Nik Nieblas: Finding Your Passion and the Power of Storytelling

Episode 3

May 16, 2022

This is episode three. Today, I'm talking with Nik Nieblas. Nik is a writer, actor, director, comedian, musician, and stay at home dad. His company, Heart and Whimsy Productions, crafts heartwarming and whimsical narratives that champion representation and explore the nuances of mental health and social issues. Today, we talk about moving people with the power of story and finding your passion.

Show Notes


Nik Nieblas


Llama Life (use JESSELLAMA20 code for 20% discount)

Links and show notes:


Nik Nieblas: It was always the same things that you hear from all the same teachers every year.

Nik Nieblas: It was like, he's got great potential, if he just applied himself. He's funny, he's great to have in class, you know, very smart, intelligent. But just never turns his homework in. And yeah, that's uh, that was my whole life, you know?

Jesse: Hey, my name is Jesse J. Anderson, host of the ADHD Nerds podcast. The show where we talk about living with ADHD and have some fun along the way.

Jesse: This is episode three. Today, I'm talking with Nik Nieblas. Nik is a writer, actor, director, comedian, musician, and stay at home dad. His company, Heart and Whimsy Productions, crafts heartwarming and whimsical narratives that champion representation and explore the nuances of mental health and social issues. Today, we talk about moving people with the power of story and finding your passion.

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Jesse: All right, Nik. It is great to have you here, how's it going?

Nik Nieblas: It is going pretty well. Thank you very much for having me, man.

Jesse: So, yeah, I'd love to start in here. What's your history like with ADHD? When did you first hear, or when did you first start to think that you might have it and what did that journey look like for you?

Nik Nieblas: Yeah. I probably like a lot of people, I always felt like I was a little bit different. You know, my brother and sister seemed to be cut from the same cloth almost, you know, with certain things.

Nik Nieblas: But then when it came to me, uh, either playing, and then my imagination, my mom always told me like, oh, your imagination is like crazy.

Nik Nieblas: You know? Uh, you know, she always asked me like, you want to go do commercials or something, and I'm like, I guess, I don't know. But, it was a lot had to do with my mom seeing stuff on, on TV and, and connecting it to, you know, things that I was doing.

Nik Nieblas: Like she would say, oh, you know, you might have this, you might have that. And then she saw like an Oprah episode or something. And she said, you know, I think you have ADHD. It was probably in like middle school or something, but I'd been struggling with school, like my whole, my whole educational career.

Nik Nieblas: It was always the same things that you hear from all the same teachers every year.

Nik Nieblas: It was like, uh, you know, he's got great potential. Uh, if he just applied himself, uh, if he, uh, you know, he's very, uh, he's funny, he's great to have in class, you know, very smart, intelligent, but just never turns his homework in. And yeah, that's uh, that was my whole life, you know?

Nik Nieblas: And then, uh, my mom thought that I might have ADHD, but it was also coupled with like all these years of my mom thinking that she had all these other things too.

Nik Nieblas: And me having then were all of our kids, all of her kids are behavioral oppositional. And so she had, she started throwing all these labels around really early. So it wasn't. It didn't catch right, in my adolescent mind.

Nik Nieblas: Right. It wasn't like, oh, this is, this is what I am. It was more so like, well, here's another thing my mom thinks is wrong with me.

Nik Nieblas: Uh, and so it's almost like I just kind of kept that in the back of my mind. And then as I went through like middle school and in high school, you know, things didn't get any better. Because I wasn't treating it,

Nik Nieblas: I wasn't acknowledging it. I almost failed high school. Uh, I almost failed out. I didn't know, like until the day of graduation where like, we show up with your cap and gown on and, and they give you the diploma and stuff.

Nik Nieblas: Uh, if I was graduating and then when my English teacher came up, she goes, you owe me. Yeah, I think I had like a 54% possibly even like switch those numbers in 45, but it was not looking good for me. And, uh, she just, it's almost like she just knew that like this kid can read, he can write, he just doesn't turn anything in, you know cuz.

Nik Nieblas: My mom even asked me before, I don't even think that there were a lot of schools like this back then, but she was like, if you could just go to a school where she was, she loved the hypotheticals, you know, but if you could just go to a school where you just like, talk about the subject that you're discussing, you just have a conversation about it.

Nik Nieblas: Would you like that? And I'm like, yeah. That'd be fantastic. Like you want to talk to me about, you know, uh, the, the declaration of independence instead of just like having me sit and like reading it, like, come on, like, let's do that instead. But of course, nothing ever came of that because my mom either just, you know, it was like that that'd be nice.

Nik Nieblas: And then just, you know, got distracted herself. Maybe she was ADHD.

Nik Nieblas: After high school, I didn't know what to do. So I was like, well, maybe I'll just try this whole college thing. Yeah.

Nik Nieblas: Let's keep doing the thing that you've been failing at the last 12 years. Just that ball rolling. But, um, so I, uh, you know, I, I totally just did not even go to the first semester. I signed up, did all, you know, everything I could and then, uh, just, didn't. I, I didn't care about the classes. It was like computer something like it was like beginning computers, which, you know, you can tell how old I am based on that, right. It'd be much more specific nowadays. Um, but, uh,

Jesse: I took a few beginning computer classes.

Nik Nieblas: See. This is a mouse, this is a keyboard.

Jesse: I remember, I remember, uh, not to tangent, but I remember one class I was in, we spent the entire week. It was like, it was like three days that week, but it was the entire week learning how to create a shortcut on the desktop. And I was like a computer nerd as a kid. So I was like, this is ridiculous.

Nik Nieblas: I got it, I'm done.

Jesse: Yeah, but there was no way to, at the time there was no way to like skip those basic classes, was like, yeah. It was, it was ridiculous. People had, literally had to be taught how to double click a mouse. man, that makes me sound really old. And telling this story now.

Nik Nieblas: It's okay. We both look young.

Nik Nieblas: I, yeah, so I tried classes and stuff intermittently failing it miserably. Eventually I just decided to get a job. Uh, you know, it was the first job I had was like me working at a music store. Uh, every single job I've had. that's the other thing I guess, added to my school stuff, but carried on into my careers.

Nik Nieblas: Always. Every single time. Like I just, it was, it seemed impossible for me to like, know how to manage time, which time is relative everyone. So, I mean, who's Right.

Nik Nieblas: here. You can't really manage time. No, I was bad at it, I setting alarms.

Nik Nieblas: And all that kind of stuff. It wasn't, it literally wasn't until my thirties where I had the revelation, you know, if I plan on leaving, 15 minutes before I actually should leave either I leave and get there early, or I, you know, do that whole thing where I open the door, leave, go outside to the car, realize I don't have my keys, come back in, grab my keys, go back out to the car and then realized I don't have my wallet or my phone.

Nik Nieblas: And come back in. Can't find my wallet, find my phone used to have those like little tags where you'd be able to beep it on your phone. And then like, you where your wallet is lost. That, uh, you know, there's, you know, it's, it's all compounding, right? So, uh, in, in working and stuff, I held down some jobs like at the music store is very easy and it was very lax.

Nik Nieblas: Nobody really cared, but. When I started, I left there, I started working at a print shop, uh, left there. I, I got actually an internship at a church. I was like playing music and stuff. Uh, when I was 16, that was another thing I was totally gravitated to. That just seemed like I like locked in on that. Like it just triggered some kind of, you know, probably all the dopamine and stuff that I was getting from, like playing.

Nik Nieblas: I hit the string and it makes a noise. Woo. Uh, So I started playing music when I was like 16. I started like leading the music team and whatnot for the junior high and for the high school, uh, and eventually kind of, uh, playing also like on Sunday mornings and stuff. And so so when I got the job at the music store, I, uh, Uh, it was like being surrounded by all the things that I loved. right?

Nik Nieblas: Like even if, you know, nobody was there, you could easily go pick up a guitar, even just look at the guitar pedals or open up some of the booklets or like, whatever else. So you're just surrounded by and lessons are going on and there's other musicians there and it was like really cool.

Nik Nieblas: Right. But then I, you know, was only making like $400 a month. You know, and, uh, even at that time, I was like, you know, I'm living at home four hundred bucks. That's fine. But it was gone by like week two, know? I was like, yeah.

Nik Nieblas: I need to make a little more money. So I, at the time I got an internship at a church, so I was able to leave that and get a little bit of money for leading worship and, and, uh, playing music and stuff at this church.

Nik Nieblas: Uh, but then that was my career path from, for like the next, uh, 10 to 12 years, it was church work. You know, I was a youth pastor and a worship pastor and doing some variation of both of those jobs, uh, over the course of more than a decade. And the ADHD didn't help there either. You know, I mean, the, that I was fantastic at in those jobs was like the music aspect of it.

Nik Nieblas: You know, that was the stuff that really drove me. And cause I was just stuff that I, I loved doing the singing, the playing, the working with other musicians, the crafting arrangements or songs we would have Easter melodies or medleys that would, that would be like, you know, 12 minutes of like six different songs, all like weaved into each other and whatever else, you know, I'm like, this is the best, right.

Nik Nieblas: But then. Do we have practice this week? I don't, you know, and Nik hasn't told me anything, like, do, um, can we, you know, hey, we need to schedule that like youth camp trip. I haven't heard anything about it. It's happening in like three weeks. Can we please do, you know, all of happening over and over and over.

Nik Nieblas: There was even actually not to go back, but there wasn't even time when I was trying classes in college where my mom, uh, got an Adderall or maybe like a, some kind of stimulant pill that was like Ritalin or something like that from her friend, uh, whose son had ADHD. And so kept trying to push like, Hey, you know, she was like, Hey kid, you want to, you know, you'll try this, try these drugs.

Jesse: Right.

Nik Nieblas: All the things that afterschool specials told us to stay away from my mom is, but she goes, you know, she's trying to get me to try, and I was like, at that point, I was very embittered toward this idea that something's like wrong with me. I'm like, no, I'm not taking that. Like that that'd be like, admitting, like what if it does fix it.

Nik Nieblas: Probably, is what I was thinking. You know, probably not able to articulate that, but, uh, eventually she did wear me down enough to where I was just like. Fine, you know? And I took it one day when I went to college and. I think that if I was more open to it, I would understand like, this is what I'm missing here.

Nik Nieblas: I know, there is some aspect of something there, but at the time it made it, I equated it to feeling like a zombie. It felt like, Yeah.

Nik Nieblas: I could totally like take notes and listen to the professor at the same time. And even like, oh, I have a little conversation then come back and, you know, She didn't have, like, I mean, to be honest, I was really compliant child.

Nik Nieblas: If she would have probably just taken me to a doctor and been like prescribed this kid, some Ritalin, I probably would have been gone along with it, but it just like the rest of the things that my mom would like suggest all of a sudden they lose priority or just disappear or forget about or whatever.

Nik Nieblas: Like, oh, it did kind of work.

Jesse: Yeah, like, uh, I feel I feel like probably getting a proper prescription would maybe have been a little more effective just getting the pills from the neighbor kid or whatever that system, system was.

Nik Nieblas: You mean to tell me that getting properly diagnosed and prescribed medication would be better my mom getting illicit drugs.

Jesse: it just seems like maybe that would be a little bit more helpful for you.

Jesse: So you're doing the like church music thing and music is, I know a lot of people with ADHD really dive into music. I've done it a few, a few different times. I was way into guitar. Uh, years ago I had a band and stuff like that, and oh, man is so fun to nerd out about that, just different guitar pedals, and combining like setting up your whole pedalboard and all that.

Jesse: I way into that world. And then more recently I got into like modular synth and I was like, uh, that, that is good way to spend a whole lot of money.

Nik Nieblas: That the one where you like unplug the cables and like.

Jesse: Yeah, yeah.

Nik Nieblas: Right, you like

Jesse: The real fancy, try to get it to.

Nik Nieblas: I turn this knob this way, it sounds this way. If I unplug this thing, it sounds like.

Nik Nieblas: yeah.

Jesse: Yeah. You're like the mad scientist for like music generating itself by going through all these cables, interconnected from the module. Yeah. It's, it's and I got way into it and I learned a ton and then I hardly produced. I did like one song almost I learned all this stuff.

Jesse: And then I kind of got to point where I'm like, eh, I know enough, and this is fun and or, it's not fun anymore. I, I kinda, I burned out and just ended up having to sell all my gear cause I lost that interest.

Nik Nieblas: That like point there's that, that point that you hit with a lot of things. I think that a lot of ADHD people feel where it's like, I'm going, I'm going, I'm going. And now I realize that if I'm going to go further in this. Then it's going to require a lot more commitment and it's going to be harder and it's going to be more work and whatever else.

Nik Nieblas: And then for music, I was able to just, you know, for whatever reason, I think a lot of it had to be like pushed in, you know, uh, because I was like, it was part of my job also, but it was also stuff that I love doing. so you know, uh, feedback loop of forcing me to kind of get better, but like.

Nik Nieblas: Yeah, I think that a lot of people experience that, where they hit kind of a wall and they're like, nah, I'm lost interest because it's, it's like either no longer, cause you're doing the same stuff in order to do more stuff, you have to work harder.

Nik Nieblas: And then it's like, but do I have motivation to try?

Jesse: Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. So you were doing that, the church or a music thing for awhile and then where'd you go? Cause you're not, you're not doing that now.

Nik Nieblas: No. Yeah.

Nik Nieblas: No, I, um, so I was doing that for a while and then, my wife was going to school. Uh, well, I got married when I was 23 and my wife was, my wife was 21. and we had a baby a year after that. So we started knocking out kids left and right. Every two years, And ended up with four kids, but like in the midst of all that, my wife was going to college to be a teacher.

Nik Nieblas: And so now she's, uh, you know, she's been teaching now for like eight years or something like that, but, she was, you know, we were trading off, hand the kids back and forth while she is sometimes she was taking the kids to college with her. And then, uh, you know, sometimes I was, you know, having them here and taking them where I was going and having parents, my parents take them and it was.

Nik Nieblas: Crazy. But, I got a better job, a job that paid a lot more than church work. Church work doesn't pay that much, anybody know, uh, but I, through the church, I actually found some friends and whatnot that, uh, they had sales job that they did. And I was, you know, needing to make a little bit more money and they said, why don't you come try it out.

Nik Nieblas: So I got into sales for the like three to four years or something like that. And the sales job, you know, is making way more money allowed my, my wife and I to like, get like childcare so we could put the kids, you know, uh, so they're not like either with us while we're working or, you know, having a grandparent or somebody. But with all the church jobs, because it was so, like intrinsic to things that like triggered my dopamine and made me happy or whatever, singing and playing songs.

Nik Nieblas: It was something that I was very passionate about and I cared a whole lot about, and it felt good to do, when I left that to go to sales, right.

Nik Nieblas: There was an aspect of sales that I really liked, which was like communicating with people, talking to people, even the challenge of like, you know, turning somebody's opinion around, you know, it was, was very intellectually stimulating. When I hit the sales job, I, recognize like, Oh, man. I'm starting to get busier.

Nik Nieblas: I'm, I'm making more money, but also I've got more clients to juggle and I am dropping the ball on some of this stuff. And so I, I had health insurance, uh, my wife, I think had just started teaching. you know, So we were doing a little bit better in that. So I was like, let's go get therapy or whatever. And I met with, um, a guy and he started me off on some non-stimulant stuff like Wellbutrin.

Nik Nieblas: And I can't even remember the other things, but it was all like 30 days at a pop. 30 days, 30 days. And, uh, all I remember is like the Wellbutrin gave me a stomach ache. I was like, that's not helping at all.

Nik Nieblas: Uh, I'm not able to focus any better. I don't really notice a difference. You know, I'm still dropping the ball. and, and so I said to him, I was like, look. I have never done drugs. I have never, I never smoked a cigarette. I've never, uh, even my, my first alcoholic beverage I had when I was 21 and it was O'Doul's you know, non-alcoholic beer.

Nik Nieblas: So, what are you worried about here? Like, let's, let's get into the let's, let's get into the hard stuff, you know? And I was like, if something's going to work like work work, then let's, can we try it please? And he's like, And then he just, he wrote me the script and he gave me like five milligrams of Adderall generic, whatever.

Nik Nieblas: And the next day I took it at work and it was like putting glasses on for the first time. It was like, wow.

Nik Nieblas: I mean, I remember like writing an email and then something's going on. Somebody takes a call. Somebody has a conversation about what happened on the weekend, you know, whatever. And I'm constant. My brain is constantly being pulled to each of those things and it's taken me like 45 minutes to write one email, you know?

Nik Nieblas: Just get all kinds, of of distractions there. But then when I had just the five milligrams, I was like, hey, I just wrote an email while that conversation was going. And then I turned away from, after I'd hit send, and then had the conversation.

Nik Nieblas: Then I went right back to the things that I needed to, to get doing. And I was like, what's happening? It was, it felt like, like, uh, like Bradley Cooper, in Limitless, you know.

Jesse: Yes. Yeah.

Nik Nieblas: Very much so. But then I, after a few days of taking that, I was like, okay, so it's not the right dosage, cause it was feeling like it was wearing off or it wasn't quite that first nudge.

Nik Nieblas: That's something I realized too, like when you start taking a medication, I think, I don't know if this is like medically accurate, but, I feel it. I've stopped and started Adderall now, at least three or four times, because I've just been like, well, I don't really need this right now.

Nik Nieblas: So I figured if I don't have to take it, then maybe I could like, hold out for whatever. So I've taken it off and on, uh, every, you know, whatever, but, each time I've taken it again, I've noticed like the first week or so, the first dose even feels like a spike.

Nik Nieblas: It's like a way up there feeling of like, wow, this is like really working. And then it tapers off as you start to realize, and as your body adjusts and, and then you have to get into equilibrium of where you're not like, you know, biting the inside of your lips and like, constantly, like I need to freaking clean something, you know?

Nik Nieblas: And you're more so regulated instead of like hopped up or whatever, or if it's not doing enough, you gotta like bump it up.

Nik Nieblas: So I figured out the dosage. It went, really really well, but then it also helps kind of clear my mind of a lot of distractions and whatnot that have had kind of been there and kind of hovering a little bit.

Nik Nieblas: So, because I was able to focus, I was kind of able to also focus on myself and what I wanted. And so that kind of made me hate my job I, you know, was showing up. Even, you know, with the Adderall and stuff. I think it was more so just, I didn't want to be there.

Nik Nieblas: I didn't want to do it. Ended up getting fired. and my wife was, a full-time teacher at that time. So I was able to basically just kind of stay home for a little bit and see what worked, you know, we tried to figure out like, she was like, what do you want to do? You know, I, kinda had left the church at that point.

Nik Nieblas: So, I didn't know, you know, I tried, I like video games. I played some video games. I wrote some music, you know, I tried to do like the streaming thing until you figure out that, uh, if you, uh, stream or you want to be like a streamer, you have to do it like 12 hours a day. Like I'm a dad. I can't, I got four kids, man.

Nik Nieblas: Uh, and then my wife's off work and I'm like this, these dishes need to get done. Dinner needs to be on the table. So.

Nik Nieblas: It was, you know, and what I realized throughout that process was like, I really like staying home. I really like staying with my kids, uh, and, and helping them out. Uh, I like the freedom that it, the creative freedom it allowed for me to have when I've got like one baby at home and the rest at school to where it's like, dude, there's nap time.

Nik Nieblas: And I can go like play some music or, or, you know, go write something or whatever. A nd that led me to kind of discovering, uh, I had done a little bit of improv, comedy and stuff with some, a buddy of mine. We took some classes and uh, it was really fun. And I was like, this is fun. This is great.

Nik Nieblas: This is kind of a performance thing that, you know, it's not music, but it's like in front of people and whatever this is, this is great. and then, that led into, oh, these people are all like actors, they're like actors and they're doing like, you know, they're auditioning for stuff and I'm like, okay, that's.

Nik Nieblas: That's something I've always kind of wanted to do too, but I never really knew how right.

Nik Nieblas: And it's actually fairly simplistic. Uh, you just get headshots, you go on casting websites and then you submit like, that's literally it. Like, there's no process to it that you need to, I mean, you'll figure it out as you go, but, So I was like, well, let me do that. Right.

Nik Nieblas: And I got a friend to take pictures of me and I started putting them online and, uh, got the casting, went like, where are you guys submitting? Oh, these are the websites. Okay, great. So from improv to submitting for auditions and stuff, and then realizing that a lot of this industry is you know, I mean this, the entertainment industry in general is flooded.

Nik Nieblas: So you kind of have to diversify, you know, what you're trying to do. So I then started writing some sketches and stuff like that. Getting on sketch teams, doing improv comedy shows I actually was on, uh, I wrote and, um, performed or I collaborated and performed on a show called Pretentious About Make Believe.

Nik Nieblas: Where it was an hour long sketch show at The Second City in Los Angeles. It, it was really my ability to, to have like the freedom of like, well, I don't have to have a job right now. My wife's allowing me to like, just stay home and take care of the kids and stuff.

Nik Nieblas: So we're cool with this situation, but it allowed us to kind of it allowed me to really figure out what it is I want to do.

Nik Nieblas: So all these things led into each other and now I'm, pursuing screenwriting and in college actually, uh, which is kind of a funny coincidence, as well as making films, you know, and short films. And I actually have written feature films and, uh, I've got a short film that is actually funded that I'm going to be shooting hopefully in the next, uh, couple of months here.

Jesse: That is awesome. so? How is college second time around? How's it going this time?

Nik Nieblas: Jesse, I'm getting A's man.

Nik Nieblas: I'm getting A's because I care. And because it's something that I want, like I see myself at the end of the road, I can see myself having like a degree, a bachelor's degree in creative writing with an emphasis in screenwriting.

Nik Nieblas: And like, I like that that's I want to continue to pursue this. It's like when I first discovered music, it was like just, uh, the thing that I could like latch onto and really, uh, you know, even though I'm doing classes that are like, you know, comp one and, and sociology and, you know, whatever else that are kind of boring.

Nik Nieblas: I'm doing well in them because I feel like I'm also learning and it's adding to my writing. It's kind of a weird thing. Cause I'm doing it all online. doing online school, but I'm writing so much because it's online with like the comments that you're supposed to make and, you know, turning in essays and stuff.

Nik Nieblas: I'm like, look, if I'm going to do this, then I might as well try and get better at writing in every single writing thing that I have to do. Right?

Nik Nieblas: So at the end of the two and a half years that I have left. I'm going to be a better writer just because I'm doing it, you know, and I, and it's that I think I, I think there's three things that like lead to motivation, right.

Nik Nieblas: It's like autonomy, relatability, and choice. And I got all that here and it relates to what I want to do. Uh, it's important to me and I can choose whatever I want to do, you know, with writing, like, I can be a screenwriter, I can write a book or I can, you know, I can create these little worlds, uh, in your mind with words and,

Nik Nieblas: I don't know. I just, something about that in the same way with music, it was like, I can create this feeling in you, by these melodies and these chords and this, these dynamics of this music and moving it and all that kind of stuff. To me, that was like, so, uh, intriguing and, and, and, uh, important about like the human experience.

Nik Nieblas: Uh, same thing when it comes to stories, you know, I discovered telling stories. I'm like, I've always loved telling jokes and telling stories and anecdotes about my own life and whatever else, but then realizing, oh, this, this is like built into us. You know, like the for story and, and to tell story.

Nik Nieblas: And so, uh, yeah. It's, it's been going real well.

Jesse: That is awesome. So you've, you've really kind of found that passion in writing and particularly in film and storytelling through all that. And yeah, I've, I really find that a lot of people, once they kind of connect with that passion, everything really just becomes easier. It doesn't make your ADHD go away.

Nik Nieblas: Right, yeah.

Jesse: But, it does make it a lot easier to find that motivation, which is one of the biggest struggles with ADHD is you just like If something starts to become mundane and you're like, I can't even get started getting on that. But when you're, when you have like this kind of intrinsic interests, in the topic in general, it gets a lot easier to like, yeah.

Jesse: I'm like you said, I'm going to focus on even the classes that aren't as good, because it kind of aligns with my passion here and that's helping drive me forward and being able to get stuff done. Uh, which is, yeah, that's awesome.

Jesse: Uh, I wanted to ask you another thing. I know we talked before the show just a little bit about how, you know, the idea that ADHD comes with friends, uh, how highly comorbid, you know, often comes with anxiety and depression and other things. And I just, yeah, I'd love to hear kind of your thoughts.

Nik Nieblas: Yeah. Um, something that I discovered with, uh, you know, experimenting with Adderall is, uh, you know,

Jesse: Again, not recommended by the show.

Nik Nieblas: Well, experimenting with a doctor, I should say, under the guidance of a medical professional. Uh, um, but, uh, that's one thing that I recognize is that like, oh, this is still experimenting with drugs, although I'm doing it like supervised with a medical professional, you know?

Nik Nieblas: So, even though I got the dosages right, now and I'm in an equilibrium place now. There's some side effects with that such as, you know, a taper off at the end of the day where I feel a little on edge, a little, a little bit more anxious and all that kind of stuff. Um, in some ways the Adderall, when I said before, about how it kind of clears your mind a little bit about these other distractions and then kind of allows you to focus on these things, to, you know, fix or whatever.

Nik Nieblas: Fix is kind of a weird way to put it, but address, I guess, you know, find better ways to cope with, cause like I started going to therapy, and realizing uh, that, it's not all ADHD. You know, a lot of this, the, the lack of motivation that I'm feeling or the anxiety about, you know, just making a phone call, you know, is anxiety like it's social anxiety as well as depression.

Nik Nieblas: And, you know, there's a lot of times I was, you know, a lot of ADH D books talk about how these things are coupled together a lot of times. You know, not only just because of like the biological, neurological aspects of these disorders and learning disabilities and whatnot. But, because of a lot of how people with these neurological or neurodivergent tendencies were treated growing up.

Nik Nieblas: You know, like the kids who couldn't focus, if you caught yourself in a household that was big on corporal punishment, I mean, you're probably getting spanked a bunch until you can focus, which we can't. So, you know, if that kid isn't being treated for the ADHD, that's just like I don't know. it's a bad situation overall.

Nik Nieblas: So a lot of people with ADHD, I feel like, either develop these things or they do come along with the whole neurological part of it. Because we're, you know, lacking in these certain chemicals in our brains that allow us to focus or help us feel you know pleasure when we complete a task, even, you know?

Nik Nieblas: Is there anything about like, I don't know, you've done a lot of research on, uh, specifically ADHD stuff, but, you know, have you experienced this yourself where you get like into a depression after you complete something.

Jesse: I've definitely heard that happens and is, pretty common. I, for me, what I always find is I just never. I just never celebrate the win. I like to get the win and I'm like, okay, what's the next, like, I just got to next exciting thing. And, uh, yeah, I never really can just like sit and like bask in the like, ah, I, that went so well.

Jesse: I'm just like, okay, what's next? Got to do Got to jump to the next, yeah, the

Nik Nieblas: See, I do the same thing, but I wonder if that's what feeds by depression. Cause I'm just like, I just finished this. Awesome. Fantastic. What's next What do you mean? What's next, man? We just finished something. Would give me a break.

Jesse: Right.

Nik Nieblas: but no, I get it. Yeah. and I think that a lot of times choose the, uh, those other things keep us from, keep us from addressing the ADHD, because like we focus on well I'm depressed or whatever Yeah. But man, It's like the three prongs, right? Or the three, three legged chair. If you knock one of those out, it'll be much easier to address the other ones. And that's, that's really what I found, you know, through, um, copious amounts of therapy. you know, I've going consistently now for, um, six months, but much like Adderall, getting on, you know, medication and whatnot, tried it off and on.

Nik Nieblas: And I think that that's the biggest thing is.

Nik Nieblas: You really have to find out what works for you, you know? And, and it's all about trying to find that equilibrium of, you know, you're not going to be fixed. Right. It, my therapist told me this at the very beginning, of course, he was like, you know, it's not.

Nik Nieblas: Stopping these thoughts or feelings or stopping how you feel or changing how you feel even it's more so about what do you do when you feel that way? You know, how do you cope with these thoughts and feelings that do come about and, um, between medication as well as, you know, uh, depending on what kind of medication you use for, you know, depression and whatever else.

Nik Nieblas: Like a lot of people have to, get on uh on board with using multiple medications sometimes. So it's, it's tough, but at the same time, it's incredibly worth it, man. Like I, I would say that I haven't conquered ADHD for sure, but I am definitely in like the best place that I have ever been.

Nik Nieblas: Um, when it comes to knowing it, understanding it and being able to respond to all of the stimuli and, and, and pulls and impulses that come along with it. And it's almost like I've, I've learned how to wield it. If you, if you will.

Jesse: Right, right. That is awesome. I think that's a great place to wrap up. I want to move on to shiny objects.

Jesse: Shiny objects is a place to talk about something interesting. Something, whatever shiny object has grabbed your interest lately.

Nik Nieblas: Cool. Uh, I'm uh, I'm going to go with swerve a little bit just because I've never really been into fitness at all, right.

Nik Nieblas: I, if I could just, I was one of those that constantly looked at like those kind of like electroshock things you can put on your abs and be like, does it work though? Like it could work right?

Nik Nieblas: I just put it in on my muscles and I don't have to work out, um. And so, but I even like did sports and stuff in high school, but, uh, as soon as I was out of high school, I'm like, I don't care.

Nik Nieblas: But I've liked being active, but I've never really been into like fitness. Right. My buddy bought a gym this year. And it's like the first time that I've consistently been working out only because I want to support him. And I even had this conversation with him the other day.

Nik Nieblas: I was like, he's like, well, I don't want you to just come because like, you know, it's my job. I'm like, dude, just know that's literally the only reason why I'm going, because you own it. And like, if you didn't own this gym, I would not be going to the gym. But like he's much bigger into fitness. Like his wife is a dietician and so, you know, I've.

Nik Nieblas: Started going, just because like also I'm an actor and, you know, I would I would like to be alive to see my kids, you know, and their kids and whatever else. So like, okay. I'm in my late thirties. It's about that time that I start taking my health seriously, I guess. And so, um, a few months before, when he was prepping to buy the gym, I was like going for walks with my wife.

Nik Nieblas: I was, you know, embracing that I may in fact be lactose intolerant and I should cut dairy and cheese out of my life, which I've done. so I started making all of these changes. to my health, like these little changes that I intended to be lifestyle like literal lifestyle changes. Like, you know what I like going for walks with my wife. If we go every day, I, I, I love it. You know, an hour, half an hour.

Nik Nieblas: It doesn't matter 20 minutes whatever it is. I can commit to going to on a few walks with my wife a week or whatever. Um, and, and I can, I could see us doing that when we're 80, you know? Sure. but then I also said, you know, the lactose intolerant thing. Okay. I just need to stop that like milk, cheese, butter. I need to say goodbye.

Nik Nieblas: So I started working out, consistently, and to be honest, all these books that I read about ADHD, too, they all talk about how, you know, exercise is a massive, massive part of being able to control and, you know, manifest the things you want when it comes to ADHD, because it regulates your dopamine, your serotonin, these things all over the place.

Nik Nieblas: Uh, All of that together. I'm like, fine. I guess I should be like exercising regularly. And that's really like, I'm like getting buff dude. Like I don't, I don't want to be like braggadocious or anything, but like, hey, did you know that if you consistently exercise and like cut out things that aren't good for you. Uh, you'll like get buff and fit. It's crazy.

Nik Nieblas: But, uh, that's, that's been the shiny thing for me as of late, because it's something that I've never really cared about, but then I've realized the benefits of it and I'm like, fine. If you're going to find all the practical and scientific reasons as to why I should do this cool.

Jesse: Right, right. So my shiny object, not as uh healthy or whatever for you is that one, but I find, you know, you mentioned you're a writer and I'm, I'm writing my book. One of the ways I stay focused, I need music to focus like is really important for me. And, but it can't have any lyrics.

Jesse: So I have a lot of different kind of soundtracks I listened to, like, like video game scores and movie scores can be really good. But one that just came out recently. It's by Ben Prunty and he's he did the soundtrack to, a game called FTL Faster Than Light, which I have that soundtrack vinyl.

Nik Nieblas: Love that game.

Jesse: Yes. Yeah. So he did the music for that, and

Nik Nieblas: Pixel, pixel based like space game, right?

Nik Nieblas: Yeah. That game is fun.

Jesse: Yes, that is a great game. So he just released a new album. I think all of his previous music was for like soundtracks and this is just a solo album by. But it has that same. It's got sort of that like glitchy, synthy kind of vibe to it, and I'm really digging it.

Jesse: It's called transmissions from a hidden world and I'll have links in the show notes for that. But yeah, I've been really enjoying it lately and that's been my go-to for focusing on the book. I just like crank, crank a soundtrack like that one and then get to writing. And, uh, that's how I stay on it.

Nik Nieblas: That's nice. I could never, I need, I need like absolute silence. Like, like, like if you heard about that one room, that's like supposedly the quietest room in the world.

Jesse: People like go feel like they're going insane in there.

Nik Nieblas: Cause like you can hear your own like blood moving or whatever, you know, I feel like that's ideal. Like I want that. Or like I hear about like, what are those, uh, uh, what's the, where you see, submerge yourself in like salt water and then close the tank or whatever.

Nik Nieblas: Uh, what are those things where you leave and it's just blocks out all sound, all light, all that I'm like heaven.

Jesse: That's that sounds like my nightmare. That is my nightmare right there. It's so funny. I feel like there's a lot of things like that with ADHD where you're either on one side of the extreme or the other, like for me, I've got to have constant stimulation, like, especially audio, like I've got to have music or something like that going all the time and yeah.

Jesse: I've I know there's other people, like you're saying that like, no, I can't deal with.

Nik Nieblas: Yeah, while I'm trying to work.

Jesse: Yeah. Yeah. Silence is golden. That is key.

Nik Nieblas: Yeah, absolutely. See the thing is though, but when I try and do like chores around the house and stuff like dishes, laundry, I have to put a podcast or, uh, I have to put the ADHD Nerds podcast in, uh, you know, I have to put that or like audio books or something like that. And I find like music also. I like music in the background when I'm like cooking and stuff.

Nik Nieblas: But if I'm trying to like, get like mundane tasks done, I, I gotta have like some, somebody talking to me, that's like stimulating my brain, like intellectually in order for my body to do these boring things. You know.

Nik Nieblas: think again, I think it's, it's crazy how ADHD manifests in different people's lives and how, oh, man, I'm totally opposite from that or different.

Nik Nieblas: than you, but like it's similar, but also kind of, not the same.

Nik Nieblas: Uh, so cool to hear.

Jesse: Well, thank you for being here, Nik, where can people follow you, if they want to see like movies you're working on or things you're writing and stuff like that?

Nik Nieblas: Awesome. Uh, you can follow me on Instagram or Twitter at @Twitter at @NikNieblas N I K N I E B L A S. That's it.

Jesse: Awesome. Well, I'll have links to both of those. Thanks for being here. This was great.

Nik Nieblas: Awesome. Thanks, man. I appreciate it. See you soon. That's our show, thanks for listening. If you want to support the show and the other work I do, you can go to That's J E S S E J.

Jesse: Please don't sign up if it causes you any hardship or difficulty, and you can always support the show for free by leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or hey why not both.

Jesse: Full show notes and transcription are available at