I think what’s hard about having ADHD is I don’t feel like I have ADHD.
Even the classic symptoms, when I read them, don’t feel like a description of me:
- easily distracted
- trouble organizing tasks
Even with all my productivity issues, bad spending habits and credit card debt, even with all the details I’ve forgotten or overlooked, all the appointments I’ve been 2 minutes late for (but actually 10 minutes), it still feels to me like an issue of self-motivation, willpower, and grit – not a focus and brain issue. It feels within my control. (It is not.)
I don’t see myself as someone with ADHD, and yet I must reconcile that with the fact that I do have ADHD.
I do not see myself as some fidgety, distractible person, and yet, cupboard doors get left open and I come back to half-finished tasks, unable to pinpoint when or why I walked away from what I was doing.
I do not see myself as someone who struggles to organize or prioritize tasks, and yet how many days have I needed to pay bills and grocery shop only to do neither?
I do not see myself as impulsive and yet I spent an unplanned $75 on a Kacey Musgraves tour sweatshirt within minutes of receiving the email because the burst of FOMO was too great.
I do not see myself as forgetful and yet I’ll miss an important appointment or deadline because “I don’t know how but it slipped my mind.”
ADHD is slippery because I feel capable and ambitious – the quality of my potential is gold plated – and yet…
And yet I struggle. I see myself as a smart, creative, able person, but sometimes I exist as a ditsy, confused, paralyzed person.
I think the trick here is to not let black and white thinking short-change the takeaway, because I am not smart OR ditsy, creative OR confused, able OR paralyzed – the bigger, huger, scarier, wonderful truth is I am all those things:
- I’m able to focus on a lot of important and meaningful things AND I’m also easily distracted
- I passionately engage in my life tasks and do them to the best of my ability AND I also struggle to start and follow through
- I work hard to manage my budget and finances AND I also have credit card debt and give into whims
- I remember really important and special things AND I also forget really important and special things
Your ADHD deserves your attention, your ADHD is a real part of you, your ADHD is not all of you.
Resonate with what I share about ADHD but not sure if you have it? Find some resources here.