Just as there's more to a forest than just a tree, there's more to a person than their ADHD.

Just as there’s more to a forest than just a tree, there’s more to a person than just their ADHD.

You know that I have ADHD. If you don’t know that, take a minute or two and flip back through the posts here at “ADHD Man Of DistrAction” and you’ll learn the truth, or at least the truth as I see it, quickly.

And you know what ADHD is, or hopefully you do. You know that it’s an inability to concentrate, rather than an unwillingness to. You know it is an inability to prioritize and plan effectively rather than a lack of intelligence.

You know that it seems to be a partial disconnect between the prefrontal cortex and the rest of the brain. You know that it is an increased risk of behavioural problems and health issues and unplanned pregnancies and addictions.

And you know it is disheartening to think about these things. And you know they are things we deal with on a daily basis. And you know the exhaustion and exasperation that dealing with them brings.

It’s all fairly depressing. And while my mind is also the thing that is the source of so much creativity in my life and in my world, it is still this same mind that brings these same things to me daily.

Time for an analogy …

Have you ever had a chipped tooth that you keep touching with your tongue? After a while you don’t notice the rest of your teeth. Your cheeks, your throat, the roof of your mouth and the floor of your mouth are all forgotten. That chipped tooth, and the part of your tongue that you touch it with become everything in your mouth. You try not to reach your tongue out, but then when you succeed and think of something else … it reaches out of its own volition and … touches it again.

After a while, the part of your tongue that you touch the tooth with becomes more sensitive. It may even start to hurt. You feel frustrated by that irritation and yet, you still do it, you still … just ….. touch that tooth.

My frustration with all things ADHD that are negative, is just like the frustration with the tongue and tooth problem. It becomes everything. It makes everything else disappear. It becomes the focus of my mind. (And I thought I couldn’t focus??!?)

But every now and then, sometimes when I’m talking to someone who is trying to understand ADHD, or sometimes when I’m talking to someone who understands it but has a more positive outlook on their life with ADHD, I am reminded that there is more.

How much more?

I’m a very capable problem solver. I think I’m a very competent writer. I’m a good photographer and am able to play the guitar and sing. I enjoy good literature and I love to make people laugh.

I, can cook. I can actually sew. (I choose not to sew, so don’t tell anyone about that, okay? Okay.) I can do some primitive digital graphics work, primitive as in ‘it looks like it was done by cavemen’ and I am a fairly good general contractor. I can wait tables in a pinch, bus tables and do dishes using an institutional or industrial dishwasher. I can ride horses or motorcycles, drive trucks, cars, forklifts and tractors. And I’ve driven a dump truck and bulldozer, though I doubt anyone would hire me to do either of those last two things. I’ve done both, but am far from accomplished.

I could go on, but I feel a bit like I’m bragging and I hate that. I think I’ve made the point I was going for.

And what is that point?

So, ADHD is a part of me, but that’s all it is. It’s one part of me. And like the chipped tooth, it is an annoying part of me that seems bigger than it actually is, through causing all the frustration that it causes.

I’m not saying ignore your ADHD, I can’t ignore mine. But lets recognize how much more there is to us. Can we do that? I hope so.