“Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them…or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.”




They actually tested me for a learning disability in high school because I was consistently failing math.

They discovered that I actually scored in the 80th percentile in that sort of learning.

Problem was, in every other subject, I was in the 99.8th percentile.

I had never learned how to study because I never needed to—and then, when something proved to be even the slightest bit challenging, my brain went

“LOL nope this is impossible abort”

Meanwhile, this entire time I’m scraping by in subjects like English. The assignments I did turn in, I’d score top marks—but I’d avoid turning in projects I didn’t think were “good” enough.

Essentially, my brain had two settings: “100%” or “0%”.

This sort of Baby Genius shit makes kids and adolescents neurotic and self-destructive.

We learned about this in Child Development. And we learned to reward hard work and not good job. Like don’t say to a child, “oh you are so smart.” Say “Oh did worked so hard.”

Be proud of the child, not the achievement.

Be proud of the child, not the achievement.

Decades of research have been done on this by Dr. Carol Dweck. When the emphasis is placed on effort (a factor people can control) rather than talent (an innate skill), it’s a lot easier to see mistakes as a learning opportunity rather than something you just won’t ever be good at. And kids who were encouraged by effort were also more willing to take on more challenging work and considered it a lot more fun, while the kids who were praised for their intelligence were reluctant to put themselves in a situation where they might lose that identifier as a “smart kid” by making mistakes, so they preferred to do work they were confident they could master. Also, the kids praised for effort wanted to compare their results to kids who got higher scores, to see where they made their mistakes, while those praised for intelligence wanted to compare their results to kids who scored lower, to reassure themselves.

Not only does this set up “smart” students for a lot of trouble when they enter college and start being regularly challenged, the effects last long beyond that. It can be very hard for the “you’re so smart!” kids to unlearn as they become adults and struggle with even common adult things, and are afraid to ask for help because of that lesson they learned from misguided praise that they are supposed to be smart and supposed to know the answers. 

…Honestly +1 here.  It’s very well researched and documented and yeah.  Making the emphasis on “You succeed and we are proud of you b/c you are SMART as an intrinsic quality!” makes failure/setbacks/difficulty -TERRIFYING- b/c if you’re “smart” it doesn’t happen and if you fail that means you’re not smart and that’s what everyone’s drilled into you as your main point of worth.

And the rates of anxiety disorders among “gifted student” kids are kinda horrifying.    

I mean, if all your life you’re told “you’re so smart!” by teachers, parents, friends, etc., when you run into a situation you can’t just glide through like normal … you kind of go into this personal crisis of identity thing. Like: 

You can’t do this. So you aren’t smart. But everyone’s always said you’re smart. But you’re not smart anymore. So … what are you?

Not a fun time.

I had a huge argument with my mother over this.

“but how will your kids know they are smart if you don’t tell them”

i don’t fuckin care if they know they’re smart, mom

You really think kids don’t start learning they know more than their peers? You really think they don’t know to start altering their vocabulary or understand what it means when their classmates start to expect them to break the curves?

You really think kids don’t understand that they may get the material on question one of the homework but there are 10 questions because that’s not how quick everyone else is?

Please. I’m not saying never to encourage or never to remark on their achievements. But trust me, kids know. You stick them in the type of school settings the US (and abroad) favors and they’ll know.


It also leads to the dichotomy of “You know how to do this, why can’t you do it?!” 

Knowledge and ability are two different animals, and if you’re riding in lifes rodeo, sometimes you’re not gonna be able to saddle the big one. If you don’t have the ability to do something, all the knowledge of it in the world isn’t going to make a damn lick of difference. I’m coming against this again and again as an adult. I know /how/ to do something, but I don’t have the muscle memory, the repetition, the /ability/ to do it. 

Also the concept of practicing something. Like getting good at something because you practice, you make mistakes. If you’re taught as a kid that you can’t afford to make mistakes (financially, socially, etc.) then you’re never going to  be able to practice at shit. 

“If you’re so smart, why can’t you *insert random task here*! Everyone else can do it?” 

No. No, not everybody else can do it. “Practice makes perfect” isn’t something ‘Smart’ kids are allowed to have. You have to be perfect the first time, or not at all. “Good enough” is also a concept that smart kids are denied. 

I’m not bitter or anything, right? *sarcasm*


@takethewatch​ replied to your post “[[MOR] So… interesting day, today.  Took the first step on the road…”

*hugs*  I’m glad the solo went better tonight!  Good luck with the assignments tomorrow. ❤

Thanks!  *hugs*  Here’s hoping this thing doesn’t eat me alive.  😛

@rawrded ​ replied to your post “[[MOR] So… interesting day, today.  Took the first step on the road…”

someone who has been on meds… they really do work, don’t be afraid!!!
good luck with everything, break a leg for the concert. What’re you
singing if you don’t mind me asking?

This is what people
keep telling me.  *sigh*  But it’s this deep-seated, primal, irrational
fear based on things that have happened to me when friends went on
meds.  I’ve seen meds do wonderful things for people… but I’ve also
seen them turn friends into the kind of people who would stab you in the
back and turn your entire class of 112 people against you.  So.  
*shrugs*  Baby steps, and I guess we’ll see?

And, thank you!  And, no, I don’t mind you asking, at all.  ^_^  The June concert is always our concert to do Broadway/pop type stuff.  This concert is all Disney music (+ an Aida medley, which is still nominally Disney, I suppose ^_~, and is also the medley I have my solo in ^_^).  We’re doing some newer stuff, like Let It Go (yes, I give everyone permission to roll their eyes; I’m right there with you :P), and older classics like When You Wish Upon a Star and A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.  It’s a really fun set of music.  ^_^  I’m excited to sing it!

Executive dysfunction life hack














Instead of telling yourself, “I should get up,” or “I should do this,”

Ask yourself, “When will I get up?” or “When will I be ready to do this?”

Instead of trying to order yourself to feel the signal to do something, which your brain is manifestly bad at, listen to yourself with compassionate curiosity and be ready to receive the signal to move when it comes.

Things I did not actually realize was an option

What’s amazing is what happens when you do this with children.  I hit on it when working at the foster home, where nearly all our kids were on the autism spectrum, and they weren’t “defiant” around me because I said things like, “How long do you need to stand here before we can move?” and “Come into the kitchen when you’re ready” instead of saying, “Stop staring out the window, let’s go,” or “Come eat dinner,” and interpreting hesitation as refusal to obey.

I have also definitely found that doing the “okay when I finish counting down from twenty is getting up time” has been useful.

Yup, that’s way better for toddlers and younger kids.  It helps when they don’t have the self-awareness, attention span, or concept of the passage of time to estimate when they’ll be ready by themselves.

Oh I meant for me. XD Saying it to myself.

WELL OKAY WHOOPS XD I should not have been overspecific, I was just thinking about teaching this stuff to the parents at my job and your reblog made me immediately think of you with Banana and the kidlets.

Another hack: when you want to get up but are stalled by your brain and frustrated – stop. Breathe. Think about what you want to do once you’re up, without thinking about getting up. Treat it like a fantasy, no pressure, just thinking about something you’d like to do in the future. Instead of thinking “I should get up” over and over, think about having a bagel for breakfast, or getting dressed in your soft green sweater. Imagine yourself doing the thing.

I find that exercise often side-steps the block and the next thing I know I’m out of bed and on my way to doing the other thing I thought about.

Works for other things too, if you’re stuck on one step and having a hard time doing it, think about the step after that. Need to do laundry and you can’t get yourself to gather up your dirty clothes in the hamper? Think instead about carrying the hamper full of dirty clothes to the laundry room. And when you get to that next step, if you get stuck again, think about the step after it – you have a hamper of dirty clothes that needs to be put in the wash, let your subconscious handle the “carry hamper to laundry room” step while you’re thinking about the “putting them in the wash” part.

YMMV of course, and this doesn’t even always work for me (particularly not when I need to do a collection of tasks in no particular order, like packing for a trip… “pack socks, pack underwear, pack toothbrush, pack pants, pack shirts” is the kind of non-linear task list where this trick doesn’t help at all), but it’s something I’ve found helpful often enough.

This is one of the most beautiful threads I’ve seen on Tumblr simply because it deals so compassionately with an issue so many of us have and can barely even articulate to ourselves, let alone to anyone else. ❤

I think I get overwhelmed from the thought of all of the consequent steps, so maybe I’ll do the reverse of the advice above and try to focus on the first one.

@the-rain-monster i was just about to say something similar. that can work too sometimes. instead of going “ugh i need to eat something” for four hours, i try to focus on each step in turn.

and i mean each TINY step. just getting out of my chair has this many steps:

  1. pause music
  2. remove headphones
  3. hang headphones on laptop screen
  4. pick up laptop
  5. leg-bend recliner footrest shut
  6. set laptop aside
  7. stand

and i reckon that’s why i get stuck on it; because i’m trying to treat it as one thing, while executive dysfunction is treating it as seven things, and choking on trying to skip to step seven.

concurrent with this is a method i call ‘junebugging’. which is where i go to the location of the thing i want to do, and just sort of bump around the region like a big stupid beetle until the thing somehow accidentally magically gets done. this is an attempt to leverage ADHD into an advantage; i may not have the executive function to make myself a sandwich on purpose, but if i fidget in the kitchen long enough, some kind of food is going to end up in my mouth eventually. and hell, even if i fail on that front, i will probably have achieved something, even if it’s only pouring all my loose leaf tea into decorative jars.*

@star-anise please may i give you an internet hug *hug!* because god how i wish anyone had known to do that for me when i was a kid. my childhood was one big overload, and like 99% of the huge dramatic meltdowns that made me the scapegoat/laughingstock/target of my entire elementary school were simply due to people not giving me time to process the next step, and interpreting a bluescreen as defiance/insult.

*this happened when i was trying to do dishes actually but the principle is sound

yeah i absolutely echo what j’s saying about the steps, it’s a lot like that for me too. i get overwhelmed at the prospect of something that should be simple, and have to slow down and sort out how many steps it’s actually going to take, and what a complicated endeavor it actually is, even if no one else thinks so. 

also, i thought i should put in: try to honestly figure out what you’re averse to, that makes things so tough. making a whole bunch of decisions really fast? the potential of things to make a horrible noise? the shame of failure? having to put down what you’re doing now? having to clean up whatever it is you might go do when you’re done?

for instance, for me, the difficulty rating on anything goes waaaay up when a step of a task is ‘go somewhere people will look at you,’ which is for me about the unpleasantness equivalent of ‘jump into a very cold swimming pool right now’. you know you’ll be fine and even have fun once you’ve settled into it, but it still takes a lot of shuffling around and bracing yourself first to go for it. and some days you just don’t fucking want to go swimming.

i discounted this factor for years because i wouldn’t admit that i was so daunted by something so silly as as people looking at me. but, now i know what i’m so aversive about, i can factor it in to plans, and work around it, and be kind to myself. for instance, i was never able to get fit since highschool PE, because i couldn’t make myself go to a gym, or even out jogging. once i figured out the big problem wasn’t avoidance pain or difficulty, it was avoidance of doing a New Thing that i was Bad At in front of Unknown Quantities Of Strangers, which is like a triple threat of stressors, i started working out quietly and safely in my room at night, and i’ve been doing really good on it! 

Absolutely loving the tag #you don’t make a broken car work by yelling ALL THE OTHER CARS WORK FINE








a good thing to do for your friends with anxiety disorders: if you have a question you need to ask them or something you need to tell them, explain the subject of the question/the statement in the same message as your opening one!

so basically: instead of saying “can i ask you a question?” and sending just that (which, as a person with an anxiety disorder, makes my anxiety go into hyperdrive) go “can i ask you a question about ___?”

it’s a little thing but honestly few things make me anxious like “i have a question for you” or “there’s something i need to tell you” without immediate explanation. thanks!

“call me, nothing is wrong, just wanna talk on the phone” would be so much better than “Call me.”

Actually please to all of this please.


YES THIS OK????? Like I have trained my husband to say “nothing bad, I just need to call you because it’s too much to type.” It helps SO MUCH. Just let me prepare myself, because I guarantee my imagination will take me to much much darker places.

Might I add, if someone with anxiety has just said something to you that’s a lot to process, and you need some time to think about what to say in response, please consider a quick “I’m not ignoring you, I need to think about what to say and I don’t want to say the wrong thing.”

Because that definitely saves your friend with anxiety a lot of strife and assuming they’ve ruined your friendship forever. Nothing is crueler than a “Seen 2:25pm” when it’s 10am the next day and you’re waiting on a reply to a huge confession.

Normally I don’t acknowledge my anxiety very much but to any of my friends this would genuinely be helpful. Thanks 

Good job. Your anxiety reminds me of mine a lot and sometimes amazes me that you manage to push through it and get stuff done.

Thanks!  TBH, it amazes me, too.  -.-;;;  There’s no real secret, either.  It’s a combination of 1) feeling like I have no choice but to push through and get stuff done and 2) once my anxiety has completely and utterly broken me down so I feel like I’m less than dirt… I guess it induces the kind of calm that comes from having nothing left to lose?  So to spite the anxiety, I do the thing anyway.  Of course… the thing that sparked the anxiety to begin with tonight still isn’t done… but I did a WHOLE LOT OF OTHER SHIT that I wasn’t planning on doing until later in the week, so that kind of makes up for it?  A little?  -.-;;;

But wow, yikes, I’m so sorry that you have that kind of anxiety, too.  It sucks and is not fun.  😛  *offers fistbump*  Solidarity, though, right?  ^_^



Seriously, WHAT. THE. FUCK.

Like, I’m literally FINE until I look at the damned thing and then the second I start trying to write anything, my hands start shaking, my heart starts racing and my throat closes up.  WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCKING FUCK YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT.  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Here we go again…




…an attempt at a to-do list.  *wince*

  • Adulting stuff
    • Find out wtf is taking so long with hearing back about my insurance appeal.  IT’S BEEN FIVE MONTHS.  UGH.  At least acknowledge that I sent it, douchebags.
      • Emailed my case manager.
    • Email about tea tins
    • Email about shoes.
    • Send pay stubs to insurance company.
  • Work stuff
  • School stuff (…and here we go :P)
    • Email back that one prof to thank her for agreeing to be on my dissertation committee.
    • Stat
      • Write abstract for paper
      • Finish discussion section for paper
      • Add procedures to research design assignment and submit it.
    • Qual
      • Write memo 14

      • Write memo 15
      • Write 1st article review
      • Write research proposal
      • Write 2nd article review
      • Write research paper

Well… got the two memos done?  *headdesk*

Of course, now I’m starting to feel all shaky and twitchy and nauseous and just… not good.  I tried making some tea to calm me down, but I think the caffeine is actually making it worse for a change which NEVER HAPPENS.

I emailed the professor to tell her that I did the two memos and she’ll probably get my first article review by tomorrow and the rest by next week, so that should have decreased my anxiety, but I JUST WANT THIS DONE.  I WANT IT DONE AND I’M SO STRESSED OUT OVER IT AND IF I TAKE A BREAK NOW I WILL NEVER GET BACK TO IT AND–

*deep breath*  This is not helping.

Indulging the anxiety spiral NEVER helps.

I’m going to go feed my cat dinner and sit with him for a few minutes and hope that helps.  Then I’m going to come back and try my hand at this fucking article review again.  The worst thing that will happen is I don’t get it done tonight.  And that’s not the end of the world.  I’m OK.

What do ruined people do? Weird shit. This seems to be the consensus of psychoanalysts as far back as Freud and Jung; the traumatized self creates, out of necessity, a system of self-care that is keen to avoid repeat trauma. This makes change difficult; it makes people who’ve had part of their psyches destroyed by unmanageable emotions push people and emotions away, create obstacles, generate unnecessary drama.

“Grief Magic” by Emily Rapp, The Rumpus

I dug through my entire archive to find this quote, scrolling back a few years, because this phrase stuck with me as I find myself doing “weird shit”. I needed to read this essay.

(via golddustgal)