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I’ve Come A Long Way, Baby (OK, maybe not a long way, but some of the way…)

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.


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*

I’ve Come A Long Way, Baby (OK, maybe not a long way, but some of the way…)

Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed.

Zoë Kessler is an award-winning author, journalist, and speaker specializing in women and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD).

A frequent contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Kessler has also created video, standup comedy, and guest blogs on ADHD and Marriage covering ADHD-related topics.

Zoë, an internationally recognized ADHD expert, has been interviewed on radio and featured in magazine articles, documentaries, and books on the topic of women and ADHD across North America.

Her newly-released memoir ADHD According to Zoë - The Real Deal on relationships, Finding Your Focus & Finding Your Keys (New Harbinger Publications, 2013) about life with ADHD is now available.

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APA Reference
Kessler, Z. (2010). I’ve Come A Long Way, Baby (OK, maybe not a long way, but some of the way…). Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 17 Jun 2010
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