Jaye shares her experience with falling down, when her inner critic became the loudest voice in her head. This is a non-scripted episode, and may contain elements that can stir up similar feelings within you. Please take care of yourself when listening.
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Hi, this is now presenting ADHD, where we look at common ways attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can present in individuals, explain what the root causes can be, and connect the experience to real humans. I'm your host, Jaye Lin. I'm an ADHD coach, instructor, and generally nice person.
It's been a while since I posted the last episode. And it's because I fell down a bit. I had a weekend where I just was sad. And I was hard on myself. And I gave into a lot of the insecurities and doubts that used to be a mainstay for me, and haven't been for a very long time. My inner critic was very, very loud.
Over the last year or so, I've been really grinding. I've been trying to put out my ADHD learning program. I submitted and was accepted and gave a talk at the International Conference on ADHD. And I had plans to start an ADHD coaching directory that could be searchable, to write a pitch for an ADHD cookbook, to start my coaching business, to get some speaking engagements locked down, and to generally be so big. Yeah, like super, super ambitious. And that includes this podcast. That includes a lot of things.
Last weekend, I really confronted how I was feeling with a lot of the ADHD organizations that I've been trying to help. I haven't been getting a lot of traction with them, with being able to start a support group for women, for starting a support group for people of Asian descent. And also, the directory that I mentioned, I wanted it to be something that a lot of people would have access to, to find the ADHD coach that was the right fit for them. And a lot of these organizations said that what I wanted to do was a priority for them. And without going into much detail about it did not come through on a lot of those things, and did not treat me in the most human way.
And last weekend, I finally gave in to all these doubts about myself. And a lot of it had to do with whether or not my opinions and my feedback and all these things that I wanted to give them was valid or appreciated, or whether it was because I'm a nobody, and they are somebody. They are important. And I am not. And on top of that, it's been harder than I thought it would be to get and retain clients. And I am just not in a place that I wanted to be financially, after almost a year of starting my coaching business, after leaving Google.
This entire time I've been suppressing the feelings of doubt and insecurity and being down on myself about not being in a place that I wanted to be because I was able to do a lot. You know, I put forward three developmental rounds of my learning program. I got really great feedback from the people that I've helped during this time. I did everything that I said I was going to do, and yet I still felt inadequate.
So last weekend, everything finally came to a head. I couldn't get myself to get out of bed. I eventually just got myself to buy an electronic version of Everything, Everywhere, All At Once. Because when I watched the trailer for that, it really resonated with me, especially the line where Wayman says something like "every disappointment, every failure has led you to this moment. Don't let anything distract you from it." I think when I saw the trailer, it brought me to tears. And at the time that I saw it, I was making the decision to leave Google and start my practice. And it really felt like everything in my life was lining up and was going into the direction that I wanted it to go in. And then it didn't, you know? Getting clients was a lot harder than I thought it would be. And volunteering for organizations was harder than I thought it would be.
And yet, the whole time, I just told myself that I'm where I'm supposed to be. And I shouldn't feel disappointed with any of it. I should feel good, I should feel proud. But I was just suppressing those feelings. And doing so didn't really do me any favors. So I watched Everything, Everywhere, All At Once again.
The first time was the first Tuesday after I left my job. And I sat there in the movie theater with my mask on, just crying in a really cathartic kind of way. And when I saw it this time, I cried in a different way. Like, maybe I'm not the Evelyn that was the right Evelyn. Maybe I'm the Evelyn that's twirling signs. And that was pretty painful. Kind of this whole feeling like, well, like my inner critic always says, You were overconfident again. You're really not very good. When will you recognize that you're shit? What more evidence do you need? Before you can recognize that you're just not very good.
A friend of mine called that inner critic, a C word. And I think I have to agree. She's like, really, really mean. She's so mean. And a lot of it has to do with inadequacies and feeling like I could do something and feeling like I can make a difference. And maybe I just can't. Maybe I'm just not very good. Maybe I'm not a good coach, maybe I'm not a good friend, maybe I'm not a good daughter. Or maybe I'm not good at any of these things that I thought I was getting pretty good at. Maybe I just suck. Maybe I'll never be a success. Maybe everything I felt about myself was just a facade, and I'm just shit.
So I could recognize that this was happening, that my inner critic was taking over. That she was the loudest voice in my head. And so I let her yell. I spent the whole day allowing myself to wallow, to let my inner critic yell as loud as she wanted to, until her voice became hoarse. And I just laid there, watch watching TV, crying all day. Snuggling my dog who was a good sport about it, but I could tell he really just wanted to run around and play.
And then I decided to get back up on Sunday and clean my apartment. And for the first time since I moved here in November of 2021, my kitchen was functional and clean and put away. And exactly the way it was supposed to be, you know, maybe a year and some change ago. But there was one thing that I wanted to tell myself. Everything that's going on with work, with ADHD coaching, with success, with making a difference, with doing something that I cared about, all that work stuff I put at a premium to a lot of things in my life. And it was important for me to show myself that it wasn't just work that I could do. I could do life too.
And so that's what I did. I cleaned my house, I snuggled my dog, I trained him some more. And I recognized some things. Like, man, I really need my dog. So he's going to be my service animal. And I'm going through the entire process for him to do that, for me. I'm very excited about that.
And also, that I'm okay to be tested. Because this was a test. This is the first time I had encountered a setback, since I started this whole ADHD journey. Since I was diagnosed, I just kept doing more and more and more, and I had all the success and all this great feedback. And this was the first time that I tried something, and it wasn't a runaway success. And there was something that I could see, as a failure come out of it. It was a test. And if I'm honest, now, looking back at it, I think I passed it. I always like to say that, it's not about how much we fall down, how often we fall down. It's about how many times and how quickly, we get back up. And I did, I got back up. And I'm gonna keep grinding. And I'm gonna keep trying to change the world piece by piece, even if no one else cares. Because that's something that's really important to me. And it's important for me, in order to have a fulfilling life.
And another piece, where I feel like I pass the test is that I allowed myself to be in my feelings. I allowed these feelings to come up. I allowed myself to feel them completely without shame. Without feeling like I was doing something wrong. Without feeling like these emotions would ruin me. And that's something that was not the case several years ago. I had always been fearful of feeling my emotions because of what would happen afterward. I would descend into a pit of despair, that sometimes took months to claw out of, and I didn't want that to happen again. So I never let myself feel those feelings until I had to, and then it was too late.
So this time, I allowed myself to feel all of them, all of the feelings that I had. And a part of the success is that I knew that I could feel those feelings. And I knew that I could bounce back up. I knew that I didn't have to descend into a pit of despair. I knew that those feelings wouldn't break me, and they didn't.
So I spent the day I felt my feelings. I snuggled my dog. I watched a comedy, I watched a drama, I laughed, I cried, I took a long bath, I self soothed. And then I got back up. And I'm proud of myself for that. And I'm gonna keep going.
So this happens a lot with ADHD. I think the realization of that really helped me. We have emotional dysregulation, and sometimes feelings hit stronger than it would be for a neurotypical person. And after having a lifetime of being told that I'm too much, I'm too intense. I'm not important. I think I am, but I'm not. I thought I could do something, but I can't. I'm just not that good. After a lifetime of hearing that, and other kind of character assassination kinds of things, like I never finish what I start and I'm full of potential, but I always give up because I have no drive to finish things, it was really easy for me to believe that for a really long time.
But when I think about the people who gave me that feedback, it wasn't because they wanted to break me. They didn't know that it was going to affect me in that way. They wanted to motivate me the way that they were motivated. And there was no way for them to know that it would do the opposite. That I would just give up. What's the point? I'm shit. I can't actually do anything. Why even try?
So emotional dysregulation, and a really strong inner critic is really common with people like us. And it can be really hard to confront the emotions, to claw our way out of emotions, to keep fighting, to feel good about ourselves, to maintain our motivation, to generally live life. It can all be really hard. So, as with all hard things, I'm celebrating what I was able to do, which was to have a really, really rough day, where I felt hopeless and worthless, and like a failure. And that I would never amount to anything, again, and fall, fall down pretty hard. And get back up. I'm proud of myself for that.
If you're in the space where you're fallen, you've fallen down and you're overcome with emotions, I hope you can give yourself the same grace that I did. And just say it's okay to feel that way. Let it out, let the train get to the end of the station. And then what are you going to do? Because on their own, these feelings are not anything to be worried about, to be scared of. These emotions just are. So I hope you can allow yourself to feel that. All of your feelings, they're all valid. What you're feeling is what you're feeling. There is no way that you should and should not be feeling. So let yourself feel them and hopefully know that you can get back up. And you can keep going.
So I'm going to continue on. I'm going to do what I can, however I can with Starboard, the ADHD professionals collaboration cruise. I'm really excited to keep going with that, so I can take away the obstacles that face a lot of people who are going into this industry, and to create a community that doesn't require being in an in or out group. I'm going to continue on with my program. I'm going to allow myself to accept the praise and the impact that that program has created for the participants who have said so many great things about it, who've said that they would love to recommend it to their own companies. I'm going to accept that. I'm going to continue programming Intersectional ADHD, my directory that allows people to search for an ADHD coach that they're looking for that fits their unique needs.
I'm gonna keep going. Because what I want to do goes beyond me and my feelings. And there are going to be days that I feel like I'm shit, and I feel awful. But at the end of the day, I'm not shit. I'm worthy. And I can be really powerful if I just allow myself to be. I can try. And trying is something that is harder for me if I don't know what the result is. And by me going forward and continuing to try, I'm doing something hard. And that's something to celebrate. So, I hope you can too. I hope you can find a way to appreciate yourself and try for things that are hard. And celebrate when you do hard things. And allow yourself to have a bad day, and bounce back from it, because you are worthy.
Thank you for listening. We hope to see you next time