ADHD expert opinions, news items, ADD thoughts and... Oh, look! Cows!
There are a lot of hot button issues around ADHD. Not just around medication, or the cost of getting a proper diagnosis, or the ongoing stigma and dismissal, that ‘ADHD isn’t real.’
In particular there is the contentious claim that, “people with ADHD have real strengths.”
In our book, ADD Stole My Car Keys! we list 155 traits, symptoms, beliefs, and behaviors common to people with ADHD. Of course not everyone has them all. Each of us is blessed with our own personal grab bag of problems. While most adults struggle with restlessness and impulsivity, a substantial minority are dealing only with the ‘Inattentive’ problems: distractions, focus, memory, follow-through, prioritizing, procrastinating, organizing, etc…
Even now, a decade and a half after learning what was up with me, my ADHD can be a challenge. Daily. Sometimes hourly. It never stops completely. It’s never ‘cured.’
Is it the same for you? Simply reading that statement might have sucked a bit more energy out of you. It can be disheartening. Because we really are trying so hard.
One of the ways I’ve overcome the challenges of managing time, stuff, ideas, and work has been to turn the onerous tasks into a challenge. With a time limit. A goal. Testing myself.
In other words… I make it into a game…
I want to talk about owning it. Owning it and taking charge of it and doing with it whatever you wish.
I’m not talking about “owning your ADHD.” Because sometimes especially in the early days, or when I have bad days, it owns me.
I’m talking about owning our stuff and taking our stuff and messing with it. Customizing. Bending it to suit us. Doing whatever it takes to make it work with our mindset.
I get that we have to do a lot of things to try to fit into the world out there. Because there’s more of them than there is of us. But at home, with our own stuff, we get to say.
That agenda, book, TV remote, keychain, bookshelf… those are yours. You paid for them. [At least I assume you did. If you stole it, well that’s a whole other conversation. Starting with, “How the heck did you steal a bookshelf?”…
Before I was diagnosed as having ADHD, I had a lot of beliefs about myself. And about what ADHD was. And therefore, why I couldn’t have ADHD.
A belief is not the truth. But these had become my ‘truths.’ And what we believe limits us more than anything else.
A thousand psychological studies prove the power of limiting beliefs. Or of positive beliefs. No matter how stupid that belief may be.
If you tell students the test is easy, they will do better. If you tell them it’s hard, they will do worse. If you tell the teacher…
Is it just me, or are more and more people confusing their beliefs with facts. Perhaps people have always mistaken their opinions for the truth. I don’t know.
What I do know, for sure, is the universal challenge you face after getting an ADHD diagnosis is whether or not you should tell anyone about it. Who you should take into your confidence? Who probably doesn’t need to know? And who definitely should never find out?
In fact, who really needs to know? Because, let me warn you, as the police warn everyone, ‘Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law…