We learn how to do this, this thing called ADHD. We learn because we repeat things, mistakes, and coping skills. We learn because we have no choice.
We learn to live with our distractible natures. We learn to tolerate our repetitive foibles and lapses.
And we learn to accept the judgements that are constantly handed down to us.
This is life
This is my life. Our lives. This is how it is. This is what we have and what we have to look forward to.
But we are not sheep. We are not stupid. We learn other things as well.
We learn to cope
We learn to make games out of boring tasks.
We learn to check the map.
We learn to ask names over again, even though we’ve already asked a dozen times.
We learn to put the lid back on.
We learn to put the milk away.
We learn to put our glasses in the right place at night.
We learn to hang the keys on the hook.
We learn to lock the door.
We learn to put our wallet on the dresser at night and in our pants pocket in the morning.
And there’s more …
We learn that not everyone gets us.
We learn that those who do are special people.
We learn to keep those people close.
And still more …
We learn to cope with stupidity, not our own.
We learn to tolerate intolerance.
We learn to deal with stigma.
We learn to accept that we aren’t always accepted.
And on the bad side?
We learn to make excuses.
We learn to hide failures
We learn to self medicate.
We learn to deny.
Life long learning
Listen, ADHD may be considered a learning disability in that we have trouble learning a defined curriculum, but it does not stop us from learning.
Just like it isn’t a deficit of attention, it isn’t an inability to learn. It is in fact a need to learn so many things that no one else can teach us, that we have trouble taking it all in.
And some of the things we need to learn are so fundamental, because in others those things are already there, and we have to teach ourselves what we don’t know.
Always ADHD …
We always pay attention, just not always to the right things.
And we are always learning, we’re just still learning what others were born with.
But make no mistake … we learn.