If you have ADHD you might know a thing or two about being “in a mood.”
My mother would often say to me, “When you are in a mood you……” (fill in the blank). It was never complementary. As I got older I adopted the strategy of just shutting down in order to keep from saying or doing something I might regret.
My moods never seemed to make sense to me. There was no particular reason to feel the way I did.
Sometimes I just woke up in “the mood.” Other times it seemed to come on all of a sudden or over the course of the day. But I could feel it. It was not attached to anything that happened, a thought, a disappointment, being anxious about something. It was just there.
And it felt horrible. I could not will it away.
Every blue moon I could find something that was powerful enough to make me switch out of the mood. Sometimes I would just try to ignore it and hope for the best. Sometimes that worked, other times I would hear myself saying something that I was mortified to have said and knew I would have to apologize for later.
Today the mood came full force. It felt like anger, depression, anxiety, sadness, and frustration, all wrapped up together.
It felt like all of those feelings were trying to squish together in a tiny space, causing enormous pressure in my brain and body. When I woke up I wanted to just stay in bed and sleep away the day until it passed. But I have kids. So I got up… and heard myself being impatient, irritated, and short with my 11 year old. He tried to cheer me up.
It worked for a nano second… but my brain was not letting go of the mood. I wanted to either cry or scream.
I figured a healthy detox drink and some fruit for breakfast would help….nope. So I decided I would try to burn it out of my system. My kids were happy to get their bikes out and go for a bike ride. It was one of the first truly perfect days in Portland, ME in a while. The sun was out, there was a light breeze and the temperature was in the low 70s. We took our bike ride and I focused on just enjoying the ride. My 11 year old said to me as we rode, “Remember to enjoy yourself and play.” Such a wise boy! So I did. I rode slow with him- which is not in my nature. We chatted. We stopped and talked with some people and then we went home. Once the boys were gone with their father I was still in a mood.
What would it take to just get rid of this feeling?
I mowed the lawn and weed whacked. That did not do it. I dug up and moved some hostas to another part of the yard…nope. I cleaned off my trampoline, lay on it in the sun and then bounced on it for a while. All fun, but the mood was still there. Then I went for another faster bike ride alone. Grrrr… This was really getting frustrating. My contractor was at the house working on my back stairs when I got home. We chatted. Then I decided I needed to move a tree to another part of my yard. The contractor was encouraging, but the tree was resistant.
The tree must go! I got to use a power tool to cut down the offending tree instead.
That was fun! The smell of pine was wonderful. And once the tree was down I could hang my new hammock between two remaining trees. Ahh…… The sun, the breeze, my dogs, the contractor working, and I was lying in my hammock over the stump of the tree I had just done battle with. The mood had subsided enough to feel manageable. I relaxed in the hammock and felt hopeful that I had also done battle with my mood and had caused it to retreat a considerable distance.
I will tell you that one thing that I know causes these moods for me now is sugar.
The mood is a sugar hangover. Today was one of the worst experiences I have had as a result of my choice to eat sugar. It’s a reminder that simple things can have a huge impact. For me feeling this out of control and ugly will not be worth the temptation of having sugar again for a very long time.
What causes your mood? What works to remove your mood?