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ADHD Awareness Month Road Trip

In spite of ADHD, Zoë presents about ADHD
In spite of ADHD, Zoë presents about ADHD

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have to explain ADHD at all. Just watch me live my life, and you’ll pretty much have it.

I don’t mean “have it” as in have it. ADHD, thank goodness, is not contagious (as far as we know, but to watch some people’s reactions when I tell them I’ve got it, you’d think it was).

My life is in and of itself a pretty good crash course on how ADHD looks to the outside world.

Let me share with you some, we’ll call them “highlights” although I’m pretty sure that’s not the right term, from last week’s ADHD roadtrip to illustrate what I mean. My mini-speaking tour was truly exemplary when it comes to walking the talk and living la vida loca (which, come to think of it, would make a marvelous theme song for ADHD).

Pre-roadtrip prep

First, I could not for one second focus on prepping for my upcoming talks for two chapters of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario (it also happens to be Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. Coincidence? I think not.) As you may recall, I stopped taking my ADHD medication some months ago. It seems those little suckers actually do help me focus.

As the dates drew near, the old reliable ADHD deadline-inspired adrenalin rush kicked in, and the floodgates opened. Creative ideas flowed like our recently storm-flooded city streets, the good with the bad, to be filtered in the editing process after the deluge.

My powerpoint designer (who I asked to help me at the last minute) came through for me with flying colors (of course he did; he’s one of us); and I mustered up enough short-term memory to keep the talk top-of-mind, with wiggle room for ad lib as needed.

On the road again

But all was not well.

Oh, no. No no no no no.

ADHD is not curable (there’s a noteworthy bit of ADHD awareness for you).

You see, ADHD is not curable (there’s a noteworthy bit of ADHD awareness for you).

It only occurred to me as I pulled onto the off ramp for Sarnia (where my first presentation was scheduled) that it might have been my responsibility to furnish a copy of Dr. Tim Bilkey’s documentary Her Fast Mind for the first half of that evening’s event.

Thank goodness I had with me several copies of Karen O’Donnell’s A Mind Like Mine and while the titles are similar, who was I kidding? I knew the intelligent denizens of Sarnia proper would not – could not – be fooled into thinking we were delivering as advertised.

Still, they enjoyed the stand-in film, excellent ADHD doc that it is, and laughed in all the right places when I presented. There were fantastic questions from the audience after the talk, and the night was a success.

ADHD faux pas number one: overcome.

On the road again

The next morning, off I drove to nearby Chatham-Kent where the local branch of the LDAO was hosting its ADHD Awareness night at a local college.

In spite of the fact that I got lost four times on the way to the venue, I arrived on time, with time to spare as technical difficulties were already in progress. This would have helped me save face for not having arrived earlier, except for the fact that my first step into the auditorium was into thin air, rather than onto the first of several graduated steps leading down to the podium where I would be attempting to speak with dignity and authority after a near-faceplant-pratfall in full business suit, saved only by my highly overworked but ever-present Guardian angels.

So what have we learned so far?

People with ADHD:

– are disorganized, with lousy memories

– have time management challenges

– are directionally challenged

– tend to be more klutzy than others

– are unfocused procrastinators

– in spite of it all will inexplicably stand up and deliver when the moment arrives

Why on earth was I ever worried about actually writing a speech? Just watch me.


Many thanks to the executive members, staff, and audiences of The Learning Disabilities Associations of Lambton County and Chatham-Kent for hosting wonderful information events. It was a pleasure meeting you all and a privilege to share and exchange information, stories, and support. Keep up the great work!


October 20, Keynote address and panelist at ADHD Awareness Community Expo 2014, Ajax, Ontario.  For info:


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ADHD Awareness Month Road Trip

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. (2014). ADHD Awareness Month Road Trip. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 Oct 2014
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