Monday, 11 April 2016

Monday update for CBT Week 1

If you didn't read my previous post, go and read that first because it explains what I am doing here.

So, Monday goals.

I collected the mail as planned (go me!) I had one letter and my husband has two, which I have left on his desk. My letter looked terrifying. #1 win.

I made some coffee, but I didn't like the idea of not multitasking, so I decided to not not multitask. Which is a crap way of saying that I took the coffee to my computer desk and drank it there and didn't make any food because I didn't want to eat it alone and bored at the table or browse the internet on a tiny phone screen two feet from my desk. However, I did notice that there were several plates and cups around, so I took them to the kitchen. I did not refill the dishwasher, because the kitchen is a mess and I hadn't even drunk my coffee. The kitchen is still a bomb site (2pm). #2 fail.

Also, while drinking my coffee, I did go through my emails and open the letter while I was drinking rather than going onto other tabs. Mostly. I actually did stay pretty focused during this, this time. I didn't have any new email which required action but I looked at some cute baby pictures my friend sent me and thought about calling her but it was too early in the UK to do that.

I looked through some older emails which had required action and had bitten me in the butt, some summer childcare for my son which had cancelled, and decided that I don't need that one anyway. I wondered about sorting out some alternative childcare, which I'm just realising now probably should have made itself onto the "action" list but which didn't. (Here's my plan: When this is typed up, I'll check the time and if it's not too late, then I'll do it.) Then I sent an email to work to clarify something, and ordered a product part that I needed. Finally I opened the scary letter. It's from a debt collector in England who wants me to pay back my overdraft on my old bank account. Actually, my husband told me how to deal with this months ago (write to the bank directly). So I opened up a word document, which is still sitting there. Mostly because I can't remember what he said to write. Also because it's scary and I don't want to.

Oh. I also needed to send one more email which was to my psychiatrist to arrange an EEG scan. (Needed if I am to start medication.) I opened up the compose window and wrote "Good morning," but found this so anxiety provoking that I immediately had to browse several other tabs. Also, I needed to pee by this point, so I went to the toilet and then I walked back past the kitchen so I got myself a snack and some tea. I did finish and send the email to my psych but I had to change "Good morning" to "Good afternoon" by the time I did.

I'm giving myself half a win for point #3. I didn't focus on it completely until the end, and I overlooked a couple of needed actions, but I still did several things which were in need of getting done. I also like the fact that I can happily ignore all of my emails guilt-free now until tomorrow morning because I know that I will get to them.

I haven't started the laundry investigation yet or read any of the book. In fact my son asked me if I would wash his clothes today and I said yes but I haven't done it yet.

So I have 1.5/3 for the daily tasks and 0/2 so far for the weekly ones. To be fair, that 1.5 is an actual improvement over my usual Monday morning behaviour, even if it is still shitty. I'll take that slight improvement as a win.

CBT for ADHD, week 1

NB: (To later be removed) I realise this is a bit sudden especially after such a mass gap in posting, but I was diagnosed with adult ADHD, specifically the inattentive type. I'll put another explanatory post up and backdate it later, but the summary is: My brain is screwed, and this explains why I have such issues with the details of adulthood. (Also, problems updating a blog.)

This week I began CBT for my ADHD, so I'm going to try and note the results here both to see how I'm doing, and to document the process in case anyone is interested.

My sessions are currently on Friday evenings and this week I've come away with several goals to complete over the week. I'm sort of loosely using this book: http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Your-Adult-ADHD-Cognitive-Behavioral/dp/0195188195/ My therapist described it as "In this field there are good books and there is many bullshit. This publisher doesn't make bullshit". To the point. Anyway, it's recommended by Dr. Barkley, which is a good stamp of approval for me.

So first I identified that one of my biggest problems is when I avoid an activity which would be small and no effort, but in putting it off I make a huge problem build up for the future. I particularly have an issue with reading and answering physical and electronic mail, so that is my first task.

1. When I re-enter the house in the morning, whether it's from dropping my son off on his way to school, or whether from work, I will check the postbox and carry up the mail.

2. I'll sit down and drink my coffee and eat some breakfast, but NOT at the computer and not while reading the mail. I'm not supposed to multi-task. He wants me to finish one task before I start the next so that the tasks aren't forever unfinished leaving a trail of destruction in my wake. (This is another problem that I wanted to address.) So after this, I should take my plate and cup and any other things back to the kitchen and refill the dishwasher.

3. Then I can turn on my computer, but only to check email. I should throw away the bullshit (I'm not sure that he really gets that bullshit is an offensive word? I don't know. But it's hilarious.) and decide what actions, if any, need taking. If the action is small then I should do it immediately. If I can't do it immediately, then I should decide when I will do it. The same for physical mail. If I find myself thinking "Oh but it will be too difficult, I'll do it later" then I'm supposed to counter that by thinking "No fortune telling. Just try it."

4. My other task for this week, which is more of a week-long task, is to figure out how often I should do things like laundry by counting how many clothes and other things we use in a typical week. I already feel a little overwhelmed so it might only be laundry to begin with that I work out, but I can extend it to other things if I want to and have time. (My current tactic with laundry is to forget that it is a thing until we all run out of socks and then try to do three loads in one day, forgetting the last one and leaving it to moulder for a week.)

5. I should also read the chapter on prioritising and writing a to-do list and maybe anything preceding this, again, if I have time.