Desire smuggling; RSD’s cousin!

I have talked about RSD (rejection sensitive dysphoria) a few times now! Just in case you missed my blog posts (How To Explain Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria & Why rejection sensitivity dysphoria makes relationships so hard) here is a quick definition:

RSD is when you feel both physical and emotional pain because you experience real or perceived rejection.

Now that we have RSD covered, here is a new one: desire smuggling! I first heard the term yesterday from my friend, Sam, who is a fellow ADHD coach! When Sam told me about desire smuggling I could not believe that I had never heard of it before. My wheels kept on spinning because I was floored by all of the places that desire smuggling can show up in our lives. Naturally, I had to share it with you all!!

Desire smuggling: What is it?!

Essentially, desire smuggling is when we don’t ask for what we want. To elaborate it’s “hiding what you really want from yourself and/or a loved one, then, finding covert strategies to get (at least pieces of) what you want.”

the main reason we don’t ask for what we want is fear.

Fear of rejection, humiliation, and judgment.

Fear of disappointment, shame, loss, or guilt.

Fear of repeating the past, missing out, hurting your partner, or feeling like a failure.

Fear of “what they will think,” not getting what you want, or putting too much at stake.

Red flags that you are desire smuggling:

– Expect telepathy– Get drunk/high to remove inhibitions
– Makes wishes
– Ask if the other person wants the
thing you want
– Fake spontaneity– Rationalize cost/benefit
– Hint– Send articles about the thing
– Emotional withdrawal– Give statistics about the thing
– Make unspoken deals– Tack on obligation to a “gift”
– Issue ultimatums– Minimize by saying “just” or “only”
– Emotional blackmail– Say “people like…” (instead of owning it
– Be passive-aggressive– Look for other, less-scary places to get it
– Non-consensual taking– Punish your partner for not giving it to you
– Bully– Attack/judge someone asking for what you
– Get needs met without owning them– Attack/judge someone getting what you
– Tell a story about the
thing desired
– Shame yourself for having that
– Force– Shame others with the same desire
– Wait for a sign– Want the other person to guess
– Withhold– Wait for the right time
– Try to convince– Try to get the other person to say it
– Blame– Complain that you don’t get it
– Guilt-trip– Be “nice” and hope to be rewarded
– Be macho– Buy into a romance myth (“If you really
loved me…”)
– Avoid it altogether– Assume they should “just know”
– Settle– “Purchase” it by doing other things
– Compromise– Be loud and bombastic
– Criticize after the fact– Make sugar-coated demands
– Substitute something else– Martyr yourself in hopes of getting it
– Spiritually bypass– Don’t explore internal dissonance
– Play options roulette (where
one option is the one you want)

(list taken from

An example of desire smuggling from my life

I first noticed this through journaling. I spent a really nice day with my boyfriend last Saturday and I wanted to know how he felt about it. Rather than simply asking him how he felt I went fishing aka desire smuggling. I said to him “It was so nice spending the day with you”. He responded “yaaaaaaa”. My immediate thought was “what the heck, I give you that and you give me yaaaaaa…”. I felt a little bit hurt and my brain leaped to “uh oh, he didn’t have fun and he thought today was boring”. When I was journaling this I realized how ridiculous I was being; I was making total assumptions and ruining the day for myself. Before I even told him that I enjoyed our day I was expecting him to say something back. I am now laughing at myself at how silly it all was. Thanks to journaling, I also realized that the reason I wanted to know what he thought of our day was out of fear. I was scared that he was starting to think that our relationship is getting boring. We are coming up on 6 months of knowing each other and have gotten into this routine of asking each other what we want to do, coming up empty and then hanging out watching Netflix & chilling type thing. We then joke that “we are so boring”. This is perfectly okay with me but I actually don’t really know if it is with him.. It’s worth a discussion plus I want to explain to him that I have this tendency to desire smuggle.

How perfection gets tied up in all this

Sam and I were also discussing perfectionism a while ago and I shared with her that I don’t think I struggle with perfectionism. Boy was I ever wrong… the reason why I felt that way was because I struggle with perfectionism on so many levels. It was hard for me to see perfectionism in my life because it is so normal to me.

What does perfectionism have to do with desire smuggling? I have perfectionism around expectations of the way a situation should (there’s that pesky word!) turn out. I often expect the situation to go the way I thought about it/planned it in my head. So, not only does the situation have to be perfect but the way people respond also has to be perfect. If it doesn’t match my expectation, then it’s a problem.

Reasons why people may resort to desire smuggling

  • People who ask for what they want may be labeled as demanding and/or bitchy.
  • It is a way of avoiding rejection (not really, but our brains think so!)
  • Indirect way of saying what you want (you aren’t putting your feelings on the line as much).

What I’m going to do about desire smuggling

It’s so nice to have a term to label my thoughts with! As soon as I catch myself asking things in such a way out of fear, I can catch myself and label it “desire smuggling”. I have done this with my RSD and I can’t even explain the difference that it has made in my relationships & life.

I’m going to explain this all to my boyfriend/friends/family and ask them to help me come up with a way to realize if I am asking someone out of fear. I have nooo idea what this would be but already today I have caught myself asking what someone else wants at least 5 times! Just thinking about putting this into place feels like a huge weight off of my chest. Think about it: we are not responsible for the reactions of others.

Why RSD + desire smuggling go hand in hand

Desire smuggling stems from the fear or rejection and RSD is the pain from perceived or real rejection. In case you haven’t caught on.. they are both related to rejection! It could be said that desire smuggling is a coping mechanism of RSD; we have a fear of being rejected so rather than asking for what we want, we ask for it in a roundabout way.

If you would like to read up a bit more on desire smuggling, here are a few articles that I found:

So friends, remember: Ask for what you want!! But first, figure out what you want 😉

Procrastivity and what it means for us with ADHD

Procrastivity! It’s the idea that we procrastinate by doing something else that is productive, like tasks around the house.
Example: doing laundry when the high priority is writing your paper due tomorrow.

I first heard this term while listening to the talk from J. Russell Ramsay in the ADHD Women’s Palooza.

Here are some of my takeaways from the talk on procrastivity:

  • Procrastivity allows us to get the dopamine from finishing a task, we feel like “I’m getting something done”.
  • The interesting thing about procrastivity is that the task that we are now doing (like laundry) was something that we were procrastinating on before. So: what is it about the procrastivity task (the laundry) that now makes it easier to do?
  • Procrastivity tasks tend to be more manual, physical and hands-on.
  • We underestimate the positive feelings of getting things done
    • We ignore our successes (as my clients already know, I encourage everyone to have a success journal! These can remind us of our accomplishments which we can use as motivation to start & finish our future tasks).
    • We also do this because in general we are conditioned to believe that we will fail; unfortunately we have a lot of past failure and others telling us that we are not living up to our potential. **The success journal can be our light at the end of the tunnel reminding (and proving to) us that we can do it!

Let’s use a table to highlight the differences:

Procrastinating on (writing paper due tomorrow):Procrastivity (doing laundry):
Broad, vague & non-specificManual, physical, hands-on
Uncertainty More actionable/doable
High cognitive demandLower cognitive load
Steps are unclearIdentifiable sequence of steps
– Grab laundry
– Throw laundry in machine
– Put soap in machine
– Press start
Unclear endpoint
(which makes it hard to
get engaged)
Clear & achievable outcome
– Clear sense of making progress
-Clear endpoint (this is why I like focusmate so much!!
See below

How I have noticed procrastivity pop up in my life:

Since hearing the term I realized just how much I procrastinate by doing tasks!! For example, this afternoon I wanted to do some work for my group coaching (that launched yesterday!) and since I cannot make a decision on how exactly I want to present the work.. I am finding myself stuck and procrastinating!

I am procrastinating by:
– Doing the laundry
– Tidying up the kitchen
– Writing this blog post
– I foresee myself making my Instagram posts for the week

The interesting part is that I almost want to knock out the things that I do know how to do and can race through. That way I can just sit with the momentum of having accomplished tasks PLUS all of my attention can now focus on making the decision because I knocked all the other “to-do’s” out of the way.

I have been thinking and saying this a lot lately but my nemesis is decisions. Decisions are really what kills my momentum and pulls me down.

Here are a few tips to beat the procrastination & also skip the procrastivity:

  1. I like to use focusmate! If I take a step back and analyze the days where I am the most productive, those are the days when I use focusmate! So what is focusmate? It’s an online tool where you match with someone and for 50 minutes you focus on one task. The reason why it works so well is because the other person is on the other end “watching you” (not really .. but they are there and you know that they are there!). There is the accountability that you have to the other person to complete your task! Also, you choose one task to work on for 50 minutes and it works wonders! The website can tell you more!
  2. Ask yourself: “What is the most actionable step that I can take?” –> We have learnt from the table above that we like action (that’s what we base our procrastivity on). So, when we find that we are procrastinating, take a look at the task you are procrastinating on and find the actions in the task. Example: if you are trying to write a paper, the action could be to open the word document and save it on your computer. (I used to make a template of the points that I needed to hit in my essay as per my teachers instructions). The action usually gets the ball rolling and builds up some momentum so you can dive into your task!
  3. Make yourself a menu of steps!
    • Mail a letter:
      • Write the letter
      • Find an envelope
      • Write the address on the envelope (maybe you need to find the address)
      • Find a stamp (maybe you need to buy it)
      • (put the stamp on the envelope)
      • Put the letter in a place where you’ll remember to mail it
      • Mail the letter (put it in the mailbox or bring to post office)
    • It seems silly to write the menu of steps just to mail a letter but once you do it, you can see there really are a lot of steps!! Hello, executive functions!
  4. Be careful and set yourself some end points! An end point can be in terms of time or task.
    • Task: I will move onto something else once I finish ________ in my project.
    • Time: I will set a timer for _____ min and once the timer goes off, I will move onto something else
    • The reason why it’s so important to set yourself an end point is because we have the wondrous gift of hyperfocus! If we aren’t careful, we can fall into the hyperfocus hole and give ourselves a hyperfocus hangover!
      • Don’t sacrifice your self-care and well-being just to finish a project.

Sometimes it’s hard to see how we may be getting in our own way. If you are continuously avoiding tasks and want to start knocking projects out of the park, consider working with me as your coach! I offer free “get to know you sessions” so that you can get an idea of what coaching is like!

Why it’s important to re-sparkalize when you have ADHD!

Re-sparkalize! You know when you are in your space and you just aren’t digging it anymore… Your productivity is lacking and you just don’t want to do the work. I just went through this today! My office is situated at the back of the house and does not get the beautiful sun throughout the day nor the interesting street traffic. I was cold and under-stimulated in that back office and knew that I needed a change!

I decided that I could sacrifice one hour of my day to do the old switcheroo and move my desk to my bedroom (yes, I know. Not ideal for work to be in the bedroom) in the front of the house.

Check out my new beautiful office view! Could you blame me for wanting to re-sparkalize?!

So… What in the world is re-sparkalizing?! My teacher at the ADD Coach Academy, Barbara Luther, uses this term. Re-sparkalizing is when you make your environment (the things around you) more interesting and exciting so that you can in turn be more excited and motivated to be your most productive self! This also applies to re-sparkalizing tasks or processes. Let’s say that you aren’t getting into that morning routine that used to get you jumping out of bed. Maybe it’s time to take a second look at your routine and figure out what needs to be adapted (re-sparkalized).

Reasons why it may be time to re-sparkalize

  1. Your productivity just isn’t where you want it to be.
  2. You find another room or space calling at you.
  3. You skip over or forget tasks that used to come so easily to you.
  4. You are in a never-ending frustration loop!
    • The situation may need some re-sparkalizing! It’s important to dive in and take a look at what might be getting you frustrated to begin with. That way you can better see where you may need to re-sparkalize.
  5. Creativity!
    • Sometimes when our creativity isn’t where we want it to be, it may be because we are in a cycle of automation (get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed, repeat). If this sounds familiar, it may be time to add some sparkle to your life!
  6. You feel like you are juggling too much.
    • If you are feeling this way, take set an hour aside and do the following:
      • Dump (write) all of the things/tasks that you are doing onto a paper
      • Next, take a step back and recognize all that you are doing!
      • Once you have realized all that you are doing, ask yourself these questions:
        1. What can I delegate?
        2. What can I hire someone else to do for me? Example: clean the house, a nanny to pick up kids from school and start dinner, laundry service. Obviously this is something that you need to be able to afford but it’s worth thinking about!
        3. What can I completely remove from my task list that isn’t actually as important as it seems?
        4. Where can I get some help? Yes, these seems like delegating but it’s different because this could be something like asking a friend to do your grocery shopping together to make it more exciting.
        5. What am I doing for other people? Yes, it’s nice to be there for other people but does a boundary maybe need to be implemented? Are you doing too much for others? Can you say “no”?

How to re-sparkalize

  • Re-organize your furniture
  • Beautify your stuff!
    • You don’t necessarily have to spend money to do this!
    • This is an opportunity to get creative!
  • Check out second hand stores for new furniture/decorations. I personally like to use an app called Varagesale to find second hand furniture or anything really!
  • Create a home for your things
  • Start planning!
    • …wait. Plan to re-sparkalize?! Definitely! If you want things to be new and exciting in your life you’re going to have to actively plan! My last blog post can help you out with that!
    • This could mean planning an exciting trip or planning to spend time with friends and family.
  • Journal. Journaling really helps to figure out what you want and need. The reason why this is so important is because if you don’t know what you want or need how can you figure out where you may need to re-sparkalize?
  • Start a new hobby or activity

Looking to throw some sparkle into your life and not sure how to make that happen? Do you feel stuck? It may be worth considering working with an ADHD coach! Follow this link to schedule a free, 30 min, get to know you session with yours truly! No strings, no commitments!

Gain back your control; plan away!

It’s been a little over a year now since I decided to dive in headfirst and “get my shit together”.

Let me just start this off by saying it is not easy! I didn’t just flick a magical wand and tada my life is now magically planned! I need to actively plan and update my plan multiple times a day. The beginning of this week did not go according to plan and is what inspired me to write this post.

Here is what happened…

I dropped the ball this week.

Tuesday (two days ago) was an absolute, complete disaster! Yes, I’m exaggerating but that is what it felt like! I was running around consistently behind; I showed up to my last appointment 1 hour late (luckily this was not with a client)! Guess what I realized: I forgot to plan!!

When something “goes wrong” in my life I think it’s a good idea to analyze what happened so that I can learn from my mistake(s) and hopefully correct it so that it does not happen again (one can always dream!).

My analysis:

I can rewind all the way to Sunday to see where I didn’t set myself up super well. I had the opportunity to lie around and do nothing at my boyfriend’s and I took it! I reasoned with myself that I had been working hard and I deserved a day of nothingness and relaxation! (This is true and I still believe that I needed it). I had originally planned to do a bit of work on Sunday (including setting my week up). In hindsight it would have been a good idea to break up my day into “lie around and do nothing” AND “get some planning done”.

Not one, but two online summits came out on Monday morning and just so you know I ADORE these! I’m not sure what you know about these but they are extremely informative and amazing. Here’s the kicker… each day in the summit is only available for 24 hours. This means that you need to be able to devote large chunks of your day to watching them! So naturally, Monday morning rolls around and I was pumped to dig into and learn as much as I could from the summits! The mistake: I got carried away by the summits and spent the time that I was meant to be organizing myself and planning watching the summit videos!

The Bright & Quirky Summit

The Motivated Child summit

I wasn’t sitting at my desk. This is a humongous deal for me. It was sunny out and I wanted to take advantage of it so I moved myself to a room with lots of sun! The result: I did not keep myself on track with my planner etc. My setup was different and I lacked some serious structure.

I got my period yesterday (sorry guys for TMI!). I’m bringing this up because it explains A LOT. I’m not a doctor or anything but from what I understand, when our estrogen levels start to drop (the week before our periods) our ADHD symptoms are magnified! I have also spoken about this with my friends who have ADHD and they all notice the same things.

Here’s an example of how much of a space cadet I can be! It was the morning, I was starting my day and going through the motions of my routine; applying face cream! I have a morning face cream and a “night repair” face cream. I ended up taking a blob of the “night repair” cream by accident. I wiped it off because I really wanted the morning cream…. then what did I do?! I took another friggen blob of the “night repair” cream!!! I decided I wasn’t going to waste any more face cream so I dubbed Wednesday as “night repair” cream day! …I want to note that this is a small example. My days consist of silly mistakes like this! I need to be fair with myself. I am juggling a lot of new and exciting things and I haven’t quite figured it all out yet!!

I’m starting a women’s ADHD podcast with a friend and fellow ADDCA graduate.

In March I’m launching online group coaching so I’m spending quite a bit of my time preparing that.

I am still organizing/co-running an adult ADHD support group.

Building my business with the help of a coach.

I have my amazing clients!

Working on “add-on” worksheets for my existing and future clients.

I make daily posts for my Missleadingly ADHD Instagram account

I write these weekly blog posts to try and spread awareness/educate as much as I can!

Plus, as I am writing this I’m realizing how I would love to start a Pinterest account AND be more active on my LinkedIn. Unfortunately, I’m only one person and can only do so much (this is what planning helps us to realize!).

…umm this is a lot of stuff to do!! No wonder I need some planning!

How I’ll get myself back in control

  • Schedule!
    • Google Calendar
      • Go back to starting my day and sitting down to transfer what is in my Google Calendar to my physical planner
  • Physical planner (because I’m visual)
    • Once I transfer everything from my google calendar into my planner I can now insert things like:
      • shower
      • eat breakfast/lunch/dinner
      • travel time
      • whatever else is in my “to-do’s” or “top 3” for the day

** It’s important to point out that the reason why my day was so berserk on Tuesday is because I didn’t sit down and take note of everything that I had going on.

  • TimeTimer
    • The TimeTimer is my buddy! I would be in La La Land without it! For those of you that know me, you already know how I feel about it. But really, it is my lifesaver! The TimeTimer allows me to stay on track with what I am doing and when that timer goes off I know that it is time to move onto the next thing. The reason why I like it so much compared to a regular phone timer is because I can see the time winding down out of the corner of my eye. It is like a constant reminder. With the phone timers I literally get upset when they go off because I feel as though it came out of nowhere and it is interrupting me (can you guess I usually ignore them?!)
    • p.s. I have had mine for almost a year and I still use it everyday! I haven’t gotten bored of it yet haha.
  • Plan ahead
    • For some people this is oh-so-very borrrrringggg! I used to feel that way at least. Now I have come to realize how much control I have when I plan and it is super exciting!! Imagine actually doing what you want to do with your days?! That’s the gift that planning can give you.
    • I was recently told about the app/website Every Dollar. It is a huge game changer for me and the only financial planner that truly gets me excited to plan my finances!

** Please note that just because you plan it doesn’t mean that everything will fall into place. It takes time and patience to find out what works for you. Also, working with an ADHD coach can drastically improve your success rate because they help you to break everything down and plan according to your unique brain wiring 🙂

Interested? I am an ADHD coach and offer free 30 minute sessions to give you an idea if coaching would be a good fit!

Check out my other posts on planning and building habits to get yourself going:

Partner with an ADHD Coach and Invest In Yourself For 2019

Happy New Year!!

I hope that you all had an amazing past couple of weeks and were able to spend your time off doing whatever makes YOU happy!

Today I want to talk about how investing in ADHD coaching changed my life in 2018. I’ll later point out how you can do the same to make 2019 the year you harness your ADHD!

How I Invested in Myself and ADHD Coaching in 2018

I wanted to start off this blog post by explaining (as fast as possible) why 2018 was so pivotal for me.

  1. I was at a point where I was sick of myself and what I had (or didn’t have) going on in my life. I had the “poor me” attitude.
  2. Then BAM! I was diagnosed with ADHD back in 2017, in my late 20s, and finally felt like I had an explanation for the way my life had been going. It was great that I had an explanation/diagnosis, but what could I do with it?! My psychologist didn’t have any resources for me and my doctor wanted to prescribe medication. I knew there had to be some other way that I could help myself…
  3. I craved other people who could understand exactly what I was going through so I started an in-person adult ADHD support group in the West Island of Montreal with the help of Nathalie Pedicelli (who is a fellow ADHD-er and an ADHD/Organizer Coach).
  4. I needed a way to get my built up feelings out so I started my blog and an Instagram account, Missleadingly ADHD.
  5. I still craved more information, a better understanding of ADHD and what exactly my diagnosis meant for me so I invested in myself and enrolled in the Simply ADHD and Personal Transformation Course at the ADD Coach Academy. I fell in love with what ADDCA was doing and how great I felt and wanted to help others better understand themselves. This led me to continue my training at ADDCA and start the coaching program.
  6. When I was training with The ADD Coach Academy, I had an amazing group of classmates who were also going through their own journeys. These women became my personal coaches that helped me to grow in ways that I can’t even begin to explain. I will always be grateful to them and the roles that they have played and will continue to play in my life. Special shoutout to Mama Bear, Natalie Nolan, who was my personal transformation learning parter (we would text all day, everyday and have 2hour+ phone conversations where, naturally, the time flew by).
  7. I finished my training at the ADD Coach Academy back in October 2018 and am now launching my business as an ADHD Coach.
  8. Lastly, I got my own coach! I practice what I preach and invest in myself. I have my own coach, Maddy, to help me manage my emotions and have a sounding board to ensure that I stick to my goals.

How you can do it too:

Get a coach!! Hells yeah I’m biased, but for good reason… Coaching completely changed my life and was the best investment I have ever made. This is what coaching can do for you:

  1. Personalized, personalized, personalized.
    Why is this so important?! Each and every one of us is unique! If you are trying to find a job in carpentry because you heard that your brother’s, wife’s, cousin also has ADHD and is doing really well as a carpenter, hate to break it to you but it probably won’t work out. Together, we look at who you are and what works for YOU. We investigate how your current efforts may not be tailored to your unique self.
  2. Change your narrative
    Self-talk is something that bogs most, if not all of us down. If we are continuously telling ourselves stories like “we can’t do the thing”, then how will we ever do it? I reiterate to my clients how they are speaking to themselves and we look at ways to change their self-talk so that the conversation they have with themselves will better suit them and their desired path.
  3. Reach your goals
    Whenever I see the line “reach your goals” I can’t help think that it is so cheesy. That said, I’ll explain why it is important to mention. We are often living in the present and don’t stop to think about what our goals even are. OR, our goals are extremely vague. For example:  “move out” or “buy a car”. These goals don’t get reached for a few reasons:

    • “Move out” and “buy a car” are extremely vague. These goals need to be broken down into more manageable steps. I use a software called Coach Accountable with my clients, which sends text reminders to remind them which action steps they want to complete in order to reach their desired goal.
    • The perfectionism monster gets in our way. The perfectionism monster drags us down before we even start our goals. We tend to think “it isn’t going to be perfect, so why even start”.
    • There are other things that get in our way and the list is lengthly because we are all unique! What may be getting in your way may be completely different to what gets in another persons way. That is why coaching is so powerful; we are looking at who YOU are and what gets in YOUR way so that we can jump over that hurdle and cross one finish line at a time!
  4. Put yourself first
    Learn how to be selfish and put yourself first! My clients and I look at what is getting in their way of doing the things that they want to do for themselves but never seem to find the time to do it. A few examples could be journaling, going to the gym and cooking healthy meals. The culprits that we see getting in their way are often:

    • guilt,
    • disbelief that they deserve to have/accomplish their goal and
    • they don’t believe that they can actually accomplish what they would like to do since they don’t think they have in the past.
  5. Find your voice
    There is a huge shift that I noticed within myself and with my clients. When we start to:

    1. Pay attention to what we want,
    2. Start speaking to ourselves nicely and
    3. Start to take action to get what we want

The result is assertiveness! We start to understand who we are, what we deserve and start to actively act on the pursuit of what is best for ourselves and who we are!

If any of this rings true to you, please know that you don’t have to go through life having ADHD alone. Reach out, whether it be to partner with me as your ADHD coach or just to chat!

Stay tuned! Next Friday I will be posting “How to explain Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria“.