Life with ADHD is not an unusual experience.
When I tell people about the way my life is and they say, “That must be difficult.” I’m never sure how to respond to that.
Maybe it is, it’s how it’s always been for me. It’s no more difficult than it ever was.
But yes, I see how my life is different from the lives that others live.
The truth is that I am jealous of the lives of others in that they seem to have it easy, all that remembering what it was they were doing and stuff. I’m jealous of the way they just make appointments and keep them. I’m jealous of the way they cannot say the things that just pop into their minds (or maybe those things don’t actually pop into their minds, I don’t know).
And jealousy does not become me. I don’t look good wearing jealousy.
I look so bad …
I have spent a great deal of my life trying to remember what I’m doing. And as I said (before), I’ve spent a great deal of my life looking for things I’ve misplaced. I’ve missed my share of appointments and spent a good amount of time trying very hard to remember to both make, and get to appointments.
And I’ve spent more than a little bit of time learning to keep my mouth shut when my brain gets all excited about some clever thing it has thought up. Well, also I’ve spent time learning to edit things on the fly, things I’ve already started saying.
I’ve even managed to train myself to accept looking stupid when I start saying something really clever, realise it may not be a smart thing to say and change it to something less inflammatory … but lame. I’ve got the “I’m an idiot” look down pat. It’s easy, since I already feel like an idiot for having gotten myself into the situation in the first place.
But, I don’t care
And therein lies the lesson. I have grown to realise that caring about how I look to others is not worth the effort or energy it takes. Yes, I want to look like I’m clever, because … dammit, I am clever. But I am okay with looking like a clever fool, or maybe someone who is a fool, but is clearly smarter than expected.
And I think that sums me up pretty well. I’m a man with ADHD and that means I do and say a lot of things that I wish I hadn’t done and said.
Here’s something important: I, am smart. I’m able to deal with these limits and problems and still survive and even solve problems better than others might have done.
I hate the oversimplified suggestion that ADHD is just a different way of thinking, it seems dismissive to me. But in its simplicity resides a grain of truth.
I am different from others. My differences are that I have problems that most others don’t face. But not one of those problems is that I’m stupid.
I have problems, I’m smart, I deal, this is my life. Same as it ever was.
By Kelly Babcock