It was Sunday evening. Monday’s podcast wasn’t done and Lindsay had a choice to make. Pull another all-nighter to get it done or be honest about the struggles she’s been facing since launching Refocused with Lindsay Guentzel back in May.
Maybe it was because she was tired. Maybe it was because she knew she couldn’t keep up the routine she had unintentionally developed. Maybe it was because she was actually comfortable asking for help. Yay, growth!!!
Whatever the reason, Lindsay woke up Monday and was honest with everyone — the latest episode of her podcast wasn’t done. No cockamamie excuse, no lies. Just ownership and a plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again. And then she decided to pivot. She owed those waiting an epsiode so she decided to record it live. With an audience (sort of, it was virtual but the pressure was there).
And the episode she created on the fly — with the help of Keith Boswell — is without a doubt better than anything she could have stressed about in the wee hours of the morning earlier that day.
Topics include: breaking the history of little white lies, the power of deadlines, hyperfocusing on the wrong thing and the trouble with ADHD and friendships.
Lindsay Genzel (00:20):
Hello, and welcome to the very first live recording of Refocused with Lindsay Guentzel. I’m Lindsay Guentzel, the host of the podcast. This is a collaboration with ADHD Online, a telemedicine healthcare company that provides affordable and accessible ADHD assessments, treatment, medication management, and teletherapy. They’re based out in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’m based here just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is the elusive craft room office that I have been working on for four years. This is the first thing that I have done in here besides a lot of shuffling around of papers and putting things away and taking them back out. And so welcome. Obviously, once this goes live on the podcast platform, you won’t be able to see inside the office/craft room, but trust me, what you see behind me is very organized and orderly and neat and what you can’t see behind the camera, well, that’s another story. Maybe that’s what I’m going to tackle this afternoon.
Lindsay Genzel (01:29):
So one of the things that we have tried really hard with this podcast is to be as upfront and honest and candid as humanly possible because we are humans and we are flawed. A lot of the flaws come on my end because I am not only the host of the podcast. I’m also the producer and the editor and the writer. I get an insane amount of support from the team at ADHD Online, but at the end of the day, when the podcast doesn’t go up, that’s on me. Or in the one case, it was on our podcast hosting platform who decided a Monday morning would be a great time to change everything up and we all sat for a good 24 hours with our podcast in limbo until they went out into the inner web wherever they go and so you could listen to it. But bottom line, if the podcast doesn’t go up, end of the day, it’s on me.
Lindsay Genzel (02:28):
Today’s podcast, you may think you are watching it, listening to it, but in reality, you will listen to it next week, because at about 4:00 in the morning, it was not done and there was no way it was going to be done to the level I wanted it to be and so I decided to pivot. It’s a word anyone with ADHD probably knows well. It’s a verb. It means to change positions. It was made infamous from that great old scene on the sitcom Friends when they’re trying to get the couch down or up the stairwell, I can’t remember which direction.
Lindsay Genzel (03:10):
Anyway, Ross Geller, lovely pivot. That’s me this morning. It’s 4:00 in the morning. I’m awake. I’m anxious. I feel like I’ve let everyone down. It’s a feeling I know very, very well. It’s a feeling I know is very well connected to my ADHD, to my rejection sensitive dysphoria, to my fear of letting people down and I had to pivot. And luckily, I am supported by an amazing team at ADHD Online, who said, “Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s send out an email. Let’s host a live recording of this podcast and let’s invite people into this world.”
Lindsay Genzel (03:54):
I hope you all know that I’m not telling you this so that you feel sorry for me or that you are amazed at what we are able to put together on such a short notice. That is by far the last thing I’m hoping for. I’m hoping that this accountability helps me change the way I operate, because this is not an isolated incident. And this is the point where I come clean in the fact that every episode you’ve listened to so far for the most part has been accomplished, thanks to an all-nighter.
Lindsay Genzel (04:30):
I am 36 years old and I have been pulling all-nighters the night before the podcast is due like I’m back in college, and it has to stop. One, it’s not healthy. I’m too old for that. Two, pulling an all-nighter on a Sunday to a Monday to start your week, am I nuts? I mean, I know I’m nuts, but it’s this idea of how am I going to break decades and decades of bad habits that are linked back to something I didn’t even know I had two years ago. One way I’m hoping to do that is by being honest about it and putting it out there and telling you all and telling everyone who’s listening to this podcast and who finds this podcast, that it is very hard to come to terms with how you operate and to get out of your own way.
Lindsay Genzel (05:33):
And this might be it for me. This might be the saving grace I need to come clean to so many people. And yeah, I’m incredibly proud of the podcasts we’ve put out. It’s not to say that all of the work has been done the night before, because I’m not recording interviews at 2:00 in the morning. It’s just that I have told myself, the stories we tell ourselves. I’ve told myself that I work best on a deadline, on a tight deadline. Oh, I love pushing those tight deadlines. And enough’s enough. We have to break that. We have to break that for so many reasons.
Lindsay Genzel (06:17):
It is Monday, August 15th. The number of people I’ve let down already today is not in the double digits, but it’s dang near close. I started my morning by canceling a lunch meeting and then rescheduling that same lunch meeting only to cancel it again. I haven’t read the email back from the person I was canceling on because I am so afraid that I’ve upset them to the point that they want nothing to do with me. I’ve closed the door on any grace or forgiveness that this person might extend my way.
Lindsay Genzel (06:54):
I had a doctor’s appointment for this afternoon that in the middle of the night I moved up to 9:00 AM and I knew I was going to be late for. So I missed that because they have a seven minute window, which I push every single time. So I missed my nine o’clock appointment. Someone in the meantime scooped up my afternoon appointment so now I have no appointments to go to and I have no way of communicating with the doctor, because of course, no one answers the phone when I call. So he just thinks that I’ve no showed him, which I did. I mean, yes, I no showed him.
Lindsay Genzel (07:28):
I let down the team at ADHD Online. When I told them I would have something done and I didn’t, and I spent the last 12 hours going over in my head all of the different excuses I could pull out. I mean, the ones we all go through when something we’ve said we were going to accomplish isn’t and it’s something that a lot of us with ADHD deal with all the time. And at the end of the day, I just decided enough with those excuses, enough with pulling out something that might have caused the delay. It might have made things harder for me, but it doesn’t solve anything moving forward.
Lindsay Genzel (08:17):
Over the years I have become a very good liar. Now I don’t lie about anything of real importance, but it is still important to own when you make a mistake, to own when you are running late, to not blame it on traffic, or goodness, the lost cat in our neighborhood who I was out setting a trap for at 6:00 AM. I mean, yes, that is something that did happen, but that was a decision that I made, getting up early to do some work, seeing the cat, realizing this might be my chance to catch him, going outside, setting the trap, getting delayed. All of that, they were decisions that I chose to make. It’s very hard to get out of your own way and to break those habits and to stop lying to others and to stop lying to yourselves. It’s very easy to tell yourself it’s okay that it’s not harming anyone, but it’s also not fixing anything.
Lindsay Genzel (09:31):
When I was thinking about the pivot and how I was going to fix this conundrum I had found myself in, it’s a Monday, I’m supposed to upload a podcast, there is no podcast edited, ready to go up online. I thought “Let’s just do it live. Let’s just dive into this and see where it goes,” because that is when the real honesty happens. I mean, I like to think that every single podcast I have put out there is very honest and very candid, but it’s also scripted. I script it and I read it. And if I make a mistake, I go back and I do it again and I do it over and over again. I don’t have that luxury here.
Lindsay Genzel (10:20):
So I’m going to take this opportunity to go back and tell you a little bit about how this partnership started in the first place. So to go way back, I’ve worked in journalism for the last 15 years. Here in the Twin Cities, I did a brief stint out in New York working for major league baseball. I job hunt. I job hopped all over the place. I had no idea where I wanted to end up. Hindsight being 2020, I couldn’t establish a routine. A lot of the places I felt like I didn’t belong. There was no cohesion, no feeling like a part of the group. I lived off the stories that my brain was telling me, the stories that I was making up about no one wanting me there, about not being good enough. I mean, the sky’s the limit on the stories that I told myself.
Lindsay Genzel (11:19):
And so I hopped around to so many different places and I worked in a newsroom. I worked in sports. I worked… Oh goodness, I’ve been cooking on TV. I’ve been doing DIY projects on TV. I’ve been an in-game arena host for a professional lacrosse team. If you didn’t know, there is a professional lacrosse league in this country, now you do. I was their in-game marina host. I really have done it all. Every single time I was just waiting to have the feeling of this is it, this is where I want to be. And there were moments for sure, but again, all of those things happened before I knew how my brain works, how I knew who I was and how I operate.
Lindsay Genzel (12:11):
And now I’m in this new space of knowing I have ADHD and knowing certain lovely things that I will battle every single day for the rest of my life. It doesn’t matter if I’m medicated, if I’m in therapy, if I’m working out five days a week and eating healthy, these are things that are always going to be there and I’m working on finding ways to make them a little less loud, to make them a little less controlling, to make them a little less overwhelming.
Lindsay Genzel (12:51):
The other day I was thinking of the last time I woke up and felt truly myself and truly alive and energized. And that’s not to say that I haven’t felt that in the last few months with this project with ADHD Online, because I have. I’m over the moon about this collaboration. The people working at ADHD Online are the people you want to entrust your friends and family with. They’re the ones you want to entrust your own health with. They are amazing individuals who have found a way to help so many people at a time when it’s so needed.
Lindsay Genzel (13:34):
But I was thinking of my own little eat, pray, love trip that happened a few years back. It was shortly after my dad passed away and I was in a funk. I had been working at the same job for three years. I had been bread crumbed along over and over again by management, by multiple different groups of management because it was a revolving door and everyone told me what I wanted to hear. And I just let that happen. I let those stories come in and fill me up and then I just waited. And I kept doing everything. I kept thinking if I just show up and I do amazing work and I am the person they want me to be, they will notice and they will make my dreams come true. But that’s just not how it works a lot of the time. You know they say the overnight success? Well, yeah, the overnight success is when you heard about them. You weren’t hearing about all of the work that went into that moment when they went mainstream.
Lindsay Genzel (14:42):
I finally had enough. I put in my two weeks and I went on what I call my eat, pray, love trip of my early 30s. For years, I had wanted to volunteer with this amazing organization called All Hands and Hearts, which is a disaster relief organization. At the time they had a few camps set up across the world. One of them was in the United States, Virgin Islands, the US Virgin Islands in St. Thomas and St. John. They were doing disaster relief, rebuilding homes that had been destroyed after Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma. It was the first time in my entire life where I traveled alone. I got on a plane. I did not know anyone that was going to be down there. I spent three and a half weeks waking up every morning getting to be the person that I wanted to be. I got to be a morning person. No one knew that I had been crabby in the mornings before. No one knew not to talk to me before coffee. But because no one knew me, I got to be exactly who I wanted to be.
Lindsay Genzel (15:49):
I’ve been thinking back on that trip and trying to figure out why it was so monumental for me and why I hold it, I just cherish those few weeks. One is because of the people I made lifelong friends, and two is, it was a set up that worked incredibly well for me because it was so scheduled. There was a time to get up. There was a time to leave. There was a time to be at the work site. There was your lunch break. There was the lunch break is over, you go back to work. And I wasn’t in charge of anything. I was just there working. It’s really amazing when you think of those times, because I would never, had I not been diagnosed with ADHD, put two and two together. That the reason I thrived in that environment was because there was so much structure and I knew exactly what was expected of me and there were so many moments during the day to celebrate, to feel empowered.
Lindsay Genzel (16:55):
I mean, like we rebuilt a woman’s roof. Now here’s the kicker, is that we rebuilt the roof of a woman named Dorothy whose roof was torn off by really strong winds. I mean, it’s like the wizard of Oz, but the US Virgin Islands version. It was a team of like eight of us, mostly women, all different ages, all different places in life. We learned how to rebuild a roof. Now, could I go outside and do it right now? No way because I haven’t been doing it since then. But there were so many moments throughout that trip to feel really great about what I was doing and to feel like I mattered. I think it’s so important for us, all of us living with ADHD, to give ourselves those moments and to ask that of the people around us.
Lindsay Genzel (17:49):
I’ve been thinking a lot about my struggles with friendships and rejection sensitive dysphoria and also the whole object permanence, out of sight, out of mind. I struggle with friendships. I’m very outgoing, but I’m also an incredible introvert. It’s like I kind of forget sometimes that my friends exist unless I’m seeing them or they reach out. Sometimes I forget that I’m the one who can actually reach out and make plans. And so I had this moment thinking about friendships and the people in my life who are really important to me. I had this thought that why aren’t we asking our friends for what we need? The reason I say that is we’re told to ask our partners and our husbands and our wives and our significant others, we’re told to say like, “This is what I need from you. This is how you fill up my love tank. Or this is my love language and this is how I’d like to be treated.” But we’re not as comfortable saying that to our friends.
Lindsay Genzel (18:58):
I mean, obviously if you are friends with someone and they’re treating you poorly, you would ask them to stop treating you poorly. But why aren’t we asking our friends for the things that we need in order to be successful? I think sometimes it’s hard to be vulnerable in that way to say to them, “I know this might sound incredibly cheesy or juvenile or just not something you’re used to, but I need this from you in order to live my best life. I need you to once a week send me a text message, just telling me something really great about myself.” A good friend would do it. A good friend would say, “Yeah, I can be that person for you. I can be that gold star for you.”
Lindsay Genzel (19:48):
It’s just so easy for us to not ask for what we want, because I think sometimes because things are more difficult for us and we kind of feel like we’re all over the place already, adding another thing to all the stuff that we have going on is a lot. I sometimes feel like everyone looks at me and is like, “Oh, she is a lot. She is a lot. There’s a lot going on there. Why can’t she just pick one thing? Why can’t she just focus in on that one thing? Why is it all over the place?” And then you go to those people and you’re like, “Hey, could you text me every Tuesday and tell me the podcast is amazing?” It sounds so weird when you say it that way, right? We’re so afraid to ask for what we want and what we need. When I think back on how this partnership started with the podcast, I took that eat, pray, love trip. I quit my job. I came back and I bounced around all over the place. And then the pandemic happened.
Lindsay Genzel (20:56):
If you were someone who was diagnosed in the pandemic, welcome to the club. Maybe we were turned onto the diagnosis by the same tweet. And I find it very interesting that I’m working with a company working to make ADHD assessments affordable and accessible, because the only reason I went to seek out a diagnosis was because I had health insurance. And the only reason I had health insurance was because I had been unemployed throughout the pandemic because of COVID-19 shutting down nearly everything. And because I was unemployed, I had qualified for insurance through the state of Minnesota. And the only reason I felt comfortable calling to make that appointment was because I knew it was something I could afford at the time because there was health insurance. It’s very frustrating to think of what if that epiphany had happened and I hadn’t had health insurance or I didn’t know about ADHD Online.
Lindsay Genzel (21:57):
And so long story short, I go in, I get my assessment, I’m diagnosed. I start medication. I immediately work on finding a therapist and I’m still bouncing around from job to job trying to figure out where I want to be. And I see a note on a journalist board I’m on. It was a reporter asking to speak to people about ADHD and binge eating. Well, the first connection I made with my ADHD and kind of my entire life was with rejection sensitive dysphoria, it made so much sense to me. And then the second big connection I made was my issues with disordered eating. Binge eating is one of the things I have always struggled with.
Lindsay Genzel (22:49):
I think as a woman, it was just kind of told to me that, “Yeah, that’s just something you’re going to deal with forever.” I’m here to tell you that since my diagnosis, since starting medication, since learning more about my brain and going to therapy, my issues with food have come so far, and that includes binge eating. So anyway, I send in these answers to this article that this woman is writing about my own experience with binge eating. And then like a great ADHD brain, I forgot all about it. She never reached back out. I figured there’d be a follow up interview and I went on my merry way. And then I got an email from Claudia at ADHD Online asking for a meeting. I had no idea how they found me. In fact, I think it took like two and a half months for us to figure out and put the dots together that it was through this article that had been written about binge eating and ADHD.
Lindsay Genzel (23:53):
Now, here’s where the few things I had learned in that short time come kind of full circle. It was our second meeting, we were all hitting it off. There’s this thing with online meetings when you get in a good one and you’re kind of in a groove and no one’s talking over each other, they all kind of found their place and were laughing. Juts it felt very easy. It was in our second meeting and I don’t even know what the question was, but it was something on the lines of like, “Well, what do you want out of your career?” And without hesitating, I said, “I’ve always wanted to host a podcast about mental health but I just have never known where to go with it or what to do with it.” And I could kind of see the wheels start turning, meeting goes on. That was it.
Lindsay Genzel (24:45):
And then very quickly after that, I got an email saying, “We’ve been talking about a podcast for a while. We don’t have that skillset right now. You have that skillset and want to host a podcast about mental health. Do you want to talk about collaborating?” And it happens so quickly and it happens so effortlessly that there have been a few times throughout the last few months that I have stopped and paused and been like, “Is this really happening? We’re doing this?”
Lindsay Genzel (25:20):
What’s been so amazing about it is every single time that voice of doubt, that overwhelming feeling of anxiety that comes along with constantly second guessing yourself and second guessing your decisions, it was always squashed by somebody I was working with at the moment at ADHD Online. And every single time that I go, “What are we doing? What am I doing?”, I’m reminded that I’m working with this amazing team who have given me freedom to be open and honest with this podcast and to bring it to you in a way that I find entertaining and enjoyable. And to give me opportunities, like not turning in a podcast on time and then hosting a live one in the middle of a Monday, in the middle of August when half their staff is probably on vacation, it’s that freedom and that trust. I got to tell you, I was out there in June and we just hit it off. I’m so excited about the opportunities ahead to keep learning.
Lindsay Genzel (26:36):
The one thing that I want to reiterate over and over again is that I’m learning right along you. In fact, some of you probably know more about ADHD than I do. This is just what I want to do. I want to host this podcast. I want to be having those conversations and I feel really honored to be in this position. It’s so strange when someone sends a nice note on social media about how much they love the podcast because it’s what I have wanted to hear for a really long time as someone who thrives off other people’s opinions on me. It’s what I’ve wanted.
Lindsay Genzel (27:15):
I joke I wanted to be an entertainer. I just was not given actual gifts to entertain in a traditional manner, so I went into journalism thinking that that was the next step. And so here I am getting to kind of bring all of my wants and my dreams and my talents and my experience together into this podcast.
Lindsay Genzel (27:41):
Going back to why we’re here, I hope you always know that I’m telling you the truth, that I’m being honest with you, that what you are seeing is what you are getting. Sometimes I’m frustrated that I don’t have a crazy amount of followers on Instagram or on Facebook because that opens doors, it provides opportunities. But at the same time, I will take the growth as it happens because I’m being myself. And a part of that is the fact that all of my social media is every single thing that’s happening in my brain. It is not color coded, it is not muted. Sometimes it’s filtered. I will be honest. I’m 36 years old. There are days where I’m like, yes, we are filtering that. There is no shame in that you do what makes yourself feel great. Roll with it. But it’ll always just be a hodgepodge. And that’s kind of what this podcast is turning out to be. We’re taking it week by week.
Lindsay Genzel (28:47):
We always knew that the first couple months were going to be difficult. I don’t think any of us expected that we would come to an agreement in April and launch the podcast in mid May. But all of it is leading up to ADHD Awareness Month, which is in October, and then the national conference for ADHD, which is in Dallas in November. If you’re going, please connect. You can reach me directly podcast@adhdonline. Of course, I’m on social media, @LindsayGuentzel and @refocusedpod.
Lindsay Genzel (29:21):
But the one thing I want to reiterate before I just take a quick breather and bring Keith Boswell into the conversation, this podcast is for you. These webinars are for you, these social media posts that we’re putting out. And I promise there will be more of them. Again, it’s a work in progress. There was not a year to plan for this. There was literally like six weeks. But we all were so passionate about it that in true ADHD form, we couldn’t wait. I think I have always struggled with starting things and being so afraid of putting something out there when it’s not perfect, and so we want you to help us get to the point where it’s “perfect.” We want this to be your space, your podcast, the place you come to feel connected, the place you come to learn, laugh. I mean, I know I’ve made some of you cry. I apologize for that. I’m a crier. It’s just in my genes. The ADHD definitely amplifies it a little bit.
Lindsay Genzel (30:29):
But tell us what you want to talk about. Tell us the stories you want to hear. What is that one thing you just still can’t understand about ADHD? Those are the things we really want to dive into after we get past these first couple months of content. Because I was trying to explain this last night of what we’ve been doing over the last few months, I’m old enough to remember when we had encyclopedias at home. I had a set of encyclopedias as a kid, like actual books, you guys. They were books. Each letter of the alphabet for the most part had its own book. Some letters had two books, but some letters did have to share. But you would open it up and you would get to the cardinal. Let’s say you see a cardinal in the yard and you want to know why they leave their young in the grass to learn how to fly. Well, you get to the encyclopedia and then there’s like a table of contents.
Lindsay Genzel (31:28):
And that’s what we’re building right now. This is the encyclopedia’s table of contents for ADHD. And so we want to build something that you can always go back to and learn more about or that people who are still going to be diagnosed, because the numbers are still going to keep going up as we talk about it, as more people find access to it. This isn’t something that’s going away and this is not a fad. It’s my biggest frustration. You see so many people right now talking about how, “Oh, well just everyone has ADHD.” And it’s like, yeah, maybe everyone does and maybe everyone knows that they do because we’ve increased access to assessments. We’ve increased awareness. People know what to look for. And we know how complex it is. Every single day, there are people who are very, very smart who are looking into those complexities.
Lindsay Genzel (32:18):
So I am just honored to get to bring tiny bit of those conversations to this podcast. It means the world to me when you guys reach out. If you want to share your own story, I’m going to keep pitching you, adhdonline.com, email@example.com. You can get at me on social media, @refocusedpod and @LindsayGuentzel. As I take a breath, we’re going to bring Keith Boswell, the vice president of marketing for ADHD Online into the conversation.
Keith Boswell (32:49):
I’ve been handling the chat while you’ve been sharing. There’s so many people relating to your story especially the juggling a lot of different things, friendships. I mean, the friendships piece, I think is me to a tee. I actually met with my therapist last week and I remember I asked him, I said, “Can I talk to my friends about my ADHD?” I’m still on that phase of figuring it out, because it’s still new.
Lindsay Genzel (33:23):
Keith Boswell (33:24):
But as I’m reflecting on friendships especially, I’ve always had this image of what I want to be as a friend, but the pressure of not being that friend has been immense, right? So I don’t reach out, I don’t communicate. And when I do, it’s like a burst of activity. And then I’m back in my kind of like shell. And I’m realizing I do need to put a signal out there. And he’s like, “Yeah, it’s okay to talk.” Because I guess for me, I’m like, “Well, I don’t want to blame my ADHD, but at the same time, like-
Lindsay Genzel (34:00):
Blame the ADHD.
Keith Boswell (34:01):
I mean, gee, I don’t know. I mean, I’ve always wondered that about myself. And so knowing that you’re not alone in that is huge. And I think just the other piece, I mean, talking about the number of people that think they have ADHD and might, we talk about the distracted culture we’re in and the cell phone. Is it producing ADHD-like symptoms? Absolutely. People’s attention span overall is minimal, but attention is not all of it, right? I mean, when you’ve got a magic bullet rifling around your head and you were talking about those things that you say to yourself with friendships or with other things, I didn’t know how many times I was all of the voices. I was speaking on behalf of everybody else, just assuming the worst about myself, putting words in everybody’s mouth, because that was just easier than actually reaching out. And that’s kind of a shocking like, whoa.
Lindsay Genzel (35:04):
Oh, absolutely. I think self-reflection, that comes when you start to realize how ADHD affects you. There are certain things that make sense because we know the issue with attention, the issue with executive function. But there’s so much that I want to say is tied to emotions. And I’m like, “Touch my heart because isn’t that so the universal symbol for our emotions?”
Keith Boswell (35:31):
Lindsay Genzel (35:31):
Our emotions are held in our heart, which is not true. It’s all in our head.
Keith Boswell (35:35):
Lindsay Genzel (35:36):
And so they’re all bouncing off of one another and trying to get our attention, like trying to weasel their way to the front. Gosh, over the last 12 hours, the number of things that I’ve wanted to say today about how this weekend went and how the last week went, a part of me was like, “Do I bring up that my dad died?” I mean, my dad died five years ago and his birthday was this last week.
Keith Boswell (36:05):
Right. It’s still relevant.
Lindsay Genzel (36:06):
It really messed with me. But going back to your thing about like, “Can I blame my ADHD?”, sometimes you’re just like, “Does anyone want to hear it?”
Keith Boswell (36:16):
Lindsay Genzel (36:16):
“Does anyone get it?”
Keith Boswell (36:19):
But that’s the… I mean, okay. But the thought I had while you were saying something earlier when we think about the statistics and they estimate it’s maybe 5% of the population, “Okay. One in 20 people at a concert, that’s a lot of us. That’s a whole lot of us.” I mean, it’s not like we’re some small fraction. And so I think I had no idea this community was that large and that deep. I never really thought about it. But when you put it in context, I mean, hearing someone else say it out loud is a really… I’m getting emotional. See, I’m feeling it, because this is where it’s like it’s a great job to be in because we’re helping in our own way.
Lindsay Genzel (37:06):
Yeah. We’re helping others and helping ourselves. And that the one thing I think I struggle with when I’m explaining the importance of being open and honest about our mental health to people who maybe are just kind of like, “Eh, it’s not as big of a deal as you make it out to,” sometimes you need to hear someone else put it into words to understand what it is.
Keith Boswell (37:30):
Lindsay Genzel (37:31):
You need to hear someone explain why they feel a certain way and why they think a certain way and what triggers it for you to catch on that, “Oh, maybe that’s not how I’m supposed to be feeling,” you know?
Keith Boswell (37:48):
Right. Right. I totally relate to that. I mean, I don’t know how many times while I was taking my assessment, I smiled. And that’s a really weird reaction when you’re kind of like, “Whoa.” I mean, because it was like, “Ah, mirror, mirror.” Yeah, putting all these clues together, it was like the biggest jigsaw puzzle. And it was like, “Wow, okay. That’s why I can be a Jack of all trades.” That I had the same thing. People told me, “You’re interested in too many things. You’ve got to focus.” And I was like, “I will never…” I mean, it’s weird. I was in my 20s and I’m like, “I will never focus.” Now, here we are with Refocused, and it’s perfect because it’s true. It’s like I always struggled with where I fit in. I knew I’ll made a big impact, but then it was the socialization and the trying to navigate all the other things that I would just put myself in the mouse trap and I would just kind of knock myself out of the game.
Keith Boswell (38:54):
And so it’s been the really liberating thing about this for me. It’s like I maybe think about mental health a little too much. I know my daughters are already like, “Okay. Yeah.” It’s like, “We’ve heard it dad. Yeah, you did it again today.” But it’s part of who I am now too. So it’s like it feels great to kind of be authentic in that way and be exploring it while at the same time everything else I’m doing throughout the day is trying to help other people that are dealing with it like me. So that’s just awesome.
Lindsay Genzel (39:28):
I want to touch on a little friend thing because I think this is something that I’ve had a really hard time explaining to people, is like, you love being the center of attention. You wanted to be an entertainer. But on the flip side, I love showing affection. I hate receiving it. Like if I do something nice for someone and they send me a thank you card or they send me a nice text message or an email, it goes unread, unopened. I want nothing to do with it because I can’t accept the fact that someone would feel that way about me. And it’s not to say that I haven’t let love in. Obviously I have a wonderful boyfriend, I have very close friends, I have a great relationship with my family. But it’s this feeling of insecurity and being put on the spot and having to digest kind words.
Lindsay Genzel (40:31):
I hadn’t realized how down on myself I had gotten. And a lot of it was stuff that was tied to my ADHD, to my views on my body, to my disordered eating, to coming to terms with the fact that I failed out of college twice. That’s a fun one to reconcile every time I make a payment on my student loan. It’s a lot of grief and sadness and awkwardness that comes with accepting why you’re in the place you are and all the things that made you get there. And so when you do something that people appreciate and they want to show you affection and they want to make you feel like you’ve made them feel, I just am like, “Shut down. Nope.” And I’m sure it comes across as snooty and rude and cold and standoff-ish, and at the same time it’s like I’m quivering in the corner because it makes me so uncomfortable.
Keith Boswell (41:37):
Right. You don’t even know much I relate to this. And it’s weird because socially I gravitate to being the storyteller and that’s where I fit, right? I’m the storyteller. And I can get everybody wound up around a story. But then you pull me onto a conversation and I just stumble. And it’s not because I’m not interested. It’s just… And so it would always be like, “Do you need to be the center of attention?” I was like, “Not really.” Because if I walk into somewhere, I’m just the wall fly. I’m just stuck to the wall. I’m talking to the one or two people I know, maybe the sound person, the help, the staff that’s there, wherever. No one. If I go to a networking event, I never end up networking with people. I mean, it’s like I end up talking to the person next to me and we have this amazing connection.
Lindsay Genzel (42:30):
Keith Boswell (42:31):
I never walk up to the whole room of people that I’m entitled to walk up to and talk to, but I just don’t. And that is a self… Even though I put myself in the room by choice, I mean, I was the young entrepreneur that was the mid ’90s, go start your company, I had the internet fever without moving to Silicon Valley. We just moved to Bend, Oregon. And I’m really glad I did. It was perfect. We called it the digital desert because we were just out there and we got to kind of do it at our pace. But I was horrible at the networking side and all that, like keeping things up and I just never… Thank you notes and things like that, to me, I always like… It’s interesting, your take. My take is always I read them and I just feel guilty that I didn’t do anything even close to that in return, right? I’m not going to write a thank you.
Keith Boswell (43:31):
Now I just feel this great weight of a thank you that I want to write that’s so majestic and perfect, like it’s got to be some dove I’m going to release in the morning. I mean, but that’s in my head. That’s what it feels like. And that’s a really hard thing to explain to someone and not sound crazy. I’m known and I’m weird and kind of out there, but you start talking about some of these things and some people are like, “Whoa, okay.” But I think that’s also part of it what makes me me. So I wouldn’t take it away.
Lindsay Genzel (44:09):
I’m curious if anyone has questions or if there have been any questions thrown in the chat. Bos, while you take a peek and maybe see if there’s anything in there, I’m going to share a realization I shared with one of my sisters the other day. I was telling her how I really like to make everyone feel included. It’s something that I feel very strong about. I had a really hard time in middle school with bullying. We’re going to talk about bullying as the school year starts and the connection that ADHD plays in how we respond to bullying. I also know that I am a villain in someone’s story. I was not a perfect middle schooler. I don’t think anyone is. But I think looking back for the most part, I’d like to think that I was a kind human, that I was nice. And if not, I’m making up for it as an adult because I want to invite everyone to everything.
Lindsay Genzel (45:07):
I don’t want anyone to even remotely feel left out. Like, I have four tickets to a concert. One extra person is coming. You better believe I am going online and I’m finding that fifth ticket because I’m not letting anyone feel like I felt before. It’s an absolutely terrible feeling. But on the flip side, let’s say I’m hosting a party. And I, at the last minute, am like, “Oh my gosh, I should invite our next door neighbors. I should have them over. I should tell them we’re having a party.” If they’re busy or even if they’re not busy and they’re like, “Oh, thank you so much for the invite, but we’re going to pass,” I take it so personally. Now, keep in mind most of the time it’s 24 hours before and I have not invited these people. So I’m getting worked up about the fact that they have a life and are choosing not to come to whatever I’m inviting them to. But the spiral that happens with this idea of it’s back to me, it’s me now. Something’s wrong with me.
Keith Boswell (46:15):
Lindsay Genzel (46:16):
Anyway. I wanted to give you a moment to just-
Keith Boswell (46:18):
No, it’s really easy to do that. I mean, so we’ve had a number of comments of people just saying they relate. I mean, the number of people that are diagnosed a couple of years ago in their 40s, one month ago diagnosed…
Lindsay Genzel (46:33):
Is it weird that I’m like, “Congratulations! I’m so happy for you”?
Keith Boswell (46:37):
No, but it’s… Well, we hear this all the time. Melissa said, “It’s crazy to me about the friendships. I’ve left friendships, telling my friends of years that I want to learn to be a better friend of them before I can continue our friendship. I would cancel last minute all the time.” Melissa also said we have this imagination of what we want to be versus what we can actually accomplish. I read into that this weekend. I mean, I had this big, like, “I’ve made all this momentum. I’ve been making all this progress. I’m medicated now. I’m not going to have those days anymore.” And I had one of those days where I was like medicine or not, I was just struggling to keep on with what I wanted. I got stuff done, but it felt more like that older pattern and it was kind of like, “Oh no.”
Keith Boswell (47:23):
So then this was interesting because Lori said, and I think this is very common, “I find it difficult to balance learning how to deal with my ADHD, learning about it with life, which doesn’t stop moving forward.” We’re in progress and it’s like, “Yeah, hold on a second. Let me tell you what’s going on.” I mean, it is a balancing act.
Lindsay Genzel (47:43):
Yeah, it is. I think a lot of us are completely and totally struggling with that because of the last few years, because life felt like it was on hold except for it very much wasn’t. I’ve had this conversation with so many friends. I’m 36. I don’t know that I want kids. If I want kids, I should probably start figuring it out because there’s this lovely thing that we’ve been told about our entire lives called a biological clock. It didn’t understand that the last two years life was on hold and like literally nothing happened. Like, my biological clock is not just like, “Yeah, we’ll give you back that time.” So it feels like an extra push, like an extra heavy, “We got to get stuff figured out” as I was told the day I turned 36, I am in my late 30s now.
Lindsay Genzel (48:33):
I think it’s hard. I think a lot of us look back at the last two years and we did the best we could, but there’s days where I go, “I could have done so much at home. I was unemployed. Why wasn’t I taking full advantage of it?”
Keith Boswell (48:46):
Lindsay Genzel (48:47):
And you’re like, “Because we were just trying to survive.” We were wiping down our groceries with Clorox wipes. Like, come on people.
Keith Boswell (48:53):
Yeah. I know. Every night, I don’t know that I ever actually did it, but I know that every day felt like a massive struggle.
Keith Boswell (49:00):
I did it. I did. I totally did. I remember even keeping them in the garage in their little isolation chamber, you know?
Lindsay Genzel (49:07):
Keith Boswell (49:08):
So the COVID could wear off out there, I guess.
Lindsay Genzel (49:10):
Isolating your cauliflower so that… Yeah.
Keith Boswell (49:12):
So Melissa also, she had another comment that I found very relatable. This is one I’ve actually pre-diagnosis had started shifting on. So we had to replace the word excuse or blame with reason. This is the reason. And she says, “I’m trying to overcome that.” I used to, oftentimes, especially when you were talking about deferring meetings and stuff at work, oftentimes if there are things I just want, I’m like, “I can’t do that today. I’ll just got to do this. I got to reschedule. I got to move it around.” And I used to say, “Oh, this is the reason I’ve got to do this. So sorry, I’ve got to…”
Keith Boswell (49:49):
Now I just go, “I got to change this.” And I don’t need to give a reason. And they go, “Okay, that’s fine.” And I’m like, “What? No one’s upset with me? No one freaked out that I just needed to change something?” No. People are accommodating, but in my head there’s a script going that they’re not, they’re going to be mad at me, they’re never going to want to talk to me again. All the reasons that we were talking before are now evaporated because of my need to not… Or back pedal. I don’t know. It’s amazing.
Lindsay Genzel (50:23):
Yes, the brain is a very powerful tool that is used for a lot of good and a lot of evil. And a lot of time, the evil is working against us. That’s the downfall of it. I mean, I don’t want you to put your evil out into the world. I want the evil to be squashed, but I’m saying that a lot of times we’re our own worst enemy. When you sit down and you just start listing all the things that are in your way and going back to the comment about it’s hard to feel like you’re moving forward and trying to learn, but then still you’re not working with a clean slate, you know?
Keith Boswell (51:02):
Lindsay Genzel (51:02):
You’re trying to figure out all of these things. And I mean, you mentioned this weekend was tough for you. I look back at this weekend and I’m like, “What did I do? Why wasn’t the podcast done? What got in the way?” And it doesn’t matter because I mean, it’s 36 years of learned delay of procrastination. of putting other things ahead of what’s actually important to me. So I’m going to go back to this cat because here’s the deal, y’all.
Keith Boswell (51:33):
I saw that this morning.
Lindsay Genzel (51:36):
I would like to paint an image for you. You can see it if you go to my Instagram. I got up at 4:30, I felt crummy. I made some coffee. I took a shower. I was like, “I’m going to turn this day around. I got to own up for the fact that this podcast isn’t done.” To go back, on Friday I got home. I live in a sweet little cul-de-sac and there are these sweet little girls across the street who love cats as much as I do. I see them looking around and I walk outside and there’s a cat in the yard.
Lindsay Genzel (52:04):
The other week, these lost cat signs got put up. And the cat’s actually been outside since June 26th. So it’s been outside for six weeks, like a month and a half, a crazy amount of time. And now he’s in our front yard. The sweet thing is talking to me. I’m like in the bushes talking to this cat, he wants nothing to do with coming home with me. But he is very intrigued. And he runs off, goes on his way. I get in touch with the owner. She is beside herself. They have seen him so many times over the last six weeks, they haven’t been able to catch him. And so I, of course, put on my helper hat. This is now my problem. I am going to catch this cat.
Lindsay Genzel (52:44):
And so my dear friend, Lindsay went and got me a live trap from a rescue here in the Twin Cities. It’s been in our garage all weekend waiting for the next sighting. Like I’m going to get it out. I learned how to open it. I’ve got the food. I’m going to make a little line of treats to get into the trap. And then this morning after I shower and I’m sitting here plotting all the excuses I could pull out of my excuse bag to throw at Bos and the team at ADHD Online, Hippie, our cat, starts losing her mind running around the house. And this is not out of character by any means of imagination. It’s what she does. Until Legend, the lost cat from June 26th, his name is actually Legend, he’s very sweet, comes walking around the side of our house.
Lindsay Genzel (53:29):
And what do I do? I drop everything. Everything. I get up. I’ve got coffee on the stove. I was about to make breakfast. My hair is wet. And now I’m outside walking this neighborhood at 6:00 in the morning carrying a live trap, a bag of treats, an open can of cat food, a towel to put over the trap. Long story short, I have not caught him yet. That is the goal.
Keith Boswell (53:55):
Lindsay Genzel (53:55):
I’m close. We had a sighting. It’s a great sighting. I think I’m going to have to catch him overnight. I might have to do some recon. If I start buying night vision goggles, that’s when I know we have gone to [inaudible 00:54:06].
Keith Boswell (54:06):
Warm food in the trap, heated up in the microwave.
Lindsay Genzel (54:08):
Oh, it make it extra stinky?
Keith Boswell (54:08):
Try that. I’ll give you a reason why I know that in another time.
Lindsay Genzel (54:14):
Okay. Okay. Okay.
Keith Boswell (54:15):
For trapping a cat.
Lindsay Genzel (54:17):
For trapping a cat. Yeah. I bet you didn’t think you would get cat trapping tips and tricks coming here, but it’s so easy to hyper focus on something. I have taken on this cat as my responsibility. I don’t know why I feel that way. I know that I won’t stop feeling that way until the cat is back safely with this family. I don’t want pats on the back. It’s not like that I think I’m some special human for this. It’s just like I know I’m capable of catching this cat and so I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that this cat gets caught and gets back with his family because I would want someone to do that for me. But at the same time, I’m an adult who has responsibilities, who can’t just drop everything to go and hyper focus on something like that. It is a very difficult little game we play.
Lindsay Genzel (55:15):
We’re in the last minute. I’m going to wrap this up. I’m so thankful that we gave this a try. I’m grateful to the team at ADHD Online for creating an environment where I felt comfortable going to you this morning and saying-
Keith Boswell (55:30):
Lindsay Genzel (55:31):
… this is not done.
Keith Boswell (55:34):
We, what did I say? It’s our experiment with deadlines.
Lindsay Genzel (55:38):
Keith Boswell (55:39):
So it is. I mean…
Lindsay Genzel (55:40):
Mm-hmm. It’s a learning curve for all of us. The great thing is that we have this community. We also have knowledge just knowing that in order to get out of my own way, I had to go to my colleagues at ADHD Online this morning and I had to say, “I need you to set these deadlines.” I appreciate the kindness and the leniency they have given me, but this is what I needed-
Keith Boswell (56:08):
I didn’t know you were pulling all nighters.
Lindsay Genzel (56:10):
Well, I wasn’t going to tell you.
Keith Boswell (56:12):
Yeah, I know, but [inaudible 00:56:13].
Lindsay Genzel (56:12):
This is why I never flipped on my camera after those mornings. Those filters weren’t working. No. Bad habits are coming to an end. We are going to move forward in a great way. There’s so much on the horizon I cannot wait to share with you, guys.
Lindsay Genzel (56:28):
So Refocused with Lindsay Guentzel, to wrap this up, is a collaboration between me, Lindsay Guentzel, and ADHD Online, a telemedicine healthcare company that is working to create accessible and affordable assessments, medication management and teletherapy. You can find out more by visiting adhdonline.com. Our theme music was created by Louis Inglis from Perth, Australia, who was diagnosed in 2020 at the age of 39 with ADHD. A huge thanks to Keith Boswell, vice president of marketing for ADHD Online. He joins us every week, and in a sense, has become the little guinea pig for the show sharing his own experience with week five, four. Where are we at?
Keith Boswell (57:13):
Week four. First refill.
Lindsay Genzel (57:15):
First refill. In the books. I love it.
Keith Boswell (57:17):
In the books.
Lindsay Genzel (57:18):
Well, we will catch up later this week and you can hear all of that on Monday with the podcast that is done on time. It’s about non-stimulant medications and how it works with the ADHD brain and how you can actually add it into your routine with your own stimulant medication to kind of even out some of the spots that you’re missing. So thank you so much for joining us. Stay tuned for lots of great stuff coming. And if you want to reach me, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org and on social, @LindsayGuentzel and @refocusedpod.