Lets face it, there are more of them then there are of us. You know them, the neuro-typicals.
So, all the magazine survival tips that are supposed to make life easier, richer, better are directed at them. Yeah, they might help us. They might help us with the things that are high on the list of the neuro-typical, but they’re not “the big ones” to us.
So, lets see. On Monday we talked about what values ADHD people might bring to the table, and I think there are lots more than the ones we covered.
Since no two of us are identical, the real point is to find the abilities that each person with ADHD has and, for want of a better term, exploit them to the advantage of all involved.
The benefits of this to the person with ADHD are great. And perhaps the least of them is gainful employment. I say this because, in my opinion, the greatest is the self worth and self esteem generated by the feeling of being an active and valued part of a functioning and successful organization.
On Monday we had a little talk about a friend of mine who has a local business and told me about how much he valued the strengths that an employee with ADHD could bring to the table.
I asked him if he had to do anything differently to make the value evident, and he offered the following suggestions.
He suggested that lists were a bad thing. I looked at him kind of oddly, and he clarified by explaining that if a person makes a list of things they need to do, that’s fine. It’s their list, they’re invested in it. But if they are handed a list, it will get lost.
Last night I was at a concert. During intermission, I got talking with a friend of mine who runs a local business. I mentioned that I had a 6:30 AM deadline for my blog, and that I wasn’t sure what I’d write about.
He asked me why I didn’t just write about the fact that anyone who wants their business to be a success should hire someone with ADHD.
I looked at him like I had questions … which I did. I took out my pen and pad of paper and said “What makes you say that?”
So he began to tell me the reasons someone with ADHD was, in his opinion, essential to running a successful business.
I need to write this post quickly, before I forget what I’m writing about. Wait, is that old age that causes that?
Or is it ADHD. In actuality, I’m only 55 … but geez, even saying that makes me think “Who? Me? 55? Really?”
You see, I feel, mentally that I’m 18. Also, I feel emotionally like I’m 25. All right, all right, 22.
And while I have, in fact, a rather remarkable memory for things that have happened and for mostly useless bits of trivia, I don’t remember enough to be able to feel like I’ve lived for 55 years.
I’ve noticed that a lot of ADHD references involve transit. Dr. Edward Hallowell often talks about us having Ferrari engines and bicycle brakes.
I’ve talked about our thoughts being like the tracks in a rail yard where all the switches randomly shunt our focus around from one siding to another.
And we all know how rapid our minds can work, jetting from one place to another with little use for tickets, passports or connection schedules.
So it’s little wonder that I got thinking about my ADHD yesterday while I rode the bus.
I guess I should tell you first off, I’ve never ridden the bus in my town before yesterday. So naturally, when a thing called “Transit Tuesday” came up, I got myself a one dollar day long bus pass and I got me onto the bus.
Being a rural Canadian, there are naturally some things I need. I need to see the Canadians play hockey whenever they’re playing on the world stage.
I need to be submersed in fresh water several times each summer season, and that doesn’t mean in swimming pools.
I need some snow each year, and I need some sun. It’s the way it is. I can’t help it.
Being a person with ADHD, there are other things I naturally need. I need to be challenged in order to be able to focus. I need notes in order to be able to keep track of things I’d easily forget, and sometimes still do.
What did I say on Wednesday? What were those fateful words? Yeah, I don’t remember either, let’s look them up.
Here they are, “And what about all those things you’ve been unable to keep track of that have caused you so much aggravation? Sure we can call that a flawed memory, but we could also look at it as training in the fine art of trouble shooting, of salvaging situations when they go pear shaped. And we didn’t get good at that by being normal, did we?”
And on Monday, I was talking about being overwhelmed. In that post I said, “Some missteps can be lessons, and I’m always ready to learn. True, I have to experience some lessons an inordinately large number of times, but eventually I clue in.”
Have you had enough of being considered unusual and different? Have you had enough of being judged and found wanting?
Or do you line up with those who are judging you? Do you agree with those assessments. Do you wish you could “cure” yourself? Do you wish someone could offer you a cure?
If it’s a cure you’re wanting, there is hope. But it’s not maybe the kind of hope you were … well, hoping for.
It’s not a change in the way you are or the way your brain works. It’s a change in your perception.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a post on being overwhelmed. Actually, it was partly a post on being overwhelmed and partly a post on how not to be overwhelmed, how to fix that situation.
It was also a post on using the word “overwhelm” as a noun, something I’ve heard some of the leaders of our ADHD community do, but I’m still uncomfortable with that.
In that post I pointed out that a friend, one who doesn’t have ADHD, was able to simply point out the next obvious step while I and another friend, one who does have ADHD, were overwhelmed by the inability to isolate that next logical step.
It’s likely a prioritizing thing. And I’m still lousy at that. But I have discovered that if I just pick a step to take, it’s priority will promptly become obvious.
If it’s the wrong one, I just have to back peddle (and hope that I haven’t ruined anything).