I’ve had ADHD all my life, I guess. Though, of course, when I was younger it would have been harder to detect, since both childhood and ADHD are afflictions denoted by being not completely developed yet.
The first sad thing about that statement is that it makes people think that we are childish.
The second, but bigger sad thing about that statement is that the childish thing is, though damned insulting, also accurate.
I mean, technically, of course.
Truth of it …
There is a freedom of spirit that comes with ADHD that we enjoy and that others are attracted to. We attract people because we are fun and somewhat exciting to be around.
Life is not dull around us. A person with ADHD can be a vortex of activity, a tornado of plans and schemes and attempts at instant gratification, and impetuous sudden decisions to have fun in yet another way.
All of these things are exactly why children have so much fun.
But then, we grow up
Yes, we do, but mostly we grow up physically. Okay, we grow up emotionally too, in that we want people around us to be happy, we empathize with them when they are not, we feel socially responsible for them and their feelings in our presence.
But all that spontaneous fun and impetuousness and impulsivity that executive function is supposed to suck out of us but doesn’t, often leaves us capable of getting ourselves in trouble if we’re not careful.
Worse still, for us, is that when we do something that gets us in trouble we often find ourselves upset over the implications and effects that our actions had on others around us.
And, there’s no cure!
There’s no cure for ADHD. There are meds that some of us can take, but a guy like me with questionable cardio-vascular integrity and a bad reaction to methylphenidate or Ritalin is out of luck on that score.
Additionally, the meds work for many when they take them, but when they forget them … not so much.
See, not a cure. A helpful therapy for ongoing support absolutely and something you should consider if you’re seeking help, but not a cure.
I medicate with habits
Yeah, I know, that’s kind of a weird statement. I try to remember that I have ADHD, I try to make a habit of that. It’s difficult because it means constantly reminding myself that I have a mental health issue of a developmental nature. Say what you will, it is not a pleasant thing to dwell on constantly.
But it does remind me to frequently consider who I am before I do things.
It helps me socialize, helps me organize, helps me live.
But, it’s no cure either!
Of course it isn’t. If I forget, if I slip up, I’m still a guy with ADHD.
And frankly, if I’m having an off day, slipping up isn’t something that is liable to happen just once.
There’s a reason that it happens and that reason doesn’t likely go away just because I noticed that I made a mistake.
But, when I slip up, it does remind me to try to remember. And it does help that I recognize my shortfalls and it does help that I admit them, pay attention to them, work at compensating for them.
It helps me. And I’m worth the help.