Witch Way Q&A: Help! I have ADHD
Support for witches with ADHD, or just folks who get distracted a lot.
Question: Help! I’ve got ADHD
Hello! I’m wondering if you might be willing to share about tools you’ve found useful for ADHD. I am very late in the game to recognizing this diagnosis for myself and eager to get a handle on working with it. I’m curious about your experience with ADHD and what you find to be helpful in your own life and practice…
Thank you for the beautiful work you do!
With love & respect,
Answer: Dear ADHD Curious,
ADHD was a big deal for me as a child. I took Ritalin, and annoyed my teachers with my constant enthusiasm and curiosity (classic ADHD scenario). In my 20s and 30s I kind of forgot about it, though now looking back I can see it was always there, and now in my 40s, woah nelly! It’s back with a vengeance.
My biggest challenges working with ADHD are:
Being easily addicted to and distracted by screens. Everyone says, “Oh, me too!” But for folks with ADD it can be TRULY debilitating, and it isn’t funny or cute. I feels like being a fish trying to enjoy your life in the ocean but being snagged by a hook every five minutes, every day of your life. Sometimes I feel so powerless against it, it makes me want to cry.
Feeling easily overwhelmed. Especially by things that require a lot of steps or small decisions. Which makes me want to avoid those things altogether. Even when it means not being able to eat (recipes require steps), answer emails (always so many decisions), or make plans with friends (so much coordination involved!). So ADHD can have major impact on your health, your business, and your social life.
Everything sprawls and takes forever. There is no direct route anywhere. I might begin thinking, “I need to pay this bill,” and then four hours later I find myself going through the sewing kit in my bedroom closet because, when I got the envelope out to pay the bill, I decided I needed to clean out that cupboard, which lead to cleaning out all closets in my house, etc. etc.
For me, the top 3 gifts of ADHD are:
We see connections other people don’t. My understanding is that people with ADHD have more neural pathways in their brains, and therefore, more opportunities to make connections between things most people see as separate. This gift of strange connection is one of the things I love most about my podcast, Between the Worlds. For example, how we connected the Knight of Pentacles to pollinators, the Great Plains buffalo, and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It’s also helpful when giving readings for people, I can see how things in their life are connected that might have gone unnoticed.
Insatiable curiosity. People with ADHD have an innate desire to know, to go deeper, to explore. We get passionate about things and tend to have radical, surprising points of view. The world needs its neurodivergent people, we help find solutions to problems that seemed unsolvable.
An inability to conform. This is truly what I love best about folks with ADHD. We CANNOT conform. Even if we want to. Our brains, our spirits, INSIST on weirdness. We’re never going to just sit still and do as we are told. We’re not capable of it. We are, by our very nature, in resistance to the symbolic order and the Law of the Father. We are agents of wildness. In a culture that is constantly forcing people into boxes, we rot the box. We explode it. We are fairy beings with tails, and horns, and odd patches of fur. I love us so much for that. We are absolute magic.
Top 3 tools for working with rather than against ADHD:
I wouldn’t say my ADD is completely under control, but I have developed some strategies that help. When I am able to commit to these strategies, they make a HUGE difference.
Prepare and plan ahead. I need to plan out tasks long BEFORE I am supposed to do them. For instance, if I want to eat well during the week, I chop up my vegetables on Sunday night, otherwise I just end up eating popcorn and coffee.
This also goes for witchcraft! If I outline my rituals and prepare my materials beforehand, I am SO MUCH more likely to do my practices. Even if it’s as simple as: Put out journal, pen, tarot cards, candle, incense and matches; draw one tarot card and write about what it reminds me of; shadow dance; give offerings; close circle.
Good news!! I write out rituals and easy suggestions for you to follow throughout the month in my monthly witch guides (which you get when you become a subscriber) so you don’t have to think about it! ADHD witches, I got you! Next Witch Guide comes out on July 17th!
Move my body, and go outside first thing in the morning. Getting my metabolism up, feeling the wind and the sun on my face, having a few moments to focus and plan make a HUGE difference to my day. If I don’t do it, there’s danger I’ll get distracted by scrolling. Connecting with my body first thing helps me stay focused throughout the day. And if I lose focus, exercising (squats, 7 minute youtube workouts, walks around the block) is the best way to get me back on track.
Make it beautiful. I love how people with ADD are naturally connected to beauty and the imagination. If it’s not fun, beautiful or interesting, we’re not doing it. So amplifying the beauty in whatever project we’re attending to is always going to help us. Doing the dishes? Add music. Have to write an essay? Do it in the park in your favorite dress. Have to answer emails? Pull a tarot card on your best approach, light a candle, and burn some incense as you do it. People with ADD have a gift for making every moment magical.
There you go, dear ADHD Curious. I hope this helps! I’ll be writing a lot more about ADHD and witchcraft, creativity, somatics and spiritual ecology in the future because these are my passions. This is what we’re here for.
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