This morning at breakfast my partner and I had a conversation.
It was about my life and my ADHD and my not knowing as a child.
She was pondering what I might have done with my life if I’d had a diagnosis. And what I might have become if I’d had appropriate and informed support as a child.
I read about the efforts of researchers now. I read about the inroads made on understanding this disorder, and I ponder how those things might have been used in my life.
And I read about the allowances and the adaptations that are available in schools and universities and even in some workplaces and I think, “How great would that have been if I’d had those opportunities.
Don’t get me wrong
I love my life. I love the way I am. I even make a small part of my living from loving this life of mine.
But mostly, I love that I have made efforts to learn to cope and to push myself so that I do not experience the horrors that I did in school as a child. Those horrors came when things went horribly wrong and I had no reason for that wrongness other than the pervasive thought that I sucked, at everything.
My biggest regret
You won’t often hear me talk in a negative manner about my life, but I do have regrets. And the largest single one of those is that I did not pursue more education, despite the fact that it was the most difficult part of my school life.
My family was not in a position to recommend continuing my education beyond the mandatory requirements. We were not financially able to consider that as an option.
And if we were, the fact that it took me twenty years of my life to graduate from high school was not the glowing recommendation one might find on a college or university application.
A few weeks ago
I attended my partner’s work conference last month and I actually went to the keynote address because the speaker was Rick Green, a social media acquaintance and well known comedic writer.
He is also well known in our community for his work on making ADHD a known and accepted part of a large percentage of humanity.
And he spoke
He spoke with his usual eloquence about ADHD and what it is and how it works and how it affects lives and what those effects look like.
And if you had dimmed the lights in that room of several hundred people, mostly all of them optometrists, and if sudden realization of a life long concern was to cause a glow, you would have seen that room slowly lighting up with the glow of people who have had excellent opportunities for education as they realized why it was a struggle for them to get where they were.
What’s the difference
What is the difference between them and me? Well, most of them are younger, but that doesn’t really matter because the ones who were having epiphanies were undiagnosed.
The difference was likely opportunity, and support, and directed determination.
I was encouraged to finish high school and get a job in some factory or other where I could live out my life in comfort and security without the need of educational debt.
And I did that
And now I regret not pursuing something more challenging.
Now, instead, I challenge myself daily to learn and to grow, emotionally and intellectually.
And now I am a man with more than a dozen occupations to my credit, but few of them required education and few of them challenge me more than writing does.
And though I love to write, I wish I had done more. I wish I had struggled, wish I had made opportunities for myself, wish I had gone beyond what I have done thus far.
I wish I had always known that knowledge is bliss.