The One Question…

If I had a dollar for each time someone asked me-how I have enough energy to do the things I do-I could retire. I wouldn’t because that would be boring, but I could. But the thing is…

I don’t always have enough energy but I have decided to make the time for the things that bring me joy.

Here are the two simple reasons why I make enough energy for the things I want to do:

  • I am going to die and I don’t know when.
  • I have ADHD and I am always “on”.

I mean here’s the thing-we are all going to die. It isn’t morbid or sad or depressing. I guess it could be if we dwell on it (don’t do that) but it’s the truth. Surely you know someone who was fine one moment and the next time you heard something about them they had fallen over in their yard, had a heart attack and died. Sometimes we don’t get to say goodbye-and that sucks. But, if we live each day knowing this one could be our last, what would we do differently? I ask myself that a lot and honestly it’s a big motivation for me to follow my dreams and reach the goals I want to reach. But this blog is going to focus more on the ADHD side of things. I will create a Part II blog for the other stuff next time.

I don’t know if you live with ADHD but it’s more than what it looks like in movies and television. Inattention is often how it is portrayed and though that is an indicator, people with a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD can often be misdiagnosed with other conditions due the various symptoms and how they manifest. Impulsivity, for example, can be misdiagnosed as Bipolar. Symptoms can change over time but core symptoms will stay the same.

Pretty good graphic on conditions associated with ADHD. You can see how there are so many categories that are affected and how it might look like something else to a clinician or doctor.

I wasn’t officially diagnosed until I was in my late 30’s. I’ve actually been misdiagnosed since my 20’s and it wasn’t until I advocated for myself to get an actual assessment from a psychologist did I learn what the heck has been happening with my brain my entire life. Women and girls are often mis or under-diagnosed and not only is this is a barrier to real treatment it, can ultimately be quite destructive to ones sense of balance and even lead to suicide. I have “combined type” which means I experience both hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness. ADHD can also have an impact on relationships because irritability, forgetfulness, impulsivity and inattentiveness it can cause misunderstandings in social interactions. Add my Sensory and Auditory Processing challenges to the mix and you might realize why there might be a few misunderstandings. It’s quite challenging just to go out to eat!

For me, ADHD feels like your brain is 85 when you are in you are 30. I ask myself all the time if I have dementia or some other degenerative brain disease. Nope, it’s just a poor working memory which means I have really bad short term memory. Hooray! Here’s an example: I walk into kitchen to boil some water (for pasta, obviously) and don’t remember I did that until I smell it burning because the water has boiled for so long it has now evaporated out of the pot. I now set a timer as a reminder so I don’t burn mine (or anyone else’s) house down.

And now a bee-related scenario (yes, this happened). You remember you need to feed your bees sugar syrup and go to the fridge but realize you don’t have enough and you need to make some. You check to see if you have sugar and realize you need to go to the store and make some more. Your dog runs to the back door and needs to go outside and the next thing you know it’s an hour later and you are repotting plants and pulling weeds in the backyard. You walk back into the house and see the sugar and remember you were supposed to go to the store. I cannot tell you how many times this happens in a day. Mostly because I can’t remember. Check this out for some hilarious graphics related to the subject.

Have you told ever your ADD/ADHD teenager to pick up a mess, put away some laundry, clean up some dishes only to come back 20 minutes later and discover they are doing something totally unrelated? Frustrating isn’t it? Imagine how we feel…constantly being reminded that we are inadequate, slow, and don’t have it together as much as our sibling(s) or peers. If I have a meeting or appointment and I don’t write it down I am 100% going to forget it. It doesn’t matter if it’s tomorrow, a month from now, or next year. I have to set reminders-but sometimes I forget to. So there’s that.

On the flip side, there are some advantages to having ADHD. Do you know adults with ADHD have a higher rate of creative achievements in daily life compared to those who don’t? Here is some great info related to this. It’s funny because in high school and college I always fell behind my peers but as I get older I feel I have more fuel than a lot of people…and I don’t mean smoker fuel but I’m about 99% sure I’m becoming an expert on keeping my smoker lit for a long time.

I think my ADHD actually allows me to be a better beekeeper and here are few reasons why:

1. Hyperfocus-I have the ability to focus on something I am interested in for hours. If I don’t know something or want to learn more about something I will read and listen to just about everything I can find until most of my questions are answered. I can do this for HOURS, like 6 or 7, before coming up for air and I hate to be interrupted because it’s difficult for me to get into that deep focus again-but it’s possible.

2. Energetic/Spontaneous-My ability to do something rather than sit around and think about it can be harnessed and used for the good. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned more about what this looks like for me and I am able to ask myself if I’m being impulsive or if the thing I am about to do has a good, solid reason behind it. This, and my ability to follow through with things, has helped me grow my art business and it will be the fuel behind my beekeeping success. I am innovative and I like to try new things and I think outside the box. I don’t just sit around and talk about the things I want to do, I do them.

When it comes to beekeeping, I find I have an endless amount of energy (most of the time) and I can get the things accomplished that I need to. I am not saying any of this makes me a super beekeeper extraordinaire, I’m saying I don’t wait around when I see things need to be done.

3. Multitasking-I actually feel better when I am doing more than one thing at a time. I cannot for the life of me just sit in front of the TV and watch a show. I usually have my computer with me and I’m editing photos or doing other passive things that help me concentrate better. Yes, doing more than one thing at a time helps me concentrate lol. If my brain doesn’t have enough stimulation I’m super bored and with so many ideas in my brain, I’m usually never bored.

When you’re in the beehive, you gotta be on your toes! With thousands of stinging insects swirling around, you have to be able to perceive any problems or issues and resolve them as quickly as possible. You might see the queen fall onto the ground while you’re holding a frame of brood and the person helping you is about to step on the queen. You need to be able to move slowly, but think fast!

I think this is an important thing to discuss on this forum. Not just because I deal with it on the daily but because others do, too. I want it to become a conversation and I want to be able to inspire potential beekeepers who also struggle with ADD/ADHD to learn more about how they can also find solace through bees.

Do you have ADD/ADHD? I’d love to know! Shoot me an email at noogahoneypot@gmail.com or send me a message on Instagram @noogahoneypot

Thanks for reading!