I totally agree with your last post as I can relate to all of it and have to say it is verry well put into words.
I to was diagnosed late and it has been a relief for me as well, helping to understand “it”, myself, and the corolation with my actions. Also, everything you said about seeing the big picture and not understanding how to find a career and what not was spot on, it was the same for me, and you put it into words perfectly, something i couldnt.
I am not saying that ADHD is an excuse for all of us, as for most of us it is not, but there are the VERRY FEW that seem to have the victim mentality about it and that bothers me. Just like you will have people with some sort of disfunction complain all their lives on how life is unfair, you will have people with the same disfunction accomplish great things. Ironically the bitter victims are usually the ones to vent, hate and comlain the most, and that’s what came to mind reading the initial post. Maybe I jumped to conclusions to quick, maybe the original poster hasent passed the acceptance stage yet, but I sort of have a verry limited tolerence to pessimism as it is hard enough for me to deal with my own issues dragging me down. If we were to adopt this mentality, all adhders would systematically need to be a failure, wich is non-sense.
Thus said, you are totally right about having a personal mission, and some people have a hard time finding they’re own, more so for adhders. But nothing is clear cut in life, my career is not really my career, i will never have a real career for the same reasons you mentioned yourself , but I accept that, and will not dwell on a career I can not have. In sorts, i often feel lost, like most of us do.
My mission is to cope with life as best i can while trying to do good, not on a professional or economical way but on a personnal one, one where i can look myself in the mirror. I dont value wealth, nor social acceptance, because it wont change what I see in the mirror.
I guess there is alot of “I’s” and “Me’s” in my post, but ultimately I am just trying to emphasize the fact that what some people perceive as success, is not always that. I would be in the hated column to the original poster, yet we share the same issues, same problems, same doubts, same confusion, same sadnes, same confidence issues, etc….
Adhders are definitly resilient, and ultimately that is the value that my father thaught me, not the desire for success nor wealth.
I live life trying to prove to MYSELF that I can do this and that, and no one else.AnonymousInactive
And just to put it out there, it took me at best one hour to be able to type my reply,.sdwaParticipant
What I’m suggesting, I guess, is that the initial poster doesn’t hate you, but is just deeply frustrated and struggling.
I’ve learned that resenting people who are doing well only causes me to dwell on bad feelings – it doesn’t make me more productive or more effective. But those feelings can happen when I’m in a state of despair, when I feel like nothing I do works, when I feel like I’ve been searching for solutions for years and all my efforts lead to a brick wall. You get that, right? Sometimes people feel like they’ve come to the end of the line, and they feel like failures because they can’t understand why, despite their best efforts and intentions, they still can’t achieve their goals, or even identify their goals.
No one hates you. I’m happy for you if you are doing well, I really am, and if one were to put a more positive spin on the successes of others, at least we can feel some hope that it is possible.
There is this kind of superficial, dismissive, commercial element that creeps into a lot of ADHD material – the “ADHD is a gift” kind of stuff – well, I don’t think it’s a gift in a society where most of us are expected to function in a way that goes completely against how we are hard-wired. It’s a real problem, a real “handicap” in an industrial society.
Pretty much any “right brain” activity involving intuition, synthesis, creativity, holistic thinking, understanding systems and relationships, etc. comes naturally to me (and probably most of us.) The “left-brain” analysis, step-by-step, linear, methodical approach to life is, however, what gets rewarded by society.
As a student, I noticed the education system likes to give out a little piece of information at a time. Here’s a pine cone, here’s an acorn, here’s a leaf, here’s some bark, a rabbit, a deer…and gradually that might add up to an image of the forest, but I would be the last to know. I would learn more quickly if they told us up front: This is a forest. Then I would understand how to think about the things that come from it.
To use another analogy, if someone sets up the file folders for me, pre-labeled, then I can figure out where everything goes, but if I don’t know what I’m looking at, it could takes weeks of piling up seemingly unrelated documents before I could begin to know how to separate them into categories, and even then I’d wrestle with whether the categories were correct. Oh wait, that’s not an analogy – that’s my desk.
I need to see how the parts relate to and form the whole. Without knowing what the Big Picture is, I fail to recognize what’s going on. Most people come at the world with the ability to gradually assemble their understanding in a linear way, or maybe to not even know or care about the Big Picture.AnonymousInactive
I understand what your saying, and again i agree with you. The point I am trying to make is that the outside world might say you are doing well, but it is all subjective to how you perceive yourself. Just like you cant judge a book by it’s cover, the frustraion or struggles you face, the state of despair, I have them too, regardless of where i am in life; wich is not exeptional by the way.
I am exactly the same when it comes to the big picture and what you say about the school system, well i have said it almost word for word in the past. As an example, it took 3 semesters of college, wich was dreadfull and painfully demanding just to attend and do what was asked before I realised what i was really studying in. Half a program to realize what it was, to see the big picture, and realize that I hated it, that like you said, it was all linear. Zero creativity.
I think what should be said is that at some point, you have to realise you just wont fit in the mold. Many adhders need to pass that stage, unfortunately many dont. They still try to fit in and persist on having officejobs and what not that are not made for them.
Jamie Oliver is a Successfull Chef, he’s ADHD and Dislexic, why would I hate on him? I think it’s great if he succeeded, for me it’s motivation. The way I see it I try to understand his sitiuation. He sucked at school but was creative, he understood early he wasnt fitting in to the mold. So he found his way in cooking instead of trying to fit-in in a field he simply couldnt. His success is definitly due to other factors, but I believe this first step of aknlowledgment is verry important in his personal growth.
Just like I try to understand how my favorite goalie does his movements so that I can incorporate it to my game, I take the same approach with other adhders and how they cope with they’re lives, even if I know I dont have the same talent or ability. It can only help me get better.
Seeing the big picture is not a fault however. Many people who bring change are often ADHD, just as Steve Jobs was, we simply see things differently, and make the world a less boring place. Whithout embracing it and proclaiming it to be a gift, wich is pure bs, it is a fact that we are how we are.
To use your example, I suck at paperwork, and it would be the same for me to start fileing stuff, just wouldnt know where to start, sometimes it’s not even about knowledge or skill but I just cant do it. You understand I’m sure. So if it is a problem for me, why brake my head at it and get aggravated or mad at myself, that for me is not a solution, Why not get someone to do it for me, build a system, and show me how to keep it going.
Basically my daily grind is trying to find solutions to problems, and coping with my inabilities both in my work then in my outmost personnal stuff. I just strongly believe there is a solution to every problem, and this belief helps me get through the hard times, the dark hazy moments, when even the simplest things just seem impossible.
You may find it naive, but thinking the other way around would just bring me in a place I would never want to be in.AnonymousInactive
Just to add, ADHDer’s are over-represented in the entrepreneurial field then in the general population. This is no coincidence, just the way we are wired.
A good example of this and in link with what I just postedAnonymousInactive
sdwa wrote: “As a student, I noticed the education system likes to give out a little piece of information at a time. Here’s a pine cone, here’s an acorn, here’s a leaf, here’s some bark, a rabbit, a deer…and gradually that might add up to an image of the forest, but I would be the last to know. I would learn more quickly if they told us up front: This is a forest. Then I would understand how to think about the things that come from it.”
You’ve just summed up a big problem for me. I have a lot of trouble with this, why can’t they just give us the answers so we can work backwards? I’m hopeless at a lot of this sort of thing.
dubrob, I’m a self-employed entrepeneur, it’s the only job I’ve ever held longer than 5 years, and it’s also doing a variety of stuff I’m sort of good at (limited skill set) that wouldn’t be much use to anybody else. But it took me about 52 years to get to that point. I’m still afraid I’m going to mess it up somehow.trashmanMember
I am sorry and asamed , in how I responded to the first post I will try to think before I respond, once again I am very sorry.AnonymousInactive
trashman, why be ashamed? I have a big problem with saying stuff without thinking, the urge to get it out NOW overrides the part of the brain that says “wait a second, how might this be received, did I really think about what was said, what will the consequences be?”.
It’s fine to apologise (I don’t always have the chance) but I wouldn’t beat myself up over it. We can never control others’ responses anyway. You might have given a perfectly polite response and got dumped on anyway by someone having a hard day or who similarly has impulse control issues.
I do wish there was a delete button here! At least we can edit our posts for a short time, and I’ve done that too.BibliophileMember
I have not commented on this thread to see where it would go, but I have a few issues now that I want to vent. I will state up front that I tend to agree with Dr. Barkley’s view of the disorder more than Dr. Honos-Webb’s or Dr. Hallowell’s.
- One cannot assume that one’s interests lie in artistic or non-office oriented endeavours simply beacause one is ADHD. If ADHD is an impairment of the executive functions, it has little to do with one’s interests or professional skills. If you like working with databases, computers and metadata, the odds are you are going to have to work in some form of office-environment or interact with one remotely. One can still be right-brain focused and ADHD as the two are not mutually exclusive.
- Do not cite famous people that you do not know for certain are ADHD or how serious their impairment is. This serves no purpose for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to know if they REALLY are ADHD or not something else. They might have had Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, Autism/Aspergers, OCD, etc. that displayed similar traits. Secondly, pointing out that a few people out of millions were successful is cherry picking the results. The fact is most outcomes are nowhere near that realm. Thirdly, successful examples are discounting the influence of luck on the outcomes of these individuals. Lastly, not everyone who changes the world is ADHD and there is no statistical evidence that a majority of them were. It is nice that some people are inspired by these examples, but keep it to yourself just as we would expect those inspired by their religion to do the same.
- While I agree that we do not all learn the same way, the same can be said for other people who do not have ADHD. Public education unfortunately cannot accommodate every permutation of learning style.
- Many of us are uncomfortable relying on others to get things done. I am such a person. Having to use others in this fashion is not empowering at all as it serves to remind us of our deficits.
We are all different in our experiences with ADHD. This forum can at times be very frustrating for some, especially those with severe impairment, who hear people discussing alternative therapies, trivial examples of impairment (e.g. I lose my keys a lot), or who claim ADHD gives them superhuman powers to achieve the impossible without analyzing it in a holistic fashion (Rick’s examples of the person who hyperfocused on a task only to see the house burn down in the meantime or it was a task not required at the moment illustrates this).billdMember
…. I feel often like a person with a great idea, a lot to say, but I’ve been gagged and locked into a sound-proof room.
That’s my day. Would that frustrate most folks? It does me.
Then someone comes along and says “it’s so easy just do this or that”.
Uh, I’m not stupid – if it was that easy, in 54 years perhaps I might have figured that out if it was that simple? Like Barkley says – it’s not what you know – it’s applying what you know. Well mine is so severe, I can’t apply most of what I know. I’ve got all this great knowledge and understanding trapped inside of me, I KNOW what I need to do to succeed, I’ve done it in short bursts, but it’s so exhaustive and so complex and so hard, it’s like being gagged in a soundproof room, and I’m trying to scream and get attention. I’m worn out just living.
Look at the 95+% NON-ADD people, and how DIVERSE they are, different IQs, different abilities as far as “common sense”, different skills (doctors, neur-surgeons vs. lawyers, inventors, actors) does that not exist WITH or IN people with ADHD, too?
What I guess I’m saying is that it’s wonderful some have either found a key, or found a great boss, a great wife, or live in parts of the world where things are a bit different (gee, here one town can be night and day different from another only 20 miles away!) So it’s not just ADHD, it’s social circumstances, employment opportunities that exist in Oregon but not Iowa (just for example), southern US folks are much more relaxed and slower pace than northern US people, and so on. So where you live, who your parents were/are, the school you attended (where my sons ended up the budget was tight, so they were BORED BORED, foreign language classes were cancelled – couldn’t afford teachers and so on)
WOW, so many combinations and possibilities – almost as many as there are people, maybe more!
To use another analogy, if someone sets up the file folders for me, pre-labeled, then I can figure out where everything goes, but if I don’t know what I’m looking at, it could takes weeks of piling up seemingly unrelated documents before I could begin to know how to separate them into categories, and even then I’d wrestle with whether the categories were correct. Oh wait, that’s not an analogy – that’s my desk.<<
Hey, I resemble that remark! LOL
I’m a whiz with computers- yeah, I can troubleshoot rings around almost anyone, I can design systems, I see the big picture, but the boss thinks because of my super-abilities in some of those areas, such as security, antivirus, data protection, etc. that I then should be able to move right into major networks – routers, switches, etc. – NOPE – those things totally confuse the hell outta me. I’ve tried, and I “just don’t get it”. I’ve take classes and read book trying to learn simple programming. Nope, lost in chapter 1. (he’s a programmer, so can’t understand why others can’t do it – it’s so easy, after-all)
To all who succeed or consider themselves successful – good. I’m truly happy, I think it’s cool, and I DO try to pay attention and see what you’ve done, see if I can’t learn some of the things you do – see if I can’t apply them. Some folks here have some great ideas –
Frankly, I make Ty Pennington look like a napping cat on a sunny warm afternoon……. I out hyper and ADD him, no contest. You think he’s wild and crazy and zany and all over the place? You should have heard the sleep center doctor yesterday describing me – HA – she said she was so confused and almost dizzy after meeting me the first time it took her a while to settle down. I laughed as I listened to her description and impression of me and replied “I guess i have ADHD huh? The look on her face was priceless.
Anyway, back on topic. Some times I consider myself VERY successful! Other times, I KNOW what’s trapped inside me, I KNOW my own abilities, what I could or could not do (with no ADD) and that’s when I get irate – as I KNOW my potential, and feel trapped. I feel like the next leader of a large country, or the next brilliant CEO who takes a huge company to the top, or a great scientist who solves the world’s energy problems with a simple solution, etc. – but all that is trapped…… and I get very frustrated and angry because I’m chained down, locked up, unable to speak or convey all that. Then another day, I look around me, see the house, my shop, my stuff, the cats, my son – and think, hey, I’m really pretty successful………. then some of the “if only……..” sneaks back in…….AnonymousInactive
hi all, i can relate to the very first post. everyone here speaks pure poetry. really well thought out answers. despite the fact that i’m skippin around a lot reading them, i am truly enjoying them. i think though it’s really hard to do…. we should all stop berating ourselves to the point of exhaustion. i think we are all our own worst enemy. who needs enemies when we’ve got ourselves to put us down?
(i’m talking about people who have ADHD or forms of it are worse in their thinking about criticizing themselves- i’m constantly doing it to myself and it really sucks!)
if for some reason, you find a little tiny bit of happiness in whatever whether its our children, pets, music, really nice roses outside the house, etc. F-CK the successful people, we need to look into our own homes, souls, and just keep trying to do good for yourself and family or pets.
i really tried to make it short and sweet here but i can write pages of stuff about my own life.
i’m a nj housewife, my kid’s got ADHD and i’m fighting tooth and nail with my husband about medicating myself and my kid because i feel like i’ve got no control over my own life. i used to be able to cook and clean, pay bills, have a job, was thinner and younger, but now that i’m 40 – my life is starting to grind to a halt and just trying to do last night’s dishes is hard. yet if i put on a little bit of music, drink a cup of joe, sit down and read, which is really rare nowadays, I feel somewhat happy. like, shouldn’t i be doing something more important right now? or what did i forget to do THIS time?!
there is no real one true answer here. i guess we need to learn to live day by day and not hate ourselves for what could have been? when i was little, i wanted to save the world, now that i’m older, i want to save myself from drowning….
vent, everyone, let’s keep our shoulders wet with tears, and then let’s figure out how to make everything better…sorry, i’m being an idiot again…
one last thing, i’m so glad that i’m not in the street, doing drugs, or starving, i have a roof over my head, food in my belly, a sweet loving son who also has ADHD, and an angry husband who is frustrating with dealing with my kid’s and my own ADHD,. but i’m still grateful….
* dying of some horrible disease,
* or am in a country where i don’t have shoes on my feet or running water, or proper medical care.
* in a country where there is no freedom…..
there are worse people off than ourselves here….that’s one of the many things that i think about and it kind of brings me back to earth a little…..sorry for my idiocy here….AnonymousInactive
billd, you stand pretty tall in this room. What did the sleep center doc say? you going to join the other thread that sugargremlin started?AnonymousInactive
Living with ADHD is challenge we all have to learn to live with, to understand ourselves and our relation to our day to day lives. It is not easy and no one has a quick solution, what works for one may not work for you, etc… It all happens WITHIN each and one of us, and outer circumstances is everyones DIFFERENT reality.
Thus said, I never said we have to sytematically take upon artistic interests due to adhd. The point is that we should try to work with our strenghts, and around our weaknesses. A vast majority or adhders have a hard time in the linear office environment, it does not mean none of them should be there, if they can cope with it well good for them. No one said it had to be one or the other. However, you cannot deny that some fields of work are more suited to the symptoms of adhd. Alot of people are stuck in a job that they do not excel at and cant stand, regardless of adhd, and should consider change.
Also, delegating is not just about our deficits, everyone delegates regardless of add or not. Delegating is usually a solution to a problem, a problem i have no interest or need to prove to myself that I can conquer myself. And alot of problems you cannot conquer yourself, it’s the nature of life. That’s why there are specialists, professionals of trade, concultants in this world. Not using the tools at your disposal because it would make you feel disfunctional is ignorant at best in my book, and I have no shame in using a professional to do something I cant.
Besides, what do I have to prove by cutting my own lawn when it would take me twice as long and three days of mental preperation to be able to actually do it. I rather spend that time with my family or in other important parts of my life. The price it costs is no mach to the value of the time I save. I just cut on the other expenses to make it fit our budget. Do I dwell on my inability to cut my own lawn….no, but I value my decision making in this case. It’s all about your outlook on yourself.
Also, I shall never site any successfull or famous person unless I know them personnaly, have read they’re medical file, or written they’re memoirs, regardless if they have openly discussed they’re adhd and the impacts on they’re lives through various media outlets. I shall not bother you with optimism, and shall point out failures to make us all feel better and bigger then them. Obviously you have not understood that success in the eye of others is only about perception.
” F-CK the successful people, we need to look into our own homes, souls, and just keep trying to do good for yourself and family or pets”
Isnt that what true success is about, looking within and doing good for yourself and your loved ones? Regardless of the outside perception put upon you!
* dying of some horrible disease,
* or am in a country where i don’t have shoes on my feet or running water, or proper medical care.
* in a country where there is no freedom…..
there are worse people off than ourselves here….that’s one of the many things that i think about and it kind of brings me back to earth a little…..sorry for my idiocy here””
Yes, I love what you’re saying. Self-acceptance means being willing to recognize what I’m best at doing, and to do those things, instead of struggling to improve in areas of difficulty. I could do that, I could try to think like an engineer, but there are many others for whom that kind of thinking comes more easily and who would do a much better job. I have to do certain types of thinking where I work, for which I’m not particularly well-suited. Rather than pursue more education and training in this area, I prefer to shift my attention to what comes naturally to me, what’s easy for me. It takes a lot of energy to try to do what I’m bad at, and can require a vicious cycle of psyching up to perform and then crashing from exhaustion, always feeling like an impostor who might be found out, etc.
The best things I do are organic extensions of myself, my thought process, where my mind wants to go – which tends to be toward visual art and/or writing and editing. (Not as an ADHD trait, but that’s just who I am.) There’s nothing wrong with the comfort zone. If I could afford to pay people to do the things I don’t do very well, I would.
(great name, by the way, lol)…
I completely agree that berating ourselves is a pointless activity. Destructive, really.
I think I used to do it all the time because I believed I could bully myself into becoming better – telling myself I should do this, should do that, must straighten up and fly right, should be sent off to boot camp with “the word’s strictest parents” – cataloguing every mistake, haranguing myself for every faux pas, thinking if I got seven things right and one wrong, I had failed and was a bad person, and any act that could be shaded toward the negative, I would interpret negatively. Fighting, constantly fighting against myself.
Much of what I now perceive to be the truth has been completely counter-intuitive for me – like Alice through the looking glass, not at all what I expected. One such realization is that the voice of self-criticism, self-hatred, self-blame, self-recrimination, guilt, shame, fear, etc…is not my ally. I thought it was, but it is actually my nemesis. That voice is not even remotely useful. It’s nothing but a big bully! It’s total B.S. I could have killed myself listening to that voice.
As I’ve practiced ignoring and dismissing it, I’ve come to feel more centered. It’s like I can finally hear myself.
As I read somewhere…”May you be who you are, and may you be blessed in all that you are.”billdMember
While I agree – the ability to delegate or rather the LACK of that ability is an ADD trait – at least that’s what the neuro-psyc told me when I explained how deep I get in…
While it’s a good idea, and perhaps some of us could or should do more of it – it’s one of the struggles. I’ve not yet mastered how to do that, although I find with age, I might be just a bit better…………
LOL – I also have this issue – if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see that disproven. Im never satisfied, no one ever does things they way I want them done, I suallly have to do them over anyway, or find a do I much better job (a lot slower, but better)
Doesn’t matter – electric, plumbing, repair around the house, anything, I’m not happy with the work others do and normally end up doing it better.
One exception is our HVAC person – I swear he as ADD. His crew installed our Trane heat pump system 3 years ago. They were wrapping up and he came to check in at the end of the day. He was not a happy camper. WOW, he even redid things I’d have let go just to not be arguing about it. He was insistent that everything that could be reached be totally sealed. There was a bit of air noise in the ducts – he insisted that be solved. He out picky’d me!
I need to find SG’s thread and post what I found out – the “results” as it were……… fascinating.
WOW – great posts here. Even some of the stuff I don’t 100% agree with for myself, I find I respect, and am seeing different angles. They must be good posts to catch me like that! (or the rest of the Adderall is kicking in ROFLMAO)
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