I am … not!

I have ADHD. I am often not able to focus on things just because they need to be done.

I have to set controls in place in order to maintain focus. Like setting a timer for ten minutes, and when it goes off, remembering to check to see if I’m still doing what i was supposed to be doing … and remembering to start the timer again.

I also have trouble keeping from doing a dozen things at once, or trying to do a dozen things at once. Having ADHD means I think it would be very effective to take care of all kinds of things all at the same time. And it means I think that I can … I can’t.

I have ADHD

And I am a lot of things because of that. But there are things I am not. And I will not accept people thinking that I am those things, without me attempting to set the record straight.

So for those of you who think that, without doing any research, you know about ADHD, let me just tell you …

I am not someone with a low IQ

I’ve heard a story about someone who refused to allow their child to be diagnosed with ADHD (as if that would make it go away), because, in their words, their child was too intelligent to have ADHD.

Their child was intelligent, but perhaps they got it from the other parent, eh? This one denied their child the help that could have been the difference between a life of struggle and a life of understanding, acceptance and successes.

I am not a disorder

That’s right, I am not an ADHDer, I have ADHD. I am also not an arthritic, though I have Fibromyalgia. Additionally, I am not pensioner, though I do have a pension.

I am a writer. I am a musician. I am a photographer. People should be known for their accomplishments, not for their conditions.

I am not unfocused

That’s correct, I am not. Nothing could be more untrue than to say that I cannot focus. I cannot always control what I’m focused on as well as others, but I can focus on things if I need to.

It is true that it takes more of an effort for me to focus than it would for someone without ADHD to do the same, but I can still focus, and knowing that it takes more effort just makes it easier for me to accomplish that.

I am not lazy

I get plenty of things done on a daily basis. Just because they aren’t the things you might have done, just because I don’t do things in the order you would have done them in, doesn’t mean that I am lazy.

And I may actually get more done than others would. The only time I slack off, it seems, is when I try to remember all the things I did, I’m sometimes not good at that so I just give up. You’re not going to call that laziness, are you?

And I am not crazy

Having to deal with people’s misconceptions all the time can drive me to distraction, you’ll pardon the word play there I’m sure, but having a developmental disorder is not the same as being crazy.

In fact, I’d be crazy to listen to people who try to tell me I am any of the things I’ve mentioned here.

I just have ADHD.