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ep.32: I Should Be Able To Do This Myself

Today, we are talking about a thought that I had for a long time, and that is "I should be able to do this myself". Though it sounds like a lovely thought that we should be able to do this by ourselves, what it actually does is it holds people back from getting help.

In this episode, I'm going to tell you my story in hopes that it moves you to get the help that you deserve, and then we're going to discuss your options.

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What you'll learn:

  • Why trying to handle ADHD alone can be harmful

  • The connection between "should" thoughts and feelings of shame

  • Real-life struggles of managing daily tasks with ADHD

  • Options for getting help with ADHD, like coaching and resources

"Don't wait as long as I did to get help, start your journey wherever you need to. You don't have to do it yourself."

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Click here to read the transcript:

Welcome to Learn to Thrive with ADHD. This is the podcast for adults with ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms. I'm your host, Coach Mande John. I'm here to make your life with ADHD easier. Let's get started.

Today we are talking about a thought that for a long time, a thought that I hear from prospective clients and a thought that I hear from my clients and that is I should be able to do this myself. And what are we talking about when we talk about this? What I mean is you should be able to figure these things out on your own.

You shouldn't have to ask for help. You should be able to make your doctor's appointments and to run your household and to do your job and all of these things without a problem. And it sounds like a lovely thought. I should be able to do this myself. But what it does is it holds people back from getting help.

So, we're going to talk about that today. So, was it just me that had this thought? Or did you have this thought too? I should be able to do this myself. If you have raised your hand. So, I remember drowning in mountains of laundry. Tons of dishes, just really being overwhelmed trying to figure out how to run a household.

Or you might be somebody that's at work and you're not able to keep up with your work tasks and you're feeling guilty that you're not getting things done and you're feeling stressed, and you don't know what to do about your email. That might be what's going on with you or maybe you're a student and you're waiting till the last minute to do your assignments and you're feeling overwhelmed, and you don't know how to organize yourself effectively and you're losing things.

It really affects every aspect of our life, like whether you're a parent or just trying to deal with your bills, trying to get food on the table, feed yourself. Like, our executive function skills touch everything and when you're an adult with ADHD, you're being affected in so many ways and saying that you should be able to do it yourself really isn't helpful or kind to yourself.

So, what's on our agenda for today? I'm going to answer why we think this, this, I should be able to do this myself. I'm going to tell you my story in hopes that it moves you to get the help that you deserve. And then I'm going to help you understand the importance of getting help. And then we're going to discuss your options.

Okay, so why do we think this? I should be able to do this myself. Should and shame are married. I say this in my coaching all the time, and if you're watching me on YouTube, we have this lovely couple, nothing against them, but I have one basically labeled should and one shame. And the reason I say should and shame are married is because when you get one, you get the other.

Whenever you're saying I should, you're shaming yourself in some sort of way. So, some of the thoughts behind this are, I just need to try harder. So and so is doing it all. So, I should be able to as well, right? That's kind of the follow up to that. I just need to find the right system and follow through. I know what to do.

I just don't know how to make myself do it. I just need to be better. So, I waited until I was 44 to seek help, and we are here having this conversation today. The reason I chose this topic is because I don't want you to wait as long as I did. I don't want you to. So, this episode today is close to my heart because that was my thought.

I was trying to be a wife and keep a house functioning while raising kids and educating them and deal with outside responsibilities and deal with all of my hyper focuses. I knew I had ADHD. I just didn't think it mattered to my everyday life. I think I had some idea that it only mattered for school and all of my anxiety and overwhelm was from trying to muscle through my ADHD symptoms without help.

So, what I couldn't figure out. I couldn't figure out without Help. How to keep the dishes done. How to not have mountains of laundry. How to keep a house clean. How to consistently get dressed and groomed in the morning. How to be on time. How to not do everything at the last minute. How to not overcommit. How to set up and organize doctor's appointments.

I mean, I couldn't even wrap my mind around exactly what my kids needed. How to pay the bills on time. These are just a few examples. And I'd always say, I just don't know what I want to be when I grow up. And what was kind of behind that was that I wasn't grown up yet. Like I didn't know how to do the adult things.

And I just thought like, When I got my crap together, everything would be better. So, I wasn't feeling completely fulfilled as a wife and mom, like I wanted something more and I was trying to do this work at home things and as much as I loved the company, I just wasn't following through on what needed to happen in order to be successful.

Does that sound familiar? So, Am I embarrassed to tell the story to admit that I had all of these problems? I can't even list them all you guys No, I'm not at all embarrassed. There's no shame in this whatsoever we are having a problem in executive functioning and the executive functioning helps us run our life normally and We're just not able to do so and there's nothing wrong with that. So, if you're struggling with any of the things that I was struggling with, there's nothing to be ashamed of.

So don't dismiss your struggles. If you're having a hard time, don't think that it's just you, number one. It's other people too, but don't think that it doesn't matter. I really did that to myself. I was like, just get over it. Just. So, I'm going to be talking about how to get help. So, what pushed me to finally get help?

I was having insomnia. There was plenty of nights that I would go to bed and lay there until the sun came up in the morning. I was having severe anxiety and I sought out an online psychiatrist and he was so smart. Like I didn't think he was listening to me a lot of the times because he would just be kind of so quick to like come to a conclusion and it would always be the right conclusion.

So, he was a super smart guy and he prescribed something for anxiety and what I thought was so funny as he said. Um, you need to take this when you're at about a level three in anxiety. And my thought was like, dude, if I could recognize when I'm at a level three, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

And so that didn't work. And there, he had me try this other type of medication and that didn't work. And he had me try this other thing and that didn't work. And the sleep was a little bit better, but still not great. And he was just kind of like throwing medications at me. What was happening in my life.

And finally, I met with him, and I said, well, you know, I do have ADHD. And he goes, oh, and he put me on a non-stimulant. And with that non stimulant, I did feel like I was functioning a little bit better. And that went well for a couple of weeks, you know, things kind of felt the same. And I went back to him and let him know and he upped the dosage a little bit.

And then I felt like I was functioning a little better for a couple of weeks again and went back to him. He upped the dosage a little bit. Same thing. Until in a very short period of time. It got to the point where he said, I can't give you anymore. And there was some point where I read a book about ADHD, and it was like towards the end of the book, and I can't remember whose book it was, or I would give them credit.

But what they said in there was, we're actually getting a child's dosage of ADHD medications. And I thought that was very interesting that they haven't. And I don't know if that's still true today, but when I read the book anyway, they were saying that they hadn't adjusted to so many adults having ADHD.

And so, those levels actually aren't correct. So, I was leveled out at what he could give me for the non-stimulant. And frankly, I just didn't want to have to take a medication forever. And then I found coaching. I started getting coached and this was through self-coaching scholars and. At the time, I didn't know it, but I started bringing all my ADHD symptoms to coaching as problems to solve.

And what it really was, was my executive dysfunction that we were working on. And then I start learning that my thoughts create my feelings and that I'm in control. I found that I was identifying as an anxious person and that was making me more anxious. I learned how to keep a calendar and actually follow it.

I learned how to not procrastinate. I learned how to create and follow a routine. I learned how to stay organized, how to love myself more and give myself more grace, how to set big goals and achieve them. And I, I can't even list everything that I've learned here from coaching and every little insight. I learned that I had an underlying belief that life was hard, and ADHD gave that to me partially.

Partially, but partially it was a very well-meaning thing that came from my family that. you need to work hard. And through coaching, I learned that I was turning that into something bad. I was turning it into meaning that I had to work hard to deserve things, I turned it into meaning that everything had to be hard.

And just learned so much through coaching and that alone, that life is hard underlying belief made my life so much easier. So don't wait. That's why I'm telling you this story. Like, don't wait as long as I did to get help. Start your journey. wherever you need to. You don't have to do it yourself. You're having executive dysfunction.

And if you're watching me on YouTube, what we have here is a picture of the brain and that yellow part in the front, right behind your forehead is your prefrontal cortex. So, your executive functions, what are they? Impulse control. You might just fly off the handle. You might say things without thinking.

You might shop for things without thinking through the consequences. There are all kinds of ways. Impulse control.

It's like the whiteboard of your brain, that's where you put things for the short term, that might be having trouble, your cognitive flexibility, when you have to make changes or things didn't go exactly the way you thought. Are you having struggles with that? Your time management, your time awareness, your emotional regulation, your task initiation.

Are you having trouble getting started on things? Your goal directed persistence. If you do get started, are you having trouble finishing? Planning and prioritizing. Are you able to do that effectively? Are you having struggles with that? Your organization. Are you able to organize things effectively and keep them organized?

Your attention and focus. Are you losing focus easily? Are you having a hard time paying attention? Are you getting distracted easily? These skills help or hurt you in every aspect of your life. You deserve help. So, what are the options? Of course, I'm going to plug coaching because that's what really helped me.

But I started with a psychiatrist, right? I started the journey somewhere. You could do a therapist or a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or even your general medical doctor can get you started in getting some help. So don't do it later. Start now. So, I'm going to unshamelessly plug my coaching because I've been through this.

And I understand exactly what you're going through, and coaching is what helped me. Coaching is the only reason I'm sitting in front of you right now. It worked so well on me that I wanted to be a coach. And so. How can you work with me? If you'd like to, you can work with me in private one on one coaching or you can join the ADHD Academy.

We have our group coaching there, courses, resources, community. I just added a private podcast. We have a WhatsApp accountability group. You have all the support. You need in there. And when you work with me, one on one, you get the membership along with your sessions. So, I'm going to switch gears a little bit and tell you about the 12-week year challenge that I have coming.

We're going to start around March 7th. If you are watching this after that time, don't worry, still go to the link and watch it. Put in your name and email and I will direct you to the recordings or if we have started another challenge, I will get you in. It is

And if you go there, there is a video that you can take a look at if you'd like and you put in your name and email, and I will get you the information you need to join us in. Our 12-week challenge, and you can work on any goal you want, and I'm going to help you every step of the way in what you need to do to achieve this goal.

So, I just want to thank you again for being with me this week, and I will see you next week. Bye bye. 

Thank you for your time and especially your attention today. If you haven't looked into the ADHD Academy, you'll want to do that. This is my membership with bingeable courses, weekly live coaching, new courses every month, a community of like-minded people, and more. Be sure to head over to to get the details. See you next week.



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