At around the same time as I discovered the 3 Principles – the basis of the work I now do – I was really struggling with aspects of my legal job. Specifically I found it almost impossible to understand legislation and regulations that were increasingly complex. In fairness no one found them easy, but I would be close to tears by the time I reached the end of a paragraph or sub-clause. It might as well have been written in Chinese for all the sense I was making of it. My head would begin to swim; I felt trapped in a nightmare as the pages swam indecipherably in front of me. I had always found the really complex statutory stuff hard and had all sorts of secret work arounds. They were no longer enough.
It occurred to me that it was possibly some kind of early onset dementia. At that time I didn’t put it together with other life long characteristics. These included an almost painful inability to sit in lengthy meetings, difficulty curbing my tendency to blurt out what was on my mind, whether it was appropriate or not, a shameful clutter habit, a phobia about detail, tendency to anxiety, and being very mistake and typo prone. Nor did the bigger past issues such as alcohol abuse and food issues seem connected.
My GP thought the dementia theory unlikely and referred me to a specialist who went right back to early experiences at school. Ironically at the same time as consulting him I was involved in delivering a medico-legal training on the assessment of ADHD. My co-presenter was a medical specialist in this field [who advocated a non drug response.] As I read his criteria for diagnosis, my initial response was ‘these criteria seem to simply describe normal characteristics.’ This was followed by the realisation that they were normal for me because I had that tendency. Which was also the diagnosis of the specialist I had seen.
It was actually quite helpful to get the diagnosis because it really explained all of the big problems I had had throughout life. Carelessness, clutter, compulsive behaviour etc. He also said one of those elusive obvious things which prompted an insight: ‘You really didn’t make it easy for yourself choosing the career you chose.’ The insight was that I can start to make things easier.
Today I see that label of ADHD as a description of what happens when I get caught up in my head. Clutter, busy-ness, and speediness are still where low quality of mind takes me. It’s just increasingly less so. The 3 Principles Paradigm has been my solution. I understand that painful feelings are simply telling my that painful thoughts are running through me, whether I am aware of them or not. Such feelings are a signal to slow down or to ground myself and allow the clarity and wellbeing which is my default state to re-emerge. They are not a guide to my worth, or my future or anything else. I don’t need to analyse my thoughts or feelings; just to allow myself to revert to my default state of mental health.
I left law and now I do work which I seem to be better suited to. I share this powerful understanding with others (and I teach restorative yoga). My life has never been more content. Greater peace of mind and clarity seem to evolve effortlessly and barely a day goes by when I am not seized with gratitude for my life and the people in it.
Do get in touch if you feel I could assist you.