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They had blocks of harder wood that you had to patiently sand to the precise shape of the hull. Then you had to patiently sand the smaller parts, precisely glue them together according to the directions and then paint the ship. But it was easier than the airplanes. Since I didn't have the patience for sanding the hull, my ships usually had a deck that was sloping up in front instead of flat. Still, some of them looked pretty good. The signal goes up the peripheral nervesAn electrical current is generated and the peripheral nerves send electrical impulses up towards the spinal cord. At the same time, the peripheral nerves begin to release chemicals that trigger inflammatory processes around the finger such as redness, heat and swelling. The signal crosses the synapse As the electrical signal gets to the end of the peripheral neurons (near the spinal cord) there is a space where one neuron ends and the spinal cord neurons begin. In this space between neurons--called a synapse--the signal changes from an electrical signal to a chemical signal. The peripheral neurons release small packets of chemicals which tell the spinal cord neurons what to do. In the case of pain, these chemicals are telling the spinal neurons to get excited and send the pain message up to the brain, again in the form of an electrical signal. As long as there are enough chemical packets, the spinal neurons will become excited. If there are not enough (say the sharp object is not pressing too hard on the finger) then the spinal cord will not send the "danger" message along. This means that certain messages stop at the synapse, and never reach the brain. Some pain management strategies take advantage of this fact and try to encourage signals to stop at the synapse. The guppy was about patience too. She was beautiful and pregnant, brought home from the pet store in a plastic bag of water. I was putting new water in the aquarium for her and the water had to be boiled to drive the chlorine out. I boiled it, waited a while and felt the water. It was still too hot, but I said "Oh, it'll be alright" - and put her in.

She came to the top belly up and died. "It'll be alright." - dangerous words. This was my ADD in childhood. Like for many of us, it continues into adult hood. Habitual procrastinators are often habitual pessimists too. Avoid the habit of expecting and predicting the worst in every situation you find yourself in. If you need to, sit down with pen and paper and draw a simple chart with two columns. In the left column, write down all the negatives that you're facing, like I don't want to do this, and then in the right column, write down some positive aspects of the situation. Force yourself to think differently, even if you can only find one positive attribute, such as I'll sure be glad when I've finished this task. Then, concentrate on that positive attribute and finish the task. This is especially apt when it comes to your colleagues in the workplace. Avoid making self-statements like, I can't do __ as fast as (he) or (she) can. We all have our own special talents, so avoid putting yourself down by being unnecessarily hard on yourself. Lastly, try not to Compare and Despair. Calm yourself down by recalling a way that's worked for you in the past. Go as far back in your mind as you need to, and find a situation where you pleasantly surprised yourself in how you dealt with a challenging task. If you can't come up with anything, then pretend that you're conducting a job interview with a mirror image of yourself as the applicant, and ask that mirror image to tell you about such a time. Then sit back and listen to yourself. Engage in sensible self-talk by reminding yourself that you don't need to do everything at once. Retake control of your attitude by forcing yourself to look at individual tasks rather than at a messy apartment or a cluttered e-mail Inbox.

Then tell yourself: All I need to do right now is to deal with just one item. I will be the first to admit that I used to be guilty of resisting self-care, too. Why? I had every reason you can imagine, and probably many of the same reasons most people have. I was far too busy. I did not have the time. I'd get around to it later. It was too expensive. Here's the truth: All my reasons seemed completely valid to me. My living expenses were enormous. I was a caregiver for my dad. I had a demanding career in the pharmaceutical industry. I had very little spare time. And here's the other truth: All my reasons were completely false. The real reasons why I resisted self-care ran much deeper. That's what I want to talk with you about in this chapter. When you realize that your reasons for not taking care of yourself are deeper than the everyday excuses, your aha moment will come. Then you will eliminate the everyday excuses because you will absolutely want to wrap yourself in self-love. Over the course of the next few days, write down your thoughts and feelings about situations and events. Either write down your thoughts on paper (keep a pen and paper handy) text or email them to yourself, or make use of an app such as the Thought Diary Pro (an app designed to help people record unhelpful thoughts and beliefs).

You won't be aware of every single thought, but when you do notice a negative thought, write it down. Don't pass any judgement on yourself for having this thought. Just be aware of it and write it down. Ask someone who you like and trust - a friend, partner, family member - to point out, over the next week or so, when they think you've made a negative comment. Write each one down. Use your feelings to alert you to how you are thinking: whenever you are feeling worried, stressed, annoyed or upset, stop and become aware of your thoughts. Write down your thoughts. As well as being more aware of individual negative thoughts, you may notice a pattern or theme emerging. You may realize that you're inclined to jump to conclusions or that you get caught up in tunnel thinking or catastrophizing. You may notice, too, what sort of events and experiences trigger your negative thoughts. Once you're more aware of your negative thoughts, you're in a better position to disempower them and to use them as a cue for positive action. There are two approaches. The first approach involves challenging and replacing negative thinking. The second approach involves simply accepting negative thoughts and moving on to positive thoughts and actions. When I finally learned I had ADD, a lot of things suddenly made sense. I could understand many of the difficulties I'd had all my life, and also many of the habits I had developed which, it turns out, were strategies to cope with my ADD. All of my shirts have a pocket, and my appointment book fits in there. It has a celluloid cover; in the front is a religious picture and on the back a photo of my grandsons. The inside covers have flaps where I keep photos of all my grandkids (so that I can easily share them with anyone who might have the slightest interest), a copy of my weekly standing appointment schedule, a list of principles of living that I need to review regularly, and my favorite poem. But the main thing in the appointment book is the monthly appointment schedule.

I need a month at a glance type, so I can look at it and orient myself in time. Otherwise, I become lost and confused, and things come up that I should have known about but was thinking were way way off; if you don't have ADD you may not know what I'm talking about here. I've made a habit of recording every appointment, carefully and correctly and legibly. I've made a habit of looking at the book about six times a day, like whenever I'm not actually doing something. When I'm sitting with my wife, this bothers her. I explain that I need to see what's going on, but she doesn't have ADD so she doesn't understand and she feels neglected. I don't just look at the book, I study it. Sometimes I just orient myself. Sometimes I find a mistake that I've made (I have ADD, you see), or I see something that's coming that I need to prepare for. And I need to fix a pattern in my mind of what tomorrow will look like, and what needs to be done and when. So it's not just a glance, it's a real look, and it's at least six times a day. My life has gone much better since I started to do this, and now it's a habit. I never hear myself saying, "Oh, I forgot to look at my appointment book." It doesn't happen. The signal goes up the spinal cordThe pain signal travels up the spinal cord as an electrical impulse. The spinal cord can play a role in suppressing or boosting the signal. For example, if there are a lot of other signals traveling at the same time as a pain signal, the spinal cord suppresses the pain signal. That is why you rub a sore area to help it feel better; rubbing the area activates more sensors on other neurons, sending more messages along the spinal cord. It is the brain's job to process all the sensory information that arrives from the spinal cord. The pain signal actually travels to hundreds of areas in the brain! Each of these brain areas play a role in how pain is interpreted.