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  • Sara Wilson

Creative Adventures, ADHD Style

I think it's safe to say that I came into the world creative. In my earlier years I was always up for the next creative adventure, no matter what it was.

I learned from my grandmother at an early age to carefully observe how things were made. We took trips, came back home and did our best to remember exactly how what caught our eye in the store looked like, and our creative minds took off on creating an exact replica. We did our best; sometimes it worked out well, and other times, it turned out even better than the store version had seemed. I suppose that was the start of my creative adventures.

It seemed that my creativity really had no limits ... I remember the time my grandmother helped us make puppets out of pom poms and popsicle sticks. We learned to knit, crochet and sew. As a kid I remember having the follow-through to finish up a creative project.

BUT as an adult--oh my goodness! Something had happened to my ability to finish any creative project I had started on! The ideas for creative adventures came fast and furious. They arrived at a moment's notice in my mind's eye, and from just about anywhere I had been... social media... TV... laying awake at night. As soon as I could, I would make a mad dash to get the list of supplies I had convinced myself I needed to set off on the newest of creative adventures.

I'd push my cart around the store thinking “okay I'll be needing one of those... and one of these”... and then it would happen... I would wind up in a different department of the store. I would justify buying just one thing that wasn't on the list - like a skein of yarn totally unrelated to the project that I was working on that would find its way into the cart.

And so it went with the "creative adventures". I would come up with what I thought was an amazing idea. And I'd shop and bring the supplies home, where they would sit in the bag with the other supplies for other creative adventures.

By the time I had gotten home I felt entirely miserable for having purchased ALL that stuff I thought I needed for the current project, which in all probability I wouldn't start, let alone complete.

One creative hobby led to another. I'd convince myself that I needed supplies and tools for each one of the hobbies I had taken on. My knitting buddies thought it would be cool if I learned how to spin my own yarn; my husband thought it would take my stained glass work up a notch if I learned to sandblast to be able to put words and detail in my windows. On and on this “gathering and not finishing projects” went until about 13 years ago.

That particular year we'd gone through a lot of loss... we'd lost our dog and my husband's Aunt, and my mom and dad split up. I didn't feel well mentally. I wasn't eating, I wasn't sleeping. I'd seen my mom have mental health issues when I was a teenager, and I am thankful that I knew enough to seek out help.

The doctor determined that I had Major Depressive Disorder and ADHD, which explained a lot about why my creativity would come and then after a while go “poof”. Piles and piles of stuff surrounded me… I didn't know where to start. I attempted to clear the clutter on my own. The decluttering journey I had bravely started on my own lasted for a couple of years.

I struggled with my depression, I kept up with my meds and counselor appointments. After my dad had a stroke, we had to put him in a nursing home. Before my mom could move back to the house where he had lived, we had to clear the clutter first. When my Aunt (who had a propensity to collect Barbies and Cookware) needed help to get the contents of her house moved to storage, we had two weeks to clear a jumbled mess of clutter.

It seemed that clutter was the way of my family; it was what I knew growing up. This got me thinking about legacies, and what I wanted to leave behind. Did I want to put someone else through the experience of cleaning up my clutter?

My answer was No.

Both of these family experiences helped me to come to the decision to seek out help with my decluttering journey.

One step at a time on my decluttering journey I am slowly tearing down the walls of clutter I thought might have been my family's legacy .

My decluttering journey has honestly been one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life! But I will tell you this: the journey has been entirely worth it. It has led me to some awesome friends and an ever developing freedom to be a new better version of myself, and I am grateful for that.

My ADHD nature says that I am probably capable of doing many types of creative adventures, but I have decided to follow my dreams. Those dreams amount to doing just a couple of creative adventures that I do best.

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