I’ve made a lot of commitments in my life. Lose weight. Get in shape. Write my book. Walk the dogs more often. Put money in savings. Go to bed early. Finish one project before I start another. You can see how my ADHD brain might rebel, or at least argue with, commitments like these.
To me, a commitment has always been BIG and SERIOUS and RIGID. Especially rigid. That particular combination has the continuing and infuriating effect of launching my perfectionism into orbit, which ultimately undermines my good faith decisions.
The internal conversation goes something like this:
ADDiva Linda: I really want a piece of cake.
Linear Linda: No, I must have a piece of fruit instead.
AL: But I want a piece of cake. I will die if I don’t eat that piece of cake.
LL:Don’t be silly, you can live off the fat of the land for a long time – you won’t die.
AA: But I have deprived myself all week long and now I deserve a piece of cake.
LL: If you eat cake you will blow your diet – again.
AK: But I really have to have that piece of cake.
LL: Are you SURE it’s worth it to have that piece of cake? AL: I’m sure (head nodding like an eager dog). I will start my diet again next week.
LL: Oh, all right have a piece of cake, but you might as well give up dieting because you can’t stay on it for even a week.
AL: OK, I will give up dieting but give me that piece of CAKE!”
Clearly, I am constitutionally unable to stick to a diet for even a week, thus I must be a bad person, thus why bother trying again? Yes, I know that linear thinkers also have trouble sticking to diets. But they seem to pull themselves back together and dive in for another round of torture, while I just flop around feeling failure-ish. Eventually I just stop initiating commitments altogether.
For Pete’s sake I don’t like the F word (that’s Failure – get your mind out of the gutter). So I have decided to reframe the concept of Commitment to something that is more ADD friendly. How about …. intention? Very popular in “The Secret.”
If I intend to diet, that let’s me off the hook if I don’t diet. Heck, I intended to stick with my food plan or diet or lifestyle or whatever the current phrase is this week. But that piece of cake just jumped into harm’s way. Right? Maybe I’d better examine “Intention” next…