I used to feel so much shame about the fact that it’s really easy for me to make myself paint in the studio – to the point where I very often haven’t let myself paint in the studio because I’ve felt I’ve not done enough “important” tasks such as going to the supermarket, life admin etc and that I have to “earn” time in the studio. But then I’ve not ended up doing those tasks anyway because you just can’t strongarm your brain into working in a different way so instead I’ve just been frozen and doing nothing. So much nothing.
Coming to an ADHD diagnosis and starting to truly understand my brain and how it is wired is helping me shame myself less. Over the last couple of months, I’m getting into the studio more by asking myself “is this the thing I can actually achieve today?” and instead of flagellating myself for the tasks I neglect, I understand that the thing I -want- to do is the thing that I actually -will- do.
Even writing this, I feel childish and exposed because all responsible adults have to do things that they don’t want to and of course I’m no exception and in fact I’m about to start working with an ADHD coach to try get more on top of my life but understanding that it’s genuinely harder with ADHD to do the things that don’t excite my brain is allowing me to see the flipside – if I start to allow myself to do more of what I actually genuinely want to do… I’ll at least perhaps thrive and shine in that area.
My motto for this year is inspired by my understanding of how dopamine, ADHD and hyperfocus works. It’s based on my commitment to understand how I might thrive and it’s also a call to myself to stop flagellating myself for what I’m bad at and instead focus on what I’m good at. My motto for this year is “Chase what thrills you” and I now have some new paintings coming together that I genuinely feel excited by so maybe this motto is the right one for me.