It’s not that what happened couldn’t have happened to anybody, but when it happens to someone who is diagnosed with a condition (ADHD) that inspires a book with the title, You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?! it’s especially poignant.
True to the book title, as a child I often felt that I was being treated as though I were stupid. This was hurtful and confusing, and led to many angst-ridden years as an adult with undiagnosed ADHD.
As many of you know, the first time I admitted publicly to a stranger (two weeks after my ADHD diagnosis, at 46), that I had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the response was, “They tried to tell me my son had ADD, but I knew he didn’t; he’s highly intelligent.”
This was spoken directly to my face as I stood there aghast. Let’s just say that this week’s fiasco was at least partly satisfying as an antidote to that kind of remark. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I hope all my American friends are out enjoying themselves or relaxing at home or with friends! (If you’re like me, holidays are a bonus day to clean the house, catch up on organizing, and squeeze in a bit of fun and socializing as well, but without the added pressure of a regular work day).
As for me, I have a few odds & sods I wanted to share today.
For those of you who missed my last webinar Finding the Gifts of an ADHD / non-ADHD Partnership with special guest Melissa Orlov:
here’s a link to the audio
You’re gonna love this: Melissa had to remind me to start the presentation!
I’d gotten all distracted trying to figure out a feature of the software (which is new to me; try having massive ADHD and sitting in front of a jet control panel for the second time, fly the plane, and serve martinis all at the same time while smiling, looking sexy, and making the passengers feel comfortable and you’ll have a remote idea of how I was feeling), and here I was droning on and on (live) about the Question & Answer module…
…when Melissa very gently said (during a rare pause): “Zoë, are you going to make a presentation?!”
Huh? Oh yeah…
Have you ever noticed how your ADHD symptoms seem a lot worse in some situations than others?
Or that your symptoms were a lot worse at one point in your life than another? Say, for example, the time you cruised through high school on raw talent, but ended up flunking out of first year college because you had no study skills and your ADHD symptoms went into overdrive?
These are both because ADHD is a context-driven syndrome. Recently, I had an Aha! moment about that.
Ok, guys, you DO realize it’s the long weekend, right? The sun is shining… oh, never mind. A promise is a promise, here we go. And, once again, I do apologize for the cliff-hanger. (I couldn’t stand it either).
Without further adieu, here it is:
My Confession (and don’t be disappointed… I’m NOT an SM afficionado who’s secretly tattooed from head to toe with scenes from A.D.D. and loving it?! and who serial kills gerbils for a hobby. Sorry.)
I’m wondering if any of you with ADHD also have the traits and abilities of telepathy, the ability to tell the future, and other unexplained phenomena?
I’m going to give you an example of the kind of thing I’m talking about, and will remind you that incidents like this happen to me completely out of the blue, so don’t judge, ‘k?
My first confession is, I’ve wanted to share this for over two years now but was afraid. I’ve never written about this publicly, and I know that some will consider me certifiably nutzoid after reading this (as opposed to merely having your garden-variety ADHD, with a little – okay – a lot – of hyperactivity).
So why ‘fess up? Because I’ve always been honest with you. I’ve tried to share as much of my personal story as I felt was relevant to being a woman living with ADHD. And because I know that you know that I am an intelligent, educated woman, and maybe you won’t write me off for this one teeny transgression (fingers crossed).
Woh! Twitter is messing with my head! I’m trying not to be intimidated by all the super-smart, super-cool people who are Following me. I feel like my fly is down.
I’m trying to be conscious of my lifelong (pre-ADHD diagnosis) pattern of striving for a goal, approaching it, then abandoning same – LOOK! A tree! – through distraction, fear of failure, boredom, whatever.
So now I’m watching my Twitter list grow and feeling those old familiar feelings of shyness, inferiority, and social ineptitude. I’m resisting the urge to go hide in the basement and take my Tweets with me.
Remember when I said it takes me forever to learn anything new? I wasn’t just “whistling dixie” (as my mom used to say, whatever that means).
I’m on a warp-speed learning curve at the moment, and given how fast we put this webinar thing together, I’m actually pretty happy with it (and yes, kind of proud. At least you could hear both me and Melissa Orlov, my special guest, and that’s the main thing. That, and the info is gold!).
I also admit that I’m pretty proud that last night’s ADHD, Anger, and Marriage was not only mine, but Psych Central’s 1st-ever webinar. How cool is that?!
My guest, Melissa Orlov, was superb. I admire her calm, cool, and collected manner; her depth of knowledge and her warmth; she was the perfect choice as my first guest. (she even laughed at my jokes, bonus!)
Melissa and I will be presenting again on Thursday, May 24 @ 8 p.m. EST, details coming soon.
For those of you who missed last night’s webinar, ADHD, Anger, and Marriage,
here’s a link to the audio
I’m sorry there aren’t any spiffy visuals, but hey, I’m new at this! It was my maiden voyage, so please cut me some slack.
I’m super-excited to be presenting a webinar this Thursday (May 10th) with author Melissa Orlov, whom I recently interviewed. When I spoke with Melissa, it was abundantly clear that she’s a wonderful resource, so I asked if she’d be interested in co-presenting with me.
Much to my delight, she said yes!
In classic be-careful-what-you-ask-for style, instead of working on my book tonight, I’ve spent 6 hours setting up the webinar (one of two we’ll be doing this month, unless I turn out to be so incompetent she dumps me!) using a platform I’ve never used before; writing the webinar description, e-mail notices and Tweets to let everyone know about it; re-sizing and cropping photos for same; updating my website pages; talking to Melissa; e-mailing Dr. Grohol here at Psych Central (we’re hosting it); and so on.
Last week, I clarified some of my viewpoints around ADHD based on a comment received from a blog visitor whom I’ll refer to as Kim (not her real name). (I don’t think. She wrote anonymously).
I talked about how ADHD is experienced differently by each of us, and how my blog reflects my own personal experiences.
That said, many of you have written over the years to say that my wacky journey has at times mirrored your own. Those of us who share similar traits or travails have found a validating sense of camaraderie, and for that, I’m grateful.
To those of you who experience a different flavor of ADHD: we’ve learned from your stories and sharing too.
Together, we share this ADHD thing. And for all of us, that can cause a heap of trouble when it comes to relationships. As the wedding season approaches, and in response to Kim’s comment, I’ll share a cautionary word about the dangers of ignoring your ADHD when you’re looking for a happily- ever-after. Read on…