I’ve always loved writing.

As of today, I’ve posted 1,164 posts on this blog with another 329 previously published posts (migrated from my agency blog) sitting in drafts waiting to be backdated and published.

I started blogging on this blog back in 2008. I used to share basic tech tips for my colleagues. Over time, I got more into sharing ideas, opinions, and useful guides. There have been periods where I posted daily. There have also been long stretches of time where I didn’t adhere to any sort of posting schedule.

In July 2020, I started publishing two blog posts per week; one on Monday and one on Thursday. Since then, I’ve only missed about six posts. Four of those missed posts happened in the last two months.

Get back on the horse, right? No big deal, right?

I want to share what’s going on beneath the surface and hopefully shine some light on how we can give ourselves permission and self-compassion. This post is about the blog posts I’ve missed publishing recently, and yet, it has nothing to do with that.

A Peek Inside

This may come as a surprise to some people but I am not neurotypical.

  • Many have assumed that my hyperactivity is just high energy.
  • Many have assumed that because I am obsessive about my task list and calendar, that I must be a naturally organized and focused person with a strong command of my attention.
  • Many have assumed because of my output that I am just “always on” and productive.

All of this obfuscates the truth: I’m working my ass off to make it look this way. The truth is that my ADHD is a daily struggle that I typically hide from the world.

brown wooden house near green trees during daytime

I have learned to adapt to a world that was not built for me. I’ve learned to present as someone who is very organized and, at times, very focused. I often muscle through the challenges presented by how my brain processes the world around me, as well as the world inside of me. I produce, publish, and launch more than most, while constantly attempting to tame and organize the tornado of chaos inside the walls of my mind.

Confirmation of what I learned it at school

brown wooden table and chairs

From kindergarten to my MBA, school has “taught” me a great deal about my place in the world. Often times, it taught me that I do not fit in, or that I am broken.

  • If I was smart, why couldn’t I learn certain types of material?
  • If I had potential, why couldn’t I focus or work the way other people did?
  • If I was going to be successful, why didn’t my grades reflect it?
  • If I was mature, why couldn’t I just sit still?

I carry all of this around with me to this day despite growing to realize that school is poorly designed for people who do not fit the mold. The way I process the world is not wrong, it’s just different. What makes it hard, is trying to adapt to the way I feel the world wants me to be.

Still, missing a few blog posts is confirmation of everything I was conditioned to believe. Having difficulty picking it right back up where I left off, is confirmation of everything I was conditioned to believe. The internal dialogue goes like this: I broke the streak so therefore, I’m not…reliable, focused, or disciplined. If I’m not those things, it naturally follows that…I’m not good?

What I’m showing you are the seeds of shame about something I was born with that were watered and sprouted by well meaning institutions that just wanted me to fit in.


spiral concrete staircase

Like many people with ADHD or on the Autism spectrum, my work is a product of momentum. When I have the momentum, I can produce a staggering quantity of high quality output. When that momentum is broken, it feels like a car crash, mentally, emotionally, and occasionally physically.

These are the two sides of a condition often referred to as hyper-focus. It is both the yellow sun and the kryptonite in my life. The momentum is a superpower, until it is broken and becomes an injury that requires rest and healing. This same experience can give me the ability to work for 8-hours straight, do something for 200 days in a row, yet take 6 months to get back into the groove once I’ve missed even a single day.

There was no post this past Thursday, and I have been haunted by it since then. Even though I’m reasonably sure most of you reading this didn’t even notice, I’ve been walking around embarrassed about it.

Permission & Self-Compassion

For the past two months, I have had a lot going on. I had a garden variety of home-owner issues, my parents were in town for a little over a month, and I consciously took a step back from work to spend quality time with the family and attend to everything. As a result, I’ve been overwhelmed by a staggering number of distractions, and despite trying to muscle my way through it, I’ve finally decided to stop fighting it and just accept.

I’m giving myself permission to take the time I need to get back into a rhythm rather than expecting myself to jump right back in. After carefully assessing the situation, I’ve realized that it’s simply not that big of a deal.

I’m also taking a big deep breath a confronting that fact that it doesn’t make me unreliable, stupid, or any other negative attribute I could ascribe to myself. The person that is beating me up over missing a blog post, and who is shaming me for my imperfections is just me, a child who couldn’t sit still in class crying out to be acknowledged. For once, I’m going to be kind to that kid and let him take the time he needs to complete the assignment.

Do Something For Yourself

I didn’t want to miss another post, and I’ve been at my computer for nearly two hours trying to figure out what to write. After discarding three different posts, I thought I’d just write a post for myself hoping that you’ll get something out of it.

I gave myself permission to do that. I hope you give yourself permission to do something for yourself too. If you’re not feeling up to it, then consider this my giving you permission.

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