Great in a crisis, defeated by a hassle?

I have always said that it will never be a big thing that defeats me, it will an onslaught on little things.

When a big crisis occurs, my brain automatically puts things in perspective – I can see what’s important and what to brush off, I know how to choose between tasks and ideas, I can prioritize and delegate.

When small hassles occur, especially when they arrive in a group, I get easily overwhelmed and defeated.

This is definitely an ADHD thing but I undoubtedly put my own personal spin on it as well.

One day last week, I was so frazzled by little things that I had to ask my husband to drive me to the drugstore because I wasn’t sure I had the wherewithal to drive. And once I was inside, the collective hassles of the day had my brain so jumbled that I lost track of what I was doing because someone at the other counter had a whiny voice.

Is it ridiculous? Absolutely.

Is it still a problem? Definitely.

You see, knowing that a situation or an issue is affecting me disproportionately does not change my experience, especially in the moment.

I’ve gotten pretty good at saying to friends and family, “I know my stress about this is out of whack but please help me.”

Instead of being hard on myself and instead of getting frustrated by what feels like indifference or sabotage by other people, my ADHD diagnosis has helped me see this as a perception problem and ask for help in a more sensible way.

Some days, though, no amount of help will help.

Yesterday, I just had one tiny thing after another happen to me – to the point that my husband and I were joking that someone had cursed me – and I couldn’t seem to get a grip on things at all.

I’m sure part of the problem was that my back was wonky so I had a low frustration tolerance but mostly it was a string of annoying coincidences.

I gave up on trying to move forward. I took a bath and then lay down to read for a while.

It kind of felt like being defeated by hassles but I prefer to think of it as a strategic retreat.

Gotta choose your battles, right?