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No One's Mad At You. You Just Think They Are.
It's perfectly fine to roam the Earth acting like a human being.
114 days. That is exactly how many days it has been since I stood in a line somewhere or left my house wondering, “Where the hell is my debit card?!” Not coincidentally, that is the exact same number of days that I have been medicated for my ADHD.
Decisions were made.
Having ADHD, like so same others, I suffer from this overwhelming feeling all the time that people are mad at me. I have done something or said something, and random people all over the globe (I don’t seem to limit my paranoia) have me on their shit list.
This includes, but is not limited to, anyone and everyone who has ever stood behind me at a checkout register and is required to wait the requisite 5.2 seconds it takes to slide my debit card back into my wallet.
My practice for decades has been to hurriedly grab my receipt and take my card and shove them into my purse and scurry away before my fabricated mob turns against me, wanting to reclaim the 5.2 seconds of their lives I stole from them.
None of this makes sense. It’s not rational. But, in my head, it has lived as fact. When I got my diagnosis and started down the rabbit hole of research to try and put the pieces of my whole damn life together, I discovered rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD).
RSD is a gnarly beast that causes many of us to feel rejection and the fear of it on a level that most people may have at some time in our lives dismissed as us just being “overly dramatic.”
The damage this does to us is that it turns us into people pleasers. It straps the mask to us so tightly that the fear of letting go of it and the fear of people being mad at us plays a mental game of tug-of-war in our brains until we’re exhausted.
We spend so much of our precious lives fretting about the approval of others that our life’s pursuit becomes a never-ending quest for it.
This also wreaks havoc on our self-esteem. As we seek reassurance from others that everything is fine, we are easily seen as clingy or needy. This exacerbates our feelings of unworthiness and our fears of rejection. It’s a freaking vicious circle.
I can’t live like this. Every day I have done this, I have chosen someone else’s happiness and comfort over my own. I have allowed myself to place my own needs on a back burner. I have done this to myself, and so the only person who can undo it is me.
On October 6th, 114 days ago, I went to the grocery store to pick up my prescription and stood at the checkout, and made a conscious decision to put my debit card back in my wallet after I swiped it. People behind me be damned.
Every single time I take out my debit card, I literally have to tell myself in my head, “I am human. I am worth these few seconds.” Over and over and over.
I have done this for 114 days. Every time I do it, I feel like I have reclaimed a bit of myself that living with ADHD for 40 years has taken away from me.
It seems ridiculous and trivial, but this decision has been a jumping-off point in standing up for myself. I deserve 5.2 seconds to collect myself before leaving a store. Putting cards back in wallets is something human beings do. Regardless of my ADHD or my RSD or any other letters that may be attributed to me, I get to roam this earth being a human.
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