I know some of you are determined to view ADHD as a gift. And I’m not going to argue with you.
I’ve also heard from some folks who say thinking of ADHD as a gift is being delusional. I can’t really argue with that either.
But the truth, as far as I’m concerned, is very different. I look at it like this. This quirky, far ranging, rapid firing, often absent, wickedly misbehaving, thrill seeking, bicycle on a bobsled track without brakes brain of mine is what I get to work with.
Time to get to work
And as this is the case, I choose neither to view it as dysfunctional or caste it as gifted.
There have been times in my life when I’ve been in work situations where more than one person was doing the same job. Often there would be a collection of tools required to perform the job we had, and often those tools would be in varying states of wear and disrepair.
The tools that were newer were almost always sought after and if one wanted to use them one sometimes would have to wait.
The alternative was to learn the quirks of the older tools and figure out how to compensate for their inadequacies.
We aren’t older, well not all of us, and I would never refer to our differences from those without ADHD as inadequacies, but the truth is that the usual instructions don’t always work for our brains.
Pass me that wrench
Your brain and mine are tools that we have access to, and we’ve had our whole life so far to learn how to use them.
But if we haven’t been paying attention all that time, if we’ve been just doing the same things and hoping that will work differently, then we aren’t going to do any better than we’ve done so far.
So the trick is neither to say that our ADHD minds are a curse or a gift.
When we say they’re a curse we’re saying they’re broken and won’t work.
When we say they’re a gift, we’re saying they are perfect and there’s no need to try harder or do better.
Let’s just see them for what they are, the tool we were given to work with. Let’s pay some attention to how they work, and how best to use them. Then lets make them work to the best of our abilities.
We’ve been looking at this wrong
You see, the curse isn’t our ADHD, it’s the situations that unchecked ADHD causes in our lives.
And the gift isn’t our ADHD either. Our gift is our lives. And we get to spend them using these funky brains and figuring out how to make them go like lightning, snap and pop and sizzle.
Gift? Curse? Those terms just seem wrong when used to describe ADHD. That’s my thought.