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J - Judging Myself

I am my own worst enemy.

I'm not sure why I do it. Perhaps it's childhood trauma. Perhaps it's the frustration of living with mental and physical limits. Maybe it's a lifelong habit of perfectionism. But I am incredibly hard on myself.

The area where this is most obvious is housekeeping. I am not naturally neat and organized. Hell, I'm not even neat and organized when I try. No matter how much effort I put in, my brain simply was not built for it. I know a big part of this is my ADHD. I've read story after story from fellow ADHDers about how difficult it is to stay organized. But that doesn't really make me feel better. I scream at my brain to do what needs to be done, but it doesn't happen. It's like I'm missing some crucial connection in my wiring.

I try to be more gentle with myself. I try to tell myself this is just how my brain works. But it's frustrating nonetheless. I look around my apartment and see the laundry, the dishes, the mess. I want to take care of all of it. If I'm lucky my brain will allow me to do one thing. Sometimes it's a constant game of catch up because I can only do part of one chore at a time. And I hate myself for it.

My ability to clean isn't the only thing I judge myself for. I am constantly comparing myself to other people. Sure, I cry while looking at aesthetic photos of people's homes while scrolling Pinterest; but I also don't cook enough, don't exercise, don't leave the house enough, I'm not a strict enough parent, and I sure as hell am no Pinterest mom. It looks like everytime I turn around, I'm failing at some aspect of my life.

I've heard all the kitchen sign advice. "Comparison is the thief of joy." "Don't compare your behind the scenes with someone else's highlight reel." I get it, but it's easier said than done.

And you can't ignore other people's highlight reels. Social media puts others' lives directly in our face. I can sit on the couch and see all my friends take their kids on outings while my son plays video games. I can watch influencers go on various trips while wondering how I'm going to pay the bills. People are going about doing exciting things while I barely have the energy to go grocery shopping.

I try to battle this self-judgement with factual statements about my own limitations. My ADHD is unmedicated, and might just be the biggest handicap in my life right now. My son is autistic and the reality is he's not going to be interested in doing the same things other kids do. I have an extremely small kitchen and no oven, which makes cooking hard. I have chronic fatigue so I physically can't do the things other people do.

Despite these very real facts, I still get mad at myself. This may be my reality but it shouldn't be. Perhaps that's really where I need to focus my attention. That "should". "Should" needs to be removed from my vocabulary. Instead of what I think I should be doing, I need to focus on what I can do. And maybe spend less time on social media...

1 Comment

Apr 26

For me the absolute culprit is ADHD. I wish I had been diagnosed a LOOOONG time ago, and maybe I wouldn't constantly Should on myself.

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