I just spent half an hour talking to someone about conforming or not conforming. We talked about whether ADHD means that he can or can’t do a job that is confining and restrictive. And, although it wasn’t mentioned verbatim, we talked about whether he could continue in a relationship that has been an ongoing challenge for him.
I’m not naming names, and I’m not talking anymore about this conversation, except to say that it reminded me of three revelations I had when I was younger, before I knew I had ADHD.
The first revelation was that, yes, the world did in fact revolve around me. The second one was an extension of the first: everyone’s world revolves around them. We are all alike in this respect. We can have sympathy and even empathy for others, we can make Olympian efforts to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. But we don’t need to do that for ourselves, we’re already living our lives. We know to what extent the other people we would try to understand are in our world. We do not know to what extent we are in their worlds.
The natural progression of these revelations led me to realize that everyone else is as important as I am when viewed by a third, disinterested party.
But all this means nothing, if you’re unwilling to find ways to improve yourself.
I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repeating, the point I want to offer is that ADHD is not an excuse. Yes, we are not very self aware. Yes, we do say inappropriate things. Yes, we do make bad decisions. Yes, we are hyper lovers, drinkers, talkers, hoarders, tweeters, distractors (that isn’t a real word, but it should be). But this is not a list of reasons why others should accept our flaws, this is a list of areas in our lives that we need to pay attention to.
In another conversation I had over the past weekend, a new found friend told me that she had spent a couple of days reminding herself about a conversation we had where I told her that we ADHDers have to choose between deal or dwell, just like any other person does. She has had a bit of a rough time recently and trying to come to terms with that has left her feeling a bit low. I may be understating that, but I’m not going to speak for her, or about her anymore, other than this: She told me “I definitely dropped the not helpful thought patterns after that and that’s why I had such a freaking happy weekend.”
This friend is not diagnosed with ADHD, maybe she has it, maybe not. But we are all human. There is no reason that this won’t work for us. It worked for her, it works for me.
Deal or dwell! The world revolving around you is yours. What do you want it to look like? No one else is going to change it for you, they have their own worlds to work on, to worry about. But if you make your world better, the people in it will certainly appreciate that effort. After all, you’re one of the people in their world, right?
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Last reviewed: 26 Oct 2012