ADHD: From a Non-ADHD Friend’s Perspective
I’ve written before about how picking the right friends can make or break you if you have ADHD. That might sound extreme, but if you haven’t been diagnosed until adulthood, you’ve probably suffered from a lot of hurts and heartbreaks. A good friend is a lot like a good ADHD treatment plan: they’ll help bring out the best in you, while helping you to minimize the more challenging traits.
I thought it might be interesting to hear my friend Sharen’s perspective. Sharen does not have ADHD. We met a few years after I’d received my diagnosis.
Especially for those of you who at this very moment are being hard on yourselves – LISTEN UP! You CAN have a best friend you can trust and confide in – and who will love you just the way you are.
Here’s Sharen’s story:
I remember the first time I met my friend Zoë. She was teaching a writing course that I was enrolled in. I thought she was talented and smart and quite beautiful. In my opinion she had it “all together.”
As our last class wrapped up, I gathered up my nerve and asked her if she would like to join me for coffee some time and we set a date for the following week. I was excited to learn more about her.
It was a dreary fall day when we met for coffee and conversation. I told Zoë about my recent move to the city from my home in the country. We talked about my son and daughter and of course my pets. Then we began to share stories with more personal details about our lives. Zoë said, “Well, seeing as we are telling each other about ourselves, I want to tell you something.”
It sounded very serious and I was concerned. After a short silence she blurted out “I have ADD!”
Been there, done that
Well that was a relief! ADD is something I am very familiar with. One of my very dear friends (let’s call her Sarah) has ADD and that is what I love about her. That is what makes her so great to be around. Sarah is quirky, energetic, creative and loveable.
Carrying on a conversation with Sarah is next to impossible but one of the most enjoyable things to do. She loves to talk, but we could begin discussing the weather and end up talking about penguins and diamonds and toilets and border collies all within a span of fifteen minutes. It is fun and never boring when with Sarah.
She is a devout Christian and she can quote any passage of the Bible but Sarah cannot organize her life. She is constantly losing her keys and her purse, and is never on time. I usually tell her that she needs to be somewhere a half an hour early, hoping that she will show up at least by the time the event starts.
She is very easily distracted and can often be found folding her laundry while dancing around to very loud Christian rock. She is so energetic that she and my highly active dog Ozzy share a special bond. He runs to the door when he hears her name. He doesn’t do that with anyone else.
Sarah also loves to shop at consignment clothing stores and shiny things really distract her. If an item of clothing has any embellishment it calls out to her and she is compelled to try it on. However, she doesn’t know how to edit her choices and one time I found her sitting on the floor with about twenty dresses that she planned to try on. I asked her what she was doing and she said “Aren’t they pretty?” Shopping with her is an event and we enjoy every minute of it.
So when Zoë announced to me that she had ADD I thought about Sarah and I realized that my life was going to be enriched with the friendship of another ADDer. Have I been disappointed? Not at all. I knew that I was in for some terrific conversations and some interesting escapades.
The bottom line
Life with an ADD friend is an adventure. Sometimes it requires patience and understanding, but that is necessary in any friendship. For over two years Zoë has been an important part of my life. We have laughed and cried together. Sometimes I annoy her and sometimes she annoys me. But that’s what friendship is all about. And as for shiny things, they distract Zoë too.
Kessler, Z. (2012). ADHD: From a Non-ADHD Friend’s Perspective. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 21, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-zoe/2012/02/adhd-from-a-non-adhd-friends-perspective/