750 Words — Daily Effort

Look! There are no dishes in my sink!

Today was a “GOTTA CLEAN EVERYTHING” type of day. My parents drove up in the evening to visit me for July 4th weekend, so that plus Adderall gave me the motivation to do a more thorough type of cleaning. Things I did:

  • Finally washed the remaining plastic containers that I had let pile up over the months
  • Vacuumed the whole apartment (not as difficult now that I’ve been vacuuming semi-regularly since my last cleaning frenzy in May)
  • Wiped down the kitchen and bathroom with Clorox wipes
  • Collected all the trash in my car
  • Vacuumed my car

I also finally went through all the emails in my inbox. After assigning labels and whatnot, I went from around 120 emails to just 9 emails in my inbox. I don’t like having more than 25 or so emails in my inbox at a time. It stresses me out. Clutter stresses me out. Which is frustrating because (up until I found HRPG), I would let trash and stuff collect, and I would just retreat to a more clutter-free room of my apartment until that too filled up with clutter. And then finally, when I had no places left to retreat to, I would finally go into a cleaning frenzy and get rid of a majority of the clutter. And then, since that frenzy took so much effort I wouldn’t keep up with keeping things clean, which then just starts the whole cycle over again.

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking something along the lines of, “Praxling, if you just kept up with things daily, such as rinsing your dishes when you go to put them in the sink, you wouldn’t be stuck having to do a massive amount of cleaning all at once.” Believe me, I know it’s easier to just take that extra minute or two a day, rather than leaving it to pile up. But even if I say that to myself repeatedly, sometimes the rest of my brain is just like, “No. I don’t feel like it. It’s too much trouble, and I don’t see what I get out of it. Dun.”

And so I dun.

These are the custom rewards I’ve set for myself so far.

When I’m on Adderall, it’s a little bit easier. Sometimes I’m able to convince the other part of my mind that, yes, it’s not that much trouble. I’m already standing there at the sink, so why not just turn on the water and rinse my dish out really quickly.

Since I’ve been focusing on my health this summer and have gained a little weight back, now it doesn’t feel as tiring to do simple little things, and I’ve been able to convince myself to do things even when not on Adderall. Honestly, though, Habit RPG has helped significantly. Now that I’ve set it up, I can look at it each day and see the things I want for myself to do. Doing those things and checking them off earns me XP and money for my character. With that money, I can buy armor to improve my character’s stats (I’m a mage), or spend it on some of the rewards I set for myself.

It’s more motivating to do things when I use HRPG because I get to see the reward of gaining money and XP every time I do something. Having to pay in order to indulge myself in something — say, an hour of gaming — helps me keep myself more accountable. If I go over one hour, I have to pay again. I’ve also set up a habit for gaming. If I keep to my 1 hour limit, I get to click the ‘+’ button on that habit and get rewarded for my self-control. If I go over, I have to click the ‘-‘ button, which makes me lose XP and money, in addition to me paying for the gaming reward again.

I realize it’s probably really boring to hear me talk about this mundane thought process, but this gamification of my life just makes things so much more fun. Since I’m ADHD, I need a motivational push in order to consider doing normal everyday tasks that others might do out of habit. HRPG provides me with that motivational push.

I’m very much one of those “out of sight, out of mind” people. I can’t use the grocery/produce drawers in my fridge because I’ll forget about whatever I’ve put in there. I rarely use my freezer, so if I’ve bought frozen foods, I’ll forget about that too until I randomly open it. And then go, “Oh yeah, I bought that. I bought that a long time ago, didn’t I?” That’s why I keep collecting clutter. I have a thing, and I say to myself, “Hey, this is important so I’m going to leave it here where I can see it so I remember to take care of that.” But then I do that with lots of things, and then there are so many things to look at that I’m overwhelmed and don’t know which thing to do first. Prioritizing is another thing ADHD people have trouble with.

Anyway, that’s why HRPG is so helpful. Seeing an increase in XP and money every time I do something productive provides me with a measurable way to track my progress. Having something I can look at daily to know what the basic things I need to do to take care of myself helps make sure I do those things. And when I say basic, I mean basic. Brush teeth, wash face, eat breakfast, eat lunch, eat dinner. Take vitamin. Get out of bed. Take a shower. And at the end of the day, if I didn’t do a few of the tasks on my dailies list, my character loses HP. So trying to keep my character from dying motivates me to make sure I get those basic necessities done — which keeps me from dying IRL (lolz).

Part of me wants to feel ashamed that I need something to remind myself to do these things, but hey, I’m different! I’m not normal. So I should stop making myself feel bad by comparing myself to neurotypical people who don’t have to worry about breaking down these behaviors to this extent. Because there have been plenty of days where I mentally yelled at myself to get out of bed, to go do something. And when I didn’t, I started insulting myself. Believe me, I wish it were as easy to listen to myself as it is for normal people.

Well, I did not expect to talk about HRPG in this blog lol. Here, have a cat picture.

This is my mage in HRPG.

One thing that I wish for is that people try to be more understanding of mental disorders. It’s saddening when someone dismisses the problems of someone who has a mental disorder just because they don’t have those problems and they’re things that they consider simple and a daily part of life. Because that kind of attitude just frustrates and damages the self-esteem of the person with the disorder. And being frustrated, and having low self-esteem just makes it that much harder for those with mental disorders to work at the changes they want to make in themselves. I’m not one for using a mental disorder to excuse behaviors because that implies that no effort is being put into bettering that behavior. I am all for acknowledging that many behaviors and actions can be attributed to having a mental disorder; acknowledging it and understanding it allows for a way to work around it.

All right, I’m getting off my soapbox. I feel like that last huge paragraph was too rambling and jumbled to make any sense.

In any case, I hope you all have a wonderful July 4th weekend! (And that goes for even if you don’t live in the US.)

You should celebrate by dunning.

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