When I was young, although I loved life and reveled in my ability to accomplish challenges I set before myself, I eventually grew to realize I was different.
The more I and my contemporaries grew, the more obvious the differences became.
The differences were not visible, they were revealed with interaction.
And so, by the time I was in my teens, I found I was spending a lot of time alone, a lot of time inside my own head.
Spending time like that wasn’t good for me for two reasons. It didn’t help me to learn how to socialize, and it left me exposed to the crazy mad pace of my own thoughts.
The result of the first was that I increasingly chose my own company over others, and the result of the second was that I sought out ways to slow my mind down, or distance myself from the sensation of the rush, and the way I chose was alcohol.
I was not an idiot, though the amount of time I spent drinking would seem to make that statement seem unlikely. I’ll readily admit that it took me way too long to figure out that I could not drink in a responsible manner.
When I finally got out of the grasp of alcohol, some things had changed.
It seems that while I was inebriated for those twelve years (from the age of almost thirteen to the age of almost 25), I must have been paying some attention, learning some things.
It seems, in fact, that I had learned how to rely on a combination of excuse manufacturing and coping mechanisms to become moderately capable of socializing.
Then came marriage
I was as surprised as anyone to discover that someone was willing to marry me, and she was not unaware of my uniqueness, though that uniqueness had not yet been named.
I got busy and modified my coping mechanisms to help me mimic a husband, or someone who would make good husband material at least.
I spent 27 years doing that. And I discovered a lot of things during that time. I discovered that I was reasonably good at being a husband. I discovered that there were many ways that I could help myself cope with my inadequacies.
And I discovered the source of those inadequacies. I learned, at the age of 50, that I had ADHD.
Discoveries and inventions
Now there have been discoveries and inventions in recent years that have made my life much better. Digital timers stand out in my mind as one of the most helpful things I can employ in my life. My smart phone is a great tool with it’s list apps and calendar and timer, so many tools in one.
And the discovery of ADHD itself, the continuous refining of what it is and how it occurs and what we can do about it has been another great discovery that has changed my life significantly.
But the greatest discovery ever made that has had the biggest impact on my life has been the simple discovery that the simple act of looking for the good in my life and accepting the bad without beating myself up over it, has made my life worth living, has made my time worth spending, and has even made ADHD worth experiencing.
If you don’t have it …
… don’t go looking for it. I’d never tell you it was worth acquiring, but if you do have it, keep your eyes open for the good parts of life.
The bad stuff will always be there, accept it and move on.
Just remember, the good stuff is there too, and it’s worth looking for, it adds up, and it can outweigh the bad stuff … so long as you don’t let the bad stuff weigh heavily on you.