I was talking online with a friend of mine one day last week. We were discussing the similarities in our work. She addresses people who are newly diagnosed with ADHD in a workshop setting. I … well, I do this, I address people in a blog setting.
My friend and I were talking about her approach to talking with people. She told me she used to have a power point presentation, and a set patter, but she’s given that up. How does she inspire interaction with her groups now? “ […] I just talk about myself and my experiences.”
She said, “It reinforced my belief that allowing myself to really feel my emotions while I talk to them makes the biggest connection. People see a lot about the superficial challenges of ADHD, but few talk about the hidden shame and pain, and that certainly applies to your blog.”
She’s on to something there
So I said, “Yep, we connect when we reveal … something about us makes us want to reach out to those who make us feel … not normal, but okay in a way, like ‘Hey,you sound like me and you’re not apologizing to the world, do I not have to apologize either? Is it okay to be this way? Can I stop being so hard on myself?’”
I know this is true, I’ve read blog posts that made me feel this way. My earliest experiences with what ADHD is came from reading Zoë Kessler’s blog.
Then my friend said, “Absolutely, and not ashamed. People don’t talk about what they perceive as weakness. When you show them how strong they are in the face of challenges we face, it is such a relief, and it allows them to talk to other people about their secret pain.”
And I replied, “Hell yeah. That is one of the most poignant and strong truths of this thing, ADHD is perceived as a collection of weaknesses, but no one looks at the person with ADHD and realizes how strong they are to be able to deal with it and survive.”
The secret is, ADHD is issues, not people!
The secret is, ADHD is issues, not people! And that made me think of all of you. You who read my blog, and others who haven’t read my blog but have ADHD, you need to know this.
We are still here. We take the crap, and we believe it to some extent, because it’s true.
We have ADHD. We have our issues. We have our problems. We get distracted, we get excited, we take chances and they sometimes don’t work the way we thought they would even though from the vantage of time passed we can see that the chances we took had to fail.
But we are still here. We are not our issues. We are the people who survive those issues. We are not our symptoms. We are the ones who battle with those symptoms daily. We are not ADHD. We are the ones who deal with ADHD.
And I’ve realized something big …
I’m happy to be writing for you. I’m proud to be writing for you. And I’m very proud to stand among you, beside you. You are my people and you are strong. We are tested in the fire, so to speak, and we are not found wanting. On the contrary, we are able to pick ourselves up from each blow, and we are able to keep going.
You people, you strong and worthy people, you warriors … you make me proud. Thank you.