Episode 54. So October Ended. Now What?



What do we do when the massive thing that’s been consuming our time and energy ends? How do we go back to normal? What is normal? And what’s next?

It’s been two weeks since October ended. So where have I been? Recovering and avoiding. This episode is me getting out of my own way, letting you in to see a bit of what I’ve been dealing with and setting myself up to move forward. 

There’s so much on the horizon that I’m excited about — I share those details in this episode! In the meantime, make sure to follow along on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings for the Refocused community. 

Add us on Social Media!

Lindsay Guentzel (00:01):

My name is Lindsay Guentzel and you are listening to Refocused. Back in college, in my late teens, early twenties, I had this really horrible habit of getting very excited for vacation or a wedding, and I would go on these intense diets and exercise programs to lose weight and make myself feel good for seven days. Sometimes not even seven days, sometimes it was a weekend. I would behave like I had been eating healthy and working out my whole life. It was a commitment. And then the second that event was over and I was back home, it was over. I fell off the horse. I didn’t get back into the routine.


I didn’t keep up with the things I had been doing, and the self-loathing and hatred and anxiety over it was pretty intense. I can look back and see that obviously for many reasons it was unhealthy, but the biggest being I was burnt out. I crammed so much into that tiny window. The second the event, the dopamine rush was over, I was back to my regular life, like what I did day to day, which didn’t include most of the time eating healthy and regular exercise.


In the last two weeks since October ended, I’ve really been able to connect that behavior, oh man, that burnout, that overcommitment and just pure adrenaline rush of trying to do something in a very small amount of time and knowing that there were deadlines, many of them, yes, were deadlines that we had set for the podcast, but a lot of them were things that I had set internally and not told anyone about. I think I am coming off of that burnout trip. For the last two weeks, I have toiled, just toiled over what the first episode after October would be. I feel like I had this idea, it had to be the best, most insightful episode ever because there are new listeners.


Hello, some of you are new here. Thanks for coming and hanging out and I hope you’ll stick around. I built up this pressure of trying to figure out the perfect way to segue back into regular episodes. There is no perfect way. I truly for the last two weeks have just been beating myself up about all of the things that I didn’t do and I could have done, and how do I jump back in with this incredible group of people who have embraced me and embraced this podcast and embraced the stories that we were telling in October? How do I do that when I don’t feel like I’ve done enough, which I know is crazy because we just got done releasing 32 episodes in 31 days.


The responses I’ve received from people who have been listening to Refocused, Together, it’s pretty awesome. The other day I got a message from somebody who reached out on Instagram, which I love. I’m working on setting up time each day to engage with people on social media because if I don’t set those boundaries, it’s just a very messy free for all. But they reached out and they told me that their therapist recommended my podcast to them as they’re starting to look into ADHD testing and an assessment. My goodness, if that isn’t the most wonderful healthy dose of reality about what I’ve been building here for the last six, seven months.


I think I had illusions of grandeur about what Refocused, Together would be. I keep having to remind myself, I’m very late to the podcast game. I’m just working on reminding myself that the two most important things I can do for this podcast is to show up and be consistent and be myself. I feel like for the most part, I’ve nailed being myself. The consistency part as I sit here on Tuesday, November 15th in sweatpants and my slippers, I’ve got my hair up in a ponytail. It is snowing outside. And like I said, I have been thinking about this episode for two weeks. How do I just go back to normal after what we just did?


I truly think a part of it was burnout. I’m going to say this and I need to preface it by telling you all that the team at ADHD Online could not have been more supportive in the weeks leading up to October and then every day in October. There were very many times where they stepped in and said, “Hey, this is more than we thought it was going to be, which is learning. Let’s take a step back.” I was not about to let that happen. As I talk a little bit about my feelings about the burnout and what happened, I want you to know there is not an ounce of hard feelings in my body directed at anyone connected to this project.


I just think transparency here is so important, especially because the lessons learned from Refocused, Together will be life changing for me. And I mean that in the most sincere, honest way. What took place in October and the amount of work and the expectations I set for myself and for each of the episodes… You guys, there was one episode I spent 14 hours editing, because I come from a background of producing stuff for radio. The way I listen to a podcast is probably different than the average listener. I’m listening for audio quality and technical errors and all of those things that are in my mental checklist from being a radio producer.


I just set the expectations so astronomically high. As I mentioned, it was the best thing to happen to me. I still can’t believe we did it. I cannot believe that we shared 32 stories in the month of October. The people finding the podcast right now are connecting with those individual stories in a way that I don’t think I quite could comprehend until we started putting them out there. But for me personally, and obviously this being my podcast and going in with one of the goals of being transparent, it rocked me. October was probably the hardest month of my life from start to finish because of the October project, Refocused, Together.


Because of some of the things that midway through I realized, that would’ve made things easier, and so you start to pivot and change things and bring in outside help. And yay for having the wherewithal and the ability in those days of feeling so overwhelmed to ask for help and to be able to say comfortably, “Hey, I’m at the point where I’m realizing what I should have been doing from the very beginning.” I’m going to take those realizations and those lessons learned and I’m going to jot them down. I’m going to have them front and center when I try to do this again, because I do want to do this again.


It really just made me feel so happy to share these stories. Even in the most stressful moments of October as I was still recording interviews literally up until last week, getting on a call with someone who is ready to share some of their most personal moments and frustrations and setbacks, it really felt like I found where I’m supposed to be. It’s interesting, I would be sitting there just anxious, just annoyed that, “Ugh, God, there’s so much work to do and I got to do more interviews,” and feeling just down and out.


The second the room would open up and I’d be on a video call with people from not only around the country, but around the world and the energy and the immediate connection and feeling like you found a confidante, it was something I’ve never experienced before. There were a few things that happened in October that if you follow along on social media… I have my personal account, which is @LindsayGuentzel, and then there is an account for the podcast, @RefocusedPod. Please know there are plans to be way more consistent, again, one of my goals for this podcast, about social media.


There are plans in the works. Instead of diving right into it and getting overwhelmed, I’m trying to wrap up some other things in my life and put them to bed before I keep building this thing that I love so much. If you follow on social, you’ve maybe seen some of the stuff. Honestly, I was super quiet on social in October, one, because I was so overwhelmed, and two, because I was sick. About October 10th, I started feeling terrible. Now, here in Minnesota, we have four seasons, and that was right around the time where it’s starting to change from the nice fall into the cooler weather. I thought it was allergies.


Nope, it was COVID and it kicked my butt. Honestly, I think one of the reasons why the last two weeks of trying to jump back into this had been so hard is because I’m finally starting to feel better, because there was an eight day stretch of feeling pretty crummy and then I got two or three great days. In that little window of two or three great days, I got to connect with a friend I hadn’t seen in a really long time. We went out on a Saturday. We had planned our cliche fall outing. We wanted to go to an apple orchard. There’s this very cute town just outside the Twin Cities called Stillwater. It’s along the river.


We just lucked out. It was 75 and sunny and gorgeous, and it was exactly what I needed. I think this was October 22nd or something, and I just felt so calm. The episodes for that weekend were in. They were ready to be published. People were going to listen to them. It was the first time that whole month where I didn’t feel like I was panicking. And then of course, three days later, I was sick again. It was like the universe telling me, “Excuse me, miss, you have been sick for the last three weeks. You’re exhausted. You are stressed out. Can you not push us any further?” And then October ended. And I will say, I said yes to something that I probably shouldn’t have said yes to.


My dear friend, who is originally from Philadelphia, who lives here in Minneapolis, is a die hard Phillies fan, and she got the opportunity to go to the World Series. Of course, I offered to stay and watch their dog. Yes, I offered because that’s my love language, and I wanted her to feel at ease making the World Series a priority because I know she would do it for me. I know that if there was something that came up kind of spur of the moment, you don’t really get to plan super far in advance for the World Series. I think they planned that they were leaving on Sunday, they planned it like Thursday night. Long story short, October ends.


I’m dog sitting for a friend for eight days, still not feeling great. Things are just kind of starting to go back to normal. In the midst of this whole project, I’ve also been coaching for Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run is a nonprofit. It’s national. If you have daughters who are in elementary school, please look it up because it’s an incredible program. It basically takes running and makes it this catalyst for really awesome conversations for girls at a very young, very important age. The girls that I’m coaching are between the ages of third and fifth grade, and we practice two times a week for two hours.


I’m in charge of bringing snack, which means that I have to figure out all of the allergies and what people aren’t eating. I did not know that a lot of gelatin is made from pork products. I learned that lesson very quickly that we have some girls on the team who for religious reasons don’t eat pork, that the fruit snacks I was bringing were not adequate and I had to shift. I had made that commitment while I knew Refocused, Together was happening. This was probably back in August. They were looking for one more coach so that they could have a second team.


I signed on not realizing how big Refocused, Together was going to be and how behind I would feel on October 1st when it launched and I still didn’t have almost any of the episodes done ready to go. That’s another thing that we will dive into. One of the things I would really like to do is do a recap episode and go through and talk about the different episodes, talk about the different stories, share what stood out for me, and then I’ll share why, like I said, on October 1st I felt so far behind. For the last two weeks, I have been wrapping up my commitment with Girls on the Run. We had our 5K on Sunday morning.


It’s like 20 degrees outside, running 3.1 miles with hundreds, maybe even a couple thousand girls at the Minnesota State Fair. Today is our last practice for the fall season. We are throwing a party. We’re just going to celebrate and have fun. There are rumors I might be learning a TikTok dance. Stay tuned. I committed to that because it’s something that is important to me. Then through October, I’m fulfilling that commitment. Then I get sick with COVID, so obviously I’m not going there. Now I’m wrapping it up. At the same time, I’m preparing to leave for Dallas for the International Conference on ADHD.


If you follow any of the big content creators online, including a few that were in Refocused, Together, you’ve heard them talking about it. The International Conference on ADHD takes place in Dallas this week. It kicks off on Thursday and it runs through Saturday. I’m going to be there. I have a booth in the exhibition hall. We are going to be doing live interviews all day. We’ll be broadcasting from the booth using the internet to push these interviews out on social so you’ll actually be able to watch them live as they’re happening.


The last two weeks, I’ve been coming off of October trying to get myself healthier, trying to get back onto whatever normal routine I have had in the past, wrapping up Girls on the Run, preparing to leave for the International Conference on ADHD, and at the same time, balancing these inner feelings of not failure, but anxiety about jumping back in and wondering where I go and how do I move forward. It has really kind of felt like I’ve been my own worst enemy.


I know that a lot of you can relate to that. I am really sorry and sad if there are people who have woken up on Monday the last two weeks and have hoped for a new episode and go into whatever app you’re streaming us on and see that there isn’t one. I want you to know that I get that frustration. I also know that you all are a very empathetic bunch. There was a point, I will say, I have to tell you, for all of you who have reached out and connected with me, whether it’s been through email, you can email me directly, podcast at ADHD Online. You can shoot me a message on social media. For all of you who have made a point to reach out, there was a point when things were not going well.


I was sick, didn’t know yet I had COVID, and was having just having a lot of feelings I’ve had before. Truthfully, at the time I was sick, I was actually house sitting for my mom. I’m in the house that I lived in in high school where a lot of my ADHD tendencies really took over, including the procrastination and the overwhelm and the moving the goalposts on myself to try and make things as complicated as humanly possible because can never do the bare minimum. There was a point where I said to myself, there is not a person who listens to this podcast who would be okay with the way I’m treating myself right now.


There is not a person who knows me who would say this is okay. That was really kind of the catalyst for me asking for help. For that, for building me up in that way, I just wanted to say thank you truly. I hope if you are still listening to Refocused, Together, I know there’s a lot of episodes to get through, I hope you’re enjoying what you’re hearing. I want you to know that it is something we are going to continue. I’m trying to figure out what this new schedule looks like and how I can do more live events during the week.


I, like I said, radio background, spend a lot of time thinking production, and now I’m trying to get out of my own way and allow myself to do what I’m really passionate about, which is connecting with people. Super excited to tell you that in December, I’m going to be adding another event for you to listen to or take part in. It’ll be a podcast episode, but it’ll also be a live taping, a live show that you can join and take part in.


It’s going to take place every Thursday in December, starting on December 1st at 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, trying to figure out what that looks like for December, if it’s a continuation of Refocused, Together, if it’s diving into some of the stuff that we all might be dealing with with the holidays, which leads into the next thing I’m working on building, which is some form of accountability, body doubling group. Again, still in the very, very early stages, but I learned so much from the incredible conversations I had during Refocused, Together.


As I’ve been going back and revisiting them and writing stuff down about what I would like to add into my own routine, I also want to give you guys the opportunity to take part in that. One of them, shout out to Carla Anderson, relates to planners. One of the things that I know I’m going to start doing is I’m going to sit down on Sundays and I’m going to write out my whole schedule for the week. I thought, if I’m doing that, why not give you guys the opportunity to do it with me? Because if we know anything about how our brains work, we know that doing things together and doing things in a group and having that accountability really helps us get out of our own way.


As these ideas develop, and again, right now I’m just focusing on getting to Dallas in one piece, not over packing and having a great time at the conference, again, as these things start developing post the conference in Dallas, I am working on finding a space where you guys can find all of these events and find all the details and make sure that you know what’s happening if you want to take part in it. And then in the meantime, I do just want to encourage you to follow along on social media. It’s @LindsayGuentzel and @RefocusedPod. Again, I know I have been pretty absent and quiet, and a lot of that was because I was so overwhelmed that adding anything else wasn’t going to help me.


But also it was this weird feeling of like, well, if I’m not posting about Refocused, Together, I shouldn’t post anything, which again, I’m sure some of you can very much relate to. I will be very active on social media this week, probably to the point where some of you are like, “Okay, to get back a little bit.” But I want to make sure that I document as much as possible because I know that there are a ton of people who really wish that they could be in Dallas, and I wish you could all be there as well. I want to make sure that if there is stuff that I’m learning or experiencing that I think will benefit you and will help all of us that I document that, that I have actual substantial things to show you and to share with you.


That’s kind of where things stand for the plan with the podcast. We’re going to be doing some live tapings throughout the days, so that’s Thursday, Friday, Saturday. We have Dani Donovan stopping by. We’ll be doing another live show there. I’m really excited to put Refocused, Together, put little bookends on 2022’s version, make a list of all the things that I’ve learned. As I said, I do want to go back and revisit some of those conversations. I feel like I should have had a wrap party. I feel like I didn’t do it justice. I published the last episode and then I took a nap, and now I’m coming up for air and I want to go back and celebrate what we did and what we’re going to continue to do.


I just am grateful for the community that we’re building. I have had so many breakthroughs in the last two weeks, and I can’t wait to share more about that with you. In the meantime, please keep listening to Refocused, Together, the episodes that came before that. If you would like to participate in the upcoming not quite figured out version of Refocused, Together, please reach out, [email protected]. If you’re going to be in Dallas, make sure to swing by the booth. I would love to meet you and connect in person. If you want to jump on the mic there, more power to you, I will gladly welcome you into the space.


I’m going out into the world being a little bit kinder to myself and cutting some things out of my life that have added stress that I’ve been carrying around, actual things, but also emotions and weird things that our brain does to mess with us. I just would love to extend that invitation to you as well in the next couple of weeks as we head into Thanksgiving and the holidays. I know that there is so much stress that comes with that. I know that not every person loves the holidays. I also know that we love to move the goal posts on ourselves, especially in those times.


I want you to continue to dream big, but I also want you all to be kind to yourself in those moments when it’s maybe not going exactly the way you planned. Take a step back and see what you have accomplished and just take that energy and put the other stuff to bed. We don’t have time for it. I think on how much time I’ve lost in life and I don’t want to do it anymore. I know a lot of you feel the same. Let’s do that together. If you have an idea that you want to share that you think would be a really awesome way to continue to build this community and be active and present and help one another, please reach out. In the meantime, be kind to yourself, and I will talk to you all soon.

Explore More

A frustrated woman is chatting with her mental health doctor. She is giving her some advice on how to deal with the complexities of life.

Relax! Stimulant Meds for ADHD Do Not Lead to Substance Abuse

By Mary Fetzer When people who have ADHD are treated with stimulant...
Read now

Best non-stimulant medication for ADHD

Have you ever wondered if there's an alternative to stimulant...
Watch now

We will perform scheduled maintenance on our Patient Portal on Thursday, September 28 from 5:00 – 6:30 AM ET. During this time, appointment scheduling will not be available.

Our team will be hard at work while many of you sleep to keep the disruption to a minimum. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The ADHD Online (early morning) Team

ADHD Online will be closed on
Monday, September 4 in observance of Labor Day.

Live support will be unavailable during this time, but you can always submit a request or leave a voice message at 888-493-ADHD (2343). We’ll get back to you when we return on Tuesday, September 5.

Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you! 

Provide this form to your local practitioner. You could:

  • Send this link
  • Email the pdf
  • Print it out and bring it to your appointment

Ask your practitioner
to complete the form

In this form, your practitioner will request that ADHD Online continue to provide uninterrupted care

Return the form to us

You or your practitioner can return this form to us via email or fax it to 616-210-3118

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!

For those seeking an Assessment, you can dive right in! Our portal is up throughout the holiday!

If you have a question for us, our office will be providing holiday patient support on July 3 & 4, and we are committed to responding to your needs as promptly as possible. In-person phone support may be available but limited due to holiday hours.  You can always submit a request or leave a voice message and we will prioritize addressing them upon our return. We genuinely appreciate your understanding. Full office operations will resume on Wednesday, July 5.

If you already are on our Treatment path, be aware that each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

ADHD Online will be closed on June 19th in observance of Juneteenth.

Live support will be unavailable while we’re closed but you can always submit a request or leave a voice message. We’ll get back to you when we return on Tuesday, June 20th.

Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!

ADHD Online will be closed on June 19th in observance of Juneteenth.

Live support will be unavailable while we’re closed but you can always submit a request or leave a voice message. We’ll get back to you when we return on Tuesday, June 20th.

Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!