At 26, I was diagnosed with ADHD. After our first hour together, my psychologist said “I don’t usually recommend medication after the first visit, but I think you’re an ideal candidate.” Shortly after that, I went to a psychiatrist who confirmed the diagnosis: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type, meaning I’m both inattentive and hyperactive. Go me.
Honestly, the diagnosis came as no shock, as you’ll come to understand if you read my blog. I was pulling all-nighters in first grade and I’d spent the rest of my life knowing I was smart, but struggling with everything in me just to keep up. That said, I did manage to keep up. So many of my struggles occurred because of my ADHD brain and its differences, but I only managed to keep up because of that very same brain and its rockin’ problem solving skills.
So many people focus on the negative side of having ADHD, but I think the ADHD brain is pretty awesome. Sure, there are plenty of struggles and I’ll talk about those in this blog, too. But let’s go ahead and face it, the ADHD brain is super powerful.
The thing is, certain things were always really hard for me. While I was aware that I struggled more than most, the struggle was all I ever knew, so it never occurred to me that there might actually be a reason for my difficulties. I never looked for an excuse and I never gave up…I just kept fighting and coming up with new ways to try, try again.
We’re all different and we all struggle with our own issues, but a diagnosis like ADHD, that is so closely linked to specific struggles, means you are not alone. There are other people who have struggled with the same, or similar, issues and, just as importantly, there are other people who have similar strengths, who get your sense of humor, who understand the way you think and who totally get how painful it is to sit still and be quiet. There’s comfort in that and relief, that you don’t just plain old suck, despite what you’ve been feeling all these years. Somewhere in there, there’s the ability to forgive your younger self for never having been good enough and there’s even the epiphany that perhaps you’ve actually always been more than enough.
The ADHD brain is not like most of the others. Society isn’t built to cater to the ADHD way of thinking. Yet, society could learn a lot from the ADHD brain. And that’s what this blog is all about, the trials and tribulations of living with an ADHD brain AND the triumphs of it. We spend our lives coming up with creative solutions to everyday problems, so we can survive. I’m pretty sure there’s a thing or two that “normal people” could learn from us and I’m pretty sure there are things they already have…
Without further adieu (or extensive ramblings), I give you the 5 Positive Traits of ADHD Adults because, yes, my friends, we are awesome and we are also:
1. Determined – Because giving up isn’t an option.
2. Creative – Because when your brain is not like the others, you have to be.
3. Intelligent – Because how else would you have gotten this far?
4. Resilient – Because you always bounce back.
5. Courageous – Because you fought like hell and you’re pretty much a super hero.
And with that, I’m going to wrap up this first blog post. It’s taken me about a month to post it and I’m afraid if I don’t just do it, well, you know, it’ll never get done…