ADHD expert opinions, news items, ADD thoughts and... Oh, look! Cows!
Dear Friend – So, here it is, Christmas Eve for everyone who celebrates it, and the first day of Hanukkah. The year is winding up for many of us, whatever our faith. (Or lack of faith for some after a pretty dramatic and traumatic year.)…
Now and then someone will tell me that Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a gift. A big, fat, wonderful, exciting gift.
Rather than a problem, disorder, constant challenge, or, on bad days, a curse.
Why such opposing views?
One reason is that ADHD is very ‘individual.’ Each of us has our own combination of challenges, and to varying degrees. Plus, we have a unique life situation. My ADHD is awesome when I’m doing comedy on stage. It is a big problem when I’m forced to sit quietly, and pay attention during a long meeting.
Add to all of this the fact that there are two main types of ADHD. Some folks…
In the years since I was diagnosed I’ve noticed 2 things that undermine my resolve and success. One is when a new ADHD-Friendly tool, strategy, or practice that I take on doesn’t actually work for me.
The other that sabotages my ability to make permanent changes and stick with new habits is when a tool, strategy, or practice does work for me. Especially if it works well.
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…