There comes a time when the frustrations and distractions get to be too much and I need to find options for dealing with them. Back in October of 2012, I started seeing a licensed clinical social worker, who’s focus is in adult ADD. My point in going to see this counselor was to get a handle on the things that cause me to lose focus and distract me on on constant basis.
As I’ve blogged about before, I get distracted easily. It’s been very common for me throughout most of my life, even though I also have a history of getting projects done and being a punctual and responsible employee over the last 30 years of my working life.
As a child growing up, I went to numerous counselors from the age of 7 until I left high school. I was put on Ritalin for the three of these years [age 9-12], where I was diagnosed as being hyperactive. The Ritalin made me do a 180, meaning I went from being loud and fidgety to quiet and comatose.
As I experimented with many illegal drugs from age 14-15, I switched from visiting psychologists to attending drug rehab sessions, which for me, didn’t really help since the drug scene was over a few months before I turned 16. By the time I graduated high school, I was deemed “a distracted child who would always have issues completing tasks in life.” That particular counselor wasn’t too far off the mark, although as I mentioned above, I have proven I can hold down jobs and complete personal goals and projects.
Over the last 31 years since that last counseling visit, I have been back a few times, mostly in the months following my last job I was let go from. Those sessions helped me get back on my feet and until 2 years ago, I was able to manage my distractions without rarely a setback.
But in the last 24 months, I let many other things get in my way of doing the things I want to, mostly the lack fulfillment I get on my day job as a network admin. I let it get worse because I’m paid ok and I let the comfortable state of unhappiness take over. Also, I get several weeks of vacation a year, which I make sure to take each and every day.
Since September 2012, I have applied for 6 different jobs, 2 of which got me phone and in person interviews. All 6 applications ended with “thanks but we chose another candidate” emails. I know my skills are not up to date [“What’s Windows Server 2012?] and I think that lack of confidence shows up in my drive to find another company to work for.
Oh yeah.. this is about my distractions. In my efforts to do what I want instead of doing what has paid the bills, I have spent less time focusing on what I want to do. I know I don’t want to be in IT anymore. This is my 28th year of wearing the network admin hat and I will be lucky to make it to year 30 without getting completely burnt out. I know I need to focus more, which is why I chose to visit someone to help me identify the steps I need to take to move forward.
This way I deal with daily life has increased my frustration levels many fold. One of the things I learned in these last three visits is that I’m a people pleaser. I don’t like conflict and I take whatever steps I need to do to avoid it. I’m happy to address challenges and issues, but conflict to me is drama, and I FUCKING HATE DRAMA! So this has placed me into a comfortable state, which means I just do what’s needed to make things work and rarely something else. Which has the result as taking my focus away on making progress on what I want to do, slow with interruptions.
For a creative person like myself, this frustrates me multiple times a day as I see some of the things I want to do not get done, or if they get done, there are many hours and days that pass before they get completed.
While I decided only to visit this particular counselor for three sessions, I will continue with another here in the near future that can help me retain a knowledge of the things that I learned and to embrace the changes I need to make that will keep me moving forward.
My efforts in 2013 so far are positive, but I still manage to be distracted daily and it’s a challenge for me to keep focused. As I anticipate new projects I want to complete this year, I anticipate it will be sooner than later before I find another counselor to meet with to help me stay on track.