In my first ever ADHD Millennial post, I mentioned two emotions that were sure to be a running thread underneath this blog: doubt and hope.
I highlighted those emotions because both the experience of having ADHD and the experience of being a millennial come with a lot of doubt over the future and your place in the world – but also a lot of hope for growth and new possibilities.
What I didn’t talk about in that post were a more immediate type of doubt and hope I was feeling: doubt and hope about this blog itself. As a rookie mental health blogger giving this blog a one-month trial run, I had doubts over how long this project would last. But I also hoped that the ADHD Millennial blog would be something good.
Since then, I’ve posted 494 times. After five years, I’m in danger of visibly outgrowing my role as a “young adult blogger,” like a child actor on a long-running sitcom. That’s OK, though, because counting down to the big 3-0 is just the latest part of the “millennial experience” – and, more importantly, because this blog has grown to involve people of all ages who, in some capacity, have ADHD in their lives.
I hoped this blog would be something good, and in fact, I think it has been something great.
I say that not because I’ve consistently posted awesome content (although I won’t deny that I have), but because of the empathy, thoughtfulness, positivity, and passion for ADHD awareness that readers of this blog have brought. Although I’ve written 494 posts, I’ve been outdone by readers, who have left 600 comments (not including my own).
Many of those readers have shared their personal experiences with topics discussed here, and I’ve learned so much from reading those comments. Readers have brought ADHD Millennial to life in many other ways as well – from sharing posts to talking about ideas from this blog with others to simply reading and thinking about what I’ve written.
All of that is the key ingredient that makes an ADHD blog different than an ADHD journal. So, as I get ready to hit the pause button on this blog, I want to extend to everyone who has ever read an ADHD Millennial post a huge thank you.
I considered putting together a list of my “greatest hits,” but you know I’d probably forget to include something important. Besides, having 494 blog posts is like having 494 cats: you love them all and you can’t find any specific one at a given time, so it’s hard to choose favorites.
Instead, I decided to highlight more broadly some of the things I’ve tried to accomplish with this blog:
- I’ve tried to learn. I’ve interviewed an expert on ADHD and creativity, I’ve taken a deep dive into the history of ADHD before modern medicine, and I’ve looked at how other people with ADHD compensate for their symptoms.
- I’ve shared my own coping strategies, from listening to music to setting rules for myself. I’ve talked about how I got through college and what I learned in the process. I’ve also pointed out the importance of understanding what motivates you and the advantages of becoming self-employed. Well, that last post probably deserves to have an asterisk next to it under the current economic conditions.
- I’ve also pointed out that it’s OK when your coping strategies don’t work. It’s OK if you’re bad at planning ahead, it’s OK if you feel like your coping strategies need coping strategies, and it’s OK to hit a really low point.
- I’ve tried to find new ways of explaining ADHD symptoms. Maybe my posts about magnetic attention, unconventional diagnostic questions, different ways of describing ADHD, and what ADHD symptoms feel like hit home with you, or maybe not!
- I’ve highlighted how empowering it can be to seek treatment for ADHD – how mental health treatment is a case of the sooner the better and how treating ADHD can also help with other conditions like anxiety, depression and substance use.
- I’ve written posts for people who don’t have ADHD but who work with ADHDers, teach them, or otherwise support them. If you’re reading this blog and you don’t have ADHD, you’re awesome because people without ADHD are key to ADHD awareness.
- As an ADHD millennial, I’ve given millennials a nod from time to time, of course. I’ve discussed the transition to adulthood. I’ve written about how millennials are often unfairly maligned, but how we shouldn’t fight stereotypes with stereotypes by throwing “boomers” under the bus either.
- I’ve called out bullshit when I see it, whether it’s in overhyped studies or stigmatizing media coverage.
- I’ve also tried to bring attention to injustices people with ADHD face when they are fired for having ADHD, sent to prison for not doing their homework, or misdiagnosed by doctors who don’t understand the condition.
- Occasionally, I’ve waded into politics. Although you probably didn’t come to ADHD Millennial wanting to hear my political opinions, I’ve nonetheless told you why ADHDers should oppose the war on drugs and the current mess of a healthcare system in the US – plus, how having ADHD can influence one’s political views.
- And sometimes, I’ve just decided to have fun. I’ve given ADHD-related captions to iconic paintings, I’ve given spooky explanations of ADHD symptoms, and I’ve put out an open offer to give a commencement address in exchange for a link to this blog. I still haven’t been taken up on that offer for some reason, but with colleges now paring down their budgets, maybe this will be my year!
Right now, it feels appropriate to be reflecting on ADHD Millennial’s past. As I wrote a few months ago, 2020 is a time for reflection.
It’s also a time for change. It’s certainly a time for change at Psych Central, and part of that change is the end to this chapter of ADHD Millennial.
It’s a time for change in many of our personal lives, too. Many of us have seen unexpected changes in our lifestyles, our work habits, our financial situations.
And with change come those familiar old friends: doubt and hope.
Change brings doubt because it brings uncertainty. When you have ADHD, change disrupts your established coping strategies and presents new organizational challenges.
But change also brings hope because it brings something new. Change brings growth. Life without change is boring, and people with ADHD don’t particularly like being bored.
If there’s anyone who can thrive in changing circumstances, it’s ADHDers. We’ve been adapting all our lives, reconciling our different brains with the world around us. And we can adjust to change in the same way we learned to cope with ADHD: by focusing on the things we do well, the things that motivate us, and the things that give our lives meaning.
For anyone who wants to stay in touch, you can find my contact info on the about page. Or, as always, you can leave a comment, with the caveat that I’m not entirely sure how long I’ll be able to respond to comments on here.
Thank you for reading!
Image: Flickr/Paul Iwancio