There Is a Solution to the Problem— ADHD Tip O the Day 848

My job put me up in a beautiful big old house. When I come in in the evening, and when I  leave in the morning, there are no lights. It is dark.  Very dark.  It is a big beautiful old house with a big beautiful staircase, which is dark as the pit. I’ve been very nervous going up and down the staircase in the dark, carrying two heavy bags.

Strategy: I suddenly realized I can just turn on my iPhone. Not even the flashlight, just the iPhone.That is already a habit, or maybe not even a habit. My anxiety on the dark staircase is the anchor, or the cue, for automatically using the iPhone

Problem solved.  

But this is really kind of silly, because once I realized it was A Problem, I could have easily just carried a small flashlight in my brief case.  That’s the real trick, acknowledging that it’s A Problem, not just one of the inevitable many small annoyances of life.

It would’ve been A Real Problem if I’d broken my leg.  Or my neck.



Odd Note O the Day:  You may be wondering why this is printed in such a strange format.  So am I.

@addstrategies  #adhd #add @dougmkpdp

ADHD decisions.


About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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4 Responses to There Is a Solution to the Problem— ADHD Tip O the Day 848

  1. SuzannaEtc says:

    Doug – glad you feel safe and that you’re coping well. Hope you’re enjoying the house, if you get any free time there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • suz – thanks. i’m there one or two nights a week. love the old house. the ADHD challenge is 1. to figure out the best way to use the several hours off there and 2. get myself to do it.
      i appreciate your comments


  2. Suz- thank you for your comments and your obvious concern. I have a lot of “yes, buts–“. What i’m doing now actually is working well and is safe. Your strategy of leaving things by the door the night before is excellent, but would not fit in this specific situation. However, I do actually do all I can the night before and leave my things by the door of my room, so I won’t forget them and also to remind me to get my lunch out of the refrigerator downstairs on my way out.So I am kind of using your strategies.
    thank you for commenting


  3. SuzannaEtc says:

    Don’t know how long you’re going to live in this house — is this a permanent job, or are you on sabbatical or — ? But I think you’re making this too complicated, too inconvenient and too dangerous for yourself.

    Groping your way down the stairs/or stumbling up to the front door holding an iPhone or a flashlight isn’t very practical and still puts you at risk of self-injury. An iPhone casts a rather small range of light. Also, in my experience, it’s a huge pain in the neck to try and lock or unlock a door while using one hand to hold a light on the lock, be it an iPhone or flashlight. And going into darkness is unpleasant.

    If you’re going to be there awhile or even just another week, my suggestion, at least for the critical lights you’d normally turn on in the am/want on upon your return in the evening: change these bulbs to LED bulbs. Because they’re LED (but will fit all light sockets), you won’t need to feel guilty about being an energy hog or running up anyone’s electric bill. Of course they’re usually a little bit more expensive than standard bulbs, but then, now much is your life worth ;)?

    And even Walgreens, etc. sell them now. You’ll want an E26 (standard) base.

    Equivalent to 60w/$11 for 6 on Amazon:

    If that’s not possible, (and surely you could change a few lamp bulbs, if changing the overhead bulbs is too tricky), then just leave the staircase and outside light above the front door on all night. No, it’s not a sin! No one will think less of you. I never go to sleep with the house completely dark — too inviting to the wrong people. I always leave the light at the front door on, and one or two other lights as well. And yes, all my bulbs are LED now.

    Also, instead of schlepping all your stuff down in the morning, why not take your briefcase and anything else downstairs last thing at night, while all the lights are still on? This will also oblige you to get that much more organized before you go to sleep. I’ve realized that the least anxiety-producing way to get out the door in the morning is getting everything possible done the night before. Which for me means all objects which need to exit with me double-checked and left by the front door, all clothing decisions made, breakfast table set, coffee ready to go and so on. The times that I’m about to set off on a trip and leave “just a few things” to pack in the morning have not turned out happily.


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