S3 E10 - 5:17:21, 10.48 AM
2:49PM May 17, 2021
Lee Skallerup Bessette
Hey, everyone, welcome to this week's episode of all the things ADHD. Today is a shorter one, but part two of our conversation around food and eating. So content warning that we've continued on this conversation. But we start with a whole bunch of asides, including talking about picking, and keeping our hands busy and future episode ideas and all of this kind of good stuff because ADHD, and I don't even know how I got on to picking. So please be mindful. If this is too difficult this week, again, come back next week, I'm sure we'll be talking about something completely different or not,
I don't know. haven't recorded it yet.
And know that you can always email us anytime at all things. email@example.com. I am ready writing on Twitter. And Amy is did you want? as Amy says, In this episode, and I'm grateful for it. I answer all the emails, and she does all the research and the science. And I know I learned a lot from this episode. And I hope you enjoy it. And thanks for listening. I say that, you know, I started to sew because I just really liked it. And it's fun. And it keeps my hands busy, right? Like I actually don't even mind unpicking stitches, which most people hate because I'm like, Oh, so this is sort
of like it on inside. Oh, God, that thing.
I saw the packet in unsoaked. at once. So yeah, but I mean, but it was so. So here's what happened is that you put the packet on, and then you flip it around. So you saw it on the wrong side, then you flip it around to the right side to like fold over why I flipped it around to the right side and then somehow did the first step and it ended up flip back around to the inside outside again. And so I'm sitting there trying to and it's woven, it's shirt fabric, so it looks almost exactly the same. So I'm cursing this thing out. I'm like, What? Oh, so I go and it's like fine edge stitching to write. I've got like all these fine little edge stitches. So I'm seeing there and there's no way to like I'm seeing they're like unpicking them all and it's satisfying. But I'm like the hell did I do wrong with this?
Well, it's fine. Let's Sodor blazer pocket on the jacket. Yeah,
I mean, you know, we do these things, but it was just so I figured it out. But But the other thing that I've discovered and this is nothing about food, but still about like acceptance of disabilities is that I saw a thread retweeted from somebody, she's an academia, I'd have to go check what her handle is doesn't matter. She's a picker. She had this whole thread. So anyone who knows me knows that I do this. Anyone who doesn't know me, and you've only overheard me, you don't know that any of this. I have picked the sides of my fingers and my cuticles since as long as I can remember, like my mother would get notes home from school about this. And
I just have to drop in the science terms for this. It is a body focused repetitive behavior, subtype dermatillomania. And you should know, ADHD meds exacerbate picking? Everyone should know that. It's a body focused repetitive behavior. It's a type of STEM. Right? Yes. One of the Bruce Willis children has it has just been out about it. Oh, she picks that her face is in therapy for gets stressed picks out her face till she bleeds. Right? Like many people do this to the point of of self harm, because it's a compulsion? Yeah,
I do that. Sorry.
I'm lifting my hand up right now. Because
like, I know, I
know. I do. Like, honestly, I do it. I do it too. It's like I when I am confused or thinking really hard, I scratch the back of my head. And unfortunately, I have psoriasis. So that doesn't really like sort of help that situation very much. But yeah, that's very common. It's a stim it's a body focused repetitive behavior. Yes. Okay. Carry on. I just needed people to know that. No, thank
you. I appreciate that. And, but it's just out of all of the things that I've talked about with my ADHD, depression, anxiety. I've never really talked about the picking because like that one,
and I'm doing it right
now as we talk, like I do it without even thinking, right? or part of me is like, hey, you're picking your fingers. And it's like, I'm not stopping. I'm kind of like, just notice that you're being mindful. Yeah, I'm being mindful. Hey, look, you're picking isn't it? And like, I'll show up with it. So like what happened to your finger and I'm like, cut it while cutting. Cut it with my thumbnail. Yeah, that's so like, and I mean, I it was so bad like it was I would have it all the way down to my knuckles, they would be like growing up, they would just be in, you know what they would cut, she would cut, my mom would cut my nails and I'd still find a way to do it. And like, it wasn't like the nail biters where you put like the anti nail bite polish on it, like there was nothing that and I also used to like chew my pencils, and pens obsessed, as we all know, is federal fixation. And I grew out of all of those except the picking.
Well, here's a tip for you pro tip. salon gel manicure will make your nails so rounded and soft at the edges that you really can't arm yourself with them. Right? These it's just the way that they put the polish on is basically like, you know, there's this treatment for cats where instead of like cutting their nails that they sort of get dipped in in silicone right so blunts the edge of the nails so that they're not hard and scratchy anyway, basically what a salon gel manicure will do. To your nails. The gel manicure is almost indestructible, so you can scratch all you want and that manicure is not coming off. But also you can't really hurt yourself with those very soft rounded fingernails.
Well, after after 40 some odd years of doing this my way of not hurting myself is that it's so callous that like
how did we stray so far from food?
I don't know. Because we were talking about like sewing and then I was talking about like picking and then it made me think about the picking and I
don't think we can talk about picking and food in the same episode because people are going to be grossed out.
That's true. Yeah.
I could always cut it. We're gonna leave it in there. So process. Yeah, it's true. We're swinging we're spider Manning from topic to topic. Yeah, right. But but that got to this topic if we didn't start where we were.
No, exactly. But I did want to I did want to give a shout out to all the all the fellow pickers out there. Where because I never I said this, I'm like I've never met before
of their Legion. It's just everybody's ashamed of it. And they know exactly what in public right. And it's very much a side effect of mainline ADHD treatment is body focused, repetitive behaviors, including spin, skip, like, you know, we joke about basically people on ADHD meds or like meth heads, but better medically controlled. Again, the reason that methods have so many sorry, methamphetamine users have so many open sores on their bodies is not because they're rotting from the inside. It's because they're itchy, and they claw at themselves from the meth. Right. That's what happens. And so ADHD meds may make you not itchy, but have a very strong desire to pick out or scratch different parts of your body. Instead of eating. There you go. I brought it back, Lee, there we go. I brought it
although I was doing this long before I was diagnosed.
Well, of course you were I mean, but but again, that's like it's a stimulatory behavior, right? So it's, it's a way of regulating your mood and your athletes like I imagine that you do when you're bored. And I imagine you do when you're nervous, right? It's a way of down regulating or up regulating your effect, so that you either have calmed down in the face of stress or or you keep yourself awake in something that's that's very boring. I mean, there's like, like, you might say, like hand flapping or finger snapping that autistic people do. I mean, that is a body focused repetitive behavior as well, right? It's a physical action involving the body that produces a like a dopamine response, right? That helps us to regulate moods. So you can either like use your fingernails on the sides of your fingers, or you can use your fingernails to tap out, you know, beats on your thighs. It's it's the same. The same impulse and it comes from the same neurological need to bring order back into the the sympathetic nervous system. I told you that if you answer the emails, I would read all the literature. Yeah, and I did. I did there. I just came through for us. Yeah. With the body focus repetitive behaviors, which I've researched extensively.
That's awesome. No, I
really appreciate that. And I still answer all the emails. You do. You do. I read them, you send them to me over direct message and I am delighted to read them. And then I read them out loud to my family. And then I don't answer people because I'm like, Lee's got that under control.
Yeah, no, I
do your listeners that I love your emails. I'm just so bad. At email.
I just I mean, and we're coming up on the hour here and I actually have another meeting at two o'clock. So I'm gonna, I know right? But I have to say that it's been and I say this, even when I do my little recordings, but it means so much to us. That this podcast has been helpful. And that there are people who are going out and seeking diagnoses and getting the diagnosis that they've, that they need and that they want, and getting the help that they need. And they want in part because of us speaking about our ADHD journey. And it's
lonely. It's really lonely for people who think, am I the only one right you know, who feels like this or culture at large is kind of gaslighting me, you can't be ADHD, you're so high functioning, like all of these things that that you and I struggled with, but also have the gift of the friendship of each other a little bit of technical literacy and no social boundaries around disclosing stuff in public, right? Like, that's a need that we had to talk with each other. Right? And I am beyond delighted when we hear from people who say, I felt less alone, right, or I understood something about myself after this, or I made my husband, listen to this, or I understand my kid, I think there's so much room left in this space for people to be honest about their own experiences. Because that's the way that we all begin to feel less ashamed of ourselves. Like, I really think that, that that's true. And so yeah, I, I get a lot from reading over DMS, the email that people send us so that you, you forwarded to me, it really makes me feel good. Actually, I'm really I appreciate the care that our listeners take in writing to us because it is a gift that you offer to us to know that that somebody besides like your tiny dog, and my fat cat
are listening to this podcast, right? Yeah. But But I mean, even if they were, even if they were, it's been, you know that that feeling of less alone. And I think we both talked about that. In previous were growing up feeling completely isolated. And like if we were the only one and you know, there's there's a joy in being able to do this podcast. Sounds like we're recording the last episode. We're not but I was really struck because we've gotten a lot of emails lately. And it's just yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's been weird and wonderful and Unexpected Journey, and it's just, I'm so thrilled about the community that is sprung up around this too, and that, um, that we're having these conversations more openly and within our workplaces, within our families within academia, but that's because that's your in my workplace, but like other places as well. And even you know, even in, in, in schools, hopefully, hopefully, there's some teachers listening to this as well,
I'm sure that there are like outside of higher education, who might have a better insight into their own students. And maybe someone out there is listening, and they've just got the idea for the ADHD cookbook. Oh, think about it. Oh
I don't have the spoons for that. It's gonna be like techniques for ADHD, cooking and some recipes that will keep you alive without causing you distress. And also chips because chips are delicious. And they're part of everybody's healthy and balanced lifestyle, which means all things in moderation, including moderation.
There is Oh,
no, I got a I actually have to do show notes for this one now, I guess. So, Roxane Gay and Tracy McMillan cotton. did recently did a podcast where they had somebody
who'd written a cookbook,
about just like good food, right? Like Mom Mom nourishing? Yeah. And. And they were, they were talking about this, that it was really, if that that I'd already. I was already thinking about doing an episode around food and eating and those kinds of things. And then I listened to that podcast and was like episode and I was like, Oh my gosh, this is like the sign that we need to do this. But like she was the the cook and I will include all of this in the show notes. I promise. She was talking about how, you know, she's always you know, been in battle with her body and those kinds of things. And she's like, there was only I only had two moods or two emotions. Happy you're fat. Oh, then her therapist says to her, you know, fat
isn't an emotion.
And yeah, and it was just like powerful. Yeah. Yeah.
I'm gonna have to sit with that for a bit.
Yeah, I'd like and I'm still sitting with it, which is not at all. Like I said, I'll include in the show notes and a link to that episode, you'd have to subscribe to luminary, but at the very least you can check out the the chef and the cookbook and also Roxane Gay has an amazing book called hunger. That is also really great. I've read it a couple times. So they've, you know, they were talking about a lot and how to it was a really great conversation. There made me think of it, but I think that a lot of cases and I thought also about, like, I have to moods happy or fat and I think that we're neurodivergent I think we find ourselves in that kind of situation and that kind of dichotomy as well, whether they're happy or ADHD, ADHD, right. Like, and and i think that there's the, you know, and then it's, it's trying to figure out, Okay, well, what is, you know, what is the actual emotion? Right, because reception?
Yeah, we interest fulness and self knowledge, right? There's a couple of ways we feel on the inside, there are ways that our bodies feel on the inside that we have to read, learn. Sometimes we have to learn for the first time, especially those of us who've been gaslit our whole lives. But when you say like, this is too itchy, and I can't wear it. And they're like, No, it's not. It's fine. Right? Yeah. So many of us have been sort of traumatically trained out of listening to our own inner voices, because people keep telling us our inner voices are wrong, right? And then there's also people been so distracted their whole lives that they never noticed what their bodies are saying, Oh yeah, people who overstimulate themselves to a certain point in a bid to self medicate so that they do not have to listen to their inner voice because what their inner voice is telling them scares them.
Right? Well, and then also when you have on your ADHD and you have 27 inner voices. Yeah, like, there's like, I was just like, Listen to your inner voice and instinct. I'm like, my instinct tells me 17 different conflicting things. Like, I don't know. And I think around food as well, where there are all of these different kinds, where is it the ADHD? Is it the executive? The you know, executive functioning? Is
it society's messages?
Is it and of course, it's all of those things. But you know that all that means is like putting food in my mouth without stopping?
Well, I think maybe that's like, maybe that'll be our next topic will be in our voices.
Oh, yeah, let's do that. Think about that. That's not terrifying at all.
And how many of those inner voices are in fact, our own inner voices and how much of it is
Sometimes I hear my mom in my head, sometimes, you know, I hear other people hear that one teacher or I hear whoever it is right here, the spokesmodel for something or other right, like, so those inner voices, the same things that keep us sometimes from eating the way that we want to eat that would authentically support us in our intentions and our desires, right, some of that we get in our own way, because of all those voices inside of us that are not necessarily our own voices. Yeah, that
Sometimes we don't really drown out our own voice when our own voice is telling us something that maybe we're not ready to hear yet. Yeah.
Yeah. Let's talk about that next time. Give me a week to mentally prepare.
know that I have a different trigger warning.
Yeah, seriously. So let's
like before we go, let's remind everybody, you are perfect. Just the way you are great. If you're hungry right now, eat something. And I don't care what I just want your body to be happy. I want your food behaviors to align, you know, with your innermost goals, to make your body feel good to make your mouth feel good to make your brain feel happy to make you feel connected to other people to find pleasure and sustenance, and nourishment, because you deserve it.
You know, we forgot to talk about what exercise and activity.
Well, you know what? Yeah, let's get the inner voices system.
Yeah, that also has to do with activities too. Right. It's like there's there's very closely
as it turns out, there was a lot to say about food. Yes, we got to the other stuff.
Yeah. Yeah. And and I think that this is this is a continuing conversation. I hope that this sparks something positive with you. arcs, joy, sparks, joy. You are not alone, either in the struggles that we think everybody has. You know, everybody else has it figured out except you or me or whoever, but that's not true. And that, you know, it's, we're happy you're here. We're happy you're listening. We are happy that you are coming on this journey with us. And yeah, I'm ready writing on Twitter.
I'm Did you want on Twitter?
You can DM me, don't bother demon damning me. Or you can always email us at all the things firstname.lastname@example.org and I will ask for your email and
I will read it
who will who will answer or not depending on me and then I'll answer again. So it's not efficient, but it works. So that's the other lesson, right? It might not be the most efficient way. It might not be the way everybody else the only
way that it's going to work for us.
Exactly. And so we are glad to do it that way. Until next week, until Yeah, when next week, I don't think I get to leave this as one. I think this is a very long standalone To be honest, very like
people should have snacks before they started.
Did you remember yesterday? I
did. I ate lunch before this episode Lee. That was what got me thinking about I do not want to like end this podcast again this week. Like, I gotta go, Lee I'm so hungry. I'm gonna punch a hole in the wall. Like, I'm gonna do better today.
And I did. Yay, good. That was Anyways,
this is another thing that I want to talk about is celebrating wins winds that are wins for us. But to other people are like, isn't that just normal behavior?
Okay, I have to tell you, I know we're supposed to like already be gone. But I have to say on this with my therapist, and we call these I was He's like, we could call them small wins. I'm like, they're not actually wins. They're just losses. That's what they are. Small, not losses. This was a place that could have gone to hell. And it didn't. Yay for me. So we can talk about those in another episode too. Well, but
what what sparked that is I actually tweeted out the other day, cuz I'm, I didn't buy a pattern. Like I didn't need to have like 27 shirt dress patterns. And I saw another one that wasn't quite like all my other shirt test patterns.
So I was like, I just need
more. And I was like, No, you don't need another shirt pattern. And I close the tab. And I was like, I didn't buy the pattern. But nobody knows.
Lecture yesterday, I attended a virtual lecture and I got bored partway through and I bought a dress
so bad. so bad. So that was
like a small not loss for you. And one impulse control problem for me.
Yeah. Add To Cart. Oh, yeah.
Yeah. All right, let's let's draw this to a close up before it becomes a two hour episode.
All right. Have a great week, everyone. We'll see you next week. Thanks for listening. Bye.