Fear and the Present Moment

ADHD & Marriage News - November 20, 2023

Quote of the Week

“Fear is always future-based. We fear what might happen later. The past is gone, so there’s no point in being afraid of it. If past traumas cause fear in us, it is only because we fear that the traumatic event will reoccur. That’s what trauma is—wounding caused by a past event that makes us chronically fearful about the future and so queasy in the present. But the future doesn’t exist now, in the present, the only moment in which we are ever alive. So, though our fear may be visceral, it is based on a misconception, that the future is somehow now. It’s not."

- From Tricycle, the Buddhist Review, Norman Fischer

Fear and the Present Moment

Last summer I learned the power of staying in the present moment vs. fearing what might happen.  I was fearing I might run into two people who had traumatized me whom I really didn’t wish to see.  The anxiety I felt as I contemplated that fear really made me feel horrible.  Turns out there is some neuroscience at work here.  When we ruminate about a fear of a possible future event, our brain responds as if we are actually living that traumatic potential event in the present moment!  It doesn’t differentiate between the feared event and the actual event.  In other words, by living in a state of anxiety about a potential trauma we further traumatize ourselves and add to our injury even though the dreaded event may not ever happen.


I think about all the partners I know who spend so much of their time anticipating a difficult future interaction – one that is difficult because of past traumas - and I am blown away by the fact that any of us are still standing!

There is a way out.  In my case, I prepared a way to calmly respond should the dreaded encounter actually happen.  Then I promised myself that the last person I should be hurting is myself by being anxious and living an event in my mind that might not happen.  I was able to let go of my fear of future interactions and live the present moment as it came to me.  Applying this approach generally to anxious feelings has been, quite literally, life changing.  

In a relationship, it takes two people to make the changes that make a relationship more stable and less anxiety-provoking for both partners.  But a good starting point is moving oneself away from letting a future that may or may not happen add to our trauma.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your family. May all the good things of life be yours, not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the coming year.

➤  Can you relate to this Thanksgiving sentiment? My Community is a safe place where people living with ADHD share questions, confusion, pain, ideas and experiences with others who face the same sorts of issues as you do. Join us. You are not alone!Happy Thanksgiving Excitement is building as we approach the highly anticipated #adhd2023


➤  International Conference on ADHD - Benefit from well-known speakers and authors and also from conversations with fellow attendees. My virtual presentation: Communication Techniques that Work for ADHD-Impacted Couples - Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM. Register here.

In-Person Conference: Thursday, November 30–Saturday, December 2

Online Conference: Tuesday, December 5–Wednesday, December 6

Resources For those in relationships impacted by ADHD


ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - Is your relationship in trouble? My highly acclaimed 9-session Zoom seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. The next live Seminar starts February 13, 2024.

Non ADHD Partner Support Group and ADHD New Habit Coaching Group - Be part of a community exploring similar issues, successes and struggles and find new, effective ways to be your best self in your relationship.

NewADHD & Marriage Professional Training Program - an integrated team of experts dedicated to supporting the needs of couples and adults impacted by ADHD.  


How to Optimize Treatment for Adult ADHD

Downloadable chapters of my books;

A community forum with other couples facing similar issues;

A large number of blog posts on various topics;



ADULT ADHD CAN HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life! 

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