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A sixteenth-century philosopher who laid the foundations of scientific inquiry, Bacon advises us to clear our minds of certain preconceptions that can destroy our ability to think objectively. Within the general structure of my life I also have some schedules. Life goes better if I stick to a schedule. This schedule isn't written in concrete and it is not a straight jacket. Things happen or opportunities arise and they need to be responded to. On days when I see patients, it's a strict schedule: I see patients at 10:30, 11:40, then lunch, then patients at 2:00, 3:10, and 4:20. So I know what's happening, and when, and I don't have to make decisions about what to do. On days when I'm not seeing patients I usually make a loose schedule for the day, what I plan to do. Schedule can be very helpful; it's one of Daffy's main strategies. Adult feelings are often embarrassing. To feel hurt, sad, angry, or even jealous exposes a vulnerable part of our humanity. To let others know that we are human, that we feel not-so-nice feelings, that we care enough to feel intensely is inherently embarrassing. There are some feelings that are considered so unacceptable, so heinous that people won't dare admit to even having them. Anger at a co-worker who has been promoted over you, jealousy of a sibling who just received public acclaim, hurt about not being invited to a special event are examples of some of the feelings which one might be reluctant to admit. The above response would be meaningful, intimate, and virtuous. It uses Karen's gifts of discernment and perspective. It considers the totality of the situation and her relationship with Julia. It also challenges her to exercise both self-control and focus to attend to the work God has put in front of her instead of ignoring that work and obsessing over a perceived faux pas. What do you do with unacceptable feelings? Feelings can either run your life or you can take charge and manage them.

They can terrorize you so that, as a defense, you completely suppress them, or they can flare up anytime when you least suspect them, making you appear out of control. You need to know how the feelings can be identified, sorted out, and then dealt with in healthy and appropriate ways. The more acquainted you are with your feelings, the easier it is to handle them when they surface. The more you ignore them, the more they control and dictate your behavior. This is a key principle of healing, to understand that we store emotions from our past in our own bodies. It is as if our heartbreaks, trauma, and shame are the bars and bolts of a prison cell. Imprisoned, we wait for someone to come into our lives with a key to open the door. Song after song has been written of this longing. So many of us wait for a prince or maiden to come and rescue us from our self-built dungeon. We wait and wait, locked away in solitary confinement. Our friends visit us at the barred door of the prison and give us some comfort, advice, and camaraderie, but they cannot release us from this self-imposed cell. The key to the door is possessed by only one person: the key is in our own hand. We are told this again and again throughout our lives, but we do not believe it. We possess the key, but the problem is we do not know how to use it, and we aren't even aware that the key is a key. This is why self-study is absolutely critical in enabling us to understand what tools are available, what needs to be repaired, and what needs to be healed. But all of this work cannot be done with your mind alone. The third imperative must be included for holistic healing. Reconciling to the past will free you to build a new future and to truly release old damaging relationships. This will open the door, finally, to new healthy relationships, but the door must be opened by releasing it, not by kicking it down. We do best if we get up at about the same time every morning and go to bed at about the same time every night, again with flexibility depending on what's happening.

This keeps our internal clock on track, which is often difficult for us, and it helps us to get good sleep. Good sleep helps us with our ADD. We can focus better, organize better, and function better if we've had a good night's sleep. The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person. People with ADD don't need more sleep, it's just more important. So I do what it takes to get a good night sleep; I practice, mostly, good sleep hygiene. For me, that especially includes no caffeine after 5 PM, not even decaf coffee. When I used to drink regular coffee, I needed to have none any later than 2 PM; it stays around about eight hours. Also I have no alcohol or chocolate after 8 PM. With this response, Karen also wisely avoids the common trap of mistaking pep talks for consolations. For instance, Karen could have told herself, "You don't annoy people! Julia loves you! She probably didn't see your message." While this is certainly affirming, it assumes facts not in evidence. The truth is, Karen doesn't know why Julia didn't respond. Trying to make up a reason -- albeit a more positive one -- is still the desolation/cognitive distortion of "mind-reading." It doesn't lead to a meaningful, intimate, or virtuous response. It's just a way Karen could try to talk herself out of dealing with a potential relationship problem (which could lead to more anxiety in the long run). After all, maybe Karen's text did annoy Julia. If so, ignoring it wouldn't be any more appropriate a response than obsessing over it. But instead of just trying to talk herself out of her anxiety (which never works), Karen has formulated a sane, measured response to the anxiety-provoking situation that will allow her to address her concern in an appropriate, proportionate, and productive manner. There is rarely one isolated feeling which is lingering all by itself, but rather an assortment of feelings all tangled and intertwined, much like spaghetti.

The sorting-out process means separating each strand of spaghetti. Feel it, without judgment, and assign it a name. This process is reflective and introspective. It requires patience, and quiet time. It is often advisable to have a coach available to help draw out, separate, and label the different emotions. If you wish to enter a temple with a locked door, one way of doing this would be by taking a battering ram and bashing the door in. This would get you in, but it would destroy the door, and you would never be invited back. A more polite and considerate method would be to respectfully knock on the door and wait to be invited in. You continue knocking patiently until the door is opened from the inside. The knocking is your breath, your inhaling and exhaling; the door is the entryway to your internal life and power. Force is not always the best tool for healing. Sometimes it is, but you must know the difference and when to use it. Because so many of us feel disempowered, we constantly look for opportunities to gain more power of any kind. But gaining more power is not always the answer. When we feel stuck, we naturally feel the urge to acquire more power, like putting a larger engine in a car that is stuck in the mud. But if the car is chained to a stonewall, you can keep adding more and more power and not move a single inch forward. I used "some" to make it four S's, and "physical activity" sounds so much nicer than "exercise", doesn't it? But there it is, the E word. Regular exercise benefits general health, but with ADD, it also improves our functioning. It helps with focus, and with stress, irritability, impulsiveness, and mood.

Coincidentally, it helps prevent Alzheimer's. We need to find exercise we enjoy, or at least that isn't a chore. We won't stick with a chore. We need to take it easy, and if we're out of shape, to start slow and gradually increase. The activity needs to be specifically for the purpose of exercising; cleaning houses all day or hauling bricks around is healthy work, but for some reason work doesn't provide all the benefits of exercise. According to Bacon, all human beings have these tendencies to a greater or lesser degree. He calls them "idols of the mind" that we must guard against in order to be objective (Bacon, 2014). This calls for building a rational plan! Becoming obsessed with showing that those who disagree with them are wrong, bad people, or otherwise unworthy of respect. So what sort of behavioral responses do you have when others disagree with your point of view? Exercise 9.4 gives you an opportunity to explore these. In your journal, list as many things as you can think of that you do when others disagree with your point of view. Instead of attempting to manipulate, lie to, or call people nasty names, strive to see the world from their perspective. As a truth-seeker who genuinely cares about finding out the truth, give others a chance to express their points of view too so that the whole truth can come out. If you don't reach agreement, then agree to disagree! Everyone has a right to choose for themselves what to think and how to live, as long as they are not hurting anyone else. So stop trying to force others to think like you. The reason that desolations feel so "true" is that they are almost automatically attended by memories that anchor them in our real-life experience. Consolations don't feel as true, at least at first, because they just seem like random thoughts we preach to ourselves. In order for a consolation to have resonance -- and, therefore, full anxiety-fighting power -- we need to connect the consolations with our own real-life experiences that "prove" to us that the consolation is a valid and legitimate way to think about and respond to a particular event.