~ Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary
It’s Canada Day on Friday. In honor of the day, I thought about what it’s like for a lot of us in Canada, especially in rural Canada, to live with ADHD.
I was mulling this over while walking by the river at a local park. It was the very river where the following story took place last summer. It’s a true story. Let’s call it a Canadian ADHD parable.
This weekend, out of the blue, Kablooie!
The mine of inheritance / my inheritance
ADHD is genetic. How many times over the past 4 1/2 years have I heard that? Can’t count ‘em. I’ve been so busy researching the origins of ADHD, its symptoms, treatments, and how I can wiggle out of it, I didn’t see this mine coming.
Saturday a.m., June 18, 2011
Dear Blog Readers:
I’m going to try not to get too sappy, but I had to write to you this morning ’cause I’ve got something to share.
(By gosh, this is the most “unscripted,” raw post I’ve ever written – I’m winging it right now and trying to just get it out so I can get to the million-and-one things I have to do before rushing out the door…forgive its lack of literary merit, ‘k, guys?!)
Now, where was I?
Those of you who’ve read this week’s blog posts know that I hit a pretty impressive low on Wednesday morning. If wishing that I’d been drowned at birth isn’t low, I don’t know what is, and that’s how I started my day.
Later, on that horrible morning, I was inspired by meeting a young boy with ADHD. While not pulling me out of my funk, this chance meeting with an ADD angel renewed my resolve to get my shit together.
Still, I remained shaken up so badly that when I thought about going into work, I knew – I just knew – I couldn’t.
Part II – The Redemption
On my way home from my appointment yesterday, I stopped off at the grocery store. As I walked through the sliding door, I noticed a young boy with big, sad eyes sitting in one of the chairs set up for the little old ladies to wait for their cabs.
What first struck me was the slogan on his T-shirt:
My mission is done here.”
Yesterday Ken (not his real name), an acquaintance of mine, took his first dose of ADHD stimulant medication.
I’d previously met with Ken to talk about adult ADHD and his concerns about taking medication. I related my own experience, suggested some reference materials, and we parted. At my request, Ken (age 42) wrote to me after he’d taken his first dose. His comment?
“Started Concerta yesterday. Well. Normal people have it f*cking easy don’t they? Amazing.”
His comment sent me into a tailspin.
Many people with ADHD (myself included) identify with being an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), so I thought I’d revisit this topic in today’s blog post.
I’m not saying that non-HSP’s don’t experience these traits, but it’s much more common amongst the 15 to 20% of the population who carry the gene for sensitivity (yes, research backs up its genetic origin).
Sensitivities can manifest as physical characteristics, in social situations, and at work.
Dr. Kenny Handelman is a psychiatrist specializing in child and adolescent ADHD.
I first interviewed Dr. Handelman in 2008 for my MORE Magazine article, Spinning out of control: What happens when the A in ADHD stands for Adult? Finally,a guide for grown-ups.
Since then, I’ve referred to his excellent ADD ADHD Blog to keep up to date and expand my research, and today, I’m happy to announce that Dr. Handelman is launching his book, Attention Difference Disorder – How to Turn Your ADHD Child or Teen’s Differences into Strengths in 7 Simple Steps.
Here at ADHD from A to Zoë, one of my goals is to dispel some of the myths that surround ADHD. For example:
1) That we’re crazy.
Ok. That one’s not a myth. We’re good-crazy. See Go Ahead, Call Me Crazy.
2) We’re lazy.
Just because we LOOK like we’re spinning our wheels…hey – do you have ANY idea how much energy it takes to spin THAT MANY wheels? Fast? All at once? And to keep spinning in spite of ample evidence that we’re getting nowhere?
I recently had dinner with famed feminist artist, Judy Chicago. Me, and about 85 select others.
It is only now, several weeks later, that I’ve been able to digest what the dinner meant to me.
Here’s how I see the banquet of my life, pre- and post-ADHD diagnosis.