybody in my house knows that now. Like, even if they like accidentally Say something, I'm like, we can't do this. It's after nine. Like I can't bring my best for that. Like, and I know that sometimes. And but the trick, like I think you're right is is in being able to name what's happening, right? Yeah. Is this person the worst person who ever lived? Or am I hungry? Right? You know, or stimulated? You know, am I lazy and unable to do the basic tasks of my job? Or is it that I cobbled together eight hours of sleep over three nights? And I'm impaired? Right? Or like, you know, is everything the worst in the world? Or am I just so tired? That I'm really not able to see things? Clearly, you know, is, is it I might cut out to be an academic, if I can't sit through three hour seminars that are like, maybe not the most imaginatively led things in the world? Or is this just not the modality in which I thrive? What can I do? Right? So yeah, you're right, being able more specifically to say like, this is an emotion that deals from like, something that happened in my past, right, or this is like an emotion I'm having right now. But it's actually coming from a bodily sensation that could be addressed by food, or medication, or an app, or this is a pattern of behavior that I have, or this is an interpersonal thing, that I'm getting all up in my head and I don't have to, right. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah. And, you know, again, it doesn't doesn't make it go away. But it still makes it because you can have various strategies for various states, then, you know, which you better know what strategy you should apply. Yeah, right. Yeah. That's that's the sort of thing where it's like you said, it's like knowing knowing that you shouldn't have these conversations or can't have these conversations after nine o'clock and or at least not productively. You know, knowing that there are certain again, certain situations where, you know, I'm going to have to do this. I'm going to have to have strategies but I'm also in that moment, going to have to have stuff I can pull on. Yep. So that I don't I don't lash out I don't do think destructive things. I don't you know, come off as an asshole So, no And that's, again strategies are gonna be different for everyone because it is, you know, very different kinds of situations that we find ourselves in. But, you know, it's that like, like I said on the on the other one is it's that idea of being present. Yeah, right. Like and not recoiling from it and just saying like, Okay, I am very tired. Or and my fists are clenched. It's like the mop, right? Mr. Clench? Oh, yeah. Yeah. Let's, let's just like this on clenching
my jaw and see if I could take a deep breath and calm down. Yeah, like, sometimes it's, am I tired? Or am I bored right now? Right? Like, am I really sleepy? Do I really need to have a nap? Or am I just under stimulated? Do I need to change tasks or like, this environment is not conducive to my flourishing, right? Like some of us, like we're talking about different places we like to wait, you know, you're like, I can't go to the library. And like, I gotta go to the library either. Right? What kind of music you'd like to listen to? And like, you'd figure that out for yourself. And there's nothing wrong with that. But so much of our lives replace sort of environments and interactions that that everybody else seems fine in? Yeah. And we are not. And we keep trying to change ourselves out of the environments, like if you can change the environment, like then do, right, yeah, I don't like to write alone often. So I had like writing groups, I used to have writing groups, we would come to my house, and everybody would meet, and we would like, do Poms together and then discuss and it felt more social and accountable. And that really worked. You know, for me, it doesn't work for other people that don't do it like that, right. And sometimes you're just stuck in an environment that you can't do too much about. And then you're like, Am I allowed to bring knitting to this? Yeah, right? Or am I able to get up and walk around, I make my undergrads do this, like, even in 80 minute classes, like if I see they're starting to slip in their chairs a little bit, everybody stands up, goes out one door of the classroom, does a tour of the hallway, and then comes in the other door of the classroom and sits back down, just like just to get your heart rates back up again, right? Just to do that. So like, what are what are the little actions we can take within those environments that we can always control that might help us solve that problem of under stimulation that's making us frustrated or bored or checking out or have a party in our heads that people say that we're hyper or inattentive, or rude, right, or not participating or lazy or what have you. Right.
Yeah. And, and to be and then this goes back to also the advice for neurotypical people is that we've also tried strategies.
Yeah. Over and over and over again. Mm hmm.
That don't work. Well, they work for other people. So why don't they work for us? So it's, yeah, again, it's, it goes back to that where, you know, you're within reason, of course, your strategies are okay. Even if other people are like, I couldn't do that. Well, that's, I'm not asking you too. You know, as long as my knitting isn't distracting you, then that's fine. You know, as long as you know, it's like I can I can I can pick my fingers under the table and nobody sees it. Right. And so it's not distracting to you. If I was up like this, which sometimes I catch myself doing then yes, maybe that is distracting and gross, but like, if I keep it under the table, we can probably be okay. You know, I no longer obsessively chew on pencils and pens.
Thankfully, that's not good for people's misophonia either. Like, oh my god. Lee is chewing like, are you at a meal? No, we're in a meeting. Yeah, please. Chewing I can't take it anymore. Yeah.
Jenko over your face was Yeah, that's right. That's a good natural.
vampire look. Yeah, I mean, there's lots of features do
whatever we want. She's covered.
Pouring out of your face. Like you're such a great writer. You've been bleeding, right? Yeah. Blue tea, that everything is like oh my god. Yeah. So yeah, the most important thing then is like trying to maintain enough attention to figure out what the underlying problem is tired, hungry, under stimulated overstimulated, checking out, inattentive, what is it like? What what is the root? Cause? Where does that live in your body, and then started with kindness about how you can meet your objectives, despite an environment that's not quite suitable to right now. We're all going to be like, we're going to be like in that episode of What We Do In The Shadows where Colin Robinson gets too powerful when he gets Oh, yes. At work. And he like grows all of his hair back and makes like two clones of himself. And the other vampires are like on the coach like aging rapidly and dying and they're like, we're too weak. We
can't even get up here. Put your neck in my mouth. No, I can't
do it. Like that's me in grad seminars like that's me. In meetings is just like helplessly lying on the couch beyond the point of no returns a camera to put your neck in my mouth.
How come here like i compel you to compel you
and then the Colin Robinson is just bored themselves
to death. Yeah, yeah. I love that. Colin Robinson is an energy fan. Empire is just like chef's kiss genius.
Yeah, like you and your doctors are like people keep calling him Dilbert looking guy. I love some Dilbert looking guy rescue J was like, my resent that was a DNA test is like says here I'm 100% White. Like that's not Oh, it does say that. It's like, Oh my God.
All right. So I think on that notes,
camera again, my mouth
so glad you've caught up on your sleep.
Yeah, the jokes are coming. I remember character names and stuff. Good times,
as opposed to that show with the vampires. The dude from the doozy did
my sister last week I was trying to say Queen scam. But I was like, Oh, you're like that girl from the chest with the show. We saw it. She's like, the fuck is wrong with us? Like, I'm so tired. She wasn't. She wasn't said otherwise. She's like, do you mean Emma was like?
A person who's in the movie?
Yeah. You know, the other girl with the hair from the chess show. She was at that other movie we saw. It seems like I should not be what you're talking about. But I do and you seem so miserable. I'm just going
to tell ya. Yes. Yeah. See me?
I feel better now. Thank you for indulging me. And thank you Lee for never being boring.
Oh, well, I try really hard. Or I don't I don't know. It just
you're not used to getting called let's look at you. You're like, Oh, shit. Now what I should say something self deprecating. Wait, no,
no. Is it but it's more like it actually was it didn't I didn't mean it to be self deprecating. Where there is something as you like you've said about your teaching. Right? Like you, you. You work at it. Yeah. But it's not about trying really hard. It's just like I'm doing the thing that I do.
I have developed a skill like my kid. I'm sorry, one more sidebar by KIndex the distinction between talent and skill. They hate it when people say to them, you're such a talented artist, right? Because they're like, No, this is a skill. Right? This is a skill. It's like I work on this between an hour and four hours every day for four years. Right? Yeah, this is a skill. Don't downgrade it right by saying like, Oh, you just woke up one day. You knew how to do that. No, right. It's skill skills. Take work. Congratulations, Lee on developing your skill have never been boring. Oh,
thank you. You're welcome. And thank you for being the best podcast co host.
Oh, shucks and thank you audience for listening even though we never know what we're talking about when we start talking and we never end an episode in a straightforward way.
Oh, gosh, never. Never Never. Although I really am really proud of our of our intro to last week's episode where I managed to pull out relating the turd at a football game to that was great advice. It was really great. I laughed when I still feel pretty good about that one.
Well, I forgot that you said it. Because that's how tired I was when we recorded it is that when I listen to it, it hit like, what is this amazing show about? What are these?
Do not remember, are these women?
Are these women? Why am I listening to this? She sounds a lot like me. Oh, okay.
All right. Well, I'm already writing on Twitter.
And I am Did you walk on paper?
And you can always comment on the show pages or any of the pages and posts on our website, all the things adhd.com And you can also email us at all the things firstname.lastname@example.org I will answer as always and then DM them to me as always I will be so happy to read them. Yes. And they always make our day so see you next week everyone take care, be present. And by hope