Rejection Sensitivity, or RSD, is extreme emotional sensitivity to any form of rejection from other people. This can be :
· Perceived rejection
· Criticism, or
· Actual rejection
RSD is commonly discussed about alongside adhd. The cause, however is rarely explored. Through working with, having lived experience of and studying addiction, I have learned that the part of the brain that feels rejection is the same part of the brain that processes physical pain. This makes much sense, for have you ever come across somebody who has been rejected and said: “ouch, that hurt”? They weren’t lying when they said that, the physical pain is felt through rejection as if it were a physical pain. I have experienced rejection, so painful that has left me reeling in addiction and at some points in my life- self isolated. Because it felt safer to just watch from the sidelines and not get hurt again. I experienced so much disappointment in my relationships in my earlier life for a variety of reasons, that I just couldn’t face anymore pain. I thought that this was just me...
.. Turns out, it’s not just me that has experiences this.
Many people with adhd go through this as they struggle to manage the crippling blows of rejection. The way that the pain of RSD is processed is massively insightful when it comes to adhd, because our nervous systems are more sensitive than neuro-typical brain-types, which means that we feel everything much more deeply. Couple this with the lived experience of having endured so many insults by the time we reach adulthood: RSD seems like a natural, if not, destined battleground for so many of us to end up on. But how do we win this battle? And more importantly- how could we possibly find the strength to win the war?
I theorise that much of our RSD is tied into our battle with low self esteem (also very common with adhd) and the ways I have found to improve self esteem have in turn had a knock-on effect to my ability to manage my RSD. Why?- put simply by poetess Nayyirah Weed: If somebody else doesn’t want me it is not the end of the world. But if I do not want me, the world is nothing but endings.
Meaning that: self-love is one of the most important components to living a healthy life with adhd.
Self love has been one of the biggest journeys of my life. And no, it's not all fluffy towels, hot baths and sheet masks... it's hard work but it's worth it. And having been on the path of healing for almost two decades now, I've learned so much that I want to share with you. What I really, really want is to help others to get there. To that space. In that place where they feel so rooted by their own self-love that nothing can shake them to the point of collapse. I want you to be that. I want you to be overflowing with life and still laughing and holding your arms out to embrace more. So, let's get into some ways to get started:
Manage your circadian rhythm
And manage it well. Stick to the same bedtime and wake time as much as possible. When you honour your rhythm and get enough rest, your body and mind can handle more.
Consider extra supplements
HTP5 and Ashwagandha is especially helpful in calming the brain and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. I personally take supplements everyday but I reserve these for when I'm feeling a little fragile and tend to take them close to the evening so that sleep will not be an issue for me after a challenging day.
Challenge the negative thought
Get a pen and paper and write them out. By writing them out you are releasing them. Label an emotion to each statement and answer the following for each:
Is this statement true?
How can I prove this to be true?
How would I feel if I let this statement go?
Who would I be if I held onto this?
Write out a releasing statement. If it helps screw up the paper after and throw it into the recycling bin, as you do, close your eyes and exhale loudly, releasing all the energy from it, releasing its grip on you.
If you're feeling rejected by someone close to you and it hasn't been discussed...
..then it is always a good idea to confide in them how you are feeling... IF, you cannot rectify this alone. Practise active listening skills as best you can, ask them to repeat something if you didn't hear clearly and be patient with the other person and yourself. Prepare yourself by meditating, or listening to calm, soothing music beforehand to get in you a calm frequency. Remind yourself before the conversation that you simply want to explore if your fears are true here. Also remind yourself that it is good spiritual practise to work on your relationships, no matter in what context. Congratulate yourself for being brave and open and willing to create deeper bonds through sharing your truth and vulnerability... you total-blood-badass-you!
And hey, my number one tip of all? If you're struggling with your adhd then invest in an ADHD Coach. You can book your FREE consultation right now with me today. I always recommend that no matter what coach you use to find somebody who has lived experience of what you've been through. Anybody can train to be a coach, but not everybody has lived experience and the wisdom that comes from enduring the specific challenges that you face. Knowledge can be taught, wisdom is to be earned. Remember that. And I wish you all the best in your journey. I hope these tips have been helpful for you.
Sending you so much love to you... remember, you and me, we're in this adhd journey together!