S3 E8 - 4:30:21, 10.43 AM
2:56PM Apr 30, 2021
Lee Skallerup Bessette
Welcome back to another episode of all the things ADHD, the podcast by 240 something year old academic women who were diagnosed. late in life recently, let's say recently with ADHD, among other things, and we just talked about how we live with it, and hopefully helping you feel less alone with your own struggles with ADHD or even recognizing that maybe you too, have ADHD. I am one of your co hosts, Lee Skallerup Bessette. And this is part two of our conversation on transitions and how transitions can be hard for people with ADHD. So we're going to just join back up into the conversation. And that's continued from last week's episode. So if you haven't listened to last week's episode, it's actually not that big a deal, then pick it up pretty quick. So I'm going to stop talking now and leave a little bit of silence before Amy just jumps right back into it comparing how perhaps transitions are hard for us with ADHD because of how our ADHD brains process time. And then we're going to get into some other good stuff. So thank you, again, for listening. And let's join the conversation already in progress.
I think maybe transitions that are linked to ADHD timekeeping, which is now and not now. Yeah, like, I don't have to be at the office now. Like, it's only 7am. And I have to be there at eight. And it takes, you know, X amount of confusion time to get there, but probably not an hour, which I have now. So I'm going to do something different. And then in 10 minutes, I'm going to be like, oh, I've 15 minutes to get to the office. I don't think it takes that long. It'll be like it takes 15 so at 745 I'll be like I need to be there at eight. I need to leave now because it takes me 15 minutes to get there. Oh shit, I'm wearing pajamas. Right? Yeah, that's how I screw it up. Because I
don't know. No. And I'm the same way, right? Like zoom meetings? I am either 10 minutes early or five minutes late, right? Because if I am like, I have to go in the room right now. Because there's 10 minutes before the meeting. And I know it's not now and I will start something and be five minutes late to the meeting. Because all of a sudden, all I've lost track of time and went Oh, shit. And I've actually shown up to the podcast like that. And I'm like, oh, there's 10 minutes before I start the podcast. And then I'm like, I'm sorry. I'm late. I just got Yeah,
yeah. Yeah, like I think like, that's one of the things with me is I just don't know how long things take, or I don't remember the number of things I have to do in the time that I have left. So like, one of the things one of my jobs in this house is making supper, and I make supper. And everybody has like crazy schedule. So like, my husband has like virtual gym meetings with his trainer. And he's done at six. And then my kids like our classes done at 6am. But then they have something at seven. So we need to eat. So everybody's got things digested before they have to start exercising again. Yeah, I think I have to have supper ready by six. But I would never start it at the right time. But never talk to me. Like why don't you just started at 515. And then it will be ready for six. So now I don't have to think about what time does it need to be finished at? Yeah, just told me. Why don't you just tell yourself that you need to start at this time. And that's non negotiable. You don't be like I just gonna finish this New York Times story? No, I'm gonna play this song two more times on the piano? Because like, How different is 520 from 515? Well, it's five minutes, right? I can't get that time up. So like now I'm trying to teach myself like not as what is the time that I have to have this task completed? But rather, what is the time I need to start this task? And that's part of my problem with transitions, you know, don't want to start them when I'm supposed to start them. And when I only think about when does it have to be accomplished? I give myself a lot more wiggle room. Yeah, before I start, and that's the transition that for me?
Well, and that's I can that's one of my problems with cooking as well is that I don't know how long things take. And that's partially because I just don't cook. And that's partially because, because there is something about it. Like if if, if there's no pressure on me to have it done for a certain time, then I'm like, I actually kind of enjoy it, right where it's just like, Alright, I'm gonna and you know, and hopefully people enjoy it. And I kind of like I feel pretty proud of myself. But if you've got a time like it's like, Okay, we got to have this done. It's not going to get done, I let and then I'll just stress and be like frazzled. But speaking of how much time things take, I made baked potatoes, right, which we never have. Right? And they were so good. And my son loves them. And he's just like, Mom, you're gonna have to teach me how to make these because they're so good. And we never have them and I'd love to make them and I'm like, Dude, it's super easy. I put the the, I put the potatoes because they were little potatoes, but the tails in a tray and put them in the oven. And he's like, Well, why do we never have them I said because it takes an hour. We're gonna have to bake them. And I have to remember an hour and a half before dinner to put them in the oven.
Yeah. We never have baked potatoes. Yeah, it's not hard. You have to do one thing to make your potatoes bite. You have to do it an hour and a half before you intend to eat them up like nope. Yeah,
yeah. Yeah, that's exactly it. And, like, I can remember growing up, and this is like, I wish they still had these or maybe they do and they just made it. But remember when you used to have your timer on your oven, and so like, we would have dinner in the oven all day, so dinner would have prepared in the morning, somebody would prepare dinner in the morning. And all you all in the oven automatically did it
your oven and so
on and a certain time so that the dinner was ready. All our friends had this, even today. I just haven't figured out how to you just haven't figured well, I mean, but I mean slow cookers like that too, right? Throw it all in a slow cooker, plug it and press play and then it'll be ready for for the, you know, but like I that I remember when our timer broke and it used to be like I would just have to remember when I came home from school that I had to like just press Start or whatever it was no, no, no, I usually because I also always had to call my parents like again latchkey kid, you always had to call your parents at work, right? When you got home to assure them that you were home and then be like, did you start the oven? And you'd be like, Nope, I'm doing that then they'd be like, do it right now that you're on the phone with me and I'm on the
phone with me while you do it. Because like, yeah, like that's the type of thing that I will then forget. I'm like, sure my mom that I'm going to do it. And then I will hang up the phone and I will notice something on the carpet. And now I forgot everything. Oh,
I mean it's I've got a like I've I've burned pots because I forgot I've put water on to boil. I've you know that if I don't set the timer, then I forget it like I have done it where I'm simmering something. And then I'll go in it. I'll be like, get involved in conversation on Twitter and I'll be
shirt and I'm like, Oh shit, I started food. Like, I don't know. And like that's why so I need that I need like a really tight window, right? Where it's just like, you have a half an hour to get ready and you want to be hit the road by this time. But like a really thin window like you've got half an hour to get right because I get ready in 20 minutes, right? Like it's not I can be ready in 20 minutes. Should I be right? I've done it before we're our alarms go off. And I have Cassie at PT I've been reading in five right where it's just like, Yeah, um, but But yeah, if you give me if my if my first meetings at noon, I will not accomplish anything.
Amen. Amen. All right. So we've identified like, some pain points here. And the pain points are we don't like things that change, right? We don't like the transitions. Another pain point is we don't know how long it takes to do things. And we tend to forget steps that we have to do, right. And so the solutions for that, that we've like sort of happened upon in our own lives or our children have found has been like, splitting the task, like get your clothes out at night, instead of in the mornings, you don't have to do that or like creating an artificial crunch, where you know, I have exactly enough time to do this thing. And that's exactly how much time I'm gonna give myself. One of the tricks that I use was to not think about what time something has to be accomplished by but what time something has to be started by, in order to be accomplished, we found ways of like working in that multitasking in to deal with our boredom. Right? Yeah. Like listening to music or listening to podcasts, like, these are all great things that we can incorporate to help us manage the transitions that we know are. Yeah, what do we do, Lee, with these transitions that we don't know, are coming. I think a lot of us really struggled when it was like, guess what, you all work at home now. And you're like, what, right? Because all my routines that I have, like do not work. Now I have a bunch of new tasks. And I don't know how long any of them take. And also I'm just going to sit here and play games on my phone for two hours because I'm terrified. Right? And then like, you know, the transit like you had to change your day, the other day when you had unexpectedly got rear ended by somebody. Right. And that was a transition in your day that you were not quite prepared for. And I don't know about you, but sometimes I really fall apart in those moments. Yeah. Right. I
fell apart on Monday. So I actually I actually I you probably heard I added it to the end of the podcast where I you know, we talked about rest and taking days when we need them. I took Monday off. Right, I you know, even even two years ago, maybe even Well, yeah, pre pandemic, I probably wouldn't have taken it off. Yeah, right. I would have pushed through it or I would have at least not gone in the office. But I would say I'm working from home today. And I still would have made the effort to do all that but you know what on Sunday I came home and part of it was is that I had to hold it together because my daughter, yeah, was rightfully freaking out. Right. And so I had I held it together very well, right? And so like calming her down trying to keep care of everything, okay, I'm going to do this and take care of the insurance. Your, you know, my husband took her to urgent care. And so like, there was an you know, I sort of took charge and said, here's how we're going to do this, you know, take her, come get us take urgent care, we'll go here do all of this. It wasn't necessarily the right things. But like, there was there was a procedure, right? Like I could, I could see the steps like, here's what we're going to need to do. Here's how we're dividing labor. Here's the order, we're gonna do that a great. Monday, I was a mess. But like what I was,
I was so impressed. Lee that, like, I knew you would get all that stuff done. Right. But what I was so impressed by was that like you weren't able to account for like what it was going to cost you not just in terms of administrative labor. But like in terms of like, when do you get to have your freakout? And so like, what really impressed me in terms of transition was you were like, there has been a change in plants. I will not be working on Monday, right? So you, you transitioned from one idea of what your week was going to be like, to a different idea of what your week was going to be like, and like even changing our minds about what the schedule is going to be is a kind of transition that many of us struggle, like I often get really mad and resentful. When something happens, it has to change my schedule, which makes it much less likely that I'm going to manage to transition. But I just thought that was so wise of you to do that. Right? Instead of being like, I'm gonna say I'm working from home, and I'm like, gonna have seven tabs open, or I'm trying to work. But really, I'm on hold with the insurance the whole time. And I'm doing both of these tasks very poorly. And yeah,
well, I got a bit like so i. So I clicked the wrong thing and ended up like so this is this is the this is the ADHD I got 95% of the way there. But that last 5% was just like, so I picked. I was like there was within a square block radius. There was where we had dropped the car, which was the wrong place. But that's fine. It No, no problem. We dropped off at the dealership where we bought it because literally we didn't you it's not we haven't even had the car a year. Yeah. And so we dropped out of the dealership because we didn't know where else to do it Sunday afternoon, I didn't want it like driven and parked and we didn't know if it would start to get anyways, all that. So we you know, drop it off there, leave the keys. And then we're like great, the collision place is literally around the corner from here. And then there's a rental place that the insurance company will play for right around the corner from here. And so the next day when I went into the app, I searched it and of course there is like multiple locations that all have the same name, and are the same distance and I click the wrong one around. So now, it was only a couple miles away. But now we're going from here to go a couple of miles to here. But I click the right rental company, which was back at the beginning. And so now and then I don't know where the collusion places and so there was a moment where I was just like pulled in. And I'm crying in the car, and I am super resentful and pissed off. And, you know, my husband is like that everything is fine. It's okay. And I'm like, Yeah, I didn't get to freak out yesterday. Okay, I didn't hold it together. My daughter was there. And I had to deal with the insurance company. And I did not forget yesterday, I'm having my freakout right now. Please just, you know, please, please do
write letters, you know, such an ADHD thing like to be. I'm sure there's a little bit of shame associated with that, too. Right. Like, how did I get this wrong? That was 95%. Right? Yeah. Right. But then the 5% that I got wrong has introduced 50% more difficulty to this method. It's not fair, right? Or this thing seems to be set up in such a way that even if I'm trying my very hardest, I can't succeed at it, which also makes you ineffective at managing the transition, because now you're super angry at the world if you're me. And you're also super Oh, no, me too. Oh, yeah. Right.
It's Yeah, it just,
that's a hard thing to manage.
Right. Well, and we even had a moment like that where when we were on our, our vacation that that Saturday night. So Cassie want to take pictures at sunset? And I was like, okay, that's cool. So it's really early right now. So let's go get dinner now. We're a little hungry, and then we'll have time to go get sunset. Well, we show up at the restaurant. And we're going a little beachside town. So it's not like there's like huge options for dinner. Right? And so we show up and of course, we didn't make a reservation and they're like, well, that'll be an hour. We'll know we're like, turned into like an hour and a half hour 45 minutes and so spent that whole time with her boy like we're not gonna make sunset and I'm like, Yes, and she's we're not gonna make sense that you said we were gonna make sunset. Like No, we're not. And I'm like, Oh, please don't let this ruin everything. Of course, we had a car crash that really ruined everything but like, there's like this moment where I was like, Oh my God, please Like, there's always a moment whenever we go on vacation where things don't quite go as planned, and someone gets upset about it.
And like, that's funny, that's like something that Tom and I had talked about, I brought him on a work trip with me, he'd never been on a work trip with me, this is in 2014. So back when people used to travel, and he had never been to Europe, and he came with me, and he was gonna be kind of dependent on me because like, he speaks English. And that's it. And we were going to some French speaking countries, and I speak French and I have been to Europe, and I do a lot of international travel, and he doesn't and, and but I was like really freaking out because it was gonna be great. He was gonna get to come and then we're going to tack a vacation on the end. And I was really excited. But it's also really nervous because I was like, the only way I can deal with the uncertainties of traveling is that I am not beholden to anybody else's plan, right? So that if it's like, oh, it turns out, this museum lineup is too long, and I'm going to rage out, if I have to stand outside in the sun for 45 minutes to get in. And then it's just going to be crowded, I'm going to change my mind. I was like, I don't know that I have the spoons to negotiate those transitions with somebody else. Or, or like, even though I speak French, I've ever been to Switzerland. I don't know how to run the train system. They're like, it's possible, we're going to get on the wrong train and go in the wrong direction. Right? I need you to be okay with that. Because if it was just me, I'd be like, Okay, I'm learning. We're off the drain. I will turn around and go back. It's a little bit embarrassing, but it's okay, I can deal with it. But I was like, I had so much performance anxiety about how am I going to manage to manage this socially. And he was great. He was like, Look, I would for sure get on the wrong train, because I don't speak any of the languages involved. And I've never done this before. And I have no idea and is like you are obviously like touchy about this stuff. That means like, but I'm putting myself in your hands. And that means that I don't get to critique. It's like, okay, right. So we we had to manage that. And it was, you know, it's just like, we were going to go out for supper. But then like, it turns out, it's a national holiday. So we just ordered a pizza instead, like, like, we had to be able to sort of to switch but I'm not real good at changing my plans. But when I'm on vacation, at least I can be like, which part of this is more important to me, right? Is it more important that I not be angry? Or is it more important that I fulfill the original plan, right. And so vacation is always good practice for me and like developing that resilience to do more transitions? Yeah, I
know that it's when it's ADHD difficulty with transitions into teenager.
Thank you, that was getting increasingly hungry. I'm not lining up for restaurant. I don't even remember what it's like to go to restaurants, Lee, I haven't been to a restaurant, and so long.
Well, the nice thing is, though, is that you no longer have to line up, they just take your cell phone number, and they say we'll text you when it's ready. So we just went back to where we were staying right. And we're like, because, again, small seaside town or five, you know, a five minute drive or whatever. two minute drive. And so it was like Well, alright, then we'll just go back. Yeah, and no one's waiting in line anymore. Everybody just like either goes to their cars and they drive home and then wait for the tax and then drive back up again. Because
Yeah, that's great. Because I hate that transition to a lineup where you are neither doing the thing or not doing the thing like especially like it was complained to earlier about the lineups for vaccines here where it's like, you can pre register but you don't actually get to register you have to wait for someone to so you're sort of in line but you're not really in line. Yeah. And then like you have to try to register and then you don't know how long the line is going to be and you're like neither doing the thing or not doing the thing and I really struggle with that sort of in between state of like waiting to get into the movie but there's no lineup even though you were here first and you want to get to pick your seat people are just milling about that makes me very stressed. I want there to be a lineup or I don't like it when like I have like a favorite seat at the cafe and I'm like waiting in line to get my coffee and more people are coming in. I'm like, are they going to take my chair like I really hate those transitions to write I am not sure I'm going to get what I need because I'm in some kind of lineup situation, or badly managed lineup situation. That means I am not entirely sure I'm going to succeed at the thing that I want and that just produces such anxiety it'd be that I can hardly function and often I just quit. I'm like Forget it. I'm going home. I don't want to see this movie. Anyways, there's too many people in this lineup. I can't take it That's true. I quit stuff all the time. No, I
know. I just I was like wow. Like how did you ever survive the 80s and 90s because
all we did was wait. I know well I'm from a very small town. Okay, so there was nothing to do and no lineups to do it. Like I like you should get me going some time on like there's this thing around here like you know like the the Pinterest moms have to you know, you have to do the apple picking in the fall and the pumpkin patch and there's one chumley's apple farm I'm not buzz marketing them because I hate them. But like honestly the lineup to get into this like rural fun apple picking straw bale experience extends down the highway for about 200 cars. And that's just To get in to the parking lot, and then there will be a lineup in the parking lot. And then there will be a lineup to buy tickets. And then no matter what you want to do, there's 30 people in front of you. And I went once and I was like, never again, no, like I will, I will just pour a bucket of apples into my backyard and we'll go around and collect them because this is not fun. For me to be in all these I'd like a small town girl like this wave of big city lineups to get your picture and like one of those like, you know, where the faces are cut out and you stand behind is like, you know, some straw sucking farmer type. You want your kid in there to get the cute picture. There's like 20 Kids lined up already. I'm
like, Are you kidding? my kids, my kids once made me and it was like, it was the worst. I was like, why are we doing this? things we do for our kids? There was a street fair when we were living in Lexington. You know, a Spring Street Fair, celebrate small businesses, you know, there'll be all this again, pre pandemic. And there was a face painter.
Hmm. A face painter, just the one,
just the one who is doing the most intricate face painting there. We waited in line for two and a half hours for my daughter to get it because she because once she had committed Of course,
right, once she had committed
that she wanted her face painted. And we had said yes, you can get your face painted. There was no bad. No, it was gonna hurt. You told me I could get my face painted. I
said, I also didn't think we'd be here for like, you know, in the time that we've been standing in this line, I could have bought a face painting kit and read an entire face painting book and done three trials on your father. Yeah, and I could have got your face on here. Like what I'd be doing in that line is like spending the whole time. Like, if I was running this, I would do
this. Right. Thank God for smartphones, because I just spent the whole time pitching on Twitter.
Yeah, but those are the in between things. The transition, you're not doing anything that you want, but you're not doing anything else. Yeah, it's very stressful. It's it's like what you do to yourself when you're not getting into the shower. except you're not choosing to it. Yeah, this like Limbo?
Yeah. And you just end You haven't?
could we please? No, we're not leaving. Just please. Could you? Could I take a turn going around with Leo? No, you wait with me? And I'm like, oh, could you just sort of like text my husband? Like, could you could get me another beer? Like, could you just Can I have another bottle of water? Like do you know and so like, I wanted to go and like see the sights because you know, like, by sort of extroverted self right is like, we'll see people that we know and and, and we'll get to like, see all this, like the street performers that they've got and like a taste of sample food that they've said there's no, I got to do none of it.
I just go. There you go. Wait, you got to test the adage that if you stay put long enough, the whole world will go past you? Yeah. That was the experiment. You were running it.
And her friends. Oh,
is it time?
To say is it time for us to transition to the next part of our day? Because guess who forgot to eat lunch again?
I was gonna say you. You forgot to eat lunch again in June. Yeah,
I forgot to eat lunch again.
Okay, well, then we should transition. We should transition, which is, is actually in the aisle. We have so much trouble anything
that we do. It lets you to forget to eat lunch,
we would go until for like, a half an hour to teach my Friday late.
I really really have to be and I'm starving. And now I'm angry. Oh my gosh, we've been doing this for too long. And I could guarantee you Lee what's gonna happen when I hang up and I'm sitting at my desk with my computer. I'm going to sit at my desk with my computer. I guarantee you for another 15 minutes because even Irving, I cannot transition to standing up and going to the kitchen. Okay. Somebody gets me something. Sounds about right. Because I can't transition out of this goddamn chair. I know that about my I'll do it today because I'll be like, I've embarrass myself in front of an entire podcast audience like say I have to get off this call now Lee because I need to go eat something and then I get off the call and I don't move. So I'm gonna
go now you need the emergency shaped ring not only by your bed, but also at your desk. Like, here. We're talking about equipment you need at home. You need a mini fridge in your office with the emergency meal replacement shakes in it. Yeah,
I'm a squirrel. I just need stuff buried all over the place. Like
oh my god. Well, thank you everyone. Maybe next week we'll talk about those more difficult longer transitions like transitioning out of COVID or not. But as always, I am ready writing on Twitter, and I am at Digi wanke on Twitter. You can email us at all the things firstname.lastname@example.org and thanks again for listening. Stay focused, try to get some rest. Have fun playing with trying to get things done. And we'll talk to you next week.