Knowing one of us doesn't mean you know all of us

Knowing one of us doesn’t mean you know all of us

They’re out there. You know they’re out there. Those people who think they know all about us ADHDers.

And what makes them such experts? Why do they think they know about us? I don’t know. Maybe they hear things in coffee shops. Maybe they read misleading internet information (I know! I too was recently shocked to discover that not everything published online is true).

Or maybe they make assumptions about all of us based on one or two of us.

I would guess you’re tired of hearing me say that ADHD is a collection of symptoms. But it is, and no two of us have the same set to the same extent, so how could one or two of us be used to define the description of all of us? Well, they couldn’t, that’s how.

The idea that there are people out there who think they know more about us than they actually do, got me thinking about some of the possible misconceptions about ADHD that might be floating around.

I know that there are people who think we’re not smart, but we know that’s just stupidity. And there are people who think we’re too scattered to be of any use, but they obviously haven’t been able to pay attention to us for long enough to see the error in that assumption.

But what about some of the detailed misconceptions? Here’s six that I’ve heard about ADHDers that I had the good fortune to be able to put down.

  1. You can’t finish anything. That’s ridiculous. Why just the other day I was able to put away all of …
  2. You will forget something when you leave home. Oh yeah? Like what? My keys? My wallet? My pants? My car? Okay, yes … maybe once … or twice … maybe.
  3. You will say something you will regret. Oh come on, that’s just idiotic. What do they think, I’m as unintelligent as they are?
  4. You will put off anything important until the last minute. Stop bothering me, I have to get this blog post written. It’s due to go live in four minutes.
  5. You will be late. Now that never happens. I’m never late, I’m just chronologically challenged.
  6. You will forget the appointment, the birthday, the anniversary. Now this is absolutely not true, I always remember these things. I don’t always remember them in time to do anything about them, but I always remember them eventually. Oh, except that one time

So maybe they do know us pretty well?

You know what though? They don’t know us so well. We could do all of these things one day and none of them the next. People everywhere, with or without ADHD, leave things unfinished, forget little things, say things that they wish they hadn’t.

They will put things off, they will be late, they will miss important dates. We do these things better and more often then they do. But we don’t all do all these things, and those of us who do these things don’t always do these things.

And who are these others that they believe they have the right to judge us? They are nobody, nobody worth paying attention to at least.

And we’re just the people to not pay attention to them.