Managing Emotions During the ADHD Job Hunt with Dr. Doug Herr Part II

This week, Dr. Doug is back to talk about managing the emotional blocks of the job hunt when the circumstances aren’t so rosy.

Episode Hosts: ,

Subscribe to Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you find your favorite podcasts!

Support The ADHD Podcast and get great perks by becoming a Patron • Learn More and Join Now!

We started the conversation last week with our guest, Dr. Doug Herr, with the assumption that you’re not working by some level of choice. But what if you’ve been fired, or your contract hasn’t been renewed, or you’re feeling trapped by evaluations that seem to be targeting your ADHD?

This week, Dr. Doug is back to talk about managing the emotional blocks of the job hunt when the circumstances aren’t so rosy.

Links & Notes

Thank you for supporting The ADHD Podcast on Patreon!

Episode Transcript

Brought to you by The ADHD Podcast Community on Patreon

Nikki Kinzer: Hello, Pete Wright.

Pete Wright: Hello, Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer: Hello.

Pete Wright: It is a fine, fine podcast today-

Nikki Kinzer: It is.

Pete Wright: … to be spending this time with you. It is delightful as always.

Nikki Kinzer: It is. It’s a good day to podcast with Dr. Doug.

Pete Wright: It’s a good day to podcast with Dr. Doug.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s right.

Pete Wright: I don’t even know. That is a funny thing. Doug Herr is with us. Hello, Doug Herr.

Doug Herr: Hi.

Pete Wright: Hi. Look how he is.

Doug Herr: Just hi. That’s all I got.

Pete Wright: Look how handsome he is. It is a really funny thing because… I don’t know, like you were always, you know your full name to me and then somebody in, I think it was a YouTube comment or something, somewhere down the road started talking about you as Dr. Doug and that totally stuck. And now whenever people comment about anything related to the show and your appearances on it over the years, you’re Dr. Doug. It’s like your morning zoo radio name.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, that’s right.

Doug Herr: Yeah, now I’ve arrived.

Pete Wright: You have arrived. You know, we’ve been talking about managing emotions during the ADHD job hunt last week, but we’re continuing that conversation this week. Before we do that, head over to TakeControladhd.com and get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website or subscribe to the mailing list, and we’ll send you an email each time a new episode is released. Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook @takecontrolADHD.

Pete Wright: And if you want to join us for marathon back-to-back podcast live streams in real time and hear all of the mistakes and all of the fun between shows, all you have to do is visit patrion.com/theADHDpodcast. for just a few bucks a month you can get all that and more, but mostly you get a well-deserved night of restful sleep knowing that you have supported the world of independent ADHD podcasting. We sure appreciate that you are helping put food on the tables of Nikki Kinzer and Pete Wright, and our families. They thank you. It’s for the children. Truly. We are deeply appreciative of your participation in helping to grow and invest in this show. Visit patrion.com/theADHDpodcast to learn more. It’s about the kids, kids.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s right.

Pete Wright: So we’re going to be talking a little bit more about handling the emotions of the job hunt. Continuing our conversation, and this is, I think this is the harder side. This is the harder stuff that we want to talk about. Many of the questions that have come into us are not just about, “Hey, I think I’d like to do something different. Can you help me figure out what my ideal path is with ADHD? Something that’s in alignment with who I am.” It’s actually, “Hey, I just lost my job because I couldn’t focus. I was let go. My contract was not renewed. Things are not good, and I’m attributing that experience to my relationship with my ADHD. I can’t focus, I can’t get things done on time. I’m really struggling with my relationship to work.” Where do you start that kind of conversation, Doug?

Doug Herr: Honestly, you did a really good job. You’re attributing it. Don’t suffer from the illusion that everything you think is true or even that you’re getting accurate feedback on your situation. There’s likely stuff around the edges that there’s more that you can do than you realize. So yeah, starting from this place of feeling like… There’s always a subtext to that. If I feel like, “Oh, I lost my job because of my ADHD.” Which may or may not be true. Right? It may be true. It may be true that your ADHD has led to you being anxious, to you feeling badly about yourself. It could be that it’s led to social difficulties, all of which you’re kind of more than just the ADHD and can be shifted.

Doug Herr: So there might be a number of realms where you can make a difference there. It’s very likely, if not inevitable, that there better ways you could learn to manage yourself. Everything that I’m sharing with people today, it’s going to be true for everyone on this planet. It might be more true for ADHD.

Pete Wright: And I want to say, because this is something that I know what people are saying as you speak, which is, “Yeah, but.” “Yeah, but I’ve tried this. I’ve tried that. I can’t stick to things.” And I just want to say for those who aren’t caught up, you are somebody who also has been living with ADHD for your life, you have an intimate experience with it, and so the things that you are talking about here, are not only professional but deeply personal. Is that fair?

Doug Herr: Yeah. Well, and if people want to listen to last week when you talked about rejection sensitivity.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Doug Herr: Oh my God. I can’t tell you how on the nose that is for me. Just devastatingly true. And that showed up in a lot of aspects of my own career path. So let me start again this week by saying this is not treatment. Because it’s important if you need clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist that is something… If you’re losing work because of ADD, then you probably do need to really think about those possibilities. I know some people are very against medication. I’m very ambivalent about medication.

Doug Herr: I have a seven year old, she’s probably got ADD. Is it advancing really quickly? Which is wonderful because he’s very bright. He’s probably also one of the biggest troublemakers in his classroom. And when I say that, I think he’s very lovable, which is a blessing, but I hope he remains most as lovable as he is and we can reduce how annoying some of his behavior is getting. Because he doesn’t know how to sit still, stay in his seat, or keep out of other people’s space a lot. And he has good weeks and bad weeks. So I’m really thinking about this medication issue in a very serious way because yeah, I want to avoid it if I can, but I also know that sometimes if we avoid medication, we’re really avoiding something potentially incredibly helpful.

Doug Herr: So it’s just… Western medicine can be like a hammer and hit really hard and have some really traumatic side effects too. Sometimes a hammer is exactly what you need. So anyway, there’s a lot about that. But coming from this place that you… How you T-ed this up, whether or not you lost your job or you imagine you lost your job because of ADHD. If you’re looking for a job and you don’t have one, and you’re struggling with ADHD, either way that’s really challenging. Because you can also imagine yourself, “I’m not really that capable.” What can’t I do because of ADHD? All of these kind of questions.

Pete Wright: You put those on sort of the same level in that last statement. And I would just ask, don’t you feel like that experience of what can’t I do because of ADHD? Isn’t that exacerbated by being fired and attributing that to your ADHD? Or maybe in some cases we get folks who come in and they’re like, “I was fired because of ADHD. And not only that, I have that sort of evidence. I can give you evidence that I was not brought back because of the way I handle these tasks.”

Doug Herr: Yeah. Very fair. And I didn’t mean to say it’s on the same level, but I will say for me, I don’t think I’ve ever been fired because of ADHD, but it’s still been really devastating and difficult to try and seek employment, especially being unemployed with ADHD. So I don’t want people in that category to feel like they’re being taken less seriously either.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Doug Herr: It’s just emotionally challenging. And the truth is, anyone can get fired.

Pete Wright: Oh yes.

Doug Herr: Right?

Pete Wright: I’m sorry. Did I say that too quickly?

Doug Herr: Well, one of my mentors and my current, I guess he’s the boss man, kind of, but in one of the projects that I’m involved in, every time he had a child… Every time his wife had a child he got fired from his job, and they had, I think, three children and decided not to have any more because at that point he liked his job.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s awesome. Don’t want to risk that.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Doug Herr: Yeah. But it can feel really overwhelming and very negative, and this is a problem. For people to consider, am I getting the medical support I need and am I getting the emotional and mental support I need? Because what we really need to move forward in life is a positive mindset. I am fond of saying the mind does not focus on the inverse of a negative.

Doug Herr: So if you’re starting out with, “I’m terrible, I’m going to try not to be terrible.” Right? This is a terrible place to start. Never tell a race car driver don’t look at the wall.

Pete Wright: Right, right.

Doug Herr: Right? And you’ve just put the wrong thing in his head. And to start out with, “Well, I’m job hunting and I’m ADD,” is probably not the right… Unless you see ADD as a combination of weaknesses and strengths, then you can say, “How do I capitalize on the strengths of ADD?” If I just got fired, if I attribute that to the ADD and that defines me, then I’m kind of screwed. If a situation doesn’t work, it’s not just me and it’s not just my ADHD. It’s my ADHD and me in this situation didn’t work. That’s true. Everything derivative about that. Like if we want to blame it all on my ADHD, it’s probably not quite right. If I want to blame it all on me, that’s probably not quite right. If I want to say, me in this context didn’t work. It could be that you’re in a context, in a job that really could work for you if there were different people involved. Right?

Doug Herr: If you had a manager who liked you or who you liked or something like that. There’s a lot of variables there and not assigning something that’s true about you, an unchangeable about you. You’re not going to have, tomorrow wake up and not have ADHD. So if you put everything in that way and think that defines the situation, then you’re just… First of all, it’s not true. Right? It might seem true, but there’s always more to it than that. It might be 95% true, and what I want to suggest is we got to work on that 5% because that’s your leverage point.

Doug Herr: So we were talking during the-

Pete Wright: I want to… I just, I’ve been letting you kind of finish that whole thought because it hit me pretty hard. It’s this whole idea that the tapestry of why you’re not in a job right now, or why you were let go from another job, and you haven’t found the right fit, or why you’re in this place of darkness is more complex than you are likely giving it credit for. The number of times that we have folks writing with questions that are implicitly attributing ADHD as the soul sort of reason. “If only I didn’t have…” And I know I do this. If only my brain wasn’t fireworks right now, I would be able to finish X, Y, Z. Or I would of made this client deadline, or I would have whatever. I’m really reflecting on that because there’s a lot of truth to just stepping back and saying, “This tapestry, this sort of quilt of reasons, and functions, and contexts is just much more complex than I am giving it credit for right now.”

Pete Wright: And the ADHD might have something to do with it, but also my diet, and my sleep, and also maybe the thing that I’m having to do is new or hard, or whatever and it’s causing me challenges. And maybe the client is being a jerk today. I don’t know. But the tapestry, is complicated.

Doug Herr: Or maybe the client reminds me of my little sister and my little sister was so creepy to me, and always blame me for everything. You know what I mean?

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Doug Herr: That can be in the background of the mind, and you don’t even realize why you’re so annoyed and everything’s so hard. There’s always more complexity to it and in that complexity there’s room for something positive to happen.

Pete Wright: Yes. Yeah. That is a little bit… That’s just one of those things I need to let sink in because you could take the same person who’s frustrated with a job, and they think it’s because they’re in absolutely the wrong field, and at the end of the day, if you were to swap out two or three people in the same office that they’re working with, suddenly the job is a dream job.

Doug Herr: Bingo.

Nikki Kinzer: What I see so often is clients coming and saying, “Okay, I’m on the brink of losing my job. I’m really close to losing my job, or I have lost my job,” and they take the whole blame on themselves. In fact, it’s not blaming ADHD at all. They think that everything is their fault and they did everything wrong. But you mentioned that-

Doug Herr: Total insanity.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Doug Herr: Total insanity.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s not the case either. So-

Doug Herr: No, absolutely not true. I guarantee it. Here’s the thing. 85% of Americans wish they worked somewhere else.

Nikki Kinzer: Wow. That’s a high percentage.

Doug Herr: So-

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Doug Herr: It’s ridiculous.

Pete Wright: 85% of Americans aren’t living with ADHD right now.

Doug Herr: Correct. So in other words, if we look at the systems that we’ve created for employment, there’s a huge problem.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Doug Herr: It’s not just an ADHD problem. I want people to feel a little bit of relief about that.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Doug Herr: No, it’s not just you.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s a really good point. That’s a really good point.

Doug Herr: And so no one out there is perfect. So if your ADHD, welcome to the club of being human, you’re not perfect. Next. We’re all not perfect. Everybody has gifts and everybody has limitations. And the more that we can leverage our gifts into a network of relationships to where they’re valuable and our ADHD doesn’t negate the value of them, then we’re contributing.

Pete Wright: Wow. That gets to a kind of an amazing… Another one of those amazing little realizations. If you’re struggling, if you’re living with ADHD and you are, as many of us struggle with, attributing, mis-attributing whatever, ADHD to where you are right now. So of that just being awakened to that can go a long way in alleviating… At least beginning to alleviate some of the pressure and stress that not having a job can apply to getting a job.

Pete Wright: I know I deal with this too, again, in fireworks mode when I’m trying to go after something that I don’t have. Go after a job or a new client or a project. Not having it or going into a competitive space where I have to interview or present work, that can be debilitating to actually going after the new job. Right? And it’s so much easier to just sit down and eat a box of Ding Dongs and keep playing Jedi Fallen Order.

Doug Herr: So if you believe that you’re inadequate, that’s an unfortunate place to start from.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Doug Herr: You, you need to recognize that you have something to offer. And there’s a lot of ADHD people out there who have something to offer and are killing it. So there’s potential for you to be just like them.

Pete Wright: Can I just say out loud again? There are a lot of people out there with ADHD who are killing it. You could be one of them. I think… I exploded at that. I full-on emoji exploded at that because sometimes I find I have the wrong role models. And I think others relate to me. That we are looking at people who are struggling with ADHD and looking at their struggle as a model of future behavior. And in fact there are people out there who have figured out those accommodations and they have figured out how to be successful.

Nikki Kinzer: I would have to call you out on that because I would say that you’re one of the role models that people are looking to, and looking for inspiration from. Especially with this podcast.

Pete Wright: Well, I hope so.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: I hope so because I work really hard at it. I work really hard.

Nikki Kinzer: And it shows. I think you do a great job.

Pete Wright: Well thank you. There’s always room is I guess what I’m saying. There’s always room for change and evolution. Anyhow, I just love that. And I want people to say that.

Doug Herr: And I want to say that, yes, there’s room for change and evolution and it can come from a place of understanding what’s valuable and wonderful about you and the particular genetic package you have that might include ADHD. You know?

Pete Wright: Right.

Doug Herr: Without that genetic package that includes ADHD, you’d be missing out on a lot of amazing, cool things that are Pete. Right?

Pete Wright: Oh, you’re talking about me. I thought you were speaking about capital royal you. And now I’m like…

Nikki Kinzer: No. We’re talking about you.

Pete Wright: Wow. Just whoa.

Doug Herr: Just messing with you, brother. No, but it’s true. Right? And I hope that everyone else who can identify with that.

Pete Wright: Yes.

Doug Herr: You know? And sometimes it’s hard for me to identify with that. Because I can live within the difficulty of… I have an amazing career right now, but if I can’t find my keys in the morning so I can get to the office, I’m going to be feeling like a real mess up and the day hasn’t even begun yet. And it’s important to get out of some of the smallness of the struggles. There are big struggles too. But ADHD can hit you at every level. And that can be a mental rehearsal that we need to transcend.

Nikki Kinzer: Something that I’ve noticed about you just in the last hour and a half that we’ve been talking, is that I get a sense of acceptance from you when it comes to your ADHD. That it’s not just the ADHD. That you are looking at yourself and your whole career as a whole person, just like you would look at a client that way. And even when, and not everybody saw this, but when we went on a little break, you came back and you were like, “Yep. Locked myself out of the office. But good thing I locked myself out of the office. But I have a key to get myself back in.” You kind of just knew that that might happen. You have it prepared.

Pete Wright: The key is hidden somewhere because it’s not like you had a key in your pocket.

Nikki Kinzer: No, no.

Doug Herr: Oh no.

Nikki Kinzer: But I-

Doug Herr: Because then it would be at home in the laundry.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Yeah.

Doug Herr: That’s how that works.

Nikki Kinzer: But there is definitely a level of… I think that that in itself is a role model for people is to see that, “Okay, yeah, this stuff can happen, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day. It doesn’t have to, I don’t have to go into this next podcast feeling crappy because I locked myself out of the office.” I mean, I didn’t get that from you at all.

Doug Herr: Okay. So anyone, if you can refer people back to the talk we did on self-compassion, that’s really foundational to what you just said, Nikki. And thank you for noticing that. And it’s been a journey. I tell you, I did not start out this way. I was talking in the last hour I think about being a Cornell engineer because I didn’t think I was smart enough to do something else. Which is just a ridiculous statement. Being smart is not my problem. There was a lot of emotional immaturity that I had to deal with. But I would look at my Cornell engineering degree and feel stupid hanging on the wall. This amazing, honest to God. I don’t know how I ever got through it. It was so… It was hard and I really worked hard and I… But I would look at it and feel stupid and incompetent.

Doug Herr: And I think that was because partly of depression, anxiety and ADHD altogether. Thankfully that is a long time in the past. And a lot of this is it about these positive practices, and recognizing I am whole, perfect and complete and so is everyone that I work with. I’m complete in my incompleteness. I am not supposed to be everything. I’m supposed to be connected to other people who value me, and value the contribution that I bring. And if I can do that with my caseload, which is probably 20 or 30 people tops if I’m seeing people a few times a month. That’s all I need. I don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea because I’m not.

Doug Herr: I mean, I’m shifting from being a psychologist to a coach because at some level as a coach, I get to see people the way I want to, which is whole, perfect and complete. And as a psychologist, if I’m working with somebody who’s in a really devastating spot and I don’t want to miss something like… I hate to even… But if someone’s suicidal and I’m trying to be really positive with them, that might not be the best fit. They might need a different kind of support and I want them to go find that somewhere else. Because that’s really important and valid and not what I’m good at anymore. I was good at that 20 years ago and now I’m in a different place. Anyway-

Pete Wright: So I think all of that kind of gets back to the central question before we got on our little digression, which is on self management. You were going to take us down a new path.

Doug Herr: Yes. So start out with attitude. Remember that you are the grateful recipient of life’s unfairness. Okay?

Nikki Kinzer: It’s going to continue to be unfair.

Doug Herr: Hell yeah.

Pete Wright: Being the grateful recipient of life’s unfairness?

Nikki Kinzer: Doesn’t matter-

Pete Wright: I’ve never heard that.

Nikki Kinzer: I just have to say this. It’s so true though because it doesn’t matter what system you have in place, what your meal plan looks like, what your exercise routine is. I mean life is always going to be unfair at some point. Sometimes it’s going to be great and sometimes it will be in your favor, but it will be unfair. I think that that’s a really fair statement to just be realistic about.

Doug Herr: And that there’s a lot of blessing in that.

Nikki Kinzer: Right, absolutely. I agree.

Doug Herr: There’s a lot of fortune in that. So that we get to struggle with these questions is in itself in some ways just a really good thing. So we were talking about a variety of things. I want to say to support yourself, self management, absolutely. And this is going to sound probably like a bunch of burdens, but you need to pay attention to your experience and figure out which one is supportive of you, or which two or three or four. They’re all important, we know this from research.

Doug Herr: Relationships are incredibly important. Feeling cared about, accepted, loved. If you don’t have good enough relationships, the first thing you do is get support. Whether it’s a therapist, a coach, a support group. Everybody needs relationships. That is primary. Good food, meditation, medication, exercise, sleep. All of these things are going to help your brain work better. Being in nature. Having regular stress reduction. All of this… And there’s not time to go into all of that, but all of these things matter and what you need to do is be attentive to your own experience and probably partnering with someone who can help you with that journey.

Doug Herr: In terms of self management, just realize there’s a backdrop of all of that. You want to create as much positivity as possible to carry you through difficult times. So when I was job hunting as an engineer and referencing back, I could never really get a job because I didn’t want one. And everyone seemed to know that but me because… Anyway. But what I would do is I would always make sure that I had more than one possibility out there. If I was going to go into an interview. It felt like so much pressure. If that was the only interview I had and all my eggs were in one basket, I’d freeze up. So having an interview, but then also sending letters out to people down the road so there’s something out there in the future. I’m not just running into this wall and there’s nothing on the other side of it. That was really important for me.

Doug Herr: Another piece that I think I really want… There’s two more pieces that I really want people to know about. One is called the Pomodoro Method. Have you guys talked about that at all?

Nikki Kinzer: Oh yeah.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Doug Herr: Okay.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Doug Herr: Because I swear, and this is important for work that you hate or-

Nikki Kinzer: Getting started.

Doug Herr: Yeah. Getting started. I was a year behind in paperwork at one point during my graduate training. It was terrible. And the paperwork was ridiculous, and onerous and I had all sorts of issues with it. But the bottom line is I discovered the Pomodoro Method on my own. I would work for five minutes and I would relax for 10 minutes, and leave the room. And then I worked for another five minutes. And the key was to reward… This is what I think of as the Pomodoro Method. You guys might have something different, I don’t know, but it was really important. It was energy regulation. Okay? If my energy was completely freaked out, then I’m not going to do anything good. So the 10 minutes was how long it took me in the beginning to give me five minutes of good productivity. And because I’m ADHD, I could dive right in and go [inaudible 00:28:17], and be really fast and do it.

Doug Herr: But then I would also get myself completely worked up and overwhelmed with a sense of how much I had to do and just need to step back. And I gave myself permission to do that, and it changed my life. Just eventually I’ve got to where I recognized this is energy regulation. If my energy starts to go off the chart then I can’t focus. If I can call my energy down, and sometimes that means taking three breaths. Right? Where the exhale is longer and every exhale gets longer, and it’s not ever a strain. So that’s some good yoga right there. If three breaths, I realize am I’m still too troubled to work, then I take three minutes.

Doug Herr: And by the way, this is not just an ADHD thing. I teach this to doctors. Right? Because anyone who’s stressed needs this kind of self-regulation awareness. You’re regulating yourself, you’re regulating your energy and your emotions. That is more fundamental than regulating your time. Paying attention to your experience and setting it up, setting up your environment for success. So connecting with who are going to be positive, encouraging. Being able to… For me, having a clear table that I can work on. If I’m going to get everything else off the table, create a space. There’s no TV in it, there’s no distractions in it, et cetera. Maybe I just need to leave home and go to a coffee shop. That might be really distracting, but it’s not my distraction. It makes me feel normal because all the noise around me is like all the noise in my brain.

Pete Wright: It’s got to raise the level of white noise to the point that your brain engages. Yeah.

Doug Herr: If that works for you.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Doug Herr: So this is… People really need to pay attention. Don’t think about how life should be. Notice how your life is. That’s the starting point.

Pete Wright: I’m going to ask this question and I think I’m going to ask it retroactively because I think you just answered it, but I’ll let you reflect on it. And it’s actually, I’m stealing as one of Nikki’s questions and it’s a brilliant one. And it’s related to the job hunt. Is there a period of time that you should stop after you lose a job for whatever reason, and wait before you find a new one? And Nikki’s words, are you taking time to mourn? How do you reflect on this idea of mourning in the job hunt? That’s seems like a particularly resonant word to me in this context.

Doug Herr: Yeah, it can be really challenging because you know… First of all, our whole culture doesn’t mourn effectively. And mourning is, I think, one of the most fundamental skills you can have for spiritual transition. And when you’re mourning the death of someone, at least you have someone to eulogize. But if your mourning the loss of a relationship or the loss of a job, nobody will to eulogize often. Instead you’re beating yourself up. Which is terrible.

Doug Herr: Yeah. So there’s two things. One is coming to grips with the reality of what’s happening, and the next one is being able to really face the pain of it and just live through that. Just experience it. Don’t try and run away from it. It’s really tricky, but that’s the whole nature of meditation and yoga. The next one is adjusting to how things are different. You may or may not have time to mourn depending on the tightness of your finances, but mourning allows you space for the forest bit of work.

Doug Herr: These are all jobs by the way. Coming to grips with the reality of what happened, not being in denial, but actually being able to see clearly. That’s work. Feeling your way through the pain. That’s work. Not believing all the thoughts that come up around the pain. That’s work. Being able to see them, but recognize that’s… My thinking is there because it’s a habit, not because it’s true.

Pete Wright: Well, and putting all of this into actual… Like when you say work, I really relate to that because it’s this whole idea of going through a process with intention. And I think when we lose a job, it’s so easy to get stuck in a place of just inertia. I just, I’m going to let the feelings kind of be because I’m sad, and because I’m hurt, and because I’m angry, and frustrated, and lost. And it’s not an intentional process. It’s just falling.

Doug Herr: So, yeah. Don’t do that. Right? Yeah. I mean there’s… Don’t do that. They’re going to be spaces where you do that, but then do something about it. The best free therapy you can get is probably journaling. I like journaling with your actual hands as opposed to typing. I just think it’s more embodied. It could also be true that you are speaking with someone. But yeah, processing through all of that is really important.

Doug Herr: If you don’t have structure and you’re like me, you’re probably going to just waste a lot of time. So creating structures for yourself. Letting job hunting be your job. It’s cliche, but it’s just so true. It’s the worst job you’ll never get paid for. Right? It’s just, blegh. And yet, if we can turn that around to a place of opportunity, which is a lot easier if you’re not terrified.

Doug Herr: One of the reasons I love being in my own business and having a bunch of clients is, if I’m going to lose my job, I have to get fired about 20 or 30 times. I can get fired by someone that it doesn’t work out with and that’s okay. As a matter of fact, it’s good. I want them to go somewhere that it works out better. If it’s my employer and the situation changes, and I’ve had that happen. Have a job that on one hand you love, but years later suddenly it’s painful to be there. Boy, now you’ve got a big leap. Making sense of all that. I think getting support is so crucial. And I completely lost the ADHD thread of what was your original question?

Nikki Kinzer: The mourning.

Doug Herr: That was it!

Pete Wright: You got into it. [crosstalk 00:34:58].

Nikki Kinzer: There’s something I want to add though, is that I will often when clients go into interview that they’re also interviewing the company. That it’s important for them to see is this going to be the right fit for them. And I think that’s harder when you are coming from a place of being let go because there is that urgency of, “I need a job and I need a job right now.” What are your thoughts on that? I mean, as far as making sure it is a good fit for both parties.

Doug Herr: If you don’t really think about this clearly that’s huge, Nikki. Because if you don’t think about this clearly you can go out of the frying pan and the fire, right? If you gravitate to exactly the same situation you left, you might have exactly the same experience. Another way to think about it is desperation is the worst cologne. So just feeling like, “Oh, I have to get a job.” If you’re hungry and positive, that’s one thing. But if you’re hungry and scared, I think that’s less attractive to potential employers. So managing your anxieties is your job, not their job. It’s okay to have anxieties. It’s okay to have fear. It’s just really important that you remember you’re bigger than the fear and the anxiety.

Doug Herr: So let me say Tom Glenn is a practice that some of your listeners I’m sure I’ve heard of. It’s actually a practice for dying and to not be alone in you’re dying. But in this it would be to not be alone in your grief, whether you’re feeling difficulties because of ADHD, because of unemployment, both, variety of other things. What you’re doing is paradoxical. Instead of trying to get something good to change your life, you’re actually imagining all the other people in the world who were in the same struggle that you’re having and you breathe out. You exhale a blessing to them, and you inhale they’re suffering. So you inhale your connection to them.

Doug Herr: We’re all suffering. It’s important to remember you’re not alone, right? It’s important to remember you have something to give. And so to see yourself blessing everyone who’s struggling with what you’re struggling with. I think it’s a powerful practice.

Pete Wright: This is great stuff, Doug. Thank you so much. I feel like we addressed… We certainly addressed everything we wanted to talk about around being the emotional sort of… Finding an emotional center with how to go through the job hunt no matter what the context is and we talked about a lot more. I never expected we would get to. I feel like that should be a predictable course.

Doug Herr: I’m always afraid about all the things we didn’t say.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Right. Me too. Yeah. So-

Doug Herr: Because there’s so much about this.

Pete Wright: There is, there’s so much and as we all continue our journey, I’m sure we will have more to say on this. But on behalf of all of us listeners, community and Nikki and I, thank you so much for your time as always, Dr. Doug.

Doug Herr: Thanks for having me. It’s such a pleasure to be with you guys.

Pete Wright: ChangeTimeIsNow.com. Before I let Doug say it and pre apologize for it. That’s where you can find out more about Dr. Doug Herr if you’re interested in talking more with him.

Doug Herr: And I will be updating it soon.

Pete Wright: Thank you everybody for downloading and listening to the show this week. We appreciate your time and your attention and behalf of Doug Herr and Nikki Kenzer, I’m Pete Wright. We’ll catch you next week right here on Taking Control: The ADHD podcast.

Through Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast, Nikki Kinzer and Pete Wright strive to help listeners with support, life management strategies, and time and technology tips, dedicated to anyone looking to take control of their lives in the face ADHD.