Alone for the Holidays: When I first... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

8,492 members2,189 posts

Alone for the Holidays


When I first joined this group, there was an old post listed about how people with ADHD prepare presumably for Christmas. Being Jewish, I interjected that there needed to be a more global perspective as re HOLIDAYS. Soon The Jewish New Year is coming on 9/19 and for the first time because of COVID I can't be with friends and family to celebrate. I have a virtual idea of what I'm going to do possible Zoom conversations or meals or listening to chanting of important prayers. I think my attitude is positive, but in my heart of hearts, I still feel a yearning and wistfulness for those loved ones who have passed away and the sharing of joy and praying for all those regarding of religion, race, creed, etc. and for the hope that the next year will be better for the human race. my question is if anyone please knows the answer does being ADHD make our emotions more intense and creates a greater sensitivity within us. Also having cabin fever from COVID does not help the situation. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Shnook

28 Replies

Hi, Shnookie~

Aww, sorry to hear about your difficulty with this area. Yes, emotions are more amplified in ADHD'ers like you and me. And, yes, holidays are hard without our families present. I did look online and found that there are synagogue services online on YouTube. You could participate/ listen to the services, fyi.

Sometimes, emotion can be so overwhelming that people "lose it" or have melt downs. It's ok to be emotional, we are still humans after all.... lol... I'm slowly learning to control my "trigger points"- so when I start getting super upset, I'll notice it or my partner will and we both say "Calm"... and I can take deep breaths (that I've learned from meditation).

Meditation itself helps me regulate myself- I do this every day. Exercise is also a great mood booster- proven to release dopamine, and other feel good neurotransmitters in our own brains. Another thing I've been learning is to be grateful for what I do have, and appreciate the small things.. sounds sort of corny, but it helps.

Reading a really good book right now called Taking Charge of Adult ADHD by Russell A. Barkley, PhD. Has great information in it, and also lists steps to take charge of our lives.

And, yes all of the COVID cabin fever is here for everyone. I used to be able to go out and get stuff for my hobbies, which I really miss, see friends in person, travel, etc.. It's a hard time, and I really do hope that we're able to get the numbers down for this horrible disease.

Best wishes to you, hope this helps you.

Take care~


Shnookie in reply to GatsbyCat

Thank U so much for your helpful ideas. I am going to research this week about synagogues in the Los Angeles area doing virtual services. I have been a couch potato and gained the COVID 15 which I need to lose to start to make me feel physically stronger. I do deep breathing and peaceful visualizations and listen to all different kinds of music that I like.

Thank U again for the info and the considerate way that U researched that I can attend a Zoom virtual temple service

Hi Shnookie,

I am not experienced enough with managing them, but I can share that I have had amplified emotions all my life. I just thought it wasn’t normal enough and kept hiding them from my parents when I was younger and then from my wife, because how can a man cry at such little things, right? Haha! Even slightly emotional moments in shows or movies make me feel strongly for the characters and have intense emotions for them, when I know it is not even real!

I have not figured out how to change that or if I really need to change that or just accept that as a part of who I am. Medication, physical exercise or anything else hasn’t really changed that for me. It is just my innate positivity and optimism that keeps me going.

This may not be really helpful but I can feel what you are feeling an can confirm that what you are feeling is associated to ADHD.

I hope you have a great time celebrating with the family and wish you a Happy New Year!

Thank U for your good wishes. Your perspective on being hypersensitive has hit me many times in my life. I would go with my mother to a family Bar Mitzvah and then something would set me off and I

then started to sob. I feel emotionally emotionally naked and the nasty 🤢 reactions from my aunt only exacerbated

my pain. I appreciate your support and understanding the sensitivity re emotions

that people with ADHD possess

Hey scientist, your post spoke to me. Yes, amplified emotions, not being able to express ones self freely because it would seem over the top n socially unacceptable. Taking meds to make us more tolerable to others and suffering but being a hopeless optimist, everyone thinks your fine. Story of my life. Its exhausting. Im pretty cheeky n have to keep myself in check at all times. Utterly exhausting. I wish the rest of the world could rise to half my emotion for just a week to experience how 24 hrs a day i reel shit in to be acceptable! That would be a great holiday gift! Lol

Talking about people not understand you - only yesterday my wife and my sister were trying to convince me that everyone has this and you don't need to think it is because of ADHD. The topic wasn't emotional dysregulation, but about memory and attention. I went to the pharmacy to pickup a prescription for my baby which I had received only one call about and walked out of the pharmacy without the Tylenol that we had been saying to each other we need to get, for days (including the day of going to the pharmacy) haha. I went to a store to get baby formula too and forgot about the toy that we had been discussing about for weeks (including the day before the trip). Moreover, I ended up buying clothes and teethers and overspended on so much other baby stuff but forgot to pickup what we really needed. This was a trip without a list, but a couple days ago, I forgot to pickup something that was on a grocery list and I was continually re-reading the list to make sure I get everything. When I got to the last two items, I put the phone in my pocket, got one thing, got distracted by something else on the shelves, and left without the last item lol!! It sounds funny now when I am recalling everything while typing this, but the feeling when I just realized each time was utterly frustrating.

Hi it’s Shnookie. Sorry 😐 U had to experience these things. Lists R very

important things to have so it jogs R memories as what to buy at a certain place. Some times, I put my lists in the

notes section of my iPhone U can try

it out to see if it helps U. Also, if U

know that your wife is home for

example, call her when U get to the

pharmacy so that U do a walk through as to what U R supposed to buy.

I know it might think that this is burdensome, but people do this at the

market all the time. This is meant to help things be easier 4 U.

I’m in your corner M 😀😎💪

Thanks Shnookie! I use lists in the notes app a lot too. I like how you can get simple bullet points and you just tap on what you have added to your cart and it strikes it out.

Sometimes my lists are text messages that are sent by my wife. That is when I am more likely to mess up. Calling everytime is also a good idea and I will try to incorporate that more.

Totally agree that lists are life savers for us. The fact that I find it so hard to stay consistent with one system/routine doesn't help though haha. I start different types of systems all the times but am never able to stick to one system. This is not just for shopping but for life in general. I would be working out very consistently for 2 months, miss a couple of days for some reason and the next thing you know, the year is coming to an end with me telling myself I will start doing that again!

I understand what U R saying

Regarding working out 🏋️, I

can relate to this. I’ve done this

intermittently and I’m almost 62.

Maybe, it will be easier if U can

break down things in categories and not beat yourself up. Regarding

speaking to your wife on the phone

if It feels good to U then do this as much of possible. I understand what

U mean by having 2 or 3 systems

which can be confusing or in my

case, sitting at my computer now

surrounded by papers from

various spiral notebooks that I have been using Do U think 🤔 that it

would be possible, to look at

notes in phone and then talk to

your wife at the same time I say this

because sometimes at the last minute

as happens to all of us, we forget things when we go to the market

This might sound simplistic but perhaps try it for now Remember

I’m in your corner shnook

Spot on. Its so annoying to me when non ADHD people say that EVERYONE has it and then will share some cute little funny thing they did absent mindedly. Grrr. Im like “ no- im talking about getting a speeding ticket 10 miles past the exit to my house bc i got into deep thought about something ridiculous. And then having to turn around and go 10 miles back to the exit, forget to pay the speeding ticket on time, get a bunch of points on license, insurance goes up, and when you FINALLY forgive yourself for that, u end up doing something even more jacked up!” Lol, but not really! I forgot my kids first day of school In 5th grade at a new school. I suck. Once, my car tags expired, and i got pulled over, and ticketed, and then got pulled over again on way to renew the tags, then forgot to put them on. Got pulled over AGAIN, and i was baffled cuz i knew i wasnt crazy n had just got back from the DMV! So when the officer was in his car behind me with his lights on writing yet another ticket, i found the tags!!! Amazing right? No, because i waited in my car for the officer to come back to my car BUT it took him too long and so i thought i would expedite the process and got out of my car to walk to him n tapped on his window when he was looking down and about got shot!!!! So its like, “ no people you losing your glasses or walking into a room and forgetting what you walked in for is NOT what i freaking mean by being absent minded!!! Lol lol lol!!!!


Shnookie in reply to wtfadhd

I definitely can relate to your story. I need to pay a $200 ticket which became $200 because I kept putting off paying 4 it. So I’m definitely paying it this week because I need to renew my car registration. If U put large

Post it’s on the seat next to U would that help at all. I’m here 4 U. Remember the group supports U. This is a safe place 4 U to be

wtfadhd in reply to Shnookie

Thanks shnookie- i have all kinds of adhd life hacks that i consistently use to stay afloat. My point was that i could identify with the guy who’s wife and family implied that everyone has a little ADHD. That statement alone is very demeaning to those of us that are negatively effected by ADHD every day and manage to make it look “ normal.” 😉

Shnookie in reply to wtfadhd

I understand what U R saying. Truth be known Since I’ve joined this

group I’ve learned a lot more about

ADHD and some reasons of why I

experienced certain traumatic events

in my life like not being able to pass the bar exam after taking it 8 times. But at

the same time there R certain

aspects of ADHD such as

hyperfocusing that have positive

in my life such as certain jobs. I’m also

Bipolar with emphasis on depression

That can make things more difficult

wtfadhd in reply to Shnookie

Hey shnookie- agreed, my hyper focus is my super power too!!! Hyper focus on that BAR exam!!! Lol.

Shnookie in reply to wtfadhd

Yes at times, hyper focus can be our super powers at different parts of their lives. Didn’t work 4 Me 4 the

bar exam but has worked very well during other parts of my life

mer3 in reply to wtfadhd

Love this story! thanks for sharing! Remind your wife gently with a humorous story that it is matter of degree. Everybody forgets things, but often ADHDers are tortured by the inconvenience it cause to both themselves and others! Tell your wife and family very gently in a somewhat formal setting that you feel outside of the nuerotypical norm on this. Tell them you need them to accept this about you and NOT minimize it when you are upset about it. Tell them that when they Minimize it, you feel invalidated. your anxiety about it goes up, and you forget even more. Remind them that your feelings of anxiety, guilt, shame, or frustration (whatever you feel in this situation) are still valid feelings, and their path to helping you decrease the feelings and the forgetting is acceptance, affirmation of your value despite this current cycle, and gentle, loving humor! Tell them you are not helped by them denying that you have this cycle, but would like to see if you can be helped by them accepting this cycle, and letting you know they love you anyway!

mer3 in reply to wtfadhd

I like it1 You're naturally cheeky so you check your emotions! Forgive my wacky ADHD response to your excellent helpful response. It just made me laugh which made my day brighter immediately. Seeeeeeeee-- we survive on recognizing positive moments!

Hi, Shnookie.

I've just been learning about ADHD, for the first time in 20+ years since I was diagnosed, and the most exciting thing for me has been the term "emotional dysregulation." Total lightbulb moment, YES, that's me, that's ADHD? Ooohhhh. My favorite book so far is called "Focused Forward: Navigating the Storms of Adult ADHD", by James Ochoa, which really isn't about focusing so much as it's about the emotional "storms" and how to deal with them.

As for Rosh Hashanah, it sounds like you have some plans in place and a positive attitude. I'd just say, remember that all the Jews in the world are dealing with COVID-19 this year, so you are not alone in your aloneness. So Google is your friend, to get ideas on how other people are going to observe the holiday in the circumstances. One cool thing is that you're not limited to your local synagogue or temple, since it's all online anyway ... why not watch the services from Jerusalem? And I saw somewhere that they're going to be blowing the shofar from Auschwitz, which they say was actually blown while it was a death camp, and is a pretty spine-tingling relic. In fact, that sounds so emotional I would have to seriously psych myself up for it and be prepared to walk away if it became too intense -- because, emotional dysregulation. And didn't you say somewhere that your parents, or maybe one parent, survived the Holocaust/Shoah? So that might be either really meaningful or excessively meaningful, if you know what I mean. Or it might leave me cold, because it's just TV, just being live-streamed across the internet, and then I might end up feeling guilty for not getting the goose-bumps, OH, emotions with ADHD are so tricky!

Shnookie in reply to happyhermit

Thank U So much for your comments. I studied in Israel for 3 years. It sounds interesting watching a service from Jerusalem. I understand what U mean about the blowing of the Shofar from Auschwitz. For me probably the worst

impact on my life was that my grandmother

May she Rest In Peace had survivor’s guilt

and would sob uncontrollably when she lit the Sabbath candles at family meals on

friday evenings. As a daughter, granddaughter and niece of survivors, I have developed a greater empathy

towards others who have been impacted

By severe tragedy in their lives

wtfadhd in reply to happyhermit

Well said. Who gets to decide how much emotion is too much?!?!?! The calmest dude in the room per our culture!

wtfadhd in reply to wtfadhd

on top of having too much emotion and not having the right chemicals to discern if we are having the acceptable amount of emotion. We work our already over worked brains trying to walk this imaginary line and we carefully study other people ( who lets be honest, we have no desire to be as dull as them in first place, lol) and ........ everyone knows what im talking about on this chat.

Im having a frustrating self pity day i guess. 😝

mer3 in reply to wtfadhd

After my last emotional regulation dysfunction at work, I found a counselor who used the Wellness Recovery Action Plan to help me continually check on my inner happiness. One of the action steps iIput on my Daily Action Plan is to muse a few minutes on affirmation statements that I truly believe in. You reminded me of one of my favorites. It is "I am a unique and valuable person!" I always chuckle at the unique part because it is over-the-top true! And I wouldn't want it any other way! Here is one for you Scientist, "I don't have to live with invalidation!" Push back, but gently the first time, and then immediately and gently every time thereafter until you get your family used to giving you what you need rather than inadvertant judgment!

Shnookie in reply to mer3

Thank U for the helpful info

Shnookie in reply to happyhermit

U have a good memory. My father and aunt were child Holocaust survivors and survived with their parents which was unusual. They were from A small village in

Poland and my grandpa had Deutsch marks, American dollars and gold coins that they used to keep them alive. Thank U again for your suggestions. It was very thoughtful of U to do this.

Hey Shnookie,

I'm new here and this is the first post that popped up. I live in Israel, have a partner and small children, and don't go to shul at all, so I can't completely relate... but we might end up with a national lockdown over some or all of the chagei tishrei due to COVID-19 running rampant, which would mean not being able to get together with grandparents or extended family. We had a lockdown during the Seder, and for the first time ever it was just us four -- don't think I'd ever been to a smaller Seder and I'd never ever hosted one either. We ended up doing a small and very untraditional one, barely got through the Haggadah etc but it was fine because we'd decided to drop ALL expectations for the holiday.

That's what I'm trying to do before Rosh Hashana as well -- just no expectations. I don't even expect it to be festive. This depends on your level of observance of course, but if it allows you, then just let go or go wild. Embrace Zoom services, sit on your couch with a glass of wine, do tashlich into your bathtub... This is how we've sold these very unusual chagim to my eldest (6), we said this is a crazy year so we have permission to do things completely different, to reinvent the chag wheel, and then next year we'll go back to normal.

Not sure this helps, but I hope it does :) Hugs

Shnookie in reply to mentalfig

Thank U 4 your interesting perspectives.

I grew up in Beverly Hills for a period of time and went to an Orthodox temple and kept Kosher at home. But out of the house,

I didn’t keep Kosher however I didn’t eat pork, etc. I’m pro choice, an ardent Zionist

Support racial equality and LGBTQ rights etc. I actually find it interesting at times going between the different worlds and the different friends I have. What I have not

appreciated is people who infer that I’m being hypocritical. What I say is leave me

alone. I don’t tell U how to live. Shana Tova

v Mtukah. Have a sweet and happy 😃 new year

Hidden in reply to Shnookie

Yes Shana Tova, we all need a good year ahead.

Shnookie in reply to Hidden

Thank U for your good wishes and

gamar chatima Tov May we all be inscribed in the book of life for the upcoming year. I believe in spreading the good Karma all around

You may also like...