ADHD Adult Coloring Book

Adult Coloring Books and My ADHD / OCD Mind

Well, it’s been over a year since my last blog post…

WordPress is now foreign to me.  I don’t know why this catches me off guard; good technology is constantly updated.  It’s just that I’m navigating it all for the first time again, while trying to complete a blog post that part of me believes I’ll abandon midway through (Yeah, I still have ADHD and my OCD still wants perfection or nothing at all).

A lot has changed since I’ve been gone.  Although, in reading my last blog post (which references an ancient blog post of mine), it seems quite a lot has actually stayed the same (even since the ancient times).

Either way, this blog post isn’t about what happened during my hiatus. It’s all those things, I believe, that has kept me away for so long.  It’s not like I hadn’t intended to blog earlier.  I’ve thought about doing it nearly every day since I last did.  However…life.  The longer I was away, the bigger I felt my reintroduction needed to be.  The all-or-nothing that so frequently plagues the ADHDer conquered me for far too long.  And I feel it conquering me even now.

I’d planned on pouring it all out.  Adele’s freaking “Hello” calls to me like a ghost from the beyond (“the other side,” as it were).  Like so many people, I’m sure, but in a very different way.  Anyway, I’d planned on sitting with my laptop, with the damn song blaring through my headphones.  I even asked for Adele’s 25 CD for Christmas (Who the hell buys CDs anymore?  Me.).  Except, I didn’t.  Amazon screwed me up, guys.  Or my impulsive ADHD did.  One of the two…maybe both.  I was creating my Amazon Wish List and I knew I wanted the new Adele CD.  An Adele CD popped up at the top of the screen, so I assumed it had to be the new one.  I got it for Christmas and was excited (or some other more appropriate word for the type of anticipation that comes with preparing to pour your heart out about a lot of hard crap) to sit down with the song and pour my heart out.  When I put the CD in and heard “Rolling in the Deep,” I knew I’d screwed that up.

To be fair, I could very easily just pull the song up on YouTube.  Maybe I don’t want to blog about all of that yet.  Maybe I’m not ready.

I’m kind of just going to pretend that I didn’t disappear for over a year. I’m going to blog as if I blogged yesterday.  Inspired by my friend and her new blog Ever After McNeil and much encouraged (and somewhat threatened (in a do or die kind of way)) by my other creative friend, I’m just going to do it.  I am just going to write…something.  The rest of it will come; I’m sure.  It has to.

Part of me feels like this post is too long already.  Ahh, screw it.  Maybe some of you have skipped ahead to the actual adult coloring book part…and that’s totally okay.  Heck, it’s not like I probably have any readers at this point.  I’ve left you all high and dry for quite a while.

If, however, you happen to be still there lurking in my shadows, please hold tight.  I’m really, really going to try to come back here more often.

And now…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…an actual blog post.

Adult Coloring Books and My ADHD / OCD Mind

the time garden a magical journey and coloring book

Adult coloring books are all the rage (Just Google, “Adult coloring books,” if this is news to you).  Unlike Adele’s 25, I got one (and some awesome colored pencils) for Christmas.

I’m in an ADHD group or two on Facebook and I’ve seen a lot of people mentioning how awesome adult coloring books are for kind of grounding our ever-unsettled minds.  I didn’t ask for the coloring book, but I’d definitely thought about buying one.

In fact, the idea of coloring being a calming activity isn’t new to me.  I’ve bought many regular coloring books over the years…just haven’t actually colored in them…though I have many pristine packs of Crayola crayons.  I do tend to bare down too hard and break the crayons.  That’s the OCD striving for perfection…and creating a callous on my middle finger.

As any of you with ADHD know, it’s hard to calm your mind, it’s hard to shush all the noise…of all the things.  For me, especially unmedicated (which I’ve now been for more than a year), I feel most alive and most in tuned to a particular thing when I am hyperfocusing on that thing.  This is one of the gifts of having ADHD.  Sometimes it feels like a super power.

The things we ADHDers hyperfocus on are the things we are most passionate about.

Adult coloring books kind of give us a place to focus, with the delusion of them being important.  It’s important to pick the right colors, to color with the right intensity, and to stay within the lines.

…or is that the OCD?  …because coloring books don’t really matter.

Who cares?  I tried it tonight, guys.

ADHD Adult Coloring Book

I like it.  I gave it 20 – 30 minutes.  My hand cramped, reminiscent of my days in school when I scrambled to write all of the words the teacher said because I couldn’t comprehend them as she spoke, but I was totally going to type them up (and did), so I could study them later.  For the first time in years, I realized I need a pencil sharpener.  I chose my colors carefully.  And tried not to commit to completing the whole thing in one sitting.  I colored a bit. And it was therapeutic.  It was rewarding, calming, focusing…  As my hand started to cramp and enough time passed, I started to make mistakes (My OCD kicked in and the mistakes pissed me off.).

I decided if I was going to finish this blog post, I better go ahead and check out.  Cause, the thing is, engaging with this blog post isn’t simple.  It requires me to tap into my inner being…it requires me to write (which I actually take pretty seriously)…it requires me to take photos (which I also take pretty seriously, but don’t do nearly enough…although, retrospectively, more often than I write anything of much consequence)…and it requires me to focus (the hardest of all the things).

So, guys, I think I’ll wrap it up.

I’ll definitely revisit the adult coloring book concept.  And I might even try coloring in a regular coloring book.  Although, I prefer the stronger paper provided by the adult coloring book.  I just wonder if the lack of detail in the regular coloring book would be better for both the ADHD and OCD, allowing for perfectionism, but not presenting so many damn slivers to fill in so perfectly.

 

 

 

11 comments

  1. An electric pencil sharpener will get you a nice point every time. Also, pencils were meant for layering, but that might be frustrating (it takes a lot of time and layers). This kind of meditation is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have ADHD, too. I am a huge believer in coloring mandalas, and just the regular adult coloring books. I have a million different colored pencils and a bunch of different colored Sharpies. I like to use the Sharpies on the pictures that have larger spaces and colored pencils on the pictures that have all the tiny spaces. I have that all or nothing problem, so once I get started, I will not stop til the page is done and I’ve taken 6 hours before, just coloring one picture. My fingers were literally getting numb about halfway through, but I refused to stop because, well you know how the all or nothing thing goes………………..Coloring mandala’s or the other mindfulness coloring books is considered an active form of meditation, of which I’m also a big fan of. It’s good for us ADHDer’s. Calms the body and soul! I will say, it does take a lot of practice because being still is not easy for me. I’m always moving………..when I’m not meditating, I’m back to moving constantly……….All the adult fidget toys are great, too. My therapist gave me my first one. Have fun coloring. Take care. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmmm…I love the idea of using Sharpies! I already have a bunch of them in different colors! I think this particular coloring book is probably too detailed for the Sharpies, but I can definitely see the benefit in using on something with less detail (or bigger spaces).

      I definitely understand that all or nothing bit, so I can totally see how you could color until your fingers went numb. If I hadn’t already committed to myself (AND, perhaps more importantly, a friend) about finishing a blog post last night, I could have easily ended up coloring myself into numbness. I mean, my hands were cramping, but that would eventually stop, right? 😉

      Being still is certainly difficult for us ADHDers, but it’s all good. I have a bunch of different fidget toys. I’ve planned on blogging reviews for those for quite some time. Maybe it’ll happen one of these days.

      Anyway, thanks for the input…and for reading my post! I definitely appreciate the insight! You take good care, too, friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL well, I must admit, I’ve colored for so many hours, without stopping, I now have what appears to be some permanent nerve damage to my thumb on my coloring hand! LOL I mean, there’s a part of my thumb that has been numb for over a month, so I’m assuming it’s permanent, so be careful. I never would have thought that coloring could be dangerous! LOL 🙂 My daughter was over one day and we were both coloring mandala’s and, I looked over at hers and it looked really good, by the way, but anyway, I asked her how in the hell does she have that much done already, when I’ve only gotten maybe 1/8 , and that’s pushing it close to exaggeration, of mine done? She looked at me and said, “well, mom, you keep getting up every 5 seconds. You are just up and down and up and down, you just cannot sit still.” LOL so, here’s to us ADHDer’s! We rock! I’m thinking my next post might be about how coloring can be dangerous! I’m serious, too. I have like 5 coloring books, so I have some with very small spaces and I use my colored pencils on those, but in the books with the much larger spaces, I use my Sharpies. Just make sure to put something under that page because Miss Bright over here didn’t think about the Sharpies bleeding through onto the next page! I’m looking forward to following your blog. Us ADHDer’s really have to stick together. Take care. Have a great night, or day, wherever you are. Peace out. xx 🙂 Oh, by the way I just posted my new post to my blog and it took me 7 hours to write it and get it posted!!!! I didn’t even get up that many times, that I’m aware of, anyway. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Geez! Sorry about your possible nerve damage! I can definitely see how that might happen. Thankfully, the other night I knew I had to limit my coloring, so I would actually finish my blog post. And I was actually pretty (surprisingly) diligent about limiting my time.

    I can certainly relate to the getting up every 5 seconds thing. Unless I’m hyperfocusing, this is pretty much how I roll, too.

    Thanks for the heads up with putting something under my paper when I’m using Sharpies. I might have ended up learning the hard way myself, but I’ll just learn from your mistakes instead. 😉

    It has taken me days to finish a post before. Sometimes I can just ramble them off, but sometimes it takes forever. I’ll have to check out some more of your posts, though. You’re right about us ADHDers sticking together. We’re our own awesome breed and it’s pretty comforting when we find others of our kind. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s okay, you can let me make the mistakes and you can learn from me. LOL 🙂 Limit your coloring time. I can really hyper-focus on coloring, and of course, I’m not stopping til I finish the page. I really better limit my time, as well. A few days ago, I was really getting into my mindfulness coloring when all of a sudden, I felt that sensation where I must have nerve damage from coloring for way too long in one sitting. You would think I would learn. I did make myself stop because if I get anymore nerve damage in any of my other fingers or hand, my coloring days may come to an abrupt stop, forever, and that would not be good because I really enjoy coloring, mindfulness and active meditation, all rolled into one.
      I know what you mean about writing posts. Sometimes one line comes to mind, and I can run with it and everything just flows, perfectly. Then there are times when I can’t write anything worth posting, but I’m always writing, filling pages of spiral notebooks with words. Writing and crossing out, writing and crossing out, and then all of a sudden I have an idea and away I go, but I have to keep going over it many times until I’m completely satisfied with what I’ve written.
      So, here’s to our own awesome breed of ADHDer’s! We have our own little world. We walk the journey together and learn from each other, and at the same time we have a lot to offer to the world around us. That’s the awesomeness of ADHD!!!! 🙂

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  4. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post … It’s as if you were reading my mind in all those thoughts, even in things I hadn’t really noticed I was doing. For example, baring down on my crayons, becoming pissed off once I began making mistakes due to my hand becoming cramped, even down to the minute details of noticing and preferring the stronger paper provided in adult coloring books.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, as it truly allowed me to realize that I may not be the only one going through them. 🙂

    Ashley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry for replying almost a year later. I’ve been away for a while (obviously). I’m so glad I could make you feel like you’re not the only one going through these things…as your comment confirms that I am not either. There’s safety in numbers and we have got this, my friend. Hope you’re doing well and loving life!

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