I’ve spent the majority of my life identifying myself as the ADHD guy. Always apologizing for being the way that I am, praying for some semblance of acceptance and understanding. Trying to stave off that lonely feeling in the pit of my stomach when I do…well, whatever it is that i do that makes me a disappointment….and somehow end up isolating myself without intention because I forgot….again….or interrupted….again…. or in some fashion made an error due to my lack of attention and focus. I never intend on making life difficult, it’s just inherent in me. I rush, jump before I should, get overly excited and emotional about the littlest things and generally emit more energy than the sun. And I just don’t seem to recognize what I am doing could be problematic. I’m just being me.
If you’re anything like me, you know this story all too well. You live it day in and day out. You want to find a way to deal with this issue so that it doesn’t wreak havoc on your life continuously. You research and study everything you can Google in hopes that somewhere in the sea of information about this ‘Disorder’ you’ll find some sort of magical hint or trick that will give us a chance to play nicely with everyone else.
And then there’s the medication. Dear God the meds. The soul staining search for some sort of chemical composition that will give us the chance to stop forgetting. Stop reacting. Stop being dramatic and for the love of God stop fidgeting!
But, no matter how hard we try, how deep we research or how much of a guinea pig we make ourselves, we’re still empty. The websites and documents all tell a tale, but it’s still vague. We can relate to them, but most of them still don’t really touch the raw nerve that is the basis of our ADHD.
We read stories about people that have made successes of themselves even with this issue. They have family that backs them eternally and gave them all the acceptance they could ask for. My, my what a dream. That’s such a nice sounding life, but definitely not the way it is for the majority of us. We would expect some level of compassion and understanding from those close to us. Our parents, siblings, spouses and family. I mean, come on! They’re family!
Alas, that is not usually the case. Most of those around us treat us from a range that, at best, is tolerant. At worst, abusive. We’re misunderstood, and most human beings fear the unknown. So, we shuffle along on our own. Hoping for brief moments of relief while we struggle with our own brains.
As an older man, I am not above knowing when I’ve been taught something new. (Old dog, new tricks. It’s doable!). I have even learned something new from my children (never tell them I said that!) So, when I recently found an interesting video on YouTube about ‘How To ADHD’, I have to admit, I was shocked. Here is some young lady from God Knows Where touching on a subject that speaks directly to me! She was new to all of this, but had such a passion for advocating for her ‘Brains’, she showed me a new outlook on my disorder. For the first time, I didn’t feel alone. And, best of all, I could find others in similar circumstances and relate to them. It was more than liberating, it was like finding peace after a long war.
We’ve spent a lifetime trying to change who and how we are to accommodate all of those we desperately seek acceptance from. But, it’s never going to happen because we don’t accept ourselves. We’ve learned to hate how we act, how we react, even who we are. We have defined ourselves according to a disorder and wear that acronym like a scarlet letter.
Yeah. I’m done with that.
We are not out of control, shiftless, unmotivated drama kings and queens (yes, even guys get emotional. I know. Shocking!) that thrive on chaos and adrenaline. We’re human beings just like the rest of the world, and we deserve to respect ourselves.
So, let’s throw away the trash. I want to like me. I think I’m pretty cool (again, never tell my kids) and deserve some respect. But I have to start with self respect. So, I’ve decided to change the way I think.
– I am not the disorder. I simply react differently. And many times my reactions are exactly as anyone else’s , they just have a filter I lack. I’m not saying ADHD isn’t a disorder. I know the truth all too well. I’m saying I don’t want to identify with the disorder and will not let it define me.
– I will stop calling them symptoms. I have certain attributes that are different. I call them traits. (If you have something else you’d like to call them, do tell!)
– I have nothing to be sorry for. I make mistakes and sometimes drop the ball. Doesn’t everyone at one time? (I’m so thinking about that bible story where ‘He without sin cast the first stone’…)
This one needed some care in coming to terms with. My initial instinct was to get defensive about apologizing for who I am. The video below helped me find a direction that was much less aggressive. Believe me. Totally worth it.
Most of all, I’m not alone. Not only have I made friends with others with ADHD, I even started a Facebook group. Somewhere I can share all of my education, and learn from others.
So, there it is. My hello. (Man am I long winded!)
If you have anything to relate, feel free to comment. Or, click the FB link and join my group ‘The Gifted’. (Is a private group so you’ll have to chat with me first. Trust me. I’m not boring!)
Until next time. Just be you. I guarantee you’ll be good at it.
She really has a way of relating. I recommend subscribing. I did.