Monday, May 30, 2011

Addicted to Approval - Self-Worth

I've had a lot on my mind recently.  I don't know how many people that read his have ADD.  I know we joke about it - throw the word around anytime you feel scattered.  For me, that's the world I live in all the time.  My mind has thousands of things going through it at any given moment and to focus on just one takes a considerable amount of will on my part.  After 36 years on this planet I can focus on one spectacularly well.  It's like if you have 15 tvs on and they're all on different channels.  Each tv relates to something going on in your life.  The picture on one catches your eye for whatever reason.  You turn it up so that you can hear it above the others.  The other noise is still there but you can filter it out.  With me so far?  Great!

So let's say tv 1 is work.  I can program tv 1 to be from 9-6.  But then my son is tv 2.  He has a doctor appointment that I have to schedule somewhere in that time frame.  Oh, but then tv 3 is my daughter, she needs me to take her to gymnastics.  Tv 4 is the hubby who wants something from the store.  Tv 5 is housework.  Tv 6 has my dogs.  Tv 7 is Connor's school.  Tv 8 is Kyleigh's school.

You get the point.  Trying to scan all of them all the time does me no good.  What typically happens is when I'm at work, I'm thinking about work.  No room for the other stuff.  So, often what happens is that I space making appointments when I'm supposed to.  Or I forget to pay a bill until, for example, the electricity gets cut off.  As an adult, it's so frustrating to feel so out of control of your brain.  I have so many ideas that I end up shortchanging them all.  I don't do anything as completely or well as I think I could because I get distracted and then by the time I get back to it I've forgotten my original intent.

The reason for this really long intro is to give you a glimpse into myself.  A glimpse of the chaos that has been my mind and world my entire life.  It's both a blessing and a curse. 

I've been very introspective over the last few weeks.  There are a couple reasons:
  1. the 27th was my birthday - rarely good, always a reason to dwell internally
  2. I'm very conflicted about my current life direction
  3. Oprah!
Oprah? you say?  Oprah indeed.  American royalty.  I finally got around to watching the episode with one of my favorite royals, Sarah Ferguson.  Why is she my favorite?  Good question.  It could be her red hair so like mine.  It probably has more to do with her realness.  She's touchable royalty.  Diana, to me, always had this storybook princess grace about her.  She seemed untouchable, someone I couldn't imagine being in the same room as.  Fergie was someone that you had the feeling you could have a cup of coffee with and really enjoy chatting.  And, as of that episode, it turns out that she was the instigator of an Aha! moment (in Oprah speak).  They were showing clips of her upcoming series on OWN.  One particular clip was with Dr. Phil.  Basically he told her she was addicted to acceptance and approval.  They were talking about how she self-sabotaged her happiness and basically kept seeking approval from those around her while internally never feeling worthy of accepting that approval.

I can totally relate.  Obviously we have very different backgrounds.  And I can tell you clearly that my issues are directly related to my parents and upbringing or lack thereof.  My parents were teen parents.  My dad wasn't in my life past age 6.  My mom constantly went from guy to guy in her own vicious cycle.  Never content to be alone.  She has always needed a man to validate her.  She also has had a problem with drugs and alcohol most of her adult life.  As a child, I would do anything for my mom, anything to get her attention, good or bad.  My childhood was party after party of me trying to act more grown up than I ever should have and trying to get the adults to pay attention to me.  It was also very lonely.  I was jealous of the attention my mom showered on other children.

The irony of me is that I always come off self-assured and confident.  In truth, nothing could be farther from the truth.  I'm a shattered teacup on the sidewalk.  All rough edges and pieces but soft on the inside and fragile. 

I'm a pretty direct person.  It seems to be a character flaw.  To take others at their word.  I seem to trust the wrong people at the wrong time.  Actually one saying that sums me up is a day late and a dollar short.  My life is all about potential not yet realized.  I continue to have hope that I'll grow into the person I know I can be.  And this introspection is certainly part of that. 

I have so many acquaintances and so few friends.  Partially it's been me moving and partially my ADD out of sight out of mindedness.  I tend to lose phone numbers or forget to regularly call/email my friends. I think of doing said things at the weirdest times. 

Every major life decision I've made, I've tried to put as much thought into as possible.  I've always been introspective and able to see my decisions and why I made them clearly.  But it seems like I always make the wrong one.  At what point am I supposed to know what the right decisions are?

Case in point, moving to Orlando.  I thought I had good reasons.  My husbands job was stable - it was with the state and he'd been there 10 years.  I was working for significantly less as a baker because I couldn't get an IT position with my lack of degree.  Then we move here only to find out that their special education is ridiculous.  Their schools for typical kids are marginal at best.  And for the last 2 years me and the kids have been miserable.  Now, my husband's job is closing.  Thank you Dick Scott! Oh, I'm sorry, that's Rick Scott, with an R - my bad.  I don't know what the next step is - we don't have money to move anywhere so except for the grace of God and a few friends, we're screwed. 

I know this is rambly but it was more for me than anyone else.  Sometimes I just need to dump my feelings out to sort through them.  If anyone does end up reading this, please accept my sincere apologies for the brain dump.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Everyday inspiration

I was just thinking how my mind is constantly going and how things constantly grab my attention and get my mind whirling on how I can make that thing, make it better, make it different.  My problem is holding onto the idea until I can make it happen.  I try to write them down but that means I have to remember where I wrote it down.  Sometimes if I can I'll take a picture with my phone.  That definitely helps.

I'm interested in hearing about how everyone else grabs those inpiration whispers floating through the air.