A conversation in the future:
“Papa, Timothy , my friend at school, says there was a time when people thought they were normal. Is that true?”
“Ha ha, well, yes, Bonnie, that is true. There was a time when humanity knew so little that some of our ancestors thought of themselves that way. But we know better than that now.”
The people who align themselves with autism have coined the phrase ‘neuro-typical’ or ‘NT’ to refer to non-autistic people. I’ve also used ‘NT’ as well as the phrase ‘norman’, a concatenation of the words normal and human, to refer to non-ADHDers. The words normal and typical suggest that there is an average or a norm that is represented by the general population.
Ever get the feeling that your day just disappeared? Maybe I should ask if you ever get a day that seems to just pace itself perfectly and the things you need to do just get checked off in a timely and orderly fashion?
I know my answers. Days disappear all the time … and no, that other kind of day does not exist.
Okay, I do seem to have vague memories of days like that. From before my diagnosis, but I don’t know if they existed or if I just thought I’d had days like that.
I’m getting very tired of this. If you would like to tell me that you do not have ADHD, feel free. If you would like to tell me that you can’t find your car keys six days out of seven, but you don’t have ADHD, that’s okay.
If you would like to tell me that you walk into rooms 50 times a day and wonder what you went in there for, AND you can’t find your car keys but you don’t have ADHD, that’s okay too.
If you want to tell me you cannot focus on a book long enough to read the synopsis, you walk into rooms and then can’t remember why and can’t find yo
ur keys but you don’t have ADHD … that’s fine.
A lot of my friends are people with ADHD. And I hear a lot of things about life with ADHD from them. I don’t agree with everything I hear, but I’m not saying that they are wrong.
Some of us have some aspects of the disorder and some of us have others. I’m grateful I’m not the person with all of them.
I’ve heard more than a few members of our tribe complain about folks who “think they might be ADHD” because they always lose their keys, or they can’t concentrate to read, or they get lost easily.
It’s not their fault that they believe that is all that one needs to be considered a candidate for an ADHD diagnosis.
Yes, the information is out there, yes they could look it up. But are they being told to?
What’s in a translation? A lot apparently. There has been a rash of hoax “news” reports stating that the “Inventor” of ADHD confessed on his deathbed that it is made up. I don’t even know where to begin with this, unless maybe to say … No!
The great thing about stories like this is that they sound really good, don’t they? But I like to ask questions when I read things. Questions like “Where’s the interview?” “Who did the interview?” “Can I please read the actual interview?”
There are people in this world who feel that specific mental health issues are new manifestations. They believe that certain disorders are caused by new things that we do, new things that we eat, new chemicals in vaccines and medications.
These people truly believe that ADHD didn’t exist before. They truly believe that Autism was caused by vaccines. And they honestly believe that they can cure these disorders with diets and restrictions.
I’ve heard it a hundred times. “Hyperfocus is so great!” And yet, I’ve been having a problem getting on board with that.
You see, focus isn’t just a noun, it’s also a verb. And I think it’s an active verb. I think focus is something we need to do “on purpose” … and I can’t!
Okay, not true, I can. But not easily. And I have extra difficulty making myself focus on what needs to be focused on when my mind is attracted to something … anything else.
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Things aren’t always as they appear. Looks can be deceiving. This line of thought is most certainly applicable to people with ADHD.
We don’t stand out, at all. At least we don’t stand out, out on the street. And we don’t stand out in the library, at the restaurant or café, at the gym or in church or the mall.
We can be picked out in the class room, sometimes, if you look closely. But you have to look very closely, we’re trying hard to fit in there.
I think, sometimes, that there is very little else in my life so bad as the fact that I have ADHD. I hate that I get distracted, I hate that I fail to focus to the extent that it keeps me from accomplishing things. I hate that I am often left suffering guilt and anxiety over the things I sometimes say and do.
But I hate the misinformation about ADHD even worse. I hate that people hear things from others and repeat those things as if they are gospel. The phrase “They say …” is not a citation for anything and yet it suffices for anyone who wants to sound knowledgeable.
I’ve said I have above average intelligence before, but I have a confession to make. I just say it, I can’t prove it. I say it and no one argues with me. No one ever questions me. I’m not a member of Mensa, I’ve never had my Intelligence Quotient rated, and while I made the honor roll in my last year of high school and through college, my school grading was far from spectacular for most of the time. In fact, I was a solid C-minus student.
The thing that took me from being a C-minus student in Grade 11 to an honor roll student in grade 12 was simply this: when I started grade 12 the first time, I lasted a month … and then quit. I was 18 years old, I was old enough to quit, and so I did.
After 11 months of trying to hold down three jobs at once just to keep myself in alcohol, I decided I needed my high school diploma in order to get a decent paying job. Actually I went to my high school to find out how to join the navy and ended up signing up for my last year of school just to finish it. But that’s another story.