“traits and features” of ADHD and Saint Josemaria

If I could explain to the world what my mind feels like, I feel like everyone would just get… lost. There is usually a constant buzz in my brain. A thousand thoughts going at a thousand miles a second, every which way! It’s always been this way.

Growing up, I always thought… You’re just a dreamer. You’ll get it together one day.

My mother, often frustrated with my behaviors, would say (in exasperation)… You’re my artist. I am also her “absentminded professor.” Over the years, I have frustrated her tons (and my dad, and my grandma) with my seemingly haphazard modus operandi.

Fast forward to today, and as a clinician myself and after speaking with a professional, I believe that I have “traits and features” of what the world calls “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” It just manifests differently in some girls and women. (IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not diagnosing myself with ADHD– but I certainly can relate to ALL of published material about how to cope with it! That’s me!)

Growing up, I was blessed in that I did well in school, but my parents had no idea how. Well, neither did I.

I have always felt like I have ceaselessly struggled with organization, listening attentively, and not being able to daydream. I have always felt like no one would ever understand how my brain worked. And I still always thank God for helping me to get by.

So I have coped with these “traits and features” of ADHD so far. But now I want them to be GONE! I am SO done living this way.

Over two decades as a student later, and even super excited about possibly earning a Doctorate (still debating whether to apply to schools), I am wondering how much longer I can feel like I am “surviving” in life. I do well on the outside, but that is not how I feel on the inside.

How I have been coping this long has been nothing short of a miracle. It’s been tough. I want to feel like I am thriving, not just “surviving”! Working around my impulses can be just… tortuous. But  I strongly yearn to learn how to utilize as much of my willpower to maintain structure and productivity in my life.

I am blogging about this on my spiritual blog because I now realize that all of these personal struggles have actually been a huge theme in my walk with God ever since I was a kid. I remember praying, “God help me get this done!” after procrastinating even when I was in fifth grade. When I was an older “kid” and entered UCLA, I even started the first official “Procrastinators Anonymous” Facebook page. Ha!

Furthermore, I now realize that as  became older, I likely grew to have an affinity for certain saints like Saint Josemaria Escriva because their spirituality helped me to deal with my every day battles that stem from my disorganized “artist” and “absentminded” nature. For instance, I love Saint Josemaria because he talks about how discipline in the layperson’s vocation can bring to life the glory of God!

I know I need that intentional structure in order to be fully alive. It does not come naturally to me. I am very impulsive. And I have always needed to be mindful of being “disciplined” in order to deal with my mind being everywhere at all times.

I like Saint Josemaria’s tips because I know that prayer centers me. Throughout the day, the mindfulness that constant little prayers brings helps me to be intentional about the tasks at hand that God calls me to complete.

Just getting through the hours of the day can feel like a struggle, and it often is. HOWEVER… God and my prayer-life help to scaffold my every day tasks! Jesus has brought peace to my mind and soul in ways I never imagined. He brings structure. He produces fruit. If only I let Him and try my best to cooperate!

All that being said…. I need to get back to my work now. A la the “traits and features” of ADHD– the writing of this blog post was all just an unplanned endeavor, just as all of my blog posts are– “stream of thought,” if you will… as most of my life feels. Who’s to say that cannot change though?! With God, all things are possible.

By the grace of God, I know He is always pulling me through! And it is always His plan, so long as I say yes with my “fiat” hour by hour, day by day.

josemaria

Saint Josemaria started a lay prelature in the Catholic Church called Opus Dei (literally meaning “Work of God”). There is a great book about this prelature called Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace: My Spiritual Journey in Opus Dei by renown theologian Scott Hahn! READ IT. You won’t regret it.