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Re: Struggling for Normality

Re: Struggling for Normality2010-10-17T12:05:51+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? ADHD/ADD in Adults Struggling for Normality Re: Struggling for Normality


Post count: 121

Depends on your definition of “normal”.

I’m sure everyone, including people who don’t have ADD, have issues about being “normal” at some time. I think being “normal” is a cultural concept because our western culture really wants to define people for the comfort of the rest of society. Everyone fits in. Nobody stands out. In theory…

But the more we, including people without ADD, try to fit in the more we feel inside ourselves that we don’t. Another thing I have learned about western society and values is that we tend to operate from a deficit position for just about everything. And I’m not talking the ADD type. For the most part we feel, or are made to feel, as if there is something lacking whether it’s possessions (a bigger house; a more expensive car; a beautiful/handsome spouse, 2.5 kids and a dog; the newest digital camera, etc.) or spiritual (there’s no meaning in my life – ever watch those TV evangelists?). Even to the extend living a lie just to be “normal”. Or even what sports team you’re a fan of. Let’s call it a “tribal” thing.

Sometimes it’s kinda funny to watch people be “normal”. Just look current “pop culture” trends and you’ll get the picture.

I think we ADDers get the double whammy because if we lacked our ADD, we’d still be looking for the same thing everyone else is looking for. But we get the fact that it’s elusive so we’re really ahead of the curve. I now realize it’s all a big joke and I’m the only one that gets it. Let me say, those of us with ADD “get it”. Because we can see the end result, because we can connect-the-dots, because we can see the relationship: the whole enchilada.

My feeling is you will see a lot more dissatisfaction and unrest in our culture during the next while as most of us attempt to adapt to the new world order. I remember my father was the sole wage earner in the family: we had a nice middle-class life in the ‘burbs, a nice bungalow to live in and had balance between work and life. Life was good. My father seldom worked overtime and only if the customer really needed something fast (it was more of an imposition than trying to increase productivity). Did our family want anything more out of life? In some small way, sure. That was how we based progress back then. But now it’s expected, indeed, demanded, so we can feel progress in our lives. We’ve become addicted to it and everything we watch on TV enables that feeling. Or advertising in magazines.

I fell out of that a long time ago, probably right after my father died when I was 11 years old. Single parent families were not “normal” then. That shattered everything I came to believe about being “normal” and changed everything I had believed in about the world up to then.

This, along with my undiagnosed ADD always made me feel like an outsider, that “I didn’t get it…”.

I know enough to know that “You are responsible for your own salvation”. A Buddhism belief, I believe. And I have been working on my own salvation for a long time. Getting closer every day it seems.

The other thing that really helped was a book called “Existentialism for Dummies”. I’m not joking, it really helped put some things in perspective. I’ve always had an interest in existentialism, even as a teenager probably trying to get a handle on things because of my then undiagnosed ADD and life in general. “Why didn’t I fit in…” I wondered. A lot of people think that existentialism is really dark and depressing (just the thing I need….) but I think it’s really about life. It’s not about sitting in a Paris cafe, drinking espressos, smoking those awful French cigarettes and saying “Life is sheet…”. It’s a guide as to how to cope in a ever increasingly meaningless world where all values are now skewed, manipulated even.

The other book that helped my figure things out was “The Thinker’s Way: Think Critically. Live Creatively. Choose Freely” by John Chaffee. Now, there’s a book I wish I’d read a long, long time ago. It put a lot of things in perspective. And in a big way, too.

You have everything you need: right here, right now.

Hope this helps…and good luck!