Understanding ADHD

ADD/ADHD THOUGHTS 11/15/2018. Warning, this is long and thought stimulating. 😁👀❤️

I am getting to that point of finding my strengths instead of beating myself up for my “faults”. The negatives get more attention typically, because those are the things that bother other people most such as chronic lateness, distractibility, difficulty following through on tasks, daydreaming, etc. However in spite of those traits, I discover there are many people who treasure my strengths enough to overlook the weak areas. This has helped me so much in my process! For example, I am blessed with a boss at my part time work who treasures my strengths, enough to overlook things that would have gotten me fired (again) by most bosses (chronic lateness!).

At this point I would expect some family or friend to pop in and say “you just have to make it happen, you just need to set alarms earlier” etc.. You would laugh to see the system of repeating alarms I use to trip myself up and keep on some semblance of schedule. Not that they work often! And then there was the time I rushed late to another appointment only to discover I was a week early. Or recently, an hour early… wow! So I took pics of the lovely sunrise and went back to my usual 10 min late 😂🤪. Time and me do NOT have an understanding of each other. Mother called me her “Just a minute Kid” because I said that so often, and it meant anything from a second to an hour.

My dad was chronically late, so am I. Drove mom nuts at times 😂😂 I was daddy’s little girl, and she was hoping for a pinafore and curls kinda girl. Instead I got grease on my Sunday dress helping Dad check the oil about the time we were supposed to leave for church. We were both also super sensitive/empathic, and spent most all summers camping. I am sure Dad’s mind was more at peace out on the river fishing. Mine sure was. I suspect he also had ADHD or something similar. Some have suggested he was bi-polar, but my studies and experience lead me to think otherwise.

The ADHD was diagnosed maybe 3-4 years ago, as part of the breakdown I had. I also had strong PTSD, depression and anxiety. I now believe that the latter 3 diagnosis stem from the ADD. Since then I have had some great counseling and found some really good books on audible.

“The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer is not a book about ADD, but it certainly helped tremendously. I think this book should be required reading in schools!

The book “Driven to Distraction” by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D helped me to come to grips with what it is and that I certainly have it. So does the author!

“ADD-Friendly Ways to organize your life” by Judith Kolberg, Ph.D. Has been helpful.

My new favorite is “Focused Forward: Navigating the storms of Adult ADHD” by James M. Ochoa LPC. He narrates his own book, also has ADHD, and has a theory about the emotional distress it can cause. He calls it Emotional Distress Syndrome, or EDS. He has some great ideas, helpful tips like creating your emotionally safe place for when things get too stressful.

Another incredibly helpful therapy is EMDR.

“EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.” Find their website at emdr (dot) com, to learn more.

EMDR did amazing things for my brain! James M. Ochoa (book above) says this practice has been extremely helpful for the ADHD individuals.

Many of the worlds famous inventors, geniuses, musicians, artists etc have had (or do have) ADHD and/ or Autism (Asperger’s Syndrome)

Maybe it is time that the rest of humans who tend to be impatient and judgmental of those of us who are “different” try to educate themselves as well. Books like those above can give you a good insight into 5-10% of the population who have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADD (without the hyperactive component.. these are more often but not entirely women, they are the dreamers staring out the window, in their own world). They often have high intelligence, but have difficulty channeling their thoughts.

Many in this category slip thru the cracks in schools. Homework is not finished on time, or lost, and teachers give up since they have so many other kids to teach. With the correct meds, and genuinely helpful therapy, along more understanding and knowledge of the disorder among teachers, these students could possibly go on to bring about good things for the world.

I have long thought that basic life skills taught at an early age in school should include basic therapy such as cognitive behavior therapy. This would give students life skills for coping under stress. Also a better understanding of different brain processing types… what IS ADHD and Autism, for example. Perhaps children, with help, could learn more tolerance in this way.

Yes, I am a dreamer… but I am not the only one. Being a minority does not make us wrong by default. And yes, that song reference crept in there and became intentional 😁❤️.

Share your thoughts with me!

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In Honor of Loved Ones

buddha statue in a foggy Columbia River Gorge, surrounded by snow.

Many of us have lost so many loved ones already this year, and it brings with it an occasional melancholy that can also be the doorway to good memories.   Today, processing photos from my archives, I ran across this set of images I took at a dear friends home in the White Salmon area.  Sharon  has passed away but I could feel her delight in nature and photography as I looked at these images of the Buddha statue in her yard.  Therefore, I will share these for the first time publicly in memory of Sharon McCormack, and in sincere empathy with all who have lost those we hold close.  Strong personal beliefs and experiences have shown me that life continues beyond death as we know it, and our loved ones are not truly lost to us.  My brother Dennis (died 1-24-18 age 79), sister Nora (died 12-13-16 age 82) and many others are but a thought and a memory away, and it is my belief I will see them again.
May you each find peace and comfort in remembering the lives of your own loved ones, and feel their love for you eternally.

Buddha in Snow, in memory of Loved Ones.

Buddha in Snow, in memory of Loved Ones.

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Clicking on these photos should open a new tab where you can see the higher quality image in my SmugMug photo galleries.

Namaste’

(The divine within me sees and honors the divine within you)

Unfocused Mind Diaries part 1

2014… Year of Changes
June, near the end of the month, on a Sunday afternoon. My mind has been so unfocused and scattered lately, and getting worse the last couple of months. Anxiety attacks about what should be small things, but shake and bake my body and brain. These are followed by time staring blankly into space… important things forgotten like crumbled dry autumn leaves falling from the trees into the silence of deep winter. Names that I know well slip away like the last lick of a soft ice cream cone… gone.
Sitting in my truck in the sun in the church parking lot, with all the congregation gone home with their families already, listening to the song of the capricious winds dancing among the leaves of the grown up Weeping White Birch and big old Maple trees. Mother helped plant so many trees and shrubs here so long ago when we built stage one of this LDS church building in Pucker Huddle. She would be thrilled to see how well they grew; I can picture that in my mind.
Ah, yes, my mind… THAT is where I started, and what I wanted to talk more about on this sunny day full of puffy white clouds and wind-swept trees. My mind, and how it does not like to focus on things of importance in the ways of this modern world, but would rather drift off dancing with the leaves in the wind or sink deep into the earth to curl up and wait to be born again; to grow questioning tendrils reaching out like the roots of a tree to find the pockets of vibrant life force that nourish mind body and spirit.
Waiting; Nothingness, and yet Everything-ness. Calm, listening and observing; the curl of the hawks wing fingers as he changes directions in the wind; the sudden squawk of a Crow searching the ground under the tree for a bit of supper.
Supper…. That is right; I was invited to two different meals today with family and then friends! I had best be on my way.
>>>to be continued<<<

Wind, Sun, and Gratitude

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Wind, Sun, and Gratitude

Letting the winds of Life dance around me
like whirling Dervishes,
my roots reach deep into the
earth’s mysteries
and songs,
while my arms,
like branches,
reach with joy into the sun filled
heavens above.

Longing swims the same channels
through my veins
as Gratitude,
connecting the heavens above
and earth below.
Humbly I bow my head
and give thanks
For this day, this gift of life
and memory
and dreams.

~ Darlisa
3/23/2014

Life’s little whirlwinds

Sometimes when you think you have a handle on life, a whirlwind kicks up and sends you off in a new direction, perhaps a bit tattered and torn, with new scars for show and tell.
In this case, a family death brings a trip to Utah with my older Brother and his daughter. While making preparations for this, my elderly Sister had chest pain and was cold and clammy, so we called 911 and went with her to the hospital where she spent one night. Fortunately she stabilized again, and the upside is that we were able to discharge her directly to a Care Center for a few days while I take the trip to Utah so I won’t be worrying about her safety when I am gone. I was dog sitting and found family to care for the dog and cats as well. Now I just have to go home and pack!

Meanwhile I wanted to share a series of light paintings I have made on my iPhone and iPad. These are from an app called Silk, which is wonderfully soothing and meditative. Hope you enjoy! Our regularly scheduled nature photography will return soon

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Also check out the links in the sidebar where you can purchase my fine art prints or visit me on Flickr or Facebook. I do have a few 2014 calendars left for sale, and a few books.

Thank you for your visit!

Magic of Water…. necessity of Life

Big Spring Creek Falls

Water is the staff of life… without fresh drinking water we would all die fairly quickly and painfully, and yet our world is busily polluting and otherwise destroying water at an alarming rate.
Did you know the large majority of our body mass is water? We come from water in the mother’s womb, and the water leaves us after we die…

Many cultures and religions have prayer ceremonies that revolve around water… often praying as a group over water that everyone drinks in order to obtain the wondrous blessings. I personally believe that prayers put into the water with all your heart will indeed bring blessings to all who drink. Water used this way can also be Medicine. I also believe that as the waters of this earth are entirely connected Globally through oceans, evaporation, rainfall, snow melt, and spring runoff into streams and rivers back to the Ocean. As I put my hand into a cold mountain stream and say a prayer for those I love or for the world at large, that prayer can benefit others far away as they take a drink of water or wade in a stream or even a shower.

Osprey at Mirror Lake

Osprey at Mirror Lake

I live in a land that seems to have lots of water everywhere… waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and not far away from here the Columbia River runs into the Ocean… we have rain, and snow that melts providing water for the summer..
Nevertheless, I often hear speak of running short on our water supply each summer due to less snow pack and rainfall, more residents, greater drainage and usage. We should have a system pulling irrigation water from the local rivers for all the farms and gardens… but instead we water our lawns and gardens with the good drinking water. One thing that always intrigued me is the fact that we even use good precious drinking water in our toilets to pee into! There is much knowledge out there about Gray water reclaiming, and yet it is not used. The water from showers and laundry can be filtered and channeled into toilets and out into gardens and especially orchards… but it is not done. My deceased husband David Reel did a great deal of design work utilizing gray water reclamation, but we could not actually install all of his ideas at the house we built in Port Townsend back in 1991 because of laws restricting gray water use.

Trout Lake Reflections

Trout Lake Reflections

Water… a many faceted subject.. did you ever think of how water, H2O, consists of 2 hydrogen molecules and one Oxygen molecule combined. Certain conditions can split these molecules apart, and they can recombine to form other substances… including part of our own cells. 2 free oxygen molecules combine to make the oxygen we breathe (O2), and later combine with one Carbon molecule within our body to become Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which we breathe out. Trees and many plants absorb CO2, and put off Oxygen that benefit us. The Oxygen combines again with Hydrogen and becomes water once more.

Water… so complex, so necessary to life in its many forms. Spiritually and physically sustaining, water is critical to our health… how do you treat your water?

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