Addiction to Busy

I recently found Katy Rollin’s blog, 18 Channels, and fell in love with her writing style. She now writes for ADDitude Magazine in her column “Executive Function“, and created poignant post about craving chaos that I wanted to share with you. She writes:

“I’ve always needed the charge of being busy. In some ways, I think it was a form of self-medication. However, now that I have had a treatment plan in place for several years, including medication and regular visits with my therapist, I seem to need less excitement to keep me feeling alive and focused.”

Reading this resonated with me so much because in the past three years, I had done nothing but seek out and stockpile commitments that made me busier. In hindsight, maybe it was my brain’s way of getting the stimulation it needed to feel focused, invigorated, and alive. The latter is particularly true- I often got a high out of my busy schedule. The challenge of juggling everything and meeting deadlines while keeping my perfectionist attention to detail gave me a charge. And as always, with the highs came the lows. After “succeeding” at something, I would crash. Hard. It made me miserable and often left me with feelings of “what’s the point of anything”. The cycle felt inescapable.

This journey is still new, but it’s been so enlightening. I feel less alone in reading the words of others, and this self awareness is already helping me realize why I sabotage my inner peace as much as I do. Through this new lens, I see that my stimulant medication can replace over-commitment. And by getting rid of over-commitment, I can be a more focused and present person in the commitments I choose to keep. The metaphor for the ADHD brain being akin to a Ferrari engine with bicycle breaks is so true; as we all know from race car video games, if you press hard on the gas for the entire lap without slowing down for corners, you’re sure to end up in the grass.


Figure 1. Slowing down for this corner is non-negotiable.

Read Katy’s full article HERE.


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