Why I Love My ADHD

I’m going to be writing more about ADHD over the next while. I started last week with this posting here.

Seems to me too many people are all shame-filled about their ADHD. What the fuck is that about?

Here, take your stereotypes and shove it. Know what my ADHD doesn’t make me do? It doesn’t make me run around like I’ve had 42 coffees and have been mainlining coke and adrenaline, all right? It doesn’t mean I freak out on people. It doesn’t mean I can’t have a conversation with you. It doesn’t mean I can’t get to appointments punctually. It doesn’t mean I can’t be an awesome employee.

What it DOES mean is, I have organizational challenges that negatively impact my life and leave me predisposed to feeling overwhelmed and constantly daunted by the life in front of me. But that’s biochemical. It doesn’t mean I don’t BELIEVE I can do it all.

In fact, I’m getting really pissed off at the idea that I should somehow not admit I have ADHD, like I should hide the condition and pretend I’m “normal”.

Fact is? Without my ADHD, I wouldn’t be the writer I am. I wouldn’t have the wide range of artistic abilities with the keen scientific grasp of logic and philosophy that I have in spades, man.

The paradox of ADHD contributes greatly to the paradox of me — my odd mix of sensibilities, unpredictability, humour, quirky observation, talents, and wicked attention to detail.

Without my ADHD, I’d just be another person seeing the world through ordinary eyes. For whatever grief and challenge my ADHD put on me, its reward is the madcap swirl of perspective and hobbies that I live my life enjoying.

If you follow my crap on Twitter, you know I don’t shut up a lot.

I’m not on Twitter to be current on all the links or friendy-friendy with everyone. I’m there because it’s an extension of my writing. I record the minutae that I see around me, I comment on everything, I say things I probably damned well shouldn’t, and I probably blurt a lot of things most people barely have the guts to think and never say. Again, my Twitter stream is here.

Without my ADHD, you’d probably hear about me being in bank lines and eating Cheerios for breakfast, and not much more. The irrepressible impulses I get and the spontaneous outbursts I often have are just part of my “condition”.

In addition to that madcap swirl of thoughts? I’m also a fantastic cook, a wildly original home decorator, able to wield power tools, and garden, great at speaking, and more. I’m versatile and creative in pretty much every area of my life. I come up with original solutions to tricky problems at work and home. That’s part of ADHD, too — versatility, inventiveness, creativity, impulsiveness. It’s often all good if one can manage the other stuff.

Let’s face it, people. We’ve got to take the good with the bad with anything in life, but there is SO MUCH good that results out of the supposed “bad” of ADHD that I can’t tell you I wish I didn’t have this condition.

I LIKE the quirky, odd, strangely bright girl that my ADHD makes me. I like the fact that I surprise myself and make myself laugh with my observations of the world, but that other people seem to enjoy it too. I wouldn’t ask for anything else.

I may not be my ADHD, but my ADHD has helped to shape me into a more unique, more interesting person than I likely would have been otherwise.

Moral of the story? Don’t fight who you are. Make yourself the star of a play that suits your style in life.

It’s taken me a long, long time to realize that the things I used to hate about myself are the reason that all the things I love about myself are so strong. I’ve spent my life hating that I couldn’t get past my disorganization to get to a place of success. I’ve spent my life knowing that I’ve got a wicked sharp mind, an understanding of the public most people in some industries wish they had, and a way with words they can’t teach in school. And, yet, here I sit. All because I never knew how to control the one side of my life so I could maximize the other.

Learning that the two can, and do, play well together, but that I need to coach it out of myself, has been a fantastic lesson. I’m still learning and it’ll take a while before I successfully put it all together in a way that yields the results I want, but… it’s coming.Knowledge is power, and I’ve got the knowledge now.

Knowing my ADHD is such a gift helps me ignore the more “cursed” aspects of it. Understanding how much of “me” wouldn’t be a part of me without my ADHD? Helps me really decide that I need to learn to control it, because I fucking love the good it contributes to who I am.

Welcome to my journey.