The ADHD Frustration Shutdown

I am in frustration shutdown mode. That point when things that were new and exciting and had all the incredible potential and possibilities feels hard and impossible.

I’m at the point where I usually quit. When my ADHD brain starts to wander, and I can no longer convince myself, it’s fun or essential. The next step inevitably has been giving up.

I refuse to give up this time.

In fact, just sitting down to write this is proof of my refusal. I could’ve made a thousand valid excuses not to write/work today. I actually came up with quite a few, but something made me stop and think better of it. I want to push through it and see what the other side is like. That’s what I’m sharing today… 

Let’s push through together and finally see what the other side looks like.

What is ADHD Frustration Shutdown? (Honestly, I think I made up the term 😋)

If you have ADHD, then you understand an ADHD Frustration Shutdown. It’s that feeling when you’ve been trying to complete your taxes for days. Yet every time you start, you just end up staring at the pile of receipts and thinking of something else entirely.

For me, It’s writing. I usually love it, but sometimes it becomes a job. I’ll just stare at that blinking cursor like it’s going to magically move. Eventually, I decided to go do something else to give my mind a breather…

I always plan to come back to it later. But when I should go back, I think of something else super important I have to do first. It continues this way, and it gradually gets easier and more comfortable not to write. In the end, I stop altogether. 

It’s simple really… ADHD Frustration Shutdown is saying, “this is hard. I quit.” But we’re going to get past it this time. 

Here’s what I’m doing to get there: 

I let myself stop but only for a little while.

I was having tech trouble last night and felt like this blogging thing is a waste of my time and money. So, I stopped thinking about my blog altogether. I played with the kids, went for a walk, ate some food, and watched some tv. I let myself relax and enjoy the moments.

Then I got up this morning, and I’m back at it. I needed that break, but I also know the pattern. Too much relaxation leads to frustration shutdown because you never go back. Relaxing and recharging is wonderful as long as you get back to work afterward.

I journaled this morning. 

Yes, like a teenage girl with a crush, I got up this morning, grabbed my journal, and wrote. I wrote about all my frustrations and worries. I wrote about needing new inspiration. I wrote until I realized I’d found what I needed…. A reason to keep going.

The drive to help others can be a powerful motivator. I realized if I can pull myself out of this funk, then you get to read this post and pull yourself out too. Instead of giving up on whatever led you here… hopefully, you’ll journal, and you will keep writing until you find your reason to go on. It’s there, I promise, you just have to keep swimming until you find it.

I remembered who the hell I am

I reminded myself that I’m a badass superpowered alicorn mom.

I’m THE ADHD MOMMY, and I’m smart, talented, motivated, and successful.

Alicorn moms don’t sit around feeling sorry for themselves when things get tough. We get creative and find solutions. We don’t ever give up on ourselves because we’d never give up on our family. We are the backbone of that family. If we give up on ourselves, we’re giving up on them.


Everything happens in its own time. Whatever isn’t working now can be changed, or it will work when it’s supposed to. I had to find my faith again and remember who I am. I harnessed the power of positive affirmations. Yes, those again! They never cease to amaze me. Learn them and use them, and you’ll say goodbye to frustration shutdown.

I allowed myself to feel bad. 

Mama, there is nothing wrong with feeling bad!

There are life events that will get us down and keep us there for a bit. If you’ve ever lost a loved one, you know what I’m talking about. But I want you to remember that the little things can get us down too. Especially us!

We are always at war with our ADHD and trying to keep our emotions in check. Sometimes we need to just let go and let ourselves feel all the feels. Cry, scream, punch, or whatever you need to do.


Set it free so you can see it, process it, and move on from it. Don’t use positivity as a band-aid to cover up or invalidate your own emotions. There are enough outside sources that will try to do that to you. You have a right to feel sad, angry, or frustrated.

Own it, Validate it, Then….

Let it Go!… 

Is it only me that immediately starts singing the song in my head the second I see those 3 words? I hope not… But I digress… 

This is the most crucial step. If you do all the others and skip this one, it won’t work. You have to truly let those feelings go, or they’ll come back. I’ve tried skipping this step before.

I would allow myself to have the feels and I’d validate the mess out of those feelings. I’d even analyze them and make sure I fully understood why I was feeling how I felt. Then I’d put them in a box, tie it up with a neat bow, and sit on a shelf.


Next time I had similar feelings, I’d take it out and add it to the new emotions. This continued until the weight of all my frustrations would crush me and… You guessed it, I’d quit… Frustration shutdown complete. 

This single step is the reason I’m finding my groove again now. I didn’t shove my feelings into a box. I threw those bitches out the window on the highway. They’re roadkill now and will not be coming back to haunt me. I say all this to say, do the work of feeling and processing, that is very important, but the most important thing is letting go.

Ready for some no BS truth?

Writing this post was me letting go of my current frustrations. You just helped me do that. It feels good to know that, doesn’t it? Sometimes, helping someone else is the quickest way to get a mood boost. It’s always rewarding to fill someone’s bucket. You fill mine every time you read my words! Now go out there and be amazing today. 

Stay Awesome! Stay Motivated! And always be unapologetically you. Until Next Time…

💖 Kami

6 thoughts on “The ADHD Frustration Shutdown”

  1. This is exactly the problem I’ve been dealing with. I need to get back into blogging (after my last adhd frustration shutdown) and my mind goes blank every time I sit down to write. Thank you for sharing what worked for you. I’m excited to have more tools to work with.

  2. OMG! You have just described current state.
    I have quit my job AGAIN but this time without a job to go to! Eek! I had been miserable in that career (teaching) for years and have basically repeated a pattern of doing the job for 3 years and then quitting. I’ve worked in secondary schools and with adults and, although I enjoyed teaching adults more, I just can’t deal with the admin and the teaching. I now feel like a lost cause because every job requires these skills to some extent, so I now feel both useless and jobless.
    All the signs in my life point to routine and organisation and that just fills me with dread. I am so lost.

  3. I’m just getting over a huge hyperfixation that came in due to the adhd frustration shutdown. I have a million papers to write and a thesis to plan , homework, two jobs, home life, you name it. I was in such a good groove with it all until one day I took a break. That was two weeks ago and I still haven’t been back to my papers until this morning. The guilt of relaxing finally kicked my ass into gear but it went on for far too long. Just seeing it put into words was validating for me and helped me feel better about my ADHD struggle. Thank you!

  4. This writing is pure gold. Keep on keeping on Kami! Thank you for making this particular post happen…as it has inspired many I’m sure and definitely me today!

  5. Pingback: Mommy Overwhelm or Something More? ⋆ The ADHD Mommy

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