This week I discovered Jeff’s ADD Mind blog. I was reading his take on having ADHD and getting rich & famous, or, rather, NOT getting rich & famous.

I admit, it was a bit depressing. But just a bit. Truth is, I still want to be rich and famous. I do. So sue me. No wait – wait until I’m actually rich & famous, you’ll get more…

Anyway.  In spite of Jeff’s assertion that, “Simply stated, there are NO positive aspects of A.D.D./A.D.H.D. That’s right! If you have A.D.D./A.D.H.D. you are screwed” or perhaps because of it, I was compelled to ruminate over what positive gains I’ve made since my diagnosis (less than four years ago).

While Jeff is right in that I still feel like I’m an underachiever  (I wanted to start a support group for underachievers, but I just couldn’t pull it off ), I do feel that my diagnosis gave me a heads-up on what I was dealing with and a starting point towards positive change. I had an answer as to why I just couldn’t pull it all together.

OK, so I’m still not rich & famous, but at least I’ve managed to:

  • Stop being late for all my appointments
  • Remember I have appointments (with the help of my daytimer, which I think of as my external hard drive)
  • Stop being so self-critical
  • Use behavioral modification (self-administered) to stop myself from blurting stuff
  • Not be overwhelmed most of the time
  • Stop myself from interrupting others so much
  • Listen better
  • Ask others to repeat themselves if I’m not listening so well
  • Let go of trying to be something I’m not
  • Start to embrace what I am
  • Begin to capitalize on my strengths and not bother trying to do stuff that isn’t my forté (like work more than part-time for anyone else)
  • Begin to realize I have strengths
  • Be less embarrassed about stuff that used to embarrass me (bad memory, sudden inability to understand my mother tongue, losing papers with phone numbers on them, etc.)
  • Become more famous (if not rich)(yet)
  • Completely let go of trying to be conventional, “fit in,” or otherwise conform to arbitrary societal norms that don’t make any sense to me, except for short periods of self-serving necessity (ie. holding a part-time job)

While this list may never add up to an outward semblance of “success,” damn it, I’m proud of these achievements. And – bonus – I’m still here. (Haven’t given in to total addiction, craziness, or hopelessness…although I did have an ADHD setback tonight. Totally amazing day followed by a totally devastating evening…for the life of me, I have no insight on what happened, but my best bud felt embarrassed when I was joking around in public. Took a strip off me*, kissed & made up, I came home and cried. Was I going to lose another friend? Should I just give up, already? Hide away with my cat and dog who NEVER, ever, find me socially unacceptable… tune in for another chapter of ADHD from A to Zoë to see what tomorrow brings…I dread it, at the moment). Ironic that today’s post is about how much progress I’ve made.

*sigh*

Maybe Jeff is right after all…

*NOTE:  My American blog editor gave me a heads-up on this expression. Must be a rural Canadian colloquialism. So here’s an American / Canadian translation:

To “take a strip off of” someone means, loosely translated, to give them a stern talking to.

POSTSCRIPT: The morning after: my friend & I just had coffee and a nice visit. We’re still best buds. *phew*