“If I stop beating myself up for the ways I’m not perfect, that’s like admitting to the world – and to myself – that I’ll never be perfect, that I’m permanently inadequate! I need my self-criticism in order to maintain hope and to motivate myself to get better…(it sounds rational, but it’s not…)
Think about it. What would really happen if you stopped running from yourself or beating yourself up? What would happen if you put down the whip you’ve been flogging yourself with for decades?
When you stop beating yourself up – when you stop reinjuring yourself – what happens is…you start to heal."
- Emily Nagoski, from Come As You Are
“I’m never going to be good enough.”
“I’ve never been able to do that.”
“I’m a fraud and others will figure that out if I’m not perfect. I can’t let down my guard.”
These are just a few of the comments I’ve heard from adults with ADHD who suffer from self-esteem issues. They develop these issues over time, as people they respect (teachers, parents, partners) tell them they could do a better job if they would just try harder.
Soon, they take on the injury as their own – reopening the wound at regular intervals with negative self-talk.
If you suffer this way, consider trying one of these approaches:
• Cognitive behavioral therapy works to help patients quiet the negative voices that interfere with their lives
• Internal family systems therapy – this is a form of therapy that helps patients understand their many internal mental ideas, or ‘parts.’ In so doing, they can ‘befriend’ their parts and stop being victim to their whims
• Optimizing ADHD treatment. Sometimes negative thoughts are around ADHD symptomatic behaviors – when you improve the behaviors with better treatment, the opportunity for negative thoughts diminishes.
Might any of these approaches work for you?
Registration is Now Open:
Interested in improving your relationship; learning new strategies to communicate better with each other; finding more love and affection…then now is the time to register for my upcoming ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples Seminar which starts JANUARY 15th.
Are you the non-ADHD partner? My Non-ADHD Partner Support Group focuses on one or two topics a week that are submitted by group members for in-depth exploration. Participants support each other, explore their biggest issues and most pressing problems, and get expert advice from Melissa each week. Starts JANUARY 3rd.
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, including free: Online treatment overview; Downloadable chapters of my books; A community forum with other couples facing similar issues; A large number of blog posts on various topics; Referrals. Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life!
Seminars and Groups
Is your relationship in trouble? Consider my highly acclaimed couples' course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - This 8-session phone seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. The Live session starts January 15, 2019.
Support Tele-groups - Be part of a community exploring similar issues; learn from each other's successes and struggles; and find new, more effective ways to be your best self in your relationship: Non ADHD Partner Support Tele-group and ADHD Partner Support Tele-Group both run 8 consecutive Tuesdays @ 8:30pm EDT, 1/15 - 3/5, 2019