S4 E22 - 4:7:22, 12.25 PM
4:29PM Apr 7, 2022
Lee Skallerup Bessette
Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the all the things ADHD podcast.
Oh, the things we do not need to do all the things all the time.
Ever. I was nice. I like that actually. I'm one of your co hosts, Lee Skallerup Bessette. I have to think about my name there for a second. This is. This is where my head's at right now, but I'll let you
know. I lulled you into a coma with my beautiful relaxing song. I am your other co host and noted songstress. Any hope Morrison hoping that that sounds tuneful. When I hear the recording next week.
Yeah, it'll sound fine. Yeah, we'll see. Good, I think we'll hear. No.
It's like when I say See you next week. listeners. What's that one famous? Line and Ghostbusters. Wait, listen. Do you smell that?
Yeah. You know, I didn't notice that. Because I think that's like the most ADHD thing that's ever been said. Right? Yeah. Maybe we can do another episode some time on my deep dive into attention studies that I've done recently, and why people will turn down the radio to look for a house when they're driving past it. Right? Yeah,
yeah. No, that's, well, I can't. Yeah, I have that too, in terms of of like to have the end of a trip where I'm like, concentrating on directions and street names. Nobody can talk to me. And I have to turn down the radio.
That's right. Yep. Very common. Yeah. Anyway,
so I thought this week, we could talk a little bit about self care. And so I had a weak last week, like, just a bad week. And there were issues and things. And so at one point, I was not handling things very well as, as one does. We've talked about this before. Just last week, actually not hadn't been things. Well, that feedback. This was not feedback.
This was something else experience. Yeah.
And so I was like, it was super early. I think it was like 730, or something like that maybe a little later, but not that. And I just like I've had enough of this week, I cannot take it anymore. I'm going to bed. But I knew I was so wound up. I was so wound up that I was like, There's no way I'm going to be able to fall asleep. So I know meditation isn't for everyone. And I, you know, it's it's helped me, and I haven't been doing it lately. Just I haven't felt I needed it fell out of the routine, you know, ADHD, right. Like, I used to do it a lot when my office was my bedroom. Sure, I could just go from the chair to the bed and do like 10 minutes of meditation lying in bed, and then get back up and go to the office. Whereas now I've got to go up six flights of stairs to get to the same place. So, you know, that's a big obstacle, as most of you with ADHD know. But anyways, but I still pay for my calm app. And I still have it all there. And so I went in, and they have particular ones for anxiety. And so I put on 30 minutes of anxiety meditation. I feel like 1020 30 And I'm like all of it. All of it. Yeah. There's not more than 30 Like I've got about like two hours
here. just loop it. just loop it. Yeah,
exactly. They actually do that now. They have playlists they've created playlists of like, here if you're trying to fall asleep here's like six things that will play nonstop, right and I'm like, but anyways, I was not in that headspace to think that far ahead. I just like space
is the app that I use. Yes. It's a calm is the app that you use as market buzz market
buzz market? Yeah. Anyway, so I put it on and probably got through about 25 minutes of
had not fallen asleep but realized what I needed to do had the presence of mind and the clarity of mind to realize what it is that I should have done but couldn't do because I was spiraling Yeah, yeah spun out. And so Wentz said the thing I needed to say did the thing I needed to do and then was in a much better headspace didn't you know go to bed watch, you know, watch a little bit TV and just you know, but, but it was just it was amazing to me how just taking that moment and it was almost like instinct, right? It was It wasn't even. It was just like I need to sleep and my mind is spinning. Okay, I have this app. I'm just gonna put on this app. And I'm going to go Don't worry to to take care of that. So, and I felt really proud of myself afterwards. Because again, not only did I feel better, but I, I was able to get the clarity to figure out what it is I needed to do in order to not make the situation better, but just well to cope with it, yeah, to cope with it, but also to help all of us cope with it, not just me. Right. In that sense, and so I've been thinking a lot about since then thinking a lot about self care, especially, how do I take care of myself, in order to be able to take care of my family? Well, and others,
let me bracket you right there. Lee, let me say that you deserve to take care of yourself, for yourself. Right? I think we tend to find in wellness culture and hustle culture, and the kind of like corporate wellness training that we often get in the workplace, right, or there's posters up around my university, even before the pandemic that was like, you know, had pictures of students undertaking leisure activities on campus. And it said, you know, when I, you know, play in the intramural squash League, I get my energy back to do more homework. And I was like, No, right, like, we went right through self care and into to productivity again. And that's like, really hard. So a couple of weeks ago, or at some point, you were, you were talking about how when your kids were smaller, and you were living in rural nowhere, you were doing trying to do yoga at home, and you couldn't, because not because you you know, needed a teacher to tell you where to put your feet, but because you felt overwhelming internal pressure, to not spend this time on yourself, right. And often, like we will say, Well, I have to do the yoga because I'm gonna yell at the kids. And once I do yoga, I'm calm enough to not yell at the kids. But let's like, let's stipulate that we're going to do an episode right now about self care. And fuck everybody else. Like let's try to sit for a minute. In the self of self care, right? Like this is how self care gets hijacked into hustle and productivity and, and it becomes like, like therapeutic in the sense of couples therapy, right? But it's supposed to improve your your, your actions to the benefit of somebody, somebody else, right. So let's, let's say that last week, you had a really difficult week emotionally and practically triggering in a number of areas, but things that you care a lot about, and that you were not able to act because the problems were happening through you and to other people. I mean, whose privacy we're going to respect but to say that you were emotionally very engaged in difficult things, and practically stymied in what you could do to resolve these situations, which can produce a kind of unbearable anxiety, and difficulty. And so today, you've proposed us that we talk about self care. And so let's So meditation does work for you. Because you, you started your calm app, you were like, in the moment going, like, I can't handle this, it's like this. I was gonna call it a vine. But that's not right. I think it was a tick tock that went up as a real I shared it a lot, I'll find it again to share it. It's like this woman in a field saying like, there was a time when I could handle things. And that time is not, is not now. Right? So no more things. Okay, right there, just like it's called manifesting, look it up. Right. And I was like, that's so relatable, you know, standing in a bathrobe in the middle of the field, yelling at the clouds to stop sending you things. So you realized in the moment that your emotions were getting out of control and that your capacity to act with intention, or to not feel like you needed to claw your way out of your own skin was impaired and that what you should do was queue up meditation. And then from the meditation, which like did not put you to sleep you what you basically did was like turn it off and turn it back on again for your brain, right like you thought you needed to go to sleep but you knew step one was like I'm too anxious I'm gonna turn this app on and when you turned it on, you sat there long enough to realize you didn't need to go to sleep you you had a thing that you needed to say in a way that you needed to feel in a resolution you needed to achieve that was within your power to achieve and then you could do it like you couldn't do that in the moment. And and great like that accomplish things for other people. But let's, let's sit in that moment of how do you know in your body, like when like no more things, okay? Because the time is not now when you can cope with them. And then what do you do to bring yourself back to equilibrium just for yourself because nobody likes to sit in that place where you want to call I'm sure all of our listeners will, will know this feeling. It's kind of like a boredom mixed with panic. Mixed with like catastrophizing and ruminating and this buildup of energy in your body audience isn't useful for anything and they can rapidly move into self harm. Of all sorts emotional self harm, physical self harm, impulsive decision, and you just cannot stand to be yourself. Yeah, one more minute. Is that kind of describe it for you. Yeah. Yeah.
And I think, particularly because it was so. so emotional. There's also just the, like, there's a helplessness right at that. And then and that's not necessarily the, that just exacerbated it. Right? Like, because there's the there is this this helplessness to it where, you know, like I said, even coming to the coming to some sort of realization, like I said, didn't solve anything at all. It just, you know, sort of smooth things over for the for the moment, and it wasn't important to be sad is, so there is like, now, I'm realizing that it's different now, like, because for me, and you've talked about this in other situations, and this never really happened to me before. But I find myself now just getting physically exhausted by it. Like, that's what I know. When I'm like, I start yawning and I start like, drooping off and that kind of thing, even though I'm all amped up, that's why I said I need to go to bed. Yeah. Right. And that's because it's because it just physically again, talking about it last week, like when we get feedback, we feel it physically. That's right. Like it we have a physical reaction to it. And this is, again, a physical reaction where it's just you're tense and tight, and, and not and so my body now it's maybe it's because I'm getting old or whatever, out of shape, but my body's just like, I'm tired. was tired. Can we just like did like, we need to go to sleep? Can we just lie in a dark room? Please? Just what and? You know, it's, it is it is pretty much my body, like you said saying you need to reset right now. Yeah. Like you just send it off to like, turn it off. And it's not even like, because it because remember, I always say like when we were talking about it like I could we could, you know, I could engage more. But this is this is my body literally saying no, you can't engage any more than you already are over engaged at this point. You are too invested. You are too much. And you know, you're
at the same time that you're not actually present. And that's not a great.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
So that kind of overwhelmed. Like you're experiencing a sensory overwhelm, and like some of it is, is is physical, because you're panicked, and you're clenching. Like you're actually clenching up your body. And that makes you tired, rapidly net, like when you lift your shoulders from anxiety will give you a headache. And so your, your physical movements are reinforcing, and then amplifying your emotional upset and your emotional upset. Because people with ADHD we've discussed many times before, tend to feel things like an extra 30% to 50% in every direction, right? At least something if something strikes, somebody is a little bit funny, it will strike me as hilarious. And if something strikes, somebody is a little bit sad, I like will be in a puddle crying like that. And that's how we are right. And so we can become rapidly emotionally overwhelmed. And then also we don't have great executive function often. So we have difficulty managing the kind of like, control center of like, Why does my body feel like this? Why does my heart feel like this? Why do my feelings feel like this, and then everything Fritz's out and we get tired, like really tired. And that's why we often like many people do Western cultures like this, particularly in ADHD people are like this in particulars, we have an action bias, right? Something has happened. And now I have all of this panic energy in my body, and I'm having bad feelings. And I need very desperately to get them out of my body as quick as possible. So I have to do some something to resolve this situation, right. And like in your your sort of less urgent cases, it's like, I will have a second cup of coffee, right? I will eat an entire bag of Cheetos or I will like go for a run or I going to answer this email before I've even finished reading it. Right, like send something or like somebody we were talking about in our episode about feedback, somebody begins their feedback to us, and we defensively lash out because we need to do something right away, to get rid of that feeling. And it's difficult for us to maintain the strategies that we talked about last week, which is like just take a moment and calm down when you are at the edge of burnout all the time, right or when things have piled up and piled up and piled up and what it would require for you to be your best self is taking more out of you than you are gaining in return. There comes a time and this happened to me last week and it happens to me and we gated this semester where the world has demanded too much from you cognitively, emotionally relationally physically even and you need to pull back and like that's what self care is self care. Right is essentially you know, I love this the boundaries right? Your distance I need to put between you enemy so that I can love both of us simultaneously. Right? This is put your own air mask on first, before assisting others except today, like I think we should both of us try really hard just to focus on what it means to put our own air mask on first, because we are both women of a certain age and a certain professional status and a certain family status will tend to only be able to justify our acts of self care in terms of their utility to others. Yeah,
so let's Yeah, the only reason I put my mask on first is because as soon as I put my mask on, then I'm allowed to put on my kids masks. And
that's what I'm gonna do. Yeah, because I'm no good to them. Yeah, if I fainted from lack of oxygen, but what if we thought that it was enough that we would be no good to ourselves? If we fainted, right, like, like, it's just the act of self care that this episode for us is today least I'm going to tell you, it's okay. To take care of yourself. Just because you deserve it. Not because other people, you know, need to have a higher functioning version of you. Right? That's like that's our self care in our episode is also to say to our listeners, you deserve to take care of yourself, not as a means of getting yourself back on the track and back in the game for other people to win. Right? But just for yourself, because we deserve to not be in a state of crisis and overwhelm, right? We all deserve that. That just like should be Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Right out self care. Should be
and I'm sitting here. And I'm seeing here as you're, as you're saying all of this, and part of me wants to burst into tears. The other part of me is like, it's like, Really, though. Like, it's just all those years of, of, of have messaging implicit and explicit, in terms of what is expected of us. And, you know, and even this idea of, you know, self like self care, it's like, oh, okay, we
get the words out. I know, you're like, this idea, Trump's
self care, self care, yet. Good luck, Otter AI transcribing that. So but, Miguel, I think that and I think that that's, I think it's wonderful, because it is so important. And I'm sure a lot of listeners are feeling exactly the way I'm feeling right now, as you say that, that like, Yeah, that's fine for you.
But that's right, for me, but not for me. I mean, for me, I think it's meaningful that the way you express that, to me is like You're like of, well, first, I want to cry, I want to burst into tears. But the next thing I think, is like, No, I don't, do I really deserve that. And like, I think that's a movement like that you are making in some ways that we all make. So this is like no shade on you. But when we confront our own feelings of maybe I am worth taking care of the kind of the kind of flood of feelings and memories and practices that hit us. If we take a moment, I think like, what if it was worth taking a mental health day not to stay home and do more grading, but just to like, binge What We Do In The Shadows, because like, I'm tired, and I deserve to feel happy for a change. Like, what if, if the the effort involved in thinking that we might be worth that just pulls up everything we've ever been afraid of about ourselves, and all the ways that people have treated us poorly and taught us that we didn't deserve that, again, it's another one of those cases where we'd rather hurt ourselves and allow other people to hurt us, right? So if we sit here, we think like, maybe I do deserve that, that thought is so sad. Like how many years we've spent not thinking that, that you're like, I actually would prefer to remain in a place where I think I actually need to take care of myself to be useful to others, because the idea of contemplating that I might be worth it just by myself, makes me so incredibly sad. And it's going to require so much psychological work to think about,
and I don't want to do this, like it's making me anxious, too. And I mean, I again, because because I have an ADHD brain and can read 27 different places at once. You know, I think back to even and this also gets into that whole idea of people with ADHD are lazy. Yeah. Right. Where if I, if I take a day off, which I did last Friday, I did I actually did take a day off last Friday. I was like, yeah, no, and then you know, my son and I had been some some TV as well been some Gravity Falls. You know, and just, just generally I was I looked at my calendar and I'm like, I'm canceling all my meetings. I just, I can't, I'm dropping in this is this is it. But but I've just I'm thinking because this is this is how I've always run like I can remember when I was a teenager I'm where I just wouldn't stop. Yeah. Right. Until literally, I would get cramps so bad that they would cause me to collapse on the floor. Sure. Like, and that was the only way to stop me. Right, that was really the only way that I would be stopped. And but I also remember just being, like, shamed for that
as well. Yeah, you know, perfection, how
long? How long? Are you going to be like this? Like, is this you need to any get back out there? Right? Like you've you've made commitments or you know, you've done all these things, or like, you can't just lie around all day, like, what do you know, where are you going to? And so, the I mean, those messages come from us when, again, you know, we're really late. We're when we're really young. And, you know, we're lazy or we're not, you know, so the whole what is wrong with you thing, and like there's just a lot of sort of barriers for being able to practice self care. Yeah. Because there's a lens that we look at self care through as being that all of those messages that we've constantly received about ourselves, right that this is, I need to, I need to take care of myself, because clearly, I'm not good at taking care of myself.
I need to take care of myself, because it's embarrassing that the world has done too many things to me, and I'm not coping well. That's on me. Yeah, right. I need to get better at coping. So I need to get better at self care. So that, you know, no matter what indignities and unfairnesses the world throws at me, I will be be resilient. Yes, I'm right. And that is basically individualizes the structural problems of late capitalism, right and says, If only you did more meditation, you know, your economic precarity wouldn't bother you so much. Like what's wrong with you? That's just how things are like, get used to it get better coping skills, right?
If only I exercised more. Well, absolutely. Yeah. You know,
sighs more wildly. I
exercise more if only I did more yoga.
Right? Yeah, tried yoga. Have you tried yoga? Oh, my God, I had very bad insomnia again last night. And so I texted my sister my Wordle results at like, four in the morning. And when she got it, many hours later, she's like, What the hell is wrong with you? I was like, why don't you sleep? And then because she knows I hate those. She said, If you tried meditation. Like it's a good thing. You know, you're in your own house, I would literally throttle you right now for me, I could muster the energy like, and she chose me like that. She's very funny. But But yeah, so like, we already feel like failures. And we think self care is for winners. Right? You know, you get the massage after you win the game. You get the sports massage after you win the game. But like if you didn't go to training, because you had the flu, and now your whole body is tired. You don't deserve the massage because you haven't done anything? No. Right. So self care always seems to be
a reward? Not a right. Yeah,
it's a right self care should be a right. You know, this is where I think autistic mikan can help you with this, because I'm very clear about just because everybody believes this does not mean it's right. Evidence in my own life seems to show that I do deserve to take care of myself. For me, I mean, sometimes I don't sometimes they make strategic trade offs. Or sometimes I have to tell myself, I'm doing it for other people, but but the world does not deserve to drain you to the point where you feel that the world draining you is a failure on your part to be sufficiently giving to the world or resilient like you're not The Giving Tree, right? Like if only
I thought immediately The Giving Tree as well, where I'm like, such a, you
can only take so much and like the solution to the world demanding more and more of you is not to say, Well, I'll try to do better at exceeding my limits constantly. Sometimes it's like you need to rethink how much you want from me. Yeah, because it's not fair. And I won't do it. Yeah, for starters. So boundaries, I think are an act of self care, just to not say yes to things that you don't want to do or that you feel overburdened. Because we always tend to think of like what other people want first. I mean, except me, I'm autistic, right. So like, one of my diagnostic criteria is like deep selfishness just means I know what I want. And I don't succumb to peer pressure, right. Yeah. I mean, I've learned to succumb to peer pressure. It's part of my socialization, but like, the gift of my autism sometimes is like, I can't do that because I will fall apart. And I don't I will not You're not important enough to me world for me to do that to myself. Oh, maybe there's gonna be some sort of penalty where people like she's a real weakling and I'll be like, sure. Later, I'll hate myself but in the moment, I'm like, I know this is gonna be impossible, so I can't I can't do it right. So part of self care then is like reestablishing the boundary between you and the outside world. Right about these are my problems. All right. And then sometimes you have to say not my circus, not my monkeys. Yeah. Right. And that that leaves us a little bit of resilience. At the end of the day to deal with other things. I mean, when it's it's relational, or something happens like a pandemic, right? And like, hey, you need to move all of your stuff online. And now you teach asynchronously. And now you have to make videos and all your students are nothing but a series of emails. And remember, I had a freakout, right? Yeah, about that. And of course, I did suffer terribly. But I immediately when I was designing my courses, I was like, I already know this is going to be bad, I need to redesign everything to make space for me, because I am not going to martyr myself on this, I will still fail, right? But somehow, I'm trying to prove to the world that at least I tried, very hard, and that was not going to succeed. And I thought, like, it's better that I survived to teach another term, right, then I expire under the weight of all these emails I'm receiving. And so sometimes self care is like, just arranging our actions in the day to day as if we deserved to have our needs considered. Yeah, that's one way. But like in the case that you're in, right, a case of emotional upset, we're people who are important to you are going through things, and there's very little you can do about it. And other people that you love are deeply frustrating, and all kinds of stuff or is going on, and you can't fix it right away. I think it's entirely appropriate. momentarily, right? To walk away, say, this has been hard on me. Maybe it's harder on somebody else. Right? Maybe the thing that has happened hasn't happened directly to you. But something is happening to you. And like, and that's another trick we tend to do, like, you know, so my mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. And, and that was very bad, mostly really bad for her, but also really bad for me. Right. And so I too, suffered for the several years that she was going through chemo, and then she was getting sicker. And then she was briefly well, and then she was sicker. And it was an emotional roller coaster. And, I mean, it wasn't for me to say to my mom, I need you to be less sick, because this is upsetting for me, I had to find my own ways of taking care of myself. Right? I was gonna say, so that I could, I could take better care of her. But like, no, like, I needed to take care of myself. Because, you know, my mom had cancer. And again, you know, she was the one that was going to die from it, I was not going to die from it. But that's not to say that it wasn't an incredibly difficult and painful experience for me that I deserve to have some some care about. Right? And that's kind of where we struggle. It's like, oh, my mom needs me in this case, right? My mom needs me to be strong, and maybe I can be strong around her, but maybe other things in my life, I need to shift them around and make space for what a terrible thing. This is. For me. Yeah, also. And that's not selfish to do that's kind of recognizing that things impact you. Right? So we always tend to minimize, especially neurodivergent people, we're always told, like, nobody else finds that itchy, right? Like, we always have to compare like, why do you? Why are you being so emotional about this? Why are you being so emotional about this? And so our reactions are wrong. And so we're like, Well, I'm probably overreacting to this. Like, it looks like an overreaction. But those are the only kinds of reactions you know how to have. Right. And it's difficult for us to say like, maybe I am, maybe my feelings are okay, and maybe what's wrong is that no one is giving me space. And what I need to take care of them.
Yeah. Well, and I think I think that it is, we don't have a lot of good models. We do not right, I don't think we've had we have a lot of good models, especially again, Gen X women. Not saying that millennials or anyone out or that have better models, but like, certainly Gen X women do not have good models for this. In, in particular, and I think a lot of this is it's not something we talk about, right? And I think that's the other part where people are for fear that we're going to look selfish, and I'm not even talking about neurodivergent people, I think it's like everyone, we don't want to talk about this. Because we don't want to appear selfish, that's right. Or greedy, or a grateful or non empathetic, that's for like, we don't care, right, or we don't care enough for you. And so, so even just having this conversation, you know, I think people are doing it, they're just not talking about it. Because it is something shameful, right. Again, like I said, like, if I took better care of myself, then I wouldn't need to take care of myself. And I think that that's
a real head scratcher.
Oh, yeah. But But think about it. I mean, that's basically our attitude towards them. Right? If you're doing self care, there was some failure along the way, that has meant that you now need this like corrective measure. Well, maybe
it's not your failure, though. No, right. Maybe failures, cultural, maybe, maybe the failure is like, say, a university like my university that you know, that will, will make edicts from on high and then sort of not be responsible for the daily implementation of them, right. And now we have students fighting against faculty members, when like, really, the problem is much bigger than that. And then, you know, faculty members are like, I wish I could support my students the way I want to students are like, I wish I could have education the way I want to, and then everybody sort of blaming themselves and each other, but really, like, you can't get blood from a stone. And like, that's our whole culture is like, getting getting more from less, right? Always getting more from less. And then, you know, people, the 95% in the pyramid, get the less than 5% get more and more and then tell us if only we worked harder, we could, we could have that to more rest, like, like Arianna Huffington writing a book about the importance of getting sleep, right? When like, HuffPo, like, doesn't pay anybody anything to prove some content for their thing, right? People are doing like five stories a day, and they never sleep because they need to get paid for something like, so you need sleep. But you need sleep. Yeah, they're gonna be doing like, you know, short 300 word pieces on sleep that they have to place in seven different publications for $35 Each, depending on how many clicks they get. And could they do a product placement for each one and kind of be fresh copy for each one, like, but make sure you get a lot of sleep? Right? Like, like, sometimes. I mean, sometimes, it's like the classic Stop hitting yourself, right? Like, I am not actually you are using my hand to hit me and then blaming me, right? Why are you hitting yourself? Stop hitting yourself, Stop hitting yourself like and you can't because your system is holding on to your wrist and slapping your own hand recruited repeatedly across your face while blaming you for it. Right. So like, we have to start sometimes. And this is difficult for neurodivergent people to be like maybe we are not the problem. Yeah, right. Maybe it's not just like, oh, Amy, which I get a lot. Oh, Amy, you're the only one that thinks that. Oh, Amy. Oh, Amy. That's a cogent critique of hustle culture. You're right. Like, that's not what I get. Right? It's like, oh, Amy, everybody copes out me find me apparently, either. Yeah, I've got the dodgy lungs, I'm in the cage. And they like dropped me down the chute. And I immediately die. And other people like, well, she died in five minutes. Like maybe everybody else can last for an hour and a half. So let's try that like no, like, maybe we don't go down there at all right? Yes, is the thing. But since sometimes those conditions are beyond our control, we need to find these moments of refusal, right and boundary setting where we can say, you know, I need this for me, because the world makes a lot of unfair demands, and I will change the world, but I can't do it. When I'm hungry, or angry. Or when I you know, am three episodes behind in my favorite show. Like, I need to do this for me. Not so that I can live to fight another day. But because what is worth fighting for? If we never think we deserve joy?
Yeah. Like, what are we fighting for? Yeah.
No, it's true. And I think that that, like, in this is where we can you can also think about, like, how do we care for ourselves in those moments of stress in those moments? But then how do we also replenish, right? Because it's like, I'm so like, I'm at like, negative, whatever, right? And took that moment of meditation and whatever to like, get back up to like, minus five. It's like, I'm not even gonna say I was feeling normal, but at the very least, was feeling like
you feeling a little bit more in control of your own self. Exactly.
But then there's the flip side of that, where, you know, I mean, it's, it's a bad analogy, right? Because it's not we're not like, overflowing versus empty, negative, but, but like, when we are and again, this is it's a, it's almost like we're, as neurodivergent, at least for me, and I think others were always reactive, rather than proactive. Sure. It's because that's, that's how we are right? Like we and you get that dopamine, and all that kind of stuff. And also, the out of sight, out of mind part, right? Like, I'm not gonna worry, I'm fine. So I'm not going to worry about this other thing until this other thing smacks me in the face. Because now I remember this is a thing. Right? Right. Like, so our brains sort of work that way. And then so it's like, what do we do to proactively, you know, because we have the boundaries, and that's, you know, I think you're right, that's important. I'm getting a lot better at those two, and I hope listeners are, are getting better, or at least thinking a lot about boundaries. But what are we doing that that's additive that's nourishing? I think in a lot of cases as well, where we're thinking about, you know, and I think I mentioned this about my sewing where I realized that it's this interesting paradox, but like I was, I thought it was fascinating is that I realized sewing is probably The most selfish thing I have ever done, because it is literally for nobody else other than me. Right? But nobody calls it selfish. Everybody praises it, right? Everybody's like, oh, he was a pretty and all you're doing so well, and this is great. And so it's like this thing that is like, like, again, like the definition of selfishness, like it benefits literally no one except me. And I love that. I really do. But the But the flip side of that is like, all of the ways that I have been called selfish throughout my life, right? And so there's this like, and again, I'm sorry, I'm smiling now, because it's one of those I've removed from the situation sort of looking at this almost academically going like, Oh, this is really interesting. So I'm actually being selfish, and everybody's praising it. But all those times growing up and and wherever, where I was accused of being selfish, and didn't understand what was going on. Yeah, you know, I, you know, I appear to be selfish, but it wasn't actually being selfish, at least not consciously the way I'm being selfish right now. And I'm just like, Oh, that's really interesting. I feel like I'm like, and again, it's it's problematic term, particularly in our society to think about, like, what it what is selfish, what is selfishness? How does, how are we interpreting that?
Yeah, I mean, I think there's a, there's a selfishness that is like, let's say, I'm cutting a piece of cake in half. And you and I are both desperate for a piece of cake. And there's only one and I'm like, Okay, I'll share it with you. But I kind of deliberately give you like, a little bit less cake than me. Right? I cut it. And I'm like, no, no, I'll take this one. Because Oh, I touched it with my thumb. Right? Because normally, like if somebody cuts and then somebody chooses, right, that's how Yeah, sure. It's like, that's selfish, because I'm taking something from you. For my own advantage, right? Like that's a type of selfishness. A different type of selfishness is nobody benefits from this activity except me. You're not harming anybody.
No. Right. That's in my bank account a little bit.
Yeah, I mean, these are choices that you're that you're making, right? Like so. Selfishness, I think gets a bad rap. Sometimes, like, yeah, selfishness is like, when you go to the buffet, and you take all the shrimp, you know, Eleanor Schultz dropped in the good place where you take all of the shrimp and you stuffed them in your bra, and in your purse and in your pocket, so that no one else is going to get any shrimp because that's how much you like shrimp. That's a selfishness in which your desire for something impacts on other people's rights. You know, the buffet was for everyone, right? The little free library don't look, I guess now there's a thing, people are going around a little free libraries with suitcases and they just take all the books and then they sell them. Right? Like, no, like, you can take as many books as you want, if you're intending to read them, right? Like that's, that's the goal, like so there's a kind of selfishness that takes away from other people, right? Like somebody goes into the work supplies cabinet and takes all of the whiteboard markers because like, you never know when there's going to be more whiteboard markers. So you might as well take all of them now even though you know, this is going to be three years worth of whiteboard markers. But other people need them now, right? That's selfish. Another kind of selfish is, is when you're like I like solely, you know, I'm gonna so I'm gonna make stuff for me, I'm not going to make clothes for my kids because they don't want them and that's going to be a lot of fighting and like, I just like these pretty fabrics. And I like doing this activity. And that kind of selfishness I think would be more accurately described as leisure before rest. Okay, sure. My dog is gonna start barking now for some reason.
I saw Oh, yes, truck drive by in the background.
Maybe it's that? Oh, it's great. Yeah, cuz like i There's no way I can put this like zoom window that isn't going to show what's happening in the background on the street. Oh, yeah. So like a kind of selfishness that can be understood as leisure. Right. And we did a couple episodes on this. We like did two because it was like, so complicated for us to think about, like what is rest. And again, rest was like an activity just for me. Right? Leisure is in play are activities that have no purpose. Other than the enjoyment and being in the present moment. And like, that's an act of self care, which I think we talked about in that so he did Yeah, right. And so like self care and selfishness, I think we said then two are different things, but we keep coming back to it. Because this is not a culture that makes space for non productive activities productive in the economic sense. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So it's like I always turn like I'm gonna get really good at you. I love going to yoga. I'm gonna go to more yoga now I'm going to be trained as a yoga teacher. And now I have a side hustle. Like as like this is the story of my life. I'm going to write a blog because I like writing a blog and oh, now people want to pay me to write things so now I have a job writing blog post that link now it's not fun anymore right now it's not just for me now other people depend on me and something that was self care because it was purely for my own enjoyment became something else and and if that's selfish, too like so dresses for yourself when you're not like stealing fabric from other people who need it right or like you're not I don't know making everybody else in the house not use any electricity because your sewing machine like do you know I mean? Like there's nothing Yeah, what you're doing me that's taking away from anybody else like it may be taking away from their perceived rights to your time like I don't, I always have to set this boundary with my students like I do not answer emails at night. I don't I mean, unless it's a one line thing, and I happen to be online, and it's like, do we have class tomorrow? I'll be like, yes, yeah. But otherwise, like, I don't, because like, you don't have the right. To leave your question to the last minute in such a way that if I don't give you an answer about is this an appropriate essay topic, you'll miss the deadline. Like, that's actually not a me problem. That's a you problem. And that's another self care thing, which is like, I don't want to do this at night, because it upsets me and then I don't sleep or it interrupts my piano playing time, right? Or my knitting time or my What We Do In The Shadows are my Ted laughs So time or what have you. Is it selfish to deny my students access to me all the time? I mean, I guess so. Because it's, it's about me, and it's not about them. But is it reasonable? Yeah. Like, like, sometimes people, if you make yourself constantly available to them, will feel that that is their right. Yeah. You know, like, why are you sewing again, mom? Like, shouldn't you be sitting next to me on the couch and watching me play this video game? Maybe like, no, but like, you used to do it all the time, like, so people, like, will develop this attitude towards your time being, being there time in ways that are difficult to resist when our whole lives people have in that we've been in relationship with have told us we're doing the relationship wrong. Like I think we're particularly susceptible.
Yeah. to that. Yeah. Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And I think, you know, I knew that suggesting self care. It was a reframing of stuff that we've already talked about. When we come back to it. It's important. Yeah, well, then, and I think that's the thing. I think that it's, it's a message clearly that I needed to hear again. Right. But I think but I think that that, in that case, the listeners to right, where we, you know, again, I've served many of you were like, well, that's fine for you, guys, for you, folks. On this podcast, but me. Right. And, and, you know, to hear it again, to say like, it's, it's it's really important, right, it is really important. And, you know, we don't have it for a we don't have it figured out. Siri just decided I said something
that sounds like serious, like, Hey, I have some ideas about self care. Get back to
work. Yeah. Not sure I got that.
Yeah, thanks, Siri. Yeah, I mean, me self care is vexed. Right. And it's another question of like, we have to trust our own bodies. And we have to trust our own hearts deep down inside. We know, we can't cope with things. But sometimes, we're so resistant. For various reasons. I don't blame anybody for so resistant to noticing our own discomfort, that we will do anything to run away from it, right? Like this is this is part of our impulsivity, right? It's like, I want to get away from this unpleasant feeling, what do I need to do? Right? Like, that's why when, like, I get upset by an email, my first impulse is to, like, just write back an email that's like a nuclear bomb. Right? Or, you know, somebody seems to be upset with me. And now I want to go do 400 Extravagant gesture, so they won't be upset with me anymore, that I'm not taking a moment even to think about what are my feelings? Right? Which part of this story is my story? Or do I need to attend to this? Right? Like, sometimes, there's this email chain I was included on last week for a work thing that the first email was great. And then every email that kind of got piled on, was just a player's got worse and worse. And I was like, getting more and more upset. And I thought, you know, I don't have to read these. Yeah, I don't like there was never going to be an action item out of that. And I was like, Yeah, I see where this is going. And there's nothing I can do. And it's going to be difficult for me to look at these people. If I continue to read these emails, I don't have to talk about them. I don't have to like, check before I go to bed or when I'm sitting on the toilet and reading get angry all over again. If I I don't need to do that. Actually, right. I could just, I could just let that go. But you have to be present yourself to notice that because it is sometimes much more isn't immediate psychological satisfaction to get angry about something. It is right sometimes we'd rather get angry sometimes when I'm, I'm sad. I will find something to be angry about. So I don't have to feel sad. Sometimes when I'm tired, I will find people to be angry at about why I'm tired so that I don't have to rest right or or deal with my own part in it. My husband had a therapist once who said like anger is a secondary emotion, right. It's something we feel when we don't want to feel something else. And I would say a lot of our self care practices that we could undertake are undermined by our anger at ourselves and our needs, right? And that anger springs from we're so desperate to get away from our sadness or our tiredness or our disappointment in others, or our feelings of futility, about a situation that we don't have control in our feelings of helplessness, all of these feelings that are unpleasant, we'd rather just get angry at ourselves for not coping better, somehow, sometimes feels better than saying, I'm gonna go sit in the dark and like, listen to some Enya and have a cry. Yay. And then I'm, like, just gonna stay in the dark, and refuse to talk to people for the rest of the day. Because I just don't want to write Yeah, we would rather find somebody to get angry at, even if it's just as because anger allows us to feel like there is something we can do, or something we can blame. Sometimes things are just rotten. And sometimes you're just tired. And sometimes things are just sad.
Yeah, right. Well, I think the other thing is that we are, especially as neurodivergent bad at listening to ourselves, because A, we've been told not to trust ourselves. Because obviously, there's there's only been everything. But also, and at least for me, you know, when people say listen to your inner voice, your inner voice will tell you what, to what decision to make. And I'm like, I've 17 inner voices.
Sure. And are a bad person.
Yeah. But but also, you know, it's like, especially when you can spin out and catastrophize. But I mean, even when you're not catastrophizing, even if you're looking at the good stuff. Yeah, there's like 27,000 Different good outcomes. Yeah, that you see. And it's like, Well, which one do I want? Well listen to your inner voice. I'm like, Yeah, they just put out a lot of them. Like, I don't like, I'm not really sure which one is the right one. And so I think that that's something else. It's not only the messages that were wrong all the time. But yeah, even just normal, benign things. It's like I see 27 choices. Well, Lee, and I'm not really
sure which one of the right think about this for a moment. I know you're a good meditator, and so am I. And when you're like, well think of all the things that have happened to me before this moment. And then think of all the things that could happen after this moment, you see that you've evacuated yourself from the present moment. And so sometimes the inner voice is not an inner narrative voice. Right? Sometimes the inner voice is just a bodily sensation. So like, maybe we start there, right? Because like, that's true. When people told me listen to my inner voice, I'm like, God, I wish my inner voice was shut up. Yeah. Sometimes, because my voice is like, just constant. It's like, yeah, a little bit like the movie Inside Out in my head all the time. Except there's like four of every character, and they're all talking at the same time, constantly. And, and I think a lot of ADHD and other neurodivergent people kind of struggle with that. And we're thinking about the past and the future. And yes, yes to at the time knife. So maybe we just need to, you know, this is like a meditation and an anxiety prompt to write notice three things, five things that you see, or things that you hear like three things you can do, like whatever it happens to be right. It just sort of says, Please stop narrative icing, right? Please stop looking backwards to say, well, the last time this happened this or like, my whole life, people have always like, Well, shit, now you're not here anymore, or like, stop thinking about like, well, if I take the day off today, that will prove to everyone forever, and I will never win, I will never get a full professorship or like, whatever it happens to be like, you're just missing that right now. Your feet really hurt. And it's too loud, wherever you happen to be for you to emotionally cope with something and you're like, actually, just right now, I need to be somewhere quiet. And I need nobody to talk to me for a bit yet, like just narrow the focus to like, what is my bodily sensation? And if I could do something in the next five minutes, that was entirely my own choice. What would it be like? That's actually probably good advice for me to write. Because I'm always like, trying to work the angles and narrative eyes and find the patterns and stuff. And so are you. And that will Paul band is playing in my head all the time. And I'm like, I don't even know what I want. But I do I do. But I'm thinking like, what are the consequences if I say this is what I want right now. Right? But I maybe I need it right now. Like in the consequences will come like the research has shown we're very bad at predicting how we'll feel about a later condition. Right? Very bad. And yet, here we are. Yeah, here we are. Every time we're like, but if I took a day off, then the following things will happen. And then my life is ruined, right? Or if I told my family, just don't talk to me for an hour, right? I'm just going to put my headphones on. And I'm going to do chores, but please don't talk to me when I'm doing chores because I need to put my headphones on and that way I'll get in the zone and it feels kind of hypnotic and I sort of like it and they'll be like, that's weird. And I'll be like, I'm a bad person. Like no, I'm just gonna say this what I want to do for the next five minutes. Yeah. And just let my sauna do it. Yeah, this is what I need for the next five minutes, not like so there was an incident. So in 2019 in the spring of 29, Tina I, in the span of two days, I won like a really big shirt grant. So it was like a project I had pitched and I got like $97,000 for a shirt grant. And then the next day, I got a phone call from the Trudeau foundation saying like, you have an interview for this fellowship. And that was all great news. Right? It was, yeah. Except it happened all at the same time. And then, then my mom had to go in for like another round of chemo. And that was unexpected and surprising. And then like, I had all that travel the next year that all these things that happened. And you know, by the next year, I'd come back from a big trip. And I was like, completely overwhelmed from all these things. And my mom, my sister, and I used to go up north to see my mom, the weekend of the time change in the fall, because that's when the Christmas tees start in the churches, and we would go we would call it like does normal ladies weekend, and we would go up and go to a Christmas tea and hang out with my mom. And I had like literally, like gotten off an airplane, done my laundry. And then I was like, I don't know if I can drive to North Bay like I don't know. Like, I don't know if I can handle it. And so emotionally and I was crying and crying and I was like, what if my mom is going to die, but I can't do this. I can't do this and, and Tom let me cry, because that's what he needed to do. And then he was like, just tell me what your feelings are. And I was like, I am emotionally overwhelmed. I've been doing too much travel. I am scared about my mom. I don't want to like deal with my mom and my dad. And they're different states of denial about how serious this cancer is and what changes need to happen. And I don't think I can sit in another vehicle for major travel because I've like just flown back from Yellowknife, which is like not a trivial flight after just flying to Yellowknife joining me like it was just a love
letter. No. And I don't think people quite understand the vastness that is Canada and like how far north sure Yellowknife is like Yeah, even even Edmonton. So like, imagine Edmonton is six hours north of the Montana border. So that's it's above Montana. Right. So that's how far west but then Yellowknife is even further west.
It's another hour flight. Right? Because like no so you cannot you can't fly right to Yellowknife you have to fly like through an intervening northern center to get to there and like to drive to North Bay. So it's like 450 kilometers. And we were going to go up on a Friday and come back on a Sunday. I was like, I'm just gonna die. I have to get one more card and I cried and cried and cried. And I was just so overwhelmed. And, and and and Tom helped me triage. He's like, I think it's really important, you're gonna really regret if you don't go see your mom. And that was right. And so but he's like, What are the things we cannot do? Like after? What are the things we can radically curtail? Right, so that you can take care of yourself. And and that was a really profound experience for me because I could not cope. And I was blaming myself, right? I was like, you have all these, I've got this research project that's granted, I've got this fellowship that's like at this huge travel component, I'm getting to meet all these amazing people. And it's like this huge opportunity and all this stuff. And like my mom is dying, I need to go see my mom, but also I'm teaching two classes currently, and also like, my kid is this age, and it was honestly too much for anybody to cope with. Right. And, and it was okay. Like, like, what really turned things around there for me was that I was able to acknowledge that nobody could cope with what I was trying to cope with. And it made it okay, you know, for me to say like, Look, I'm not cooking now. And like Tom took over the cooking for a while. And I'm like, like, this is what's going to happen, I'm not doing these other things that I'm going to scale back this other stuff, because I just need to spend a lot more time crying and packing to go on, on trips. And I need to find ways to double up on things. So I'm not repressing stuff all the time. And, and that was kind of self care. And then after my mom died, and I was on a brief leave, I did nothing except make puzzles and watch TV, and cry. And then like Tom would come home, and I'd be like, I feel so bad because I don't want to make supper or he's like, like, why would you be better after work? Like, if you are so sad and overwhelmed by grief. You know, just because you didn't go to your workplace today doesn't mean that you've built up enough energy and you're sort of medically medically diagnosed, you know, depression from this grief event? Why would you be able to make separate just because you didn't go to work? You didn't go to work? Because you're not well, right. Yeah. What? What? Right. So like self care sometimes is, is, it's really hard to see why you need it in the moment. Yeah. Even though you're not going to function without it. And it's hard to recognize, like what part is structural that you can't do anything about? And like there's no amount of bubble baths that is going to make an acute grief process go faster? Yeah, right. There's no like, well, she's in a better place now. I mean, she's not or like her suffering is over which is true, but my suffering isn't because I'm yeah, I'm still alive, right. Like, people also, I guess that's another confounding factor is that when you engage in acts of self care, you are saying to people, I can't cope with this. Right and I deserve to do the things that I need to feel better. And then people become profoundly uncomfortable because They are not doing that for themselves. Yeah, right. And then people don't want you to do that for yourself. And I was just reading this thing was a Brene Brown Atlas of the heart book about how like, resentment is actually envy. Right? Like people will be like, Oh, I can't believe like, Amy's still sad because her mom died. Like, When is she coming back to work? Like, she's just I see her Instagram, she's just making puzzles, right? Like, but that's because they might be a person who was denied themselves the care that they need, right. And so it's coming out as resentment when you make a choice to prioritize your own needs, because they wish that they had to prioritize their own needs, so that they could prioritize their own needs. And we can feel that like, and I know, I have a very generous benefits plan, right. So I could be sick for up to six months and receive full pay that whole time, right full pages. That's what it is. I get a doctor's note. I'm out. Most people don't have that. Right. But because most people don't have that, it doesn't mean that I don't deserve to take the time that I need. Right? Just like I mean, and that's, you know, when you say like, well, it's something. The reason I'm so upset, and I need some self care is because something bad has happened to somebody else, right? Like, they have it worse than me, like, why do I need the care? Right, or, you know, I have access to resources for self care that other people don't have, therefore, I should not take them. Right this bedevils activists often, right, like people who you know, who work with with the unhoused will be like, you know, why do I want to move to like a house with more bedrooms? Shouldn't I be happy with what I have? Because so many people have have less but but all that does is bring you up quicker? Right? Yeah, your needs or your needs. And if you are able to achieve the act of self care, with the resources you have available to you, you should write that we got to keep the focus on our own lives and what we can do. It's not a selfishness that is taking away from anybody else. Yeah. Right. And if it's not, then that selfishness is really just you knowing what you need, in order to feel whole again, and you should be able to access that. And that's really difficult. I'm very wary of giving, like advice, do what I do, because I know people don't have the job security or the benefits that I have. But yeah, it doesn't mean that I don't deserve them. Right doesn't mean that they don't deserve them, because they don't have access, but me not accessing the resources that I have does not make anybody's life better. Yeah. Right. It doesn't fix that inequity. It's as useful as white lady tears there, right? Maybe when I get back to work after my grief leave. I mean, I'm I'm on a compassionate care committee right now, which is confidential. But I will say that that part of that work now is me saying like, all employees deserve access to the type of resources I had access to when someone that I love to died. And it's not equally distributed around the university right now.
And it should be, but I can do that. Because I came back. Because I allowed myself to heal. Yeah.
Right. And so you're not going you can go in there with an open mind and an open heart and ready to make the arguments and ready to have the ridiculous fights. Yeah, otherwise, you might shut shy away from shut down from a void altogether. Maybe not even volunteered to be on the committee to begin with.
That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes, like people's crankiness about your acts of self care are really self critiques and, and other form, right. They're like, I wish I could do that thing. Or I wish, like I had that kind of self awareness, or I wish I was brave enough to say, I can't do this anymore. Right. And that's just an immature emotional response that we are all pray to God bless i and that's why I write reactive emails, right is because I'm so angry about other people's stuff. And it's really just, I'm just tired. Right, like, and
so I tried to do media in a nutshell, right? Yeah, that's right. Yeah.
I mean, I try to be gentle with other people's reactions, but I have to be like, that's their circus. And they're monkeys, right? By acts of self care. I know. It's what I need. And I'm trying to feel like it's what I
And I think that that I think that's something I'd really like listeners to take away from. This is that however and like you said, I It's like giving writing advice. We talked about this, right? I'm not getting I feel bad giving writing advice is like I have an ADHD brain and writing is my superpower. So like, I can't, there's no, but but I think that, as you said, being present and listening to your body and and taking those moments to be able to say, what is it that you need? Right? What is it that I need right now and that I deserve that this thing that I need? That's because again, in a lot of cases, we don't take the time to even think about or reflect because we're reacting, right? You're acting reacting, reacting. We're not stopping and saying okay, what do I need right now? Right cry, pull away, you know, and that's going to be different for everyone. You know, it's going to be a much different sort of thing. And it'll change. It used to be, for me it was going to the pool, right or previously, right. And now it's not anymore. You know, for lots of reasons, but just but that's okay. Yeah. Right, because I did beat myself up for a while, right, and I can't swim anymore, and you can't swim, and why are you swimming? And you'd be so much better if you just swam again? And I was like, no, yeah. No, I wouldn't know right now. Yeah. You know, I much, you know, so. So thinking about those things, and, and really taking the time to, because this is the self care as well. So the first step is taking the time to figure out what self care means to you and is to you, and what you need. You know, and then, and then the, the harder, maybe the harder part is asking for it. But certainly, you know, we've all had that moment, right? We see it in our kids in particular, but you and I have both had these moments. And I think you have to where it's like, so you somebody who loves us wants to help us. And and you're like, What can we do? And you're just like, I don't fucking know. I don't, right. Like, I don't even know, like, I don't know, you know, I see it in my own children when they're like, helped me and I'm like, I'm trying and they're like, you know, not like that. Like that. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, like that either. And I think a lot of cases we have that where something's wrong. We need something. But we never get to the point where we stop and say, Okay, what is this something that I need? That's right, what is it? What is it that I can actually articulate? Because I think that that's the scary part is that once we know what we need, then we have to ask for it. Yes. And we might get rejected. So the people might say, No, people might have those accusations. Like you said, We're catastrophizing, we're, you know, spinning out on on the possibilities, like it's better not to know what I need, because then I can't ask for it. And I can't get turned down. That's right.
yeah. We're our own worst enemies. I was I was targeted. I was I was saying this, this is, you know, as as a parent in particular, right, is that we can very much we can very much we can't keep our kids completely safe. But you can sort of plan for the externalities. You know what I mean? Like, we can wear your helmets, right? Here's your, you know, like, it's, it sucks that we live in rape culture. But here are the things that you should do in order to protect yourself while we want to de
escalate a dude that wants to talk to you on the street. Yeah, yeah.
Right. Right. And this is, you know, here's, here's what you do. If there's a Boolean, here's what you need, you know, like, so we have all of these things in terms of externalities. And then it becomes like, well, what if the voice is coming from inside the house? Right? What if the call is coming from inside the house. And I think a lot of cases for us to where we externalize, we try to control our environments, you know, set everything up so that we try to make it as perfect as possible for ourselves, which is important to like, don't get me wrong, but then we don't take the equal amount of time to sort of figure out our own internal structures to be able to say, and here's how I need to set things up for myself internally. So that I have, you know, so yeah, have that same sort of balance. Well,
and I think that's like, the classic cognitive error that we're all prey to is that we do really think we can control other people's behaviors. Right? And we can't, we can't like I can't control whether people get vaccinated or not, I can't control whether my students read the syllabus, I can't control whether my kid remembers to take their meds in the morning when I'm not awake yet. I can't control any of that. The only thing I can control is my behavior. Right?
And, and that can be hard, though, too, because a lot of times we feel like we're not in control of our own behavior, because
we're not because we think that our behaviors will resolve if we could just control other people's behavior, right? If this person would stop being so annoying, right, then I would not write such angry emails all the time. But I can't make them not write those. Like, I can't make them be less annoying, but I have to think like, what is the work I can do on me? And like so the good news is when you reframe, and that's self care, right? When you reframe from like, it is the world like that I have to change right now. So that I can feel better, which again, makes us deny our own needs because we're busy like trying to fix other people or other situations we're trying to like single handedly and the pandemic like which Good luck to you, you're just gonna get very tired and not accomplish anything. We avoid making changes in ourselves that are going to be more effective but are more difficult simply because they can be effective like you can really get a good righteous rage going about, about something external and how often But isn't, that's why you're tired all the time and you're angry all the time. And you're like, stress eating bags of Cheetos. That's my thing, like, and you can blame everybody in the whole world for that. And often you're right. But the only way you're going to feel better is by changing your own behaviors like, and this is not like what I was critiquing before about taking individual responsibility for a world being shitty. This is just like, you know, I can diagnose all these structural problems in the world. But that's not going to change them, and I can throw myself at those problems. But if I do it when I have a headache, and I really need two hours of quiet, it's not going to be effective. And I'm just gonna feel worse, like there's no sense in doing that, right? Like, but there are things I can change about, like, what time of day, am I going to read the news? Right? Which apps? Am I going to take off my phone? Am I going to read my work email after 5pm? If reliably, it makes me upset, the emails will be there in the morning, right? I don't have to do it now. So I am being responsible for my own behavior. And sometimes it's hard to change those behaviors, even if they don't serve you. Right, it's really hard to stop checking your email because it feels good to be mad at other people, even if it makes you miserable. It's sometimes easier to do that than to say I need to be the kind of person who can let this go for a few hours. Yeah, right. So maybe step one is just don't read the emails, because you can't let it go. Once you read in them maybe like expert level is I can read the email, but I don't have to respond or get upset about it. Right. And that's like key for parenting to because like teenagers are going to teenage. And sometimes you have to be I guess my goal right now is like to keep them safe. So that they make it through to a time when they will be more reasonable. Their own behavior, right. And that's all I can do. I can't make somebody else happy. Right. But it's just for us often so much easier to try to achieve impossible things than to realize how much agency we have to change our own behavior.
Yep. Right. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
So I'm not blaming you for being upset. No, unfortunately for you. What you did in the moment was you had the wit to recognize I cannot cope with this right now. And then thing you didn't say to yourself was but you must, right, because a better person than you would cope with this right now. Absolutely. Everything needs to be done right. Now. You had the presence of mind to be like, I can't cope, cope. And also the presence of mind to note, nothing will be lost. If I take some time for myself. Yeah. And then you did. And it helped. And I think that is the bravest thing I have heard of anybody doing all week. And it must have been hard for you to not be reactive. And it must have been hard for you to say bad things are happening to other people. But my priority right now has to be my own self care. I think that's incredibly brave. And I'm so impressed.
Thank you didn't feel it didn't feel brave at the time. It was right. No, it never does. But thank you. It was you know, everything. Everything is better. Now, I'll say that to listeners. Yeah, everything is is better. It's not great, but it's better. But it was a I think again, as you can tell the moment stuck with me. Yeah. Right. Because there's in again, that ADHD thing where it's like, Okay, I did this thing, huh? I just did this thing. Right. You're watching yourself doing it? And you're like, huh, good. That worked out. Maybe I should think about this. In terms of like, what we what what can be done? So I think we'll end it there. Yeah. gone on. It's been a little more than an hour. We didn't talk about bubble baths at all. No, just so you made the one mention. I did make the one. You did the thing I want to know because you said you were gonna save it your march ritual. You're the tree. The plant behind you. Oh,
my Jaime. Yeah, my March ritual. So self care for me. I like to have green things in my house. And so behind me, I have a giant plant now. And I said, Oh, it's a use of a go. It's really nice plant. It's really big. And I was like, yeah, it is. And then I was going to tell you a story in this story is this. I said it's hard to kill and you're like, I could kill it. Anyways. The nursery that I like to buy my big plants from every March, every March asked me how I know, has a tropical plant sale where all the tropical plants are 20% off. So I keep my plants going for as long as I can. I had one die last year from a fungal infection. I thought it's not my fault. Like I took those. I did a good job. And then I like had to throw that plant out. I was so sad. I felt like a failure. And then I put my winter tree up which is like a Christmas tree that doesn't have any decorations on it. And I usually take that down around the spring ahead, right the time change, which I did and that tends to coincide with the tropical plant sale so I could take that tree down. And then every year I go to the nursery And I'm like, Well, maybe I'll kill this before next year. But you know what? They're on sale in March. Yeah. So I go, and I try to buy and you'll have the tree in there. You'll have the tree in there. When's the holidays? That's right. Once all this government I can wait till March of next year if I have to, but maybe I won't kill the plant this year. So so so we will see. And that's like one of my self care rituals is like trying to find easy care plants because green things in my house make me happy. And oh, one bathtub anecdote, my kid has been taking baths lately. And when I take a bath, like we go to lush, and we get bath bombs and stuff, and I like it, because I just go in there and like change all the mood lighting and the lights and candles and make the water really hot. And I just read stuff, like until I turn it into a prune and then I go to bed, right? It's like all the blood comes to the surface when you're in like the hot water and it just makes it very sleepy. And so my kid wanted a bubble bath. And I was like, Alright, great. So we went to lunch, we got them a bath bomb, and then they like get their little stamp set up. And it's like, okay, because they like to watch shows. And I saw them and there they were. I could hear them yelling through the door and yelling about and they were like yelling at the television, right? Their iPad. And I went in there. I was like, Why are you yelling at the TV? I was like, I heard you yell something like, Oh, I see why people ship it. They were in two entire frames together. That's less than one second of footage. Of course. There's a whole fandom for this now. Like, I enjoy shit talking. My This is relaxing to me. I was like, okay, like,
are you watching My Hero Academia. And
she's like, Yeah, they were like, Yeah, and I was like, Hey, you're watching the dub, right? We watched the sub. And they were like, Whoa, ah, you're being elitist. And I was like, no, like, the voices are terrible, and I hate it. And then they were like, Well, look, Mom, this is my relaxation time. I like to roll around in the tub. I don't want to have my eyes glued to the screen, reading the sobs I have to roll around in this water. And I have inherited a wash and my butt to clean. And it's like, okay, all right, I write that down. And they were like, you can write that down. I have to roll around. I don't want my eyes glued to the screen. I have the hair to wash and my butt to clean and I was like that's self care. They like yelling at the the anime that they're watching and usually they watch the subs because the voice acting in Japanese is better usually, but in the tub. They're like you know what? I want to have my head half underwater, right? I don't want to be constantly staring at the subs. I have my hair to wash and my butt to clean and I laughed so hard. So self care for me now is like sitting at the piano outside of the bathroom and listening to my kid shit talking. Characters academia. Yeah, My Hero Academia. Yeah. Yeah. Ha to those in the know. And, and yeah, so that was like my little moment of Zen. I was like, your self care might be different than mine. But that's what you enjoy. Like, I don't usually go in the tub to yell at stuff. Right? Like, I don't want to yell and they're like, but I enjoy doing this. And I'm like you do and I could hear them squeaking as they were rolling around in the tub, sort of like porpoise style, like doing sideways rolls. And I was like, Okay, great. Like, yeah, you know what, that's awesome. And that's awesome. Yeah. So like, let's leave everybody with like that great, great kind of image of like, when you listen to your own body. This is what you get. Yelling at the TV while you wash your own butt and roll around. And that's your happy place.
That's your happy place in lush with Lush bath bombs with Lush bath bombs. Yeah, absolutely. Oh, that's great. That that made me laugh to
self care. Laughter reserve care.
All right, so um, I am ready writing on Twitter.
I am Did you walk on Twitter? And you can
always email us at all the things email@example.com There's our website, all the things adhd.com. And, yeah, thanks for listening. Hope this episode didn't make you cry too hard. Or have yourself take care of yourself. Yes. Yeah, you really do. You really do. Thanks, everyone.