I get some interesting reactions when I tell people I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was fifty.
I’m pretty sure that some of them are the result of people thinking, “How did no one know before then?”
I’m equally sure that some are caused by people who are still willing to believe that ADHD, particularly Adult ADHD, do not exist. Many of those people also believe that vaccines cause autism, prisons correct behaviour issues, the world is flat, the moon landing was faked … you get the picture.
And then there are the people who can’t help but wonder what I was thinking all those years if I actually had ADHD all along and didn’t know what was wrong with me.
What was I Thinking?
Well, I was thinking that life was hard. I was thinking that I was unlucky. I was thinking that as soon as I had a handle on all of this stuff that was plaguing me, I’d be doing pretty good.
And, I was thinking that everyone else was the same.
How is that possible?
Good question. The answer is, “Because they are!”
All our symptoms are present in every life. think of it like grey hair. Some people have a few. Some people, like me, barely remember what color their hair was before grey. So while they and I have the same symptoms, I have what is known as grey hair, and they have what is called … hair.
So … but, huh?
We all, everyone of us in the group known as humanity, suffer a bit of forgetfulness now and then. We all can be forgiven for occasionally being distracted by something that interests us or appeals to us. We all misplace things from time to time. We all put off things we dislike doing, when it seems like we can do that. We all … well, you get the picture.
So it was easy for me to see the symptoms in anyone else, see them in everyone else really. And I was just like them. I was the same. I was normal.
Normal is as normal does
Okay, it’s true that I was as normal, shall we say, as all of my friends and acquaintances collectively, as the symptoms I had all to myself were the equivalent of the cumulative collection of symptoms of every one of them put together.
In that regard, I was more normal, extra normal, super normal.
I was abnormal in a way that led me to understand that I was just more normal.
The written word
It wasn’t until I was reading about ADHD as an exercise in editing that I became interested in how this mental health issue worked, or didn’t work actually.
And it wasn’t until I was led to quantify my own experiences by taking a test, that I became aware that I might also have this insidious disorder.
And still I was willing to believe that my responses were flawed over considering that I might be one of the legions of people with Adult ADHD.
Hiding in plain sight?
Oh yes, it’s very easy to do. And it’s best done by hiding from yourself as well.
That way you never have to worry about you giving away your own location on humanity’s spectrum.
And yet you might be right there where I was, adrift on denial.