Note the maze graphic on Dr. Barkley's excelent book ...

Note the maze graphic on Dr. Barkley’s excellent book …

On Monday we managed to get ourselves diagnosed. Today lets talk about what to do with that diagnosis. I, for one, went headlong into the process of educating myself about ADHD. I learned what it is, and what it is not. It was a few months before I began to realize that ADHD is not something that can be defined definitively, if I may use that twisted phrase.

What I mean is that ADHD is a Symptom Spectrum Disorder and none of us have all the symptoms. Some of the symptoms are conflicting, or at least the manifestations of them would seem to be polar opposites.

For example, some of us are neat freaks and some of us can’t find anything if someone cleans up their space. I’m okay with you cleaning up my space, but I don’t mind the mess either. I’m in the middle on this one. How politically correct of me, eh?

Soul searching, seeking self …

Education is a good thing, it is wise to know who you are. And I assure you that you will be surprised at what you find out. Things you thought were unique to you will be found here in our community. And things that you thought were not part of your makeup will suddenly appear in your CV complete with evidence embedded in your memory.

You will laugh, you will weep, you will have days when you give up and days when you dig in. There will be times when you question the validity of the diagnosis and times when you wonder how in hell you got as far as you have in life. And every one of these times is valid.

And then?

And when all the rear view mirror gazing and self adjudication is over, you will not be at a cross road. No, you’ll be at the end of the known road. Ahead of you will be what looks like unmapped frontier, and there may be a few people way out there, but you’ll have no idea how they got to where they are now.

Worse than lost …

Knowing there may be a destination, somewhere, and knowing that you’re starting from here but not knowing where here actually is bad. It’s worse than knowing where you started from and where you’re going but being lost. It’s worse because now you have no reference points. You don’t know where you’ve been because many things you thought about your life were false and even your plans seem unlikely.

Every dark cloud …

But there is hope. You have time. You’ll mismanage it, but not all of it. You can learn where you’ve been and you can revise your plans. And there is help. If you’ve found this blog, start from here. There are references to help in my blog and in the links listed on the left side of my blog’s main page.

And there are more links to helpful material on Zoë Kessler’s blog here at Psych Central. And every link here and there have more links. There are books, books, and more books. Many of them can do nothing but help if you avail yourself of their content.

And I’m here

And I’m right here. I’m stumbling along. I’m not delusional enough to think I’m your saviour, but I like to think that when I stumble, and then share, you may avoid doing something similar. Or at least you might know that when you stumbled in the same way, you weren’t alone, though I may be pretty poor company.

The fact is, you’re here. And so am I. And so are many others, and we share something in common. We would be able to share and help ourselves learn if we weren’t embarrassed, but why are we embarrassed of a disorder we cannot control. Lets get past this stigma thing and start learning from each other. Now.