Have you two watched the video “ADD and Loving It?” I sort of assume everyone on this site has seen it because of the connection. Or even if you have, because you have ADD, watch it again! I have watched it 3 times now and learn something new with each time. The video really emphasizes how we should learn what our strengths are and use them, and stress how many of us with ADD/ADHD are highly intelligent. I could spend the rest of my life kicking myself or being mad at the world for not recognizing my ADD before, but I choose to figure out how to work with it and even use it as an advantage for the next phase of my life. If that sounds fake or too Pollyana-ish, it’s not. It’s realism. If you tried to eat soup with a fork for 50 years and then someone told you about spoons, wouldn’t you find one and start using it? So I think of this website, books, collaborating with others, medication and ADD coaches or therapists as spoons and I’m going to do much better with the right tools!
You need to remember that it wasn’t that we have ever lacked the ability to do things well, we just needed the right techniques. For example, I used to miss my daughter’s parent-teacher conferences, I missed a choir concert, her lacrosse games, etc. But last year I learned to keep everything in ONE electronic calendar that I can sync with my phone, and I think in the past year I’ve only missed one thing!! In fact, I’ve even noticed now that her dad (my ex), who doesn’t have ADD, has missed a few things in the past year that I remembered. That is a huge shift. Also I am learning how to organize my mail and open it every single day, instead of letting it pile up until there is too much and I am completely overwhelmed. And when I put something down in a different place, I consciously think about where I am putting it down and visual it there, which helps me remember where it is later. These techniques all really work!
As for socialization, I’m a very gregarious person (teacher) so I’ve always done well in superficial social situations. But in day-to-day interactions over time I used to be pretty hard to deal with. I found it helpful to read through my sister’s evaluation and talk about it with her. It was so funny-shortly after I gave her the ADD evaluation to do for me, she called and asked timidly, “Do you want me to be honest on this?” I laughed and told her, “Absolutely!” Because what she didn’t understand was that those behaviors were unconscious. Knowing about them was what I needed to change them. And it was eye-opening, to be sure. I used to be incredibly defensive when criticized, even constructively, but at this point I find it far more useful to weigh it honestly, decide what I should own, and make a change. It was easy in some cases, like being more patient (tailgating when people weren’t driving as fast as I wanted, or being really obviously frustrated when a line wasn’t moving fast enough). Other things were a little harder to digest, but I’m trying.
It sounds like you are both self-enlightened people who are on the same journey I am, and I believe from what you’ve each written that you’ll figure this out. And I believe I will as well. Just don’t waste time like I did trying to do it on your own. Because if you’re anything like me, your gift for procrastination will win out and you won’t get far. I’ve wasted most of the last 3 years since my diagnosis, but have made a commitment to myself now, mostly because I have a 15-year-old daughter and I need to be a good example for her. Best wishes to you both!REPORT ABUSE