Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

Reply To: Self esteem

Reply To: Self esteem2013-10-25T12:57:05+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey I'm Sad Self esteem Reply To: Self esteem


Post count: 6

I had MAJOR self esteem issues growing up.  Middle child in a family of 7 children.  Poorest family in a private school. Strict, controlling, religious mother. Inability to maintain focus at school to the point I almost failed every grade from 1st through 8th.  I was told I was lazy.  I was told I could do better. I was spanked.  I was grounded.  I suffered through weekly “work detentions”.  I was tattled on by my siblings.  The other kids found me an easy target because they could see how their comments affected me.  I was painfully shy and daydreamed a l0t.  I wanted so badly to be “normal”.  I don’t remember much of my high school years.  I was so sheltered, I didn’t eat lunch in the cafeteria with the other kids, but instead went home for lunch.   I was not allowed to attend social activities.  Even though I attended a small school, when I went to my 10-year HS reunion, people had no idea who I was. 

When I reached college, I decided I was tired of being shy.  I made myself open my mouth and say whatever came to mind.  Well, as you all know, being ADD, your brain-to-mouth filter is not always functional.  I found out other people thought I was funny!  I forced myself to walk with my head up and looking people in the eye. 

I’m nearly 50 now.  I didn’t get diagnosed until my early 40’s.  Up until that point, though I had friends and knew I was an intelligent person, I still had self esteem issues.  Being diagnosed was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I understood why I wasn’t able to complete things that other people could.  I learned as much as I could about ADD, and recognized myself in almost everthing that was said.  Now I could forgive myself.  My controlling mother finally understood me and my relationship with her has improved.  I discovered creative abilities that many other people admired. 

I laugh at myself a lot.  I am very outspoken about ADD and ADHD and all the ways it affects my personality, my home life, relationships, and even my job.  I have discovered that by being so outspoken about it, people come to me when they suspect they may have it, or to commiserate with me about their kids.  I am content with not being a driven career person.  My self esteem has soared with my diagnosis.  I have discovered I have some very strong skills that are appreciated, and laugh that I am very creative, but I don’t cook or keep house like other people can.

We are all unique.  ADD is a bonus and a curse, depending on the situation.  For people who don’t have it, it’s the same in a different way.  We all have something we deal with.  Nobody is any better than anyone else.  And, my favorite; It takes all kinds to make the world.  Don’t feel like you are any less than someone else.  They may be better than you at some things, but you are better than them at others. Instead of lamenting at what doesn’t work for you, rejoice in what does and your own unique skills and traits that make you the wonderful person you are.

Now, I wish I could go back to the little girl who struggled so much and encourage my young self and make her understand that she is worth something.  Help her rejoice in herself.