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I Don’t Feel Like I Have ADHD

March 9, 2022

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
  • impulsive
  • forgetful

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.

Love,
Dylan

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  1. Erum says:

    It’s the beautiful ‘and’ for me, learning to embrace that two things can be true, not just one or the other, has opened my brain to so many other ways of seeing and thinking about things. Especially when it comes to coming to terms with having ADHD. Especially when it comes to addressing fears. Especially when it comes to showing up in this life. I am also learning that, for me, the gray area is sometimes where my intuition lies. Love you friend ♥️

  2. Tammy says:

    ADHD seems so complex. You’ve channeled this way of being in the world to find your unique creative voice. I’ve enjoyed scrolling through your blog to get a snapshot of your projects.