I’m not you. I try to remember that all the time. My life is mine. Your life is yours. We are not a group of identical people with identical lives and identical problems.
But we are a group who recognizes that we are a group. And every so often, something will come up that reminds me that many of us have a lot of things in common.
The question, “Is that a thing?,” has started popping up in conversations with other people I know, who have ADHD.
One day recently, on a Facebook based ADHD page I belong to, one of my friends posted a note about becoming overly involved in online friendships too quickly, like, you know, before there is a friendship.
“I think I get ‘over familiar’ with people. I think I post things which assume some kind of friendship which isn’t there. Then I feel horrible mortification when I realize how I may have behaved.”
I sympathized with my friend Kim (not her real name) when she asked “Do other people do this? It’s going to be bloody embarrassing if it’s just me. I fully anticipate a knock on my door by the police. I’m a weirdo aren’t I?!” (Understand that on this support page, when we say “other people” we mean other people with ADHD. Also, I asked for, and got Kim’s permission to talk about this outside the page.)
I told her “Kim, you are a weirdo, just like the rest of us. Relax.” Many others affirmed that they also do this. Kim, naturally, was relieved, and 45 comments later, with some distractions and side tracking, we all seemed to be in agreement once again that it is awesome being members of our group.
This is just one instance, but I experience this happening probably 5 times in any week. In conversations with friends in cafés, on street corners, at kitchen tables, online in situations like this, by email, it happens lots. And it happens because Adult ADHD is a new thing and we are learning about it at the same time that it is being charted.
And the great thing about learning from each other is that we might well end up knowing more about our disorder, that has poor self awareness as a symptom, than the people who are studying it professionally.
Comparing notes in a protected environment has the benefit of learning about yourself without stigma or critique. If you can find a support group where you can talk openly, where it is understood that anything you say goes no farther than there, you’ve found a place of value. There is a very real health benefit to be gained from support like that, from no longer feeling alone.
And one more thing about using a Facebook page as a support group, it’s actually more like a drop in centre. That is to say, there are no meeting times to remember, there’s always someone there, or at least there will be someone there shortly, and you can initiate or comment on any issue you like.
And if you belong to a group of people with ADHD, you’ll quickly find out whether or not some of your behavior is normal, abnormal, or ADHD normal. If you belong to any kind of ADHD support group, you get to ask “Is this a thing?” … and you get answered.
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Last reviewed: 25 Oct 2013