Poetry – ADHD / grief / and LIFE!

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Provisional Conclusions is a collection of my poetry over the years. It includes thoughts about ADHD, losing Amy, travelling, and thinking about life ina general. Please check it out!

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Thoughts About ADHD/Day 13 – ADHD and Improv [3 of 3] (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

In this series of 3 posts, I’m going to talk about 1) some reasons why Improv is great for those of us with ADHD, 2) how you can get up and started, and 3) some of my favorite games for ADHDers and why.

You’re ready to try some Improv but wondering which games are best for ADDers?

The following list of games are some that I think are particularly good for ADHD-wired brains. I looked for games that require you both to be present and to really intentionally focus your attention,

  • Zip, Zap, Zop – the energy might come to you next, so you have to always be watching
  • Mirror – you and your partner want to match as closely as possible, requires you are fully engaged
  • New Choice – you might think you know where the scene is going, but it can change at any time so you have to really focus
  • Speak in One Voice – this one is a lot of fun, especially when you try and speed it up
  • Remember that Vacation? – you pick up clues from each other and have to be careful not to contradict
  • Two-Headed Expert – a variation of One Word Story but there are only 2 of you

And finally, DOING 2 PERSON SCENES. This is where it all comes together. To be a good scene partner, you have to stay engaged and fully present the entire time, The two of you are building a world together and it really helps if you’re both build the same world.

There are a lot more Improv games out there you can try. Here’s my rule of thumb for ADHD-focused games: if you find that you can let your attention drift – even for a few seconds – and can still play the game, it probably shouldn’t be on this list.

One last word – remember that part of this is to have fun. So, if there are games you find that you enjoy but don’t meet “my” level for “ADHD-focused”, play them anyway. The community you’re building and the fun you’re having are well worth it.

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 12 – Video Clip Saturday (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

Wednesdays and Saturdays, I’m going to share with you some videos I’ve made over the last few years that are related – in one way or another – to ADHD.

This is a song titled “Self-Care”. I wrote it based on stories I’ve heard from callers to our online support group for partners of those of us with ADHD. The performance is from the 2018 ADHD Conferen0ce in St. Louis, MO

 

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 11 – ADHD and Improv [2 of 3] (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

In this series of 3 posts, I’m going to talk about 1) some reasons why Improv is great for those of us with ADHD, 2) how you can get up and started, and 3) some of my favorite games for ADHDers and why.

How does one get started doing Improv?

The answer is simple: you already are. Unless you woke up this morning and found a script under your pillow – one that outlined who you would run into today, what you would do and say to them, what you were going to have for dinner, etc. – you are already improvising. So, don’t be afraid of it. Don’t be intimiated by the idea.

So far, so good. But you probably want a little more. Fair enough.

Step 1 is get some exposure to it. Go to some local Improv shows. Check out videos on YouTube made by various Improv troupes. And yes, watch “Whose Line is It Anyway?” – these guys have been together a long time and you can learn a lot from watching them interact. Just don’t set your bar there.

Step 2 is to find some other people who want to try it out. I’ve had a lot of luck with Meetup.com but you could start out by just asking friends and family.

Step 3 – if you can find a leader, someone with at least a little experience, do it. If not, don’t be afraid to try it yourself. Remember, this is PLAYING. Think Dungeons and Dragons or Poker – yes, it’s good to have some experienced people in the room, but if not, don’t let that stop you!

Step 4 – Find some simple games to try. There are plenty of websites like Improv Encyclopedia, the Improv Games Archive at Spolin Games Online, and ImproWiki to name just a few. Find games that look easy to learn and that sound like fun to play. (Some samples tomorrow.)

Step 5 – Pick a time and place and DO IT! Maybe it’s Tuesday night at 8 in a rented room at the local library. Maybe it’s Sunday afternoon in your living room.

Remember that this is not intended to prepare you to audition at Second City or to run your own troupe, but it will be a lot of fun and it’s great exercise in Being Present.

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 9 – Video Clip Wednesday (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

Wednesdays and Saturdays, I’m going to share with you some videos I’ve made over the last few years that are related – in one way or another – to ADHD.

This video is titled “You Are OK – Your Executive Function Told Me So”. It’s part of my performance for the 2014 ADHD Conference Talent Show. Thanks to Dean Solden for playing along on the Introduction.

 

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 10 – ADHD and Improv [1 of 3] (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

In this series of 3 posts, I’m going to talk about 1) some reasons why Improv is great for those of us with ADHD, 2) how you can get up and started, and 3) some of my favorite games for ADHDers and why.

I’m going to start right in with a statement that might surprise some of you: “Improv” is not a sub-category of “comedy”. Improv is its own thing.

My first connection with Improvisation was playing in bands and improvising musical breaks, my second was an Intensive at Second City. In our discussions about Improvisation, I was introduced to the work of people like Steven Nachmanovitch (whose book “Free Play” is wonderful), Martin Seligman (positive psychology), and, more importantly, Viola Spolin.

Spolin’s vision was to get us out of our heads and into direct communciation with each other. “When the rational mind is shut off, we have the possibility of intuition.” This is the essence of Being Present. Stop thinking about what you’re doing and just do it!

The key to Improvisation is Being Present and Being Engaged. That’s it.

But it isn’t that simple, especially for us ADDers. We might be impulsive, we might not understand all the social cues others “get”, but we certainly understand not wanting to be embarassed. A lot of us have learned to keep our heads down. To not stand out.  How do we let ourselves get past that fear so we can engage and be Present?

That’s where the teacher/host/facilitator comes in. The Number One job of the person running the group is to create a Safe Space for the group to experiment, for you to turn off the rational mind and just engage. It’s the most challenging thing for the leader, but, if they get it right, it’s playtime.

In the next post, I’ll say something about how to find a group or get your own up and running.

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 8 – Online Resources [2 of 2] (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

Yesterday, I posted some favorite links for Information and Support and some Podcasts and YouTube channels. Today, I want to share with you some of the books I consider “the Classics”, we well as as few websites I can always rely on. Again, reminding you that these are my favorites, talk to others and see what’s helped them.

Books – ADHD in General

Driven to Distraction by Edward (Ned) Hallowell and John Ratey – THE classic starting point for a good understanding of ADHD

You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo – one of the first books about Adult ADHD written by people with Adult ADHD

Journeys Through ADDulthood by Sari Solden – a whole-life look at ADHD, focusing on the steps we take in the journey from discovery to acceptance

Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception by Thom Hartmann – another way of thinking about the ADHD skillset and how it fits/doesn’t into the contemporary world

Taking Charge of Adult ADHD by Russell Barkley – I’ll admit I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but what I’ve read so far is rock solid

Smart But Stuck by Thomas E. Brown – powerful book on the emotional aspects of ADHD

Books – ADHD in Relationships

Is it You, Me, or Adult A.D.D. by Gina Pera – insightful and powerful, these are stories of the way ADHD affects both partners in the relationship and what you can do about it

The ADHD Effect on Marriage by Melissa Orlov – classic on understanding the impact of ADHD on relationships and how to deal with it

Adult ADHD-Focused Couples Thereapy by Arthur Robin and Gina Pera – a very accessible book that balances powerful analysis with practical strategies

ADHD After Dark by Ari Tuckman – this recently published takes a look at how ADHD can affect the sexual part of our lives. Based on 3000 responses from people with ADHD and their partners.

Websites

ADDDiva – Linda Roggli works mostly with women who are mid-life and beyond and hosts webinars, workshops and retreats. Her information is always entertaining and top-notch

ADDitude Magazine – website for articles and videos on ADHD

Totally ADD – Rick Green produces and presents ADHD information with wit, wisdom and charm

Facebook and Meetup – there are several pages on both sites dedicated to ADHD, including local groups and online connections.

I hope this list helps get you started. Let me know what else you find out there that’s helpful

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 7 – Online Resources [1 of 2] (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

There are a LOT of resources online that talk about ADHD. Today and tomorrow, I’ll be posting links to them to help you get started. These is a short list of some of my favorites – there are others that are very good, so if you’ve found some you like, please share with me.

Information and Support

Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) – “provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder lead better lives.” This is my go-to site for information, events, and connections, especially around Adult ADHD, jobs, relationships, and the like.

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) – “We believe in improving the lives of people affected by ADHD.” Another great site for a wealth of information around Adults and Children with ADHD.

Podcasts and YouTube

ADHD ReWired – Eric Tivers has been interviewing some of the best resources on ADHD since 2014. His shows are friendly, informative and entertaining.

How To ADHD (Jessica McCabe) – This is the website associated with Jessica’s fun and information-packed YouTube Channel “How to ADHD”. I love these because she packs a LOT of information into very bite-sized units – most are under 10 minutes.

Attention Talk Radio (Jeff Copper)

Distraction Podcast (Ned Hallowell)