I’m not trying to suggest that it’s a good thing to have ADHD, but if you’ve read my blog before you know I’m also not saying that I’d want to be anything else than someone with ADHD. I don’t want to be me if I’m not the me I am.
When I was a child, there was ADHD, but there wasn’t any common understanding of it. When I was born, ADHD’s name was Minimal Brain Dysfunction.
When I was old enough to start learning, my school-teacher grandmother, who must have recognized the disorder for what it was, even though she had no name for it, began to teach me to read and print and do simple mathematics. I was literate at the age of four.
Granny was on the ball
She must have had a bit of a talent for special ed. Learning was hit and miss for me with my subsequent teachers. I only remember a couple of bad ones, but the others, though competent and well meaning, didn’t always understand my situation.
High school was a bust, I was a “C-” student that took four years to finish thee years of school. Then, I quit. Cue rim shot.
Learning a lesson …
But after a year in the outside world, I decided I needed that diploma from high school, so I went back. I assessed what I needed to graduate, checked the classes available, set up my own schedule and proceeded to finish high school. I made the honor role.
That was long before I learned that I had ADHD, but it was the thing tht made me realize the extent of my differences.
Back on the outside
Then I got a job in the real world. I started working in a printing plant and was lucky enough to land up in the pressroom working on some of the biggest and most complicated machines in the industry. The fact that I could start working right away with almost no orientation and yet be surrounded by a seemingly endless number of things to learn kept me riveted to the work for several years.
Then I got interested in computers and moved on to college. But I’d learned my lesson in my last year of high school. I took the initiative to work at my own pace in college. I worked on ahead, asked for and received extra work and challenges, and thrived once again.
But what about now?
Now? Well now I’ve survived into a world where I can self direct my education and find out almost anything I want to know. I’ve survived into a time when social media helps me find like minded spirits at any time, or turn them off without offending them because they have the rest of the world to engage with. I’ve survived into the perfect age to be a person like me.
So, at least for me, this is the best time to be alive. I have a community that spreads around the globe, information at my finger tips, and an awareness of what I need to do to keep myself motivated.
I’m on top of this world of mine, and happy to be in it, and happy to be the distractible guy I am, the guy with ADHD in a world of sound bites and memes and unlimited information.