ADHD and Reflexive Feelings

Reflexive Knee JerkOften, those with ADHD feel chaotic and disorganized. In a sense a feeling is a knee-jerk or reflexive emotional response in that emotions or judgments are made without awareness, analysis, or acknowledgement of what “is.”  Just because you feel something doesn’t make it a reality. This reminds me of a story. You may be familiar with it.

As a terrible flood was approaching a town, local officials warned the residents to evacuate. One man heard the warning but decided to stay, saying, “I will trust God, and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”

His neighbors came by in their car and asked him to go with them, but the man said no. “I have faith that God will save me.”

The man watched as the water continued to rise. Soon, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him to get into the canoe. But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”

The floodwaters rose higher, pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. They shouted that they would rescue him, but the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop. A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man to grab his hand to pull him up to safety. But the man still refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”

Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.

When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”

And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”

I think many of those with or impacted by ADHD can learn something from this story. In simple terms the man in the story felt God would save him with some divine intervention. That feeling got in the way of witnessing reality. Often, managing ADHD is about witnessing what is and moving forward with the reality.

More and more, I’m finding success in those with ADHD who witness what it’s like to let go of that feeling. After all, motivation isn’t what you think you should do; it’s actually what you do. Think about it. Everything you ever did you did because you were motivated to do it at the time you did it. Everything you haven’t done you didn’t do because you were motivated to do something else instead. The point is.  Feeling isn’t always reality. Reality is.  Practice observing reality.

I’ve written two other blogs that indirectly speak to this concept:  Relaxing ADHD Style (link and  Ugly Organizing Systems (link to I encourage you to read them. You may find you can work with ADHD, not against it!


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