I try to live by the adage that “where there are no secrets, evil has no power”. I find that the more you have out in the open, the more you aren’t wasting energy trying to hide stuff.
Since mentioning that I have adult ADHD, it’s been interesting to see how much other people are opening up about their own struggles. One person asked me yesterday at church when I was going to start a support group for those who have adult ADHD like himself (I had no idea he had it… but my honesty birthed his honesty). I told him “never”… because trying to get a group of people with ADHD together would be like trying to corral cats (and don’t even get me started on those who agree schedule to meet… but then forget about the meeting)!
But the question about having a “support group” got me thinking. I wonder how many people who struggle with ADHD struggle alone? If so many people have it, why are we all hiding?
Even though I wasn’t officially diagnosed with ADHD until recently, I always knew that I had it (um… my wife has known for a long time too!) so I had already put strategies and structures in place to help me be more productive. But what about those who are lost wondering why they “aren’t reaching their potential” or “staying on task”? What about those who are the “daydreamers” when the reality is that the repetitive tasks that they are performing for their jobs are causing their minds to ‘check out’?
So, I am not saying that I am starting a support group (though I think if you are aware of it you should let me know so that I can include you in some of my thoughts / findings). But I am saying that I may talk more about this and see how it may benefit others. A conversation only continues as long as it is mutually beneficial. If all parties are not benefitting, it simply turns into a rant or a monologue… and I have no time for that.
So leave me your thoughts and comment below. Leave me your struggles. Your strategies. Let’s get it out in the open. Perhaps the rest of us may find some solutions birthed from the struggles that you may have previously faced and overcome.
We have nothing to hide,
There are three ways to put out a fire. Remove the fuel. Remove the heat. Or remove the oxygen. Simple as that.
Toxic relationships continue when you choose to keep the fire going. Sometimes you are not able to remove yourself from the actual person (fuel). They may be a family member or a co-worker. You may not be able to remove the ‘heat’ either due to proximity. Whenever you are around each other, your feelings ‘fire’ up without any ability to exert self-control.
Canadian Living defined toxic relationships as any relationship “that makes you feel consistently bad about yourself.” It goes on to write that these relationships leave “you feeling anxious, unrewarded and unaccepted.
Know anyone that fits that definition? Have any of those people in your life?
I like how Kris Carr (@Kris_Carr) said it when she tweeted that “we get to decide who we allow into our inner sanctum. Not everyone deserves an all-access pass.” For some reason we can feel obligated to keep people around us who are depleting us, not completing us.
So I would suggest to you that if you can’t get rid of the fuel or the heat, get rid of the ‘oxygen’.
You alone decide whether you are going to allow this person [these people] to ‘breathe’ into your life. Believe it or not, much of the toxicity of the relationship is based on the proximity of that person to ‘your’ sense of security, well-being, and happiness. They affect you because they affect ‘you’.
If it were people that didn’t matter to you (or never mattered to you) then their place in your life wouldn’t be an issue; you wouldn’t give them any ‘breath’. Where things go south is when you continue to let them matter to you. It is in those times that they end up taking your ‘breath away’.
So smother them (not literally… though sometimes you may have to squelch those thoughts). Don’t allow them to breathe into or over your life ending up taking away the joy and happiness that you long for.
Toxic relationships damage you. You don’t have the time, the desire, or the purpose to be damaged. Surround yourself with those who will better you. You will quickly discover how great it is to ‘breathe’ again.
Bring on the fresh air!