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The Harder Alternative

emergency sign
A sign of hard times

It’s hard having ADHD. I mean, I think it’s hard. I can’t really say that not having it would be easier since I’ve never not had ADHD.

I assume it’s hard because I know that ADHD is a collection of conflicting paradoxical issues that won’t let up.

Conflicts like the fact that we can focus on things to the exclusion of all else, but we can’t really choose what to focus on.

And …

We often end up in the emergency room because we are more likely to be involved in accidents, but the people who look after us there are more likely to be our own people.

Maybe that’s why we’re so comfortable there, except we’re not, we hate waiting in lines and waiting rooms. Well, maybe that’s why the staff there is usually understanding of our situations?

And speaking of hard …

We also have trouble with certain parts of life that have been mandated as necessary. Income tax comes to mind, all too damned frequently.

And let’s be fair, none of us has any problem with income tax that the rest of the population doesn’t also share. If it could be done without having to focus on forms and find receipts and things like that … I know, I just shuddered too. Sorry I brought that up.

Then you have your appointment

Wait, what appointment? Oh, all of them. Yeah, we make appointments when we can’t find our calendar and then we forget to put them on the calendar when we find it. Or we book them when there’s too many other things going on.

Or we forget to check our calendars and forget to go to them. Or we remember to put them in our calendars, remember they’re coming up, remember to be ready for them, but convince ourselves that we can do a couple more loads of laundry and bake a pie in the time before that appointment.

But as I said …

I’ve never lived without ADHD, so what living free of this stuff is like I can’t say.

Which is to say, if I want to put it bluntly, that my choices are quite plainly, to live with ADHD, or to not live. There is no living without it.

So when you hear …

Yes, when you hear that old saying, “It’s better than the alternative.” well, that’s absolutely true.

And while I don’t love ADHD, I do love life. I love my life. And I wouldn’t trade it for any other.

And I sure as hell wouldn’t trade it for not living. Life with ADHD is hard, but no life is definitely the harder alternative.

The Harder Alternative

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2017). The Harder Alternative. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 14, 2018, from


Last updated: 18 Oct 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Oct 2017
Published on All rights reserved.