Constructive ADHD

Visakan Veerasamy ebook. I’m a fan of the phrase “constructive ADHD”, more so than say “productive ADHD”, because it makes me think of building things. (making)

Saying what you’re going to do, then doing it

A newer friend once said something like “I like how Visa says he’s going to do something, then immediately does it.” This was quite funny for me to hear, because… it’s actually an ADHD coping mechanism. if you ask my friends from my teenage days, they’ll tell you that I was extremely unreliable

My attempted solution was overkill – I tried to impose tyrannical order on my chaotic whirlwind self. I did make some material progress, and I also made myself utterly miserable – which I felt like I deserved, because after all, wasn’t I a lousy person?

even if I believe that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I still have to walk my way out. and the way to do that, when you have zero sense of balance, proprioception, muscle control, blah blah, is to put one foot in front of the other, firmly, and then do it again.

And what that looked like, for me, is announcing, “I’m going to drink a glass of water now,” and then drinking it. Hey, look, I just did 1x thing that I said I was going to do

a cute vestigial remnant of this whole process is that I still announce what I’m about to do before I do it. It’s like a little ritual I have for myself. Every time I do what I say, I build trust in myself

my ebooks are currently “in the red” with regards to my projections. But that’s okay – because my youtube videos are coming along beautifully. I’ve been publishing 1 every single day for almost a month

Support, don’t suppress

My #1 “productivity tip” for fellow weirdos and aliens with ADHD or ADHD-ish minds is – don’t suppress your mind, support it.

At the start of every work session, write down what you intend to do... At the end, when you have deviated wildly, don’t despair – write down what happened.

While it’s true that there are an infinite number of things to get distracted by, it’s also simultaneously true that most things are connected – and it’s all part of the same whole. So write it down. You’ll find patterns.

Write. Your. Shit. Down.

The writing takes extra effort, but it builds you up tremendously. And without it, you’re left scattered, incoherent, lost.

Question the assumptions

people make those assumptions based on what they see in any given snapshot moment. you see a kanye west daydreaming in class and you think he's "distracted"

most people don't spend much time interrogating the lenses through which they are observing reality, and the arbitrary values encoded in the systems which they've inherited.

big part of the challenge of having a neurodivergent mind is understanding how it is different, what are the contexts in which it excels, what are the contexts in which it doesn't, how to seek help/assistance for what you're not good at, and so on

Put the gun down

Yelling at people is a horrible strategy for behaviour modification. this is true internally as well

ADHD is the slipperiest, most irreverent fucker on Earth 😂 which is to say he/she/they will resist your coercion and bullying TO THE DEATH. You cannot win this fight. put the gun down

The ADHD guerrillas in your head will outlast the authoritarian govt of your executive function every time, however repressive you get

At this stage in your relationship (with yourself) your claims and beliefs about yourself have all been warped

We can fix this... you have to declare a trust bankruptcy. a resentment jubilee

trust is rebuilt with small baby steps. you have to ask yourself very small, achievable things. ask yourself for a glass of water. go do that

You can’t intimidate ADHD into submission

this is the intersection of the two next books I intend to write: Unlearning Coercion, and Constructive ADHD

ADHD can remain “irrational” longer than your executive function can stay solvent

If I am a charming and persuasive person, maybe half of it is that I had to charm and persuade others to survive socially, but another half of it is that I have to charm and persuade myself to get me to do anything.

Trickster spirit

I don't think they should try to suppress their mind's wild swings. My advice is to develop the practice of taking meticulous notes instead (note-taking)

Mind palace

I’ve basically taught myself to manage my ADHD with notes and threads.

Because of threading and recognition, I can almost always pick up where I left off

If you’re like me, I recommend keep meticulous notes of whatever you do when you’re procrastinating. I think of it as “deep-self-directed work”. If you’re going to watch trashy movies then write down your thoughts after watching each movie. (deeper interstitial journaling)

Some random note-taking advice

Start with one notepad file

Just start dumping all your thoughts. Use line breaks, make it “chunky” (as opposed to long paragraphs)

Keep going until you begin to feel overwhelmed. Now pause. Your notepad file is now full of many discrete (as opposed to continuous) points, too many for you to remember or make sense of at a glance. Great! Now it’s time to sort.

You now want to look for connections between nodes. Resist the urge to impose some sort of top-down grand scheme.

Dozens (100s if you nasty like me) of “atoms” start to coalesce into a smaller handful of “molecules”. You no longer need to consider and recall every single thing. You just need to remember the core molecules, and recognize “what goes with what”

My style

be micro-rigorous in making sure that each new thing quickly considers all past things, and is threaded accordingly.

properly-threaded half-dones are fine. lingering on a half-done for too long is not.

It’s probably wise to seek a role that relies on your strengths

“how do you live a normal life despite your ADHD”, but the true answer is “I don’t live a normal life”. I’ve chosen/designed a life around me, not the other way around

I don’t really how to live a normal life

Useful actionable stuff goes here maybe, and/or a review of everything

review of everything

Put down the gun – it’s very difficult to make progress while you’re being mean/cruel to yourself

Take baby steps – it might seem childish, but that itself is a kind of dismissive cruelty. Greatness happens from small beginnings. If taking bigger steps hasn’t worked out so far, go smaller. You can be ferocious and intense about it

Leave notes for your future self.... Thread things

Get good at asking for help... Help people + ask for help in turn

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