A twinge felt in my right shoulder, worsening sinuses, falling continuously into a pit of never-ending headaches and more take over my body when in ADHD burnout. Yelling at my brain doesn’t help, she’s trying her best. I’ve continued to speed up the cycle until my body screams out in pain from holding onto the tension and stress until things lock into place. There’s emotional and physical anguish in ADHD burnout. You take from yourself in many ways until it’s too late.
ADHD Burnout and Healing
Simply put…it fucking sucks. Your mind begins to heal and then suddenly the body catches up and nervously attempts to release that held tension. Sleeping in a weird position at night means an ache-filled morning worse than usual. I’m not able to stop myself from pushing productivity as if my worth depends on it even as my body begs me to let some things go. Anger becomes a strong emotion and without figuring out its origin things become chaotic and hurtful. I lash out at my partner through the tone of voice I use as any pain I’m feeling surges through me like the beat of a drum. I warn my partner that I need to cry it out and yell. What happens next is the epitome of letting it all go with ADHD.
The yelling doesn’t last long but it comes from a place deep inside me and is surprising in some ways. Tears form and a slow yet steady stream pours out. The only way to let it out had been to wait till everything exploded. Dealing with the aftermath of upper chest and neck muscles straining with the impact of my tearful rage has become a norm in many ways. I choke back whatever remaining tears escape the exhaustion and heaviness of my eyelids. I’d grab some Advil to help me function and get rid of the aches so that I may get the rest my body needs. In these moments, it’s pure emotional and mental exhaustion showing up. For whatever reason they take over the mind and refuse to let go for hours, days or even months. Burnout couldn’t give less of a shit about the timeline of healing.
ADHD burnout reaches into my joints, disrupts my mind, and can often revel in the brain fog that commences. Sometimes I’ve been used to settling into that routine. What’s been lacking has been the restrictions I’ve somehow placed on myself in my healing journey. The push for productivity even in enjoyable activities covers my soul and energy in a dark cloud. That’s why my healing continues to hit these walls. Embracing life’s absurdity and remembering the privilege in what I have around me slowly is getting accustomed to its usage. My body sighs in relief when I open up. My mind relaxes and tension decreases in my shoulders. It can be the best feeling in the world.
Here comes the hard part with all of this. Acknowledging that it’s ok to let go, to go at my own pace, to listen to my body, and try to understand what is at the root of the toxic cycle. Deep breathing, keeping hydrated, and taking some ibuprofen when necessary are great options but if I never uncover the roots of my ADHD burnout then the cycle and betrayal from my own body continues. It’s responding in the best way it can amidst the chaos and inner attacks against my self-esteem. Going forward, it may simply take saying out loud “Stop!” to get the point across the negativity and horrible noise in my brain. I can’t continue to be my own bully, feel the cycle of burnout and repeatedly pick up the pieces of pain in my body. Being my own biggest advocate my save my ADHD mind and my life.