Translating ADHD: Season Four Recap

Episode 182

Play episode

Ash and Cam discuss their upcoming summer break and reflect on the topics covered in the fourth season of their podcast, Translating ADHD. They mention the importance of taking breaks and planning for the future. They recap the various themes explored throughout the season, such as the complexity of ADHD, lived experiences, race and culture, hierarchy of needs, purpose, relationships, the adrenaline response cycle, being misunderstood, advocating for oneself, and wrapping up the season with disruption.

They also mention the potential changes coming to the show, including a possible soft reboot and a focus on sharing more of the coaching process. They express their gratitude to their listeners and discuss the power of language and connection in understanding and navigating the ADHD experience. Cam shares his interest in revisiting and reworking models, particularly the Mount Rainier model, and exploring the nexus of neurodiversity, emotion and leadership. They encourage listeners to embrace curiosity and continue to advocate for themselves. They express their gratitude for the podcast and their ongoing collaboration with each other, and they look forward to their return on the 18th of September for season five.

Episode links + resources:

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

Episode Transcript:

Ash: Hi, I’m Ash.

Cam: And I’m Cam.

Ash: And this is Translating ADHD. This is going to be our last episode before our summer break. Cam, you want to tell listeners what we’re going to talk about today?

Cam: Sure, Ash. Yeah, this is when we take our summer break. We got wise to this a couple of years ago. We were new to the whole podcast thing. We just thought, what do we do? We committed to a year and like, but we got to a year, we just kept going. And then there was some, some are like, wait, there there’s seasons.

So we learned that it’s really good to take breaks and then come back fresh. It’s not that we’re just sort of sitting on the beach, sunning ourselves and not thinking about this stuff at all. Ash and I actually have a meeting next week during this recording time to start thinking about going forward.

So we’ll be back. We’ll be back mid-September. We’re going to take a nice break to really think about the last year, the last four years, and what’s coming next. And we’re pretty excited about that. So I want to catch listeners up to some of the topics we did talk about this year, right? To look back today. What we’ll do is look back on this season, season 4, and then kind of looking with an eye towards season 5 – what we’re starting to cook, put in the pot there.

So listeners, you might recall, we started with this question of, you know, is ADHD a super power or not? And we shared our opinion there in the sense that it’s not so simple, right? It’s not this easy thing to kind of just label it one thing or another. It’s one of these things that ADHD people, when they are looking at something that is complicated, they’ll want to go opt for this sort of confirmation bias. It’s this or that. And so many people have this strong opinion about what ADHD is and isn’t.

And so then you’re there trying to, again, share with people your ADHD experience, and they’re putting a hand in your face, right? You’re wondering why, why is that? So we started there. We really wanted to get into lived experiences that ADHD, it doesn’t operate in isolation and that your context matters. You’ve heard us say that so often.

So getting into lived experiences. And then we did the interviews with a few guests around race and culture. We revisited my hierarchy of needs. We did culminating on purpose. And Asher teaches a class on Purpose. Then we went into relationships, and those were fairly popular. Notice that there’s a little bit of a spike anytime we do anything regarding relationships.

We revisited the ARC cycle next, right? The Adrenaline Response Cycle and how to get distance from that. We moved on to being misunderstood with ADHD and the dilemmas there. That eased into advocating for oneself and advocating for your value and how to deliver value.

And then we culminated the season on the last series around disruption, and finished on, again, looking at the major disruptions and changes that you have faced over the last couple of years.

Ash: Cam, it’s crazy to me to think that it wasn’t too long after our last break that I realized I was trans. So we’re coming up on that time of year, yet again. Time is moving quickly, at least for me right now. Really appreciating the depth in which we were able to take topics this year. We picked a theme and went with it until we were out of things to talk about on that subject. And our themes sort of naturally flowed into one another. And so I think this has been, in a lot of ways, one of the more enjoyable seasons that we’ve done, just in terms of our ability to follow our curiosity and find rich content there.

And so I think that’s the first thing I want to say to our listeners is we’re not going anywhere. There’s endless amounts of content here, but what we are maybe thinking about doing is doing it a little differently. And we don’t know exactly what that means. It could look like a soft reboot, and I recognize that asking people to listen to a back 40 episodes is very different than asking people to listen to a back catalog of almost 200.

Cam: Right.

Ash: Hard to catch up to some of the language that we use in the podcast in terms of where we introduce those concepts. And some of our listeners struggle to grasp onto those concepts. So that’s another thing that we’re pulling on – you in particular are pulling on, Cam – is a revisited, more simple Mount Rainier model. And so whether we do a soft reboot or continue to release the show as Translating ADHD, there will be changes coming. 

Cam: It did have a different vibe about it this year in the sense of trust in our own instincts, you know. As we become seasoned podcasters, we’re starting to trust our own process. And really we’re able to step into that, you know, even we had that Mulligan this year, right? It’s sort of like, we don’t have it this week and that was okay. And sometimes we don’t have it, people, and that’s all right. But that letting it be easy, alright, really embracing this idea of letting it be easy. And you’re right, Asher, I think one of the biggest challenges for folks is to kind of catch up to our vocabulary, the terms we use.

And as you said, it’s like, we’re almost at 200 episodes. That is a lot to digest. And so that is one thing we are thinking about, is to think about what might a soft reboot look like. The other thing we did this year was really letting our experience inform the direction we’re going in – whether we were presenting out in the world, teaching our classes – and letting our students’ experience inform what we might share. I know for certain we’re always bringing our client experiences into this because I think it’s very helpful. It’s very helpful to have a story around someone’s experience, the challenge, and then what they’re doing in order to overcome that challenge. And that story, it provides a connection, it provides context, and this is sort of part of the reason why we share client stories – of course, with their permission – gives this sense of connection.

And ADHD it’s something that one of its most insidious impacts is the ability to isolate, to make someone feel isolated or alone. “I am the only person in the world who has this dilemma” is something that I see very consistently. And that surprise when someone hears that someone else has this experience. I think that that probably is something that really resonates with our listeners is to listen in and hear. And not that you’re going to have someone’s lived experience resonate every single week, but there’s some that resonate more than others.

Asher and I have been kind of softening a bit in the sense of being more curious, trusting the process and going with the flow and kind of stepping into this sustainable cadence. And so realizing also, it’s good to take a break. We know you’ll be there on the other side. We are going to pick a few episodes to have as a rebroadcast. So you will get a chance to listen to some of the backlog over the next seven or eight weeks. But you’ll be there. We’ll be there, mid-September. I mean, back.

Something that Asher and I’ve been discussing, and I think you’ll probably see more of, is pulling the curtain back on the coaching process. That as we share the coaching process with our clients, something resonates there. And these skills are not that we’re training you to be coaches, but just to give you that inside baseball view of the why, so that it helps you understand a change process, right?

Coaching is about addressing change in a proactive way, or as proactive as possible. And we’ve been talking about how disruptions come, and we can’t anticipate everything that happens, but what we can do is we can be in a better position to deal with it. And so, you know, this is this big C coaching piece of, like, all the different aspects of how do you find a way to identify your challenges and overcome those challenges to have a sense of purpose and fulfillment. It’s different for every single one of you, and ADHD is one of those things that can get in the way of that. And the coaching process of inviting our clients to step into a place that is full of trust and safety, it’s amazing stuff that happens in these spaces. And Asher and I are kind of like, how do we continue to keep sharing this with the greater public?

we also recognize that coaching is at a certain price point and that it might not be available to many people. So, again, why should we not share this with you so we can help you understand what’s going on and get this accurate information out to you? Actually, you said it before, is that I always had this feeling of, like, how we run out of topics eventually. And as you said, it’s like we’re not going to run out of topics because there is such a need for accurate information about the ADHD experience. There will never be a shortage of things to talk about to help people understand their ADHD so they can own it and start to translate that experience for themselves and for others.

Ash: Cam, if you remember, one of our goals when we started this podcast was exactly what you were just talking about, is as coaches, we recognize that coaching is not accessible to everyone. We wanted to provide a platform that people could use like they’d use a coach. And we wanted to do that for two reasons.

The first is exactly what we said. Coaching is not accessible to everyone. The second is we believe that coaching can be an incredible thing for ADHD people, and we just wanted to expose more people to coaching itself, and what it can do for a person with ADHD. And it’s exciting to me that we’re hitting both of those marks.

We hear from listeners all of the time that will never be our clients that are using the show as their coach that have had change by way of listening to and working with their own ADHD because of what they’ve learned from the show. And I love that. I don’t think that this type of work should be gated by a price point. And in a perfect world, it wouldn’t be, but you and I have to eat and feed our families.

Cam: We do.

Ash: And so it’s a nice balance we strike for us, too. So, this is how I give back, or one of the ways that I give back. My work is very rewarding. I’m very glad I get to do it, but I’m also glad that I get to do this, and I get to support more people than I could ever support just doing individual coaching. 

Speaking of our listeners and using this show as a source of support, be on the lookout by the end of July for Discord to look a little different, Cam. And I have decided to simplify that platform to make it a little more accessible. We overcomplicated it because there’s a lot that Discord can do, and we wanted to play with those things to see what worked and what didn’t.

And I think we’ve come full circle now, and we’re going to take it back to letting it be easy. So if you are a patron, or if you’ve been a patron in the past, and you haven’t been in Discord in a while, I invite you – not yet, but in the next few weeks – to take a look. And there will be an announcement that will come through Patreon for those of you who are already patrons, you’ll get an email announcing that the change is completed.

And again, looking to just make it simpler, make it more accessible to more people, help stoke some engagement again, which is already starting to happen, but I think will only be aided by keeping it easy.

Cam: So I think what I’d like to share is what’s got my attention. I think that, you know, this is what makes a good coach, is to be open. I heard this definition of curiosity that I’ve always enjoyed. It’s “curiosity is the gap between what we know and what we don’t know.” And that’s really in short supply right now. It seems in the world there’s not a lot of curiosity out there. Actually, there’s a lot of fear. There’s a lot of anger. There’s a lot of hate. And this is a place where we want to support your own curiosity because we feel that curiosity is absolutely key to creating change.

And so I’ve been absolutely getting challenged right now, and it’s got me a bit off balance. But I’m seeing it as a good thing. It’s a little uncomfortable, and what it is is just my knowledge. My thinking is being challenged. And so I’m looking at all these things, and I’m looking forward to the next seven or eight weeks during this break to really dig in.

You said earlier about reworking Mount Rainier. So Mount Rainier is something that we started way back in episode 10 when we were trying to answer that universal question of why is it that we don’t do what we know we ought to do. That was almost, you know, 175 episodes ago.

Ash: Ooh, yeah, that was a while ago.

Cam: Right. So we want to keep things fresh and relevant, and we’ll create a model. And if we change it, it doesn’t mean the old model was bad. It’s that everything is worth looking at tweaking, adjusting. And so this is what I’m really kind of interested in. Kind of playing around with our models, Mount Rainier. I’m really interested in the nexus of emotion and leadership with respect to ADHD. And when I think about leadership, I think about all different forms of leadership, including the ninth grader who is shining in one environment and not necessarily another. And I witnessed that when I was a teacher and sort of seeing, and context and content all factored into how people could sort of step up. And that stepping up is really helpful to overcome that inertia in making something happen.

I’m not saying that we all need to be leaders, but I take a very global view on what leadership is, but who’s going to take a stand for you? We have to take a stand for ourselves. So that’s where I’m kind of looking at. It’s just really challenging what it is to be a leader, what it is to take a stand, stand up for what matters. That’s where I am right now.

Ash: Yeah. I mean, you’re talking about sort of revisiting reworking models, and that makes the title of this show just more apt than it’s ever been. We’ve spent 180 something – I have no idea what number this episode is – episodes trying to translate this lived experience that we call ADHD, that you and I share, that our listeners share, but that we all bring radically different context to. No two ADHD people are the same, and I believe that now, more than ever. And so when we revisit things, it’s because our own understanding has deepened, in a way, has expanded. We’ve figured out better language or simpler language to put to an experience.

And that’s an ever-evolving process. And that’s what I remain interested in is just that piece of it. And the piece of helping people have language for their own experiences. It’s really, really powerful to see someone put language to an experience that makes sense for them because it’s not easy for everyone to do. Language is one of my strengths, and so it is a little easier for me to try to articulate this internal experience that we call ADHD to others. But seeing my clients do it, it’s powerful, not just because they can articulate to others, but because first it deepens their own understanding. They understand something about themselves that they didn’t before, and it’s this process that just builds on itself.

Even just listening to the show, I had a client this morning who is not trans, by the way, but who first thing out of her mouth was, I just listened to last week’s episode and I realized I’ve been doing that, too. I’ve been waiting for the ideal week, the magical land of caught up. I’ve been waiting for things to kind of fall back into place. Huge perspective shift for that client and really, really awesome to hear when the show helps support stuff like that with the people that I’m working with or with anyone listening to the show.

So that’s where my interest remains, is I just find it so incredibly fascinating that we all share this common experience and there’s a lot that we can relate to when we get into a room and talk to one another. We see this in our group coaching. It’s such a powerful experience to go from feeling so alone to being in a room full of people that when you say something and expect the response of what or you sound nuts or what, what do you mean, to look up and see everyone else in the room emphatically nodding because they get it. They get it, too. Even if they might have used different words, even if their experience isn’t exactly the same, there is a level on which we relate to each other because we share this lived experience, and that matters. That matters a lot.

I just came back from being out of town for some shows. I would say I’m at a very awkward place in my transition right now where it’s kind of a coin flip as to how people read me, but I am visibly queer. And that can be really uncomfortable in today’s America. And just out of sheer luck, the last part of that trip, the airport that I was flying out of, I have a very good friend who is trans who I spent a few hours with while I was waiting for my plane. And it was so nice to be able to talk to her about the experiences that I’d had this past weekend because she understood them in a way that the people I was with all weekend, amazing people, incredible allies, some of the best friends I have on planet earth, but there’s a lived experience gap, and there always will be.

Listeners, it doesn’t matter how good you get at talking about your ADHD, you can help close that gap. 100% you can shrink the gap. There’s always going to be a gap. And that can be an isolating feeling when those around you are not like you.

Cam: There are two things around emotions that I’ve learned or have been reinforced for me. And one is, we always think that emotions are filters, and they’re not, they’re more like drivers. Emotions drive your thinking. They drive your behaviors. They drive the choices that one makes. They drive your avoidance into, Oh, it’s not safe. I can’t look at this. Don’t want to look at this.

They also are something that are actually depicted in the movie inside out, right? With those four key emotions and they’re sort of inside you, that actually that’s not necessarily the case. Sort of this old thinking that emotions are inside us. Emotions are actually between us. And when we were sitting in that class and someone’s telling a story, and so listeners, what we do in every one of our classes is the first one, we’re deliberately building community to create a sense of trust and safety. And so this sort of appreciation and understanding, and we’re looking around the room and people are, as I said, nodding in agreement, it’s not the exact experience, but it is. Starting to appreciate where the ADHD comes into play.

And so this is this distinguishing, and the power of just being there to see this. What is that? That’s an emotion that is occurring between us in this, in between this connection, this tether that is so magical. And it does this amazing thing to just start to question and challenge those limiting stories of I’m the only one, I’m the problem, it’s inside me. Versus, wait a second.

So, starting to have this understanding, you know. We just had that whole series on being misunderstood. Part of that being misunderstood is that not having connection with someone else, that empathy or understanding, appreciation, gratitude, trust. These are all emotions that are tethered between us and it takes effort. It takes showing up, whether you’re showing up to one of our classes or you’re showing up as one of our clients or showing up as a listener, is coming and making this your own. Take on what resonates for you and be selective.

As Asher, you said, your client, they’re not trans, but they identified with that whole experience of the waiting for there’s a time to do this. I was fascinated sitting here listening, like, how you never told me the story about what motivated you was the love for your child. And that was the thing that allowed you to really have the permission, internal permission, to take a stand for my child. I can take a stand for me.

Someone in our Discord talked about wrapping the rope in courage. So we use rope as a rope metaphor to take action. People loved it. How they just riffed on, you know what I need to do? I think I need to wrap my rope in courage. 

Ash: Ooh.

Cam: Yeah, isn’t that cool? I just was like, damn, so awesome. So what is that courageous thing? I think maybe that’s how we’d like to leave it here, is we’re not going to see you for a few weeks. We’ll see you in September. What is that taking a stand? What is that thing that you can do, that gesture to see yourself in the picture, to stop twisting and contorting and sitting into whatever, but to take up a little bit of space. To stand a little taller.

Ash: Really nice, Cam. Before we say goodbye for a few weeks, and again, whatever changes Cam and I decide on, we’ll let you guys know.

Cam: We’ll let you know.

Ash: Don’t worry. We’re not just going to fall off the radar. We will be back. We just don’t know what form coming back looks like just yet, but we will be back. That much we know.

And before we say goodbye for a few weeks, I know I said this last week, but yeah, I just, again, have to say how grateful I am to the amazing community of listeners we have. My life is a lot different than it was when we started this show, and you all have been sending me messages of support all the way along. And messages of gratitude when I do share. When I have talked about those tough points in my life, and you’ve found things in those stories that you can relate to. And Cam, I’m just grateful. And I’m grateful to you, too. This has been a heck of a ride so far. And I’m stoked to see what the next iteration of this looks like and where it takes us.

Cam: I’ll say the same thing right back to you. It’s a fascinating experiment to sit down and know we have to deliver something weekly, even if it’s the occasional mulligan, which I think we’ve done maybe, twice in 183, thereabouts, episodes. But maybe just once. 

Ash: I think just the once. We’ve had several where we’ve had time to record. Right?

Cam: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Maybe I’m thinking about those. But it’s a fascinating experiment to come together and create, right? That’s another thing I’m so fascinated in is how we are such a creative bunch. And yet it can be so difficult for us to show creative expression. The actual moving something from ideation into, you know, sharing it with the world.

And that’s one of our big frustrations, I think, is sort of this buildup of knowledge and, again, how to get it out into the world outside of our brains. And that’s another thing that I’m really interested in and helping people do is to creatively express because we need neurodivergent leadership. We need different voices to normalize this experience, as opposed to this one down deficit approach.

But yes, it has been quite the education for me just to bear witness to the human condition and to do that with you every week. Thank you. Has been phenomenal, so I thank you for that, Ash.

Ash: We do well in collaboration, and this show is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. It’s amazing to me how much we’ve both learned, and I’m stoked to carry it forward here in a few weeks.

Listeners, we’re planning on being back September 18th. And if that changes, we will release an episode sharing an update with more information. But as of now, that is the plan. And as Cam said earlier, we will be releasing episodes from our back catalog over that period of time. So for those of you that have made a weekly habit of listening to the show, there’s an opportunity there to revisit some of what Cam and I think are better episodes. Either way, we’ll be back on the 18th. We’ll see you then.

And until then, I’m Ash.

Cam: And I’m Cam.

Ash: And this was the Translating ADHD podcast. Thanks for listening.

More from this show


Episode 182