Is it possible to ‘cure’ ADHD? To answer that we need to time travel…
Our documentary, ADD & Loving It?! is a surprise hit on PBS. The network is delighted. I am stunned and sent reeling. (I’ve yet to recover. I wake up reeling. And I love it!)
ADD & Loving It?! tells the story of comedian Patrick McKenna and his wife Janis, dealing with his mid-life diagnosis of ADHD.
It was hailed by the critics as, “Unique, different, and ground-breaking.” And these are real TV critics, not my family members using made-up Facebook profiles.
Within days of the first broadcast we are flooded with messages of gratitude, relief…and calls for help. Heartbreaking pleas from desperate adults.
I finally understand that what we had created was beyond anything I’d ever expected, or anything I’d ever done before. (And I’ve created almost 700 episodes of radio and television.)
Naturally, everyone wants a sequel.
“Give us Something Original. Like The Last One.”
We have a hit. PBS is eager for us to deliver a follow up.
What’s more, thousands of people are having their lives turned around by ADD & Loving It?!, or at least turned upside down, and they asking us, “What now?”
They’ve recognized themselves in Patrick & Janis’s story. They see their own struggles and challenges; their failures, pain and frustration.
For the first time they realize, “I’m not weak-willed, lazy, a failure…There was a hidden saboteur at work, and there’s a name for it, Atention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD).”
Now that they can see, “Yes, this is what’s going on with me,” they are eager and impatient for solutions. “Okay, what do I do about it?”
They want help. And thanks to their ADHD, they want it now, quickly, lots of it, in short, easy to remember chunks. With laughs. And did I mention ‘Now!’
A Ton Can Be Done
Luckily, Patrick and I are able to offer a lot of good advice from our own experience, the books we’ve read, the experts we’ve interviewed, coaching, and so on.
I assume the sequel is going to be a breeze to produce. In fact, it takes a year of blood, sweat, tears, and laughter…Or rather two months of work spread over a year because, we also have another unexpected hit… TotallyADD.com.
Finally we deliver the sequel: ADD & Mastering It!
Patrick McKenna and I, along with twenty ADHD experts, explore 36 strategies for managing ADHD, and playing to your strengths.
When the program debuts on PBS, I tour the country, visiting a slew of stations to appear on camera and talk about the show. Bouncing between airports, hotels, and TV studios for days on end.
At WETA in Washington D.C., their well-organized producer and director have prepared a whole script for me to follow. I thank them, vowing to stick to the message they’ve laid out…
You can guess what’s coming.
Once I got going with the amazing Patrice Pascual, poor folks in the control-room quickly gave up, tossed the scripts and plans aside, and let us run with it.
Fun! I have ADHD. I can do that.
And Patrice is a professional interviewer. She was in her element.
The Waiting Is The Hardest Part
The most distressing part of creating and launching this new program? Waiting. Waiting for the program to debut. Wondering, “Will viewers pledge, and support us? Maybe we just got lucky with the first program.”
Once it is done, edited, finalized and sent to the broadcaster… it’s agony.
Doubts. Fears. Second thoughts. Regrets, “Oh, you know what we could have done?!”
Eventually, thankfully, realizing, “Yes, we could have done more, but it wouldn’t have made it any better.”
It reminds me of waiting for a baby to be born. Lots of labour. One final push… and there it is! (Only this time, I did the pushing.)
A Labour of Love
I suspect because they are so personal. And such a departure from anything that I or my wife (the co-producer & editor) have ever produced before.
The doubts and fears about doing a ‘sequel’? They vanished once it aired and viewers embraced the program, and took on the solutions and strategies for themselves.
Hope! Relief! Tangible things you can do today, right now.
It’s been amazing to share the 36 strategies that Patrick and I use (Download the free ‘Cheat Sheet’ here).
ADHD Strategies For Every Situation
Some of the 36 practices, like Patrick’s habit of journaling every single day, are ongoing and will probably be life-long. Other strategies will lift you to the next level, and then are no longer needed.
Others are ones I only draw upon when life gets hectic.
And if a strategy stops working, I switch to a different one. (Novelty. It works for the ADHD mindset.)
This is why there is no ‘cure’ for this mindset.
ADHD is situational. And your situation is always shifting and changing.
Ideally, we train our minds to notice the shifts and changes, and we adapt our strategies to deal with what’s coming at us.
Change Things Up. Keep It Fresh.
You won’t use all of them at once. You might start with ONE.
But I guarantee that the strategies you use will change over time.
That’s why it’s a good idea to watch ADD & Mastering It! over and over, from time to time.
Tools & Tips & Tricks are Time Sensitive
It’s ironic that one of the most powerful ideas in the program is to understand that not everything will work for you.
And it’s not your fault! If something doesn’t help you, doesn’t stick, and isn’t making a difference… even after you tweak it and experiment with it, simply acknowledge that, “This one isn’t for me, at least not right now,” and let it go. Drop it without guilt and move on to the next tool, tip, or strategy.
What’s more, a strategy that didn’t work for you a year ago, may work now. Doing Mindfulness exercises was impossible for me at first. Now they’re easy and really effective.
Oh, and by the way, do you have a strategy that you LOVE? Do share it with us all in the comments below!
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TotallyADD.com is an independent website created & owned by Big Brain Productions Inc. (Rick Green). We tell you this because so many people ask if pharmaceutical companies paid for any of this and the answer is absolutely not. Purchases in our shop, and our Patreon community pays for content creation.