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.





Happy Fall!

First off…happy Fall…because…well – Fall.  And it’s awesome.  This is a photo I took while hiking at some point last Fall.  As I’ve mentioned before, like so many other ADHD-ers, I love the outdoors and find nature more therapeutic than Xanax (well, most days at least).  So, in honor of the first day of Fall and all the changing leaves and all that good stuff, I had to share one of the more colorful photos I’ve taken.

Second off…and continuing with yesterday’s Dear Diary theme…and with the general intent to keep writing something, just to keep writing, I wanted to share another retro post from my Xanga days.


I’ve worked so hard to make it all appear as such.  I believe I’ve succeeded, in that at least.

And all they see is what I show them; they never see the pain.

They say that life’s a stage.  I’d say I’m tired of playing this part, but, hell,  I can’t even face the audition.

The problem with suffering in silence is that noone ever hears your cries.

No full thoughts.  I can’t find it within me to compile them.

Looking back, it’s so strange how often I’ve felt just as I do today.  My anxiety is crippling.  My distractibility?  Derailing, at the very least.  …but I carry on.  No one sees the struggle.  So, when I try to explain, it’s hard for them to fathom.  I find myself lost again, but aspiring to be on the path to somewhere better than here.  Somehow, I still can’t find the words.  I’m trying, though…and I’m trying to force myself to speak, even when I’m not entirely sure what to say.  And I’m trying to put one foot in front of the other, even though I don’t really know where I’m headed.

Other “retro” posts from Xanga:

Capturing Nature Through Photography

There was supposed to be a meteor shower the other morning, so I Googled and Googled all about how to capture one in photograph.  I mean, I researched the heck out of it…and had my camera all setup and ready to go.  Even laid out my clothes and shoes, so I could just hop up and get to shooting.

Unfortunately, the meteor shower proved to be uneventful, at least in my neck of the woods.  However, all the researching and preparing got me itching to take some photos.  Then my dad asked me to take some random photos of our house…not very interesting ones, but it still forced me to bring my camera outside.

I took the photos for my dad and started to walk back up towards the house.  Then I started looking around and I realized there were a lot of cool, nature things happening right in my back yard.  So, I started shooting.  I was playing around with the manual settings more than I have in a long time.

Life has gotten in the way and I haven’t had much time to devote to my photography, but it’s definitely another one of those things that helps calm my ADHD / OCD mind.  Zeroing in on the perfect shot brings a kind of focus that my ADHD mind rarely gets to feel.  And my OCD nature pushes me to have the patience to get that perfect shot…or at least to keep trying.

Nature photography kind of makes sense for me.  It’s the combination of two of my favorite things and I can get lost doing it for hours.  Needless to say, I took over 200 photos during my mini-shoot.  Part of what’s so awesome about photography is that you get the chance to share your perspective on a moment or, in this case, a scene in nature.  When an experience touches your soul in a good way, photography gives you the opportunity to pass it on and touch somebody else’s soul.

Don’t worry, I only pulled five photos from the 200+, so you’re not going to be forced to see the natural world through my eyes for the rest of your night.  But, I did want to share a few…just in case you needed something to brighten your evening (meaning the nature itself, not necessarily my creative interpretation via photo).

They’re not perfect, but taking them did make me want to take more.  Here’s hopin’ (for my sake) that this was the push I needed to get back into photography.  I used to shoot weddings…I used to sell my photos in (small) galleries and in local shops…I used to just take more photos.  It’s been years since I really allowed myself to get lost behind the lens.  It definitely reminded me how important it is for me to do creative things on a regular basis, though.

That said, my knowledge of flowers is fairly limited, so the file names are pretty boring…and I must have used up all of my creativity, so there are no titles…but you get the idea.

Nature Photography White Flowers

Nature Photography White Flowers

Nature Photography Clematis Flower

Nature Photography White Pink Rose

Nature Photography White Flower Bunches

Thanks for taking a peek, guys!  Hope you liked ’em!



Painted Skies and ADHD Optimism

Blue skies ADHD Getnutmegged

“…because blue skies should always be acknowledged.” – Enough said.  (Okay, not really because I have a little more to say.)

I mean, we’re all going to have bad days (ADHD or not).  There’s no getting away from that.  But, the trick is…to keep hanging on for the good days.  They’ll come…they always do.

The thing about ADHDers, though, is that, for as much as we struggle, we tend to have this underlying optimism.  Maybe it’s just that we’ve forgotten about the bad by the time something good comes along, so we can embrace the good easier than most.  But I don’t really think that’s it.  I think that our ADHD struggles, as with most struggles in life, have made us thankful for those moments when the sun is shining and things are good.

To be clear, I didn’t exactly have the best day today or anything.  In fact, I didn’t like it much at all.  But the sky kind of speaks to me when it’s all painted and awesome like this and I’m a little obsessed with attempting to capture it in all its glory.  Awesome skies do have a knack for cheering me up, even if only briefly.  Most of the time, I feel called to share the pictures, too.  Like, somehow, if the painted sky is making me happy in the moment, maybe it’ll work for somebody else out there who might need it, too.

So, guys, after last night’s wicked long blog entry, I leave you with the first (of likely many) sky pictures.  I hope you’ll find some inspiration or hope…or maybe just appreciate that there are a lot of really good blues in the shot.

Look a Squirrel! …When People Joke About A.D.H.D.

ADHD Look a Squirrel GetNutMeggedOkay, guys, I’ve been busy creating social media accounts for the blog and I wanted a picture that could kind of stand by itself, without having to have an actual blog post…and I came up with this.

I was hiking with a friend a few months ago, just as the leaves were changing colors.  I had my camera with me because nature is awesome and leaves (changing colors, especially) are amazing.  In just over an hour’s time, I took 163 pictures.  Truth is, I’m kind of obsessed with photography and being outside.

After a while, the trail started getting crowded, which I totally hate.  I like the solitude of hiking and having other people on “my trail” stresses me out.  So, I was wrapping up the picture taking because I was ready to be away from all the people.

Anyway, I was in total book-it-and-get-the-hell-out mode when we came across this squirrel.  He was just sitting there, hangin’ out, eating a nut.  Just like a squirrel…so stereotypical, right?

Intrigued by the noshing squirrel, I started snapping away with my camera.  I crept closer…a little afraid he might lunge psychotically from the tree and latch his tiny claws into my face.

But he didn’t.  He let us get so close; it was pretty cool.  I spent quite a few minutes completely absorbed by this squirrel and all his awesomeness.  I tried to break away a few times, but then he’d do something cute.  My friend and I joked that I was being so typically A.D.H.D., “Oh, look!  A Squirrel!”  But, seriously, guys, they are pretty awesome.

ADHD and Squirrels Get NutMegged

It’s not just my A.D.H.D., you know this squirrel is awesome.

And just to be clear, I did take pictures of the awesome view and other stuff, too, but I didn’t want to bombard you guys with a million different pictures (I’ll save that for another post).

Hiking ADHD GetNutMegged

ADHD and the outdoors – we get along.