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How Familiar is My ADHD Life?

Finding my way ...

Okay, I confess. I was a little lost. This isn’t new for me, being lost, but admitting it is. I’m a guy, right, I don’t want to ask for directions, don’t want to admit that I’ve lost my way. But I can tell you now that I had.

I wasn’t wandering around the streets of my town, looking in vain for a familiar street sign or landmark. I was wandering through life, looking for the familiar. I was wanting some place to be that felt comfortable.

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore …”

And so much has changed in the last little while that it often feels like nothing will be familiar again. For example, I’m no longer that quirky guy I used to be, I’m now a guy with ADHD. And I’m not a husband of 27 years anymore, I’m a widower.

I’m not even doing any of the work I did before, I’ve been a professional writer for four years now. Prior to this point in my life I was a PSW (personal support or health care worker), a computer programmer, a computer technician, a printing press operator, a farm hand, a construction worker, kitchen staff … the list goes on.

The circle

While writing is a familiar process, a place to hide, I do have to come out of my office in order to experience life. And I have to experience life in order to write. Not a viscous circle, but it does go ’round.

The familiar is where you find it

But I have found a familiar place to visit in the real world. I’ve found friends. Members of our tribe who are happy to engage in socializing, talking about what makes us unique, what makes us tick and what gives us tics. These are my new familiars. They look at me, into me really, and recognize my need. They often say exactly what I need to hear, discern what I’m lacking with ADHD sensitivity … okay, sometimes they miss the mark, but not often, and even then their intentions are to make me feel better, and they do.

And in talking to them, and visiting with them, I’m reminded that this is my world too. That the only reason it isn’t familiar is that I haven’t settled into the current changes. I’m reminded that comfort comes gradually and a more complete comfort will come eventually. And while I’m waiting for that to happen, I’m comfortable in their company. Their experiences are familiar to me – many of their experiences are my experiences.

... let's grab a coffee

I should be used to change

Listing off my jobs above reminded me that I have found familiarity in change before. I’ve been through this when I wasn’t being so mindful. And I’ve survived thus far. The difference now is that I’m aware of my ADHD, aware of my confusion.

But that’s okay …

Work, hobbies, life, all these will change. What I hope will remain constant and consistent is my new tribe membership. Individuals may come and go, but the tribe will remain. So this would be my thank you for your acceptance of me. You are all special to me.

… And hey, lets grab a coffee sometime soon, I’ve got things to tell you – and things I want to ask. Did you say you hadn’t yet filed your income tax either?

How Familiar is My ADHD Life?

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2011). How Familiar is My ADHD Life?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 Oct 2011
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