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“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Yes. Sometimes

By Rick Green – TotallyADD

I keep hearing motivational speakers, trainers, fitness coaches, and successful people declare, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Yes. Sometimes.

From what I’ve seen in friends and family is that sometimes what doesn’t kill you simply scars you for life. Some people can never get past a trauma, a loss of a loved one, an act of violence. They struggle every day. They are crippled for life.

Undiagnosed ADHD doesn’t make anyone stronger.

It frustrates and disheartens them. It saps their energy, wastes their time, and ruins opportunities.

ADHD can sabotage their loftiest life goals and their intimate relationships. Undiagnosed, this disorder can be a life-sucking, invisible, vampire.

Diagnosed? Understood? Dealt with using strategies that work for those of us with this mindset? Ah! Then everything changes. Or rather, now there’s a chance things can change. Having a collection of great tools and beautiful wood doesn’t automatically mean you have a lovely cottage. But it sure helps.

Until you know what’s going on and why, the best strategy is often to play small, settle for less, assume everything is difficult, or, more likely, assume you’re weak, lazy, flakey, self-absorbed, stupid, or broken. I did. It was a reasonable explanation. A shortage of certain neurotransmitters? How would I have ever figured that out on my own?

How could anyone win a battle against an invisible enemy, especially if they don’t realize they are in a battle?

My ADHD didn’t kill me.

But I am not sure that it made me stronger.

It was learning about it, learning what to do about, and dealing with this shape-shifting saboteur that made the difference. Suddenly it was a fair fight.

And then dealing with my ADHD made me stronger. Happier. More self-confident. More aware of myself. And others. More compassionate and appreciative. And even, at unexpected times, filled with a sense of peace.

And those moments are when I feel stronger.


Rick Green TotallyADD

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3 Responses to ““What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Yes. Sometimes”

  1. addspeaker says:

    May I ADD (…) that it’s what you don’t ACCEPT that ends up killing you …

  2. That Guy with ADD says:

    When I didn’t know about my ADHD I can honestly say that, although it did not kill me, it certainly did not make me stronger. With my self esteme in the toilet, my marriage failing, and my job frustratifng the hell out of me I was at a complete loss as to wy my life sucked so badly. Then a chance brush with a radio interview describing ADHD struck a chord. It wasn’t the answer but it was a beacon of hope pointing me in the right direction. Now that I know I have ADHD I can work towards getting stronger. Without that knowledge I would still be floundering. Rick is right in that now things can change for me if I work at it. The diagnosis alone isn’t enough. Like excersize you can’t just think about getting fit you actually need to go out and work at it. Not the easiest thing for someone with ADHD to do but the rewards are great if you can pull it off. You may need some help but you can get by, with a little help from your friends.

    That Guy With ADD

  3. ruthie says:

    I hadn’t thought of this before. I just noticed that when my brother would say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” I never felt better or grateful for the crap I’d been through, especially before I was diagnosed.

    When I told this to my therapist, and I actually read this blog to her, she said, “Well, you get to choose whether it will make you stronger or not. Right now, some things that you’ve endured or faced have been negatives. No doubt about it. But you still may be able to find a lesson or some insight in them. You might be able to see some way that whatever happened did have some positive impact. Maybe something made you more cautious of people, but maybe that was needed.”

    We had a very interesting chat about this. On the way home I thought, “It’s not over ’til it’s over.”

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