ADHD is not a slice of heaven. Though I’ve had people tell me recently that it is wonderful, I can’t entirely agree.
Dr. Edward Hallowell is fond of saying that we have Ferrari brains with bicycle brakes. I agree wholeheartedly with that analogy. I wouldn’t trade my Ferrari brain for anything. But I’d love to take it for a spin on a closed track with no other traffic around. Someplace where I can let it go until it runs out of gas and coasts ’til it comes to rest. That would be a great day.
But we don’t live on test tracks, we’re here in the real world. And the streets we travel don’t necessarily come back around to where we started from. We live on life’s highways and side streets, crescents and cul de sacs, interstates, logging trails and dead ends. And we need to find our way.
Where did I put that road map?
The truth is, we travel a new road everyday. It may look like the same road, the landmarks all look familiar, but it isn’t.
In fact, maybe roads are the wrong analogy for ADHD life. Roads are two dimensional, our lives are four dimensional.
What four dimensions?
There’s forward & backward, left & right, time, and state of mind.
Forward and backward is the easiest dimension to understand. You’re either making progress or you’re not.
Left and Right is also easy to understand. These directions lead to distraction. But even though that is the case, hidden cleverly among those distractions are important bits of information and potential future destinations. And it’s easy to veer off course to inspect them.
Time is the constantly changing dimension. You get up in the morning and approach the day the same way you did yesterday, but it isn’t yesterday. Things that engrossed your mind yesterday are still occupying your mind, even though today would have new demands of you. You have different appointments, different issues, different people to deal with. This is not the same road you travelled yesterday. This is today’s road.
What are we missing?
State of mind is often the least noticed dimension … and the more important one.
I can take being distracted, I can stand being a day behind, I can live with being scattered, scared and scarred, so long as I’m aware of why, and how best to deal with it.
And I’ve found the best way to deal with this is to remind myself of my nature, who I am, who I belong to.
Who do I belong to?
And we are okay. Better than okay, we are good. We are different, but we are good.
I belong to you. You are my people. And we are okay. Better than okay, we are good. We are different, but we are good. I am good. You are good. So long as this is my state of mind, I’ll make it.
My ADHD isn’t going away. My methods of dealing with life may change. Things may get better or worse depending on circumstance. But knowing I’m okay, knowing I belong, that makes all the difference to whether or not I’m a success.