After getting diagnosed with ADHD, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how I’m navigating my magickal practice.
While things continue to reveal themselves, I have seen some things shift and change. Just the awareness of different wiring or signals or whatever metaphor works has caused me to pause and reconsider how I’ve been doing things all this time.
And there has been a bit of grief because now that I know something is happening in my brain, I can’t un-know it. It has made me question if certain things I have done were ONLY done because of this different brain activity. I worry that parts of me will go away, the parts of me that made magick the way I uniquely thought to make magick.
There is an underlayer of grief for losing…something. This is where it gets a little tricky for me to explain. I’m not sure what I’m losing yet, but there is a loss. There is a way in which things will not be the same again.
I thought I’d share what I’ve found so far. (And I’d love to hear from you.)
Why I’m Sharing This Now
But wait, why would I talk about what I’ve learned even though I’m still learning?
Honestly, because I’m tired of a culture that worships the After. Time and time again, I see the celebration of the end result, but less about the messy middle. There are many steps to get to the After and I hope that sharing the journey will be helpful to someone who is also in the middle of whatever they’re in the middle of.
To me, anyway, I also don’t think I will ever be a solid After. I hope I’m always moving along to the next thing in my magick, in my practice, and in my understanding of my place within.
It’s okay to be in the middle.
It’s okay to not be ‘done.’
Give yourself permission to be where you are, just as you are. Maybe it’s right where you need to be.
What Has Changed
Since I’ve been on medication for ADHD, my schedule hasn’t changed. I still have magick classes to facilitate, articles to write, books to write, book launches to lead, and witchcamps to plan.
Here’s what else I’ve noticed:
- I am more focused on what is happening. I can follow conversations more easily.
- I have been able to finish things that I procrastinated on before. (I used to call it procrasti-magick.)
- My brain is not jumping around to new projects and ideas while I’m TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ELSE.
- I don’t feel as excited about writing books. (Now, amping myself up to write things with sugar and caffeine and a deadline so close I could feel its breath in my ear is not the same.) Writing just feels different.
- I don’t feel as excited or excitable. This feels unsettling to me at times.
- I need to eat more because I will get dizzy if I take meds without enough food in me.
- My space is much less cluttered.
- I have more follow-through.
- I am not overthinking everything I say when I teach or talk with others. This is amazing.
Overall, I feel like the medication is a good thing for me. I don’t take it every day, and sometimes I take less if I don’t have to be ‘on’ as much. It doesn’t always work the same way, so I’m still navigating my body’s unique response, but it’s been positive overall.
The lack of rumination and worry is extraordinary. The fact that my anxiety is nearly gone is something I did not expect. It is so helpful.
What Hasn’t Changed
But it’s not all sunshine. There are some things I want to shift, but I’m in a better place to do that now.
One thing to note is that medication doesn’t do everything. Sorry. I still have to take care of myself, and I’m still figuring out how not to do the things I did before.
Let me explain.
So to calm my brain, I would have a bunch of things to do in a packed schedule and I would watch hours of TV/TikTok/whatever to keep myself engaged in life. (Or dissociated, depends on how you look at it.) That would help me focus more at times.
But I’m still doing that sometimes. And it is not helpful. It seems like engaging in those activities now causes me to become unfocused again since my brain now has chemicals to help.
Short answer: I need to cut out what I used to do to ‘help’ my brain work.
For me, that looks like: less screen time, more outside time, way less to no sugar, no caffeine, etc.
I need to leave behind what was supporting or enhancing me before.
Other things I’ve noticed have not changed:
- I still have my creative thinking. Whew.
- I still make a lot of To Do lists to make sure I don’t forget things. This is also a process of learning to trust myself again. That’s a whole other blog to contemplate.
- I still take on a bit more than I probably should.
- I will still avoid doing things that aren’t super exciting. But if I get myself started, I can get them done.
- My daily practice is still not consistent — but that’s pretty normal for me. However, in the lens of ADHD, maybe I just haven’t found something exciting enough? New enough? After 20+ years of magick, maybe I need to think WAY outside of the box for a daily practice now?
- I still tap into the divine and into the moment when I’m doing my own magickal work and when I’m with groups. That has not changed. If anything, it feels a little clearer without the distractions of my brain.
Overall, I have seen more positives in this new way of being in the world. And there are so many other folks in my community with the same diagnosis or similar experiences. If there were not, I imagine this might be isolating and more confusing.
I’ve written much more than I thought I would, so I’ll stop here. This is an unfiltered look at what I’ve noticed with my ADHD and magick so far.
I might break this down into specific scenarios to get more into daily practice, planning ritual, doing ritual, etc. and how they play with ADHD and meds. That might be helpful for folks — and I’m open to suggestions and questions.
Thanks for reading.