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Old 11-12-11, 01:42 AM
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When everything feels like "too much"

All the terms that get bandied about here like "procrastination" or in a more pejorative sense "laziness" etc. attempt to define the relationship between the task that is supposed to be accomplished and the impediments to completing that task.

What I've noticed, is that what frequently stands in my way, is a feeling that whatever the task is....it's too much. Not in an "I'm depressed I don't want to move ever" sense but in more of a "I'm overwhelmed before I start, I give up-maybe I can try again later" sense.

"I need to brush my teeth before I sleep? That's just too much, I can't do it."

" I know I left stuff out in the kitchen, but the kitchen is a disaster....there's no way I can handle that."

"I'm supposed to find an envelope, get the right address and locate some stamps then find a place to drop off this check I'm supposed to deposit? Good god, maybe I'll the motivation for that tomorrow but no way can I do that now."

"I have to process some paperwork, but I have to verify the shipping address and find a separate form to cross reference the vendor ID? You gotta be kidding me, I couldn't do that if you put a gun to my head!"

"You mean I have to shower now? But I'm all the way downstairs and there's so many steps involved with getting ready.....argh this is so hard!!!!"


and on and on.....

So when "everything feels like to much" what is that? Is that simply the definition of procrastination or a manifestation of the nefarious dark side of the equation "laziness" etc? I mean is this what ADHD feels like, or is this what anyone would feel like when presented with an unpleasant task?

Now, when the pressure is on and i have to DO IT RIGHT NOW OR ELSE then suddenly it's clear how to easily get it accomplished and I always think "well, duh, all you had to do was X, Y and Z....why couldn't I do that BEFORE???"

Do any of you get like this? Is this different from how most people (the cliched NTers) react?
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Old 11-12-11, 02:06 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

There are unquestionably times that I simply have no ability to do *stuff*. I am not capable of doing and only marginally capable of caring.

Why do these times happen? Dunno.

(((hugs)))
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Old 11-12-11, 02:06 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

This is exactly how my day went today. Everything started off real slow at work. By the time things started to get busy, I had made up my mind that I wasn't going to do a thing. Anything that came across my desk, could wait 'til tomorrow, or Monday.

Now, a bunch of things that needed to be taken care of right away added up on top of the tasks I kept putting off. I nearly had a nervous breakdown. I left work half an hour early, just turned of the lights and locked the doors without worrying about the consequences. I feel like if I had stayed another 10 minutes, I would have lost it completely.
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Old 11-12-11, 02:09 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

Happens to me too. I have time to think about, then I start dreading it, then I get overwhelmed by it, then I just totally avoid it.
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Old 11-12-11, 02:10 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

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What I've noticed, is that what frequently stands in my way, is a feeling that whatever the task is....it's too much. Not in an "I'm depressed I don't want to move ever" sense but in more of a "I'm overwhelmed before I start, I give up-maybe I can try again later" sense.
Besides impulsiveness, this is my primary deficit.

I don't know what you can or should call it, if anything. I just know that I have serious issues attempting to mentally disentangle the many steps involved in a major undertaking. That's not to say I can't do it, but that merely mapping out how to approach a situation is a task in and of itself. For me, it almost always has to be carefully laid out in writing, or I'll inevitably veer off-course, skip steps, half-*** my way through it, give up midway, or simply continue to avoid it altogether.

I can see the big picture, I can see the parts... but I can't always justify the effort of breaking something down into manageable portions. Having never been "NT," I can't say how such people differ from me in their perception of such situations, but I feel like what I conceive as paralyzingly overwhelming, they would categorize as mildly annoying.

I have improved, out of sheer necessity. I spend probably way too much time picking apart the overwhelming tasks in my life and constructing complicated, color-coded to-do lists that are revisited upwards of 50 times each day. I would love to somehow be able to spend that energy on simply doing crap, versus deciding how I can turn something into crap I'm capable of doing, but so be it.
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Old 11-12-11, 04:18 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

The first thing I do, even before the imperative (and rather obvious) step which involves breaking things down, is to determine whether or not the goal is even important to me. Now, I know this won't fly well for those who haven't a choice (like a project at work). But I've found that if you aren't interested in the slightest in the task at hand, you will find yourself in locked in the death-roll of a crocodile who is determined that you are in fact the only living flesh on earth. It's almost hopeless.

In those cases I play a game. How much of the littlest, tiniest fragments of the task can I finish before I turn out the lights? And when I think I'm done and I am half-way to the car...I run back up and finish one more. It's like sparring with your brain. I know it sounds corny...but for me it's always worked. I can go home and say "well, hell, I did at least something!".

Most of our problems, remember, lie in the starting of a project. One you get going...you're done before dawn!
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Old 11-12-11, 07:26 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

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Most of our problems, remember, lie in the starting of a project. One you get going...you're done before dawn!
I'm dealing with more than ADHD, so it may be that. However, I often find it difficult to continue something once I've started it, and often I have to fight the impulse to stop for quite some time after I've started.

It's also hard for me to shift goals - I started straightening out my bedroom while looking for some shoes, and decided I wanted to actually finish the straightening out. However, once I found the shoes, it was all over.
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Old 11-12-11, 09:43 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

no, this is totally me as well. I can get started on a project after winning a long fought battle over how to actually commence and 3 minutes in it can already be abandoned for an email, then a phone call.....oh hey the internet. Oh man, it's overwhelming all over again. Forget that...

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I'm dealing with more than ADHD, so it may be that. However, I often find it difficult to continue something once I've started it, and often I have to fight the impulse to stop for quite some time after I've started.

.
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Old 11-12-11, 10:05 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

Totally do this-- everyday.

It doesn't even have to be an unpleasant task. I just can't get started. Can't focus on it when I do get started. And take forever to finish. Or don't finish at all. Or procrastinate/forget. Rinse/repeat.

I don't even care if it's adhd or perceived as laziness or actual laziness-- it just never changes.

I don't know what it is but I'm sure NT-ers feel differently about it. If my husband has a greeting card that he should send, sometimes he procrastinates because he's genuinely busy and most of the time, he just does it. For me, every time becomes some monumental ordeal, generally extremely late or not sent at all. And then added to the memory bank of personal failings. I think if he forgets to send a card, he's like, "whatever, should've but I forgot, moving on."

(My example because it's today's lesson for me-- again-- someone's mad at me because I didn't communicate with them appropriately. sigh)
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Old 11-12-11, 10:24 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

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Originally Posted by Fortune View Post
I'm dealing with more than ADHD, so it may be that. However, I often find it difficult to continue something once I've started it, and often I have to fight the impulse to stop for quite some time after I've started.

It's also hard for me to shift goals - I started straightening out my bedroom while looking for some shoes, and decided I wanted to actually finish the straightening out. However, once I found the shoes, it was all over.
this is something that happens to me a lot at work. I'll be chugging along at the task at hand, then *poof* some idea pops into my head. In the past I would have gone with it. Knowing what's going on helps me manage when I have time for rabbit trails and when I dont... so I'll check the clock. If there's time, I'll fiddle around for a bit. If there isn't, I'll try to write it down.

My mind won't ever stop going all over the place, but I still need to try to minimize the disruption.


To me procrastination implies something deliberate. Like you're purposely putting off a task because you don't like it... If you're waiting for the brain fog to clear, then that isn't deliberately avoiding the task b/c you don't like it. That's deliberately waiting for a clear head. Those seem different to me.... but NT's do like their labels, cause they're mind readers and all.

It's hard to know when the fog will lift, so when it does, I always try to get ahead on my work or set up systems that will help me when the fog rolls back in. Call me a pessimist, but I know the fog is coming back, it always does. So might as well take advantage of any clarity.
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Old 11-12-11, 10:48 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

The feeling you describe along with an extremely funny episode of Everybody Loves Raymond which I had never seen before caused me to justify to myself not showering this morning, looking back I have no regrets. I did put on clean clothes though.

The mornings are the worst for me, takes me forever to feel awake, every little task feels so monumental and overwhelming. I usually feel better once I'm in the car and moving and the music is on loud (today it was Stevie Ray Vaughn that came to the rescue).
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Old 11-12-11, 11:51 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

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Originally Posted by K-Funk View Post
All the terms that get bandied about here like "procrastination" or in a more pejorative sense "laziness" etc. attempt to define the relationship between the task that is supposed to be accomplished and the impediments to completing that task.

What I've noticed, is that what frequently stands in my way, is a feeling that whatever the task is....it's too much. Not in an "I'm depressed I don't want to move ever" sense but in more of a "I'm overwhelmed before I start, I give up-maybe I can try again later" sense.

"I need to brush my teeth before I sleep? That's just too much, I can't do it."

" I know I left stuff out in the kitchen, but the kitchen is a disaster....there's no way I can handle that."

"I'm supposed to find an envelope, get the right address and locate some stamps then find a place to drop off this check I'm supposed to deposit? Good god, maybe I'll the motivation for that tomorrow but no way can I do that now."

"I have to process some paperwork, but I have to verify the shipping address and find a separate form to cross reference the vendor ID? You gotta be kidding me, I couldn't do that if you put a gun to my head!"

"You mean I have to shower now? But I'm all the way downstairs and there's so many steps involved with getting ready.....argh this is so hard!!!!"


and on and on.....

So when "everything feels like to much" what is that? Is that simply the definition of procrastination or a manifestation of the nefarious dark side of the equation "laziness" etc? I mean is this what ADHD feels like, or is this what anyone would feel like when presented with an unpleasant task?

Now, when the pressure is on and i have to DO IT RIGHT NOW OR ELSE then suddenly it's clear how to easily get it accomplished and I always think "well, duh, all you had to do was X, Y and Z....why couldn't I do that BEFORE???"

Do any of you get like this? Is this different from how most people (the cliched NTers) react?
Yes, that is definitely what my ADHD feels like.

It's like just thinking about starting to do one of those things my brain gets overwhelmed with all the details and just shuts down.
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Old 11-12-11, 10:04 PM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

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Originally Posted by Fortune View Post
I started straightening out my bedroom while looking for some shoes, and decided I wanted to actually finish the straightening out. However, once I found the shoes, it was all over.
Yeah, that's understandable. I also have OCD as part of my diagnosis. So, it may be the catalyst for any focus in my case. But, again, only for projects that interest me. I also have an over-active imagination so it's easy for me to turn a loathsome job into something of an adventure.

I can certainly empathize with your plight, though. As I write, my studio is a mess. It's hard for me to clean as I go. I guess I wait until it becomes a suitable challenge I can undertake and overcome. The only thing I can suggest is to interact with your brain as if it is another person. You can reason with it...or trick it!

I'm kind of throwing myself out here a bit, but when I'm looking for something (a great time to "straighten up" as you suggest), I make a list of things I am missing (though of us with ADHD are usually missing more than one thing at a time - I'm sure you can relate to that), then, like a forensics crime scene investigator, I cordon off a room and separate everything into piles foot-by-foot. I've found the damnedest things this way! The danger lies in finding something you lost (as you've experienced) and not charging off with it. I put it in a pile and sort it - after I'm done cleaning (because theoretically...you might find more things you've been missing!).

But, again, that's my routine. It doesn't work for everyone. Before I played this game, however, I was useless and hopeless and spent hours looking for something (many times the something was in my hands!). Now, I maintain some hold on sanity.
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Old 11-12-11, 10:22 PM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

I honestly thought I was the only person who thought going clear across the house to take a shower, or making myself a salad - with ALL those vegetables??? & dressing??? Can't do it. too much for me to do. I actually have lists that list doing the other lists.

I am on my third day of meds for ADD, which promptly put me to sleep an hour after I took them. I hope to find some relief soon.
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Old 11-13-11, 01:12 AM
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Re: When everything feels like "too much"

My problem is this, somewhat similar, but I'll use the example of getting ready in the morning.

So I don't have to work, and I want to get groceries. Time to jump in the shower...but if I take a shower, I'll have to shave my legs. Once I get out of the shower, I have to dry off, blowdry, flat iron and style my hair, put on makeup, find clothes to wear that look halfway human, but only after running down to the laundry room 3 times to find the same top that I finally realize is in the clothes basket next to my dresser. Oh, wait, before I forget, I need to empty the dishwasher. Since it's my day off, I"m going to do this leisurely, while watching the news or whatever historical documentary I dvr'd last night, and drinking at least 2-3 cups of coffee.

So what should really only take me an hour to do, actually will end up taking 4 hours. If I ever really want to get to the store, I better just throw my hair back in a ponytail, throw on a t-shirt and yoga pants, grab a coffee at Starbucks and get to the store. Getting ready and trying to look nice is just too much work and I don't feel like working that hard today.
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