ADHD: Delusional Optimism Strikes Again

ADHD: Delusional Optimism Strikes Again.

via ADHD: Delusional Optimism Strikes Again.

Having myself suffered from severe “delusional optimism” since early, early, early childhood–I found this post uniquely relatable. I don’t think I’ve ever before read anything like it!  I love the internet. How ever did people used to find weirdos just like themselves?

Like this author, I too can now finally recognize when it’s happening.  The delusional optimism I mean.  So much so, in fact, that I would say it’s now more accurate to say I recognize when I’m doing it–and I’m learning to stop. And that’s a relief. Because I was killing myself with all those delusional lies.  Killing myself for about forty years.

The lies are still what first come to mind. I mean, they are generally the near-immediate “conclusion” I arrive at when considering anything in my day-to-day life.  And they seem so…genuine. So believable. And somehow so much what I want to be actually true.  But I am learning to recognize them for what they are. Lies. Lies I am telling myself.  too-optimistic

I don’t know if it’s just the new heightened awareness I’ve had since my official ADHD diagnosis last year, or if my prescription is giving me some objective clarity I didn’t have before, but now I generally have an almost immediate second thing that happens: right after I arrive at the delusionally optimistic “conclusion”–I take a quick mental step back and assess whether that conclusion is true.  (Wait, what? An ADHDer who almost automatically takes a mental step back to assess?  Yeah, I know.  Awesome, huh?)

When it’s a lie (and most often it is) I resist going along with it.  Or I try too anyway.  But sometimes that’s harder than it sounds, because I’m a darn convincing liar–at least when I’m lying to myself! In fact, it sometimes begins to turn into a mental struggle, a sort of argument with my other self…sort of.

When this happens I need to make a quick move or I will quickly become paralyzed by overanalytical indecisiveness. So I emphatically deny the lie out loud, “NO. I don’t have time to do that!” or what-have-you. This might seem a little schizophrenic to anyone within earshot, but it’s working.

It’s working. And I’m not killing myself and hating myself so much.

And I’m feeling non-delusionally optimistic about the trajectory of that.


3 thoughts on “ADHD: Delusional Optimism Strikes Again

  1. I often wondered whyand how I can be so damn optimistic. And my Mother used to tell me all the time that I have Delusions of Grandeur. I wasn’t diagnosed until 42 and never connected my optimism with being ADHD-Innatentive

    • And sometimes, Heather, do you find yourself being optimistic in a way that sabotages you? I am optimistic generally, and more-so than the average person, but the optimism I am thinking of here is of a certain variety. It’s the “optimistic” thought that you have enough time to “quick” throw a load of towels in the washing machine before heading out the door to work–but you really don’t. And now you’re going to be late again. What about that sort of optimism?

      • Yes most definitely! I have also learned that people with ADHD have absolutely no concept of time. I almost always think I have more time than I actually do. I’m getting better though.

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