ADHD and me

Last December, I heard some words that were both exciting and confusing. After an hour long session of answer questions about my lifestyle, thoughts, feelings, and childhood, I was told that I have ADHD. I was also told that I’ve had it all my life, but was just never diagnosed. It was a sort of relief to hear a reason as to why I was feeling the way I was and even explained different events or situations in my past. It also made me really question what the heck having ADHD even meant and what I was supposed to do about it.

The more I have read and researched ADHD, the more I have found descriptions and explanations that I have truly been able to identify with.

“…there are three things human beings are afraid of: death, other people and their own minds. Terrified of my own mind, I have always dreaded spending a moment alone with it. There always had to be a book in my pocket as an emergency kit in case I was trapped waiting anywhere, even for one minute, be it a bank lineup or supermarket checkout counter. I was forever throwing my mind scraps to feed on, as if to a ferocious and malevolent beast that would devour me the moment it was not chewing on something else. All my life I had known no other way to be.

The shock of self-recognition many adults experience on learning about ADD is both exhilarating and painful. It gives coherence, for the first time, to humiliations and failures, to plans unfulfilled and promises unkept, to gusts of manic enthusiasm that consume themselves in their own mad dance, leaving emotional debris in their wake, to the seemingly limitless disorganization of activities, of brain, car, desk, room.

Beyond everything, recognition revealed the reason for my life-long sense of somehow never approaching my potential in terms of self-expression and self-definition–the ADD adult’s awareness that he has talents or insights or some undefinable positive quality he could perhaps connect with if the wires weren’t crossed. ‘I can do this with half my brain tied behind my back,’ I used to joke. No joke, that. It’s precisely how I have done many things.”

In the last 10 months, since my diagnoses I have still had some struggles. As I have tried to learn new tricks or change my habits, it’s been hard. Trying to find the right medicine to help my brain function the best it can, is also an adventure. Some medicine’s side effects have taken me high and others have taken me low. Luckily, there are many options. It just takes patience and dealing with both positives and negatives as the come.

I can honestly say that in the last few months even through the struggles, I have seen progress and changes. I am not perfect, but no one ever is. When I was younger I had a really big issue with keeping my room clean. Now, I keep my apartment in a tidy and somewhat organized state. This school year so far has been my best in teaching. I have gotten myself organized and feel like I am better at managing all that comes with teaching. I’m feeling less anxiety than I have in a while. Of course I still have many things that I want to improve, but you have to celebrate the wins and keep working towards more victories.

I’m thankful for all the loving and supportive people in my life. Thank you for encouraging me and helping me up when I am down. This is a life-long journey and thankfully I have God and you on my side.

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