Blast Away ADHD Shame
& ADHD Guilt too!🌻
Blast Away ADHD Shame – We Don’t Need It Any More!
I promised you a few weeks ago that I’d share some tips for blasting away ADHD Shame. If you missed that post where I talked about what ADHD shame is and where it comes from, check it out HERE.
Many people with ADHD struggle with feeling ADHD shame most of their lives. This is especially true when people are undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or simply don’t yet have a full understanding of how their ADHD works.
For myself, I tended to feel a lot of ADHD shame around things like talking too much, losing important things, waiting until the very last minute, and struggling to focus. The shame of feeling unable to do things, and being in the dark about why, grows as we do. It grows and lingers and colors our perceptions of ourselves and our abilities.
BUT – when we finally do understand what is going on, how it impacts us, and we develop the tools to manage, we can start to let that shame go – we don’t need it any more.
We Don’t Need The Guilt Either
When our self-perceived shortcomings begin to impact the people around us, that ADHD shame brings along some ADHD guilt to go with it. I tend to see these two feelings as closely related; but I feel shame when my symptoms impact me and I feel guilty when they impact other people.
Even though I already knew I had ADHD when I was a young mother, I didn’t attribute my struggles to ADHD. Neither did my therapist. I continued to struggle with all of the above now it began to impact my then-husband, my kids, and my friendships.
The shame and guilt continued to grow with every missed appointment, every glance at the mountain of dirty laundry I just couldn’t manage to make myself do, and every job I lost. The guilt just continued to grow until it felt like a heavy, weighted blanket – just not in the comforting way.
It wasn’t until I began really understanding my ADHD diagnosis, and in fact ADHD as a whole, that I began to realize that the ADHD shame and guilt are not something I need to carry any more. But 40+ years of carrying it makes it tough to put down. I am still working on recognizing it when I feel it, and releasing it.
It is not an fast or easy process, so here are some tips that might work for you. As always, take what works, and skip the rest. You are the expert of you!
Tips to Blast Away ADHD Shame & Guilt
- Remind yourself that you have ADHD. This sounds a bit silly, but acknowledging that you do, in fact, have a diverse brain and that you do things differently, not wrongly can help a great deal.
- Challenge your negative thoughts and reframe them. It might sound like this, “No, I am not lazy, I have difficulty with task initiation.” I still have to remind myself of this regularly!
- Create a visual reminder. This could be done a million ways – but the important part is to write down all the things you know to be true about yourself and put it where you can see it. Then when you have a criticism or opinion about yourself – you can check it against what you already know to be true about yourself. This can also be helpful when other people are critical, to minimize Rejection Sensitivity Disorder.
- Focus on a strength based view of yourself and your capabilities. Embrace all the things you can do, identify your strengths and and cultivate your unique super powers.
- Accept yourself *and* strive to be better. Accept that you are human and have flaws and weaknesses. And challenge yourself to keep growing.
- Don’t hold yourself to impossible standards. Remind yourself that the goal is progress, not perfection. One step in any journey is one step closer. Celebrate progress.
- Find your people – Find the people around you who cheer you on, who accept you and your ADHD with its strengths and challenges. Stick with people who encourage you to be grow and learn, celebrate with you with every success and encourage you to get up when you fail.
- Self care and self compassion – Be kind to yourself. Be as gentle to yourself as you would be to any loved one. Practice regular self care, however that looks for you.
- Own and apologize your mistakes – when you do inevitably impact someone else, don’t spiral about it – just own it and apologize. The people who love you or work with you will usually appreciate it.
- Find the tips, tricks and systems that help you out in the areas you have more difficulty with. Calendars, alarms, apps, journals, body doubling, check lists – there are so many tools now, try a few and see what works.
- Break the stigma – by doing the above things and being open about your challenges, you help to blast away the stigma as well as the ADHD shame and guilt itself. One personal example is that I tell my clients when we first meet that I have ADHD and a fidget toy in my hand and that if they see me fidget, they can be assured that it means that I am paying attention as opposed to meaning I’m distracted.
- Get help if you need it. Blasting away that ADHD shame and guilt can be super tough. I’m still finding places where I realize I’m shaming myself for a symptom. If you need help, reach out. There are support groups, skill based groups, therapist, psych professionals, ADHD Affirming Coaches, and so much more. You deserve to feel good about yourself.
Blast Away ADHD Shame with Kat
If you are interested in working with me to overcome ADHD shame and guilt, please book a discovery session for free today. I’d love to partner with you to identify your strengths, uncover your superpowers, strategize systems for your weaknesses, and help you thrive with ADHD.
You can also follow me on all the social media platforms – I post daily on IG, and regularly on most of the rest. Between my social media and my mailing lists, I provide free information, tips and tricks, education, resources specials and more.
If you have any questions at all, please let me know! What ways have worked for YOU to blast away ADHD shame?