Blindness: Lessons from Samantha for ADHDers
Samantha is blind, but she’s fearless.
I’ve written about the benefits of having Samantha as my dog, best friend, and great ADHD treatment plan previously.
When she got diabetes (the blindness came later), as someone with newly-diagnosed ADHD, I thought we were in big trouble.
I had NO routines back then. Suddenly, I had to keep a strict regimen of twice-daily insulin shots, and meals at regular times daily.
Five years later, she’s still going strong. And still teaching me some great lessons.
On this morning’s wintry walk she tore up the trail, off-leash, full speed, full of trust. I wondered: would I be that brave if I were blind?
I considered my own (metaphoric) blindness:
What am I blind to?
Who or what do I turn to for guidance? (Sam relies on my voice to keep her from careening headlong into a tree).
How has my blindness held me back in the past? How is it holding me back now?
You see what you’re looking for
I remembered an experience from when I went to university in London. While there, I met a lot of friends from Toronto. After graduation, I moved there myself.
In the first three years, I witnessed two public suicides, a police shoot-out, and other public acts of violence. Being a small-town girl, big-city violence was something that I’d been afraid of.
When I told my Toronto-born friends, they said, “I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Lesson? You see what you’re looking for.
I’m blind to my ADHD future
This made me ask, “What am I looking for now? What am I afraid of for my future?”
Having lived the majority of my life not diagnosed with ADHD, I realized I’ve been fearing the same problems that I’d experienced before my education about and treatment for ADHD.
My fears come from the fact that I have NO idea what my post-ADHD-diagnosis potential is. Will I succeed? Will I fail?
I pray every day for obstacles to be removed. This morning, I realized that if I keep focusing on the existence of obstacles, real or imagined, I just contribute to keeping them in place. How will I know if they’ve been lifted unless I take action?
Like Samantha, I need to accept my blindness, and energetically run into my future. But who or what do I rely on for guidance?
What keeps me safe; what keeps me going
Samantha takes risks, but she has me to steer her clear of obstacles. If she listens!
I, too, have to rely on my own trusted guides to steer me clear of obstacles.
I’m blessed with the guidance of prayer, meditation, friends, business advisors, ADHD gurus, and most of all – myself.
But unless I listen, and – like Sam, take some risks – I won’t know what’s possible.
While driving, we use our rear-view mirrors to compensate for our “blind spot.”
Last week, I met up with a dear friend whom I haven’t seen for a few years.
Over coffee, she reminded me that I’d called her the day I was going to take my first dose of ADHD stimulant medication.
“You asked me to promise to tell you if you change, to let you know if you were still you,” she said.
I’d forgotten about that phone call. As I was reliving the fears and panic of that moment, she said, “I can see that you’re still you.”
She covered my blind spot by mirroring back to me that I hadn’t lost the part of me that I liked.
So far, I’ve avoided running into trees. But I know from Samantha’s occasional collisions, if I don’t listen to the guidance that’s offered, I might hurt myself. But I’ll live.
Kessler, Z. (2011). Blindness: Lessons from Samantha for ADHDers. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 18, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-zoe/2011/02/blindness-lessons-from-samantha-for-adhders/