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Imposter Syndrome Got Me Like…

Is it a coincidence that I haven’t written a blog post since being diagnosed with ADHD back in February? Probably not, but that’s not what I am here to talk about something. Today I wanted to write about something everybody, adhd or not, gets to experience from time to time, imposter syndrome. If you haven’t experienced this, I’d like to know where you get your confidence from, and if you have or liked to know what the heck I’m talking about continue reading below!

According to the first result I pulled up on google (lol) “Imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence (how fancy!), involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience and accomplishments. To counter these feelings, you might end up working harder and holding yourself to ever higher standards”. So in summary, it’s a mind fuck of your own creation. Do you ever feel like a phony? A fraud? That you don’t belong where you are? Guess what!?!?! Maybe its true (jk) or maybe you’re just experiencing imposter syndrome.

So this is all sounds pretty general, and I’m sure it’s possible to feel any or all of these things at a certain point without it falling into the realm of imposter syndrome. The biggest problem with imposter syndrome though is that the experience of doing well at something does nothing to change your beliefs.

Recently I found out that imposter syndrome and adhd is a common pairing (along with adhd and anxiety…. and adhd and substance abuse… welp guess that makes sense). For me, I recognize that my struggles with executive functioning (i.e staying organized, planning multi- tasking ect) often times make me feel like a failure. Is there something going on in your life you can identify that makes you feel this way? It’s important to remember that “The Real You” is full of amazing qualities too.

This can hard when in the thick of some serious negative self talk, but here are some ways to help combat falling into the trap of imposter syndrome.

  • Separate feelings from fact
  • Develop a healthy response to failure and mistake making
  • Know the signs
  • Be authentically you
  • Give it Name
  • Get comfortable with saying “I don’t know”
  • Track and Measure your successes
  • Practice self love, grace and kindness
  • Know you’re not alone

Imposter syndrome can make you feel inadequate. Practice some of the tips above and see how they work! My biggest bit of advice however, is just to acknowledge it and learn more about yourself and how it affects you. If you’re lying to yourself out of dear or shame, you’re lying to everyone else too. When you embrace yourself, how can you be considered an imposter?

Everybody Doesn’t Have a Little ADHD

Just reading the term “ADHD” elicits imagery of the little boy who cannot sit still in class… you know the one. The annoying kid who gets in trouble for not paying attention in class and getting distracted by squirrels. If you do not fit the the preconceived stereotype of what people think ADHD is, then there can’t be anything wrong with you because I mean… who doesn’t get distracted every once and while?

These outdated stereotypes especially affect woman. So many girls/ woman go undiagnosed because we don’t show symptons the same way as our hyperactive male counterparts, Leading us to feel hopeless, ditzy, dumb, depressed and/or anxious. Sounds fun right?

I have been in and out of therapy for anixiety, depression and even substance abuse for yearsssssss and I have been on almost every type of ant-depressent under the sun. Guess what I was never diagnoised with until the age of 33? A diagnoisis that literally makes all the other things I went to therapy for make sense…. oh yea ADHD. Now, the more I read and find out about ADHD I find that there are so many woman in the same position I am. We’re part of the late diagnosis club.

Getting this diagnosis was so liberating for me. In a weird way I was actually excited to tell people, almost as if it provide them with as much of an A-HA moment for them as it did me. Like… OH that’s why Kristen is the way she is, huh? I’m not really sure why I expected this or for people to care, but it honestly felt important to me to share. Instead I was met with confusion and blank stares. “Everybody has a little ADHD” I was told. I wanted to literally wanted to scream. Like this thing that has impacted every part of my life boils down to just being a little distracted sometimes?

SO what does ADHD looks like in adults anyways?… Well here are some of the symptoms:

  • Impuslsitivy & Resltlessness
  • Low Frustration Tolerance
  • A hard time reading
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Multitasking issues
  • Poor prioritisation
  • Missing deadlines
  • Disorganization
  • Putting off tasks
  • Hyper focus.

Just to name a few. The best way I can describe it is feeling chronically overwhelmed. It’s exhausting and I’m far past being just tired. Luckily I’m taking steps to try to manage and better understand my diagnosis, but if the meantime ya’ll could stop gaslight… that would be great, thanks.

❤ Sweeney

Virtual Medication Management

Listen, nobody wants to be on anti depressants but I am one of those people who truly believes some people need to be on them. Anti-depressants get a bad rap, and like depresssion itsef, are highly stigmatized. Listen to me carefully though… it is NOT giving up to take medication. Got it? Good. No pill shaming here!

I actually am a huge advocate of holistic health and alternative medicine. However, for me it did not help with my anxiety or depression. If you decide to take that route, great, just make sure you talk through your options with a professional. 🙂 Which brings me back to the subject of this post… Virtual Medication Management.

So I’ve been on and off anti-dressants for the better part of my early adult life (early 20’s-30’s) and I have been through my fair share of trial and error, dose adjustments ect. Its a very personal journey and never one I thought I’d be taking online during a pandemic!!! After I quit drinking and started to really take of myself I made it a point to stabilize my medication. I actually had no idea at the time what Doctor has even initially pescribed me the medication I had been on for years. When I would get a text from my phramacy that I needed a refill I’d just cross my fingers that one would go through.

I finally found a doctor I liked and so we started working together to evaluate what I was currently on, if it was the correct thing and how to manage my anxiety and depression. Fast forward to the mess that is 2020 and we’re still working together, only now its virtually. The hardest thing for me isn’t not seeing my doctor face to face though, that part is actually pretty easy. It’s navigating how effective my medication is during a pandemic. I really should’ve titled this “Medication Management…during a Pandemic” but I’ve used the “…during a Pandemic” tag line for like my 5 last posts. So it is, what it is and what it is…is fricken hard.

0 out of 5 stars I do not recommend adjusting your medication during a pandemic, unless its necessary and for me it is. It’s like how am I supposed to know if I am having medication side effects or pandemic induced depression? Am I more anxious now because I started a new job or because my medication sucks? Its can be hard to interpret your mood when so much is going on in the world and your life. The key is knowing that a pill is not magically and will never fix everything. I’ve started to become more intutitve when it comes to knowing what is normal anxiety vs. the type I need to address with my doctor. Of course thats a little harder to decipher with everything going on, but all I can do is try.

And at the end of the day that is all any of us can do… try. So whether you’re on anti-depressants or not… clinically depressed or situationally depressed, anxious or numb just try (I know it’s not that easy). Reach out to a friend, reach out to family or work with a professional because its more important now than its ever has been. It is not a waste of time. It is essential.

❤ Sweeney

Unemployment & The Effects on Mental Health. Plus: Interviewing w/anxiety

Raise your hand if you’ve been indefinitely furloughed during Covid-19. I bet it has been a lot of you, myself included,  so I know firsthand how much it sucks! Sure it was kind of fun at first. I enjoyed having no work obligations while being blissfully unaware of my soon-to-be dire financial situation because I was receiving that neat extra $600 a week. Flash forward to 7 months later and all I can say is… ugh. 

I severely underestimated the role routine plays in my mental health. Having an infinite amount of time on your hands is honestly stressful AF. I’ve been attempting to achieve some normalcy to my days but it’s not as easy as you may think. I get super stressed out thinking of ways to fill my free time and I feel guilty when I feel I am not doing “enough”. I’m pretty sure I thought I’d be Rembrandt by now, reaping in the benefits of having an abundance of hours for self-improvement. However, here I sit typing this with no new skill-sets that I can think of. Oops. On the flip side outwardly, I definitely think I’ve experienced a quarantine glow up. Remember that thing I was saying about needing routine? Well, I’ve replaced it with working out. Now before you get jelly, I just wanted to include the disclaimer that I’m fairly certain I’ve developed an unhealthy obsession. Sometimes the only thing I know what to do with myself is to work out. Read a book? Nah… let’s take my 10th yoga class of the day instead. Trust me,  It’s not as zen as you may think. 

Inbetween my endless amount of exercise, however, I have found time to apply for new jobs. How many jobs have I applied to you asked? So far, 57. How many interviews have I had? 2. And don’t get me started on how many times per day  I refresh my email checking for interview requests and/pr callbacks. 

The whole process is miserable. Believe it or not, for someone with anxiety, I am actually pretty good at interviewing. Although I definitely do analyze in my head every word I said over and over once the interview is finished.  What really is breaking me though is not getting interviews. I understand the job market is a little… errr…rough right now but why wouldn’t anyone want to give the girl who just figured her shit out a chance? But seriously… I suppose my resume is a bit all over the place, but how was I supposed to know a pandemic was going to hit once I found a fulfilling job that I loved and truly respected me as an employee? I promise this last job was going to be the one that said I had been there for like 5 years… so why don’t you take my word for it and interview me…or better yet hire me? Please?!?!? Cause I am stared to get very worried. 

How is everyone else handling finding work during these strange times? Feel free to reach out because I’d love to know. And if you know anybody whose hiring….. I’m SUPER availavbile! 😉

❤ Sweeney