If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know I talk a lot about acceptance, especially the importance of accepting your ADD/ADHD. But what does acceptance look like? More importantly, why is it even important?
Acceptance is a vague word. Dictionary.com offers a couple of definitions of this word, but for the purpose of this post, the first definition is important.
“The act of taking or receiving something offered”.
The act of taking or receiving something offered? Taking or receiving ADD? How exactly does a person go about taking or receiving ADD?
Let’s face it, you don’t exactly have a choice. You have to take AND receive ADD because you can’t give it back. As much as you would like to…
Perhaps it is easier to explain what acceptance is not. It’s not self-deprecation. It’s not beating yourself up. It’s not making excuses and it’s certainly not trying to be something you’re not!
Acceptance does look a little something like this…
“I know by now that I need to plan my day in advance if I hope to get anything done. My ADHD makes me think I “wing it”, even though that seldom works out. Sometimes it does and those times are so good, I wish it could always be like that. But if I don’t plan, there’s a better chance my day won’t go as well as it could. Sometimes, I’m overly optimistic – which can be a good thing, in some situations. But I am learning to become more realistically-optimistic when it comes to planning my day!”
What did you notice there? An objective analysis, rather than negativity or unrealistic positivity. An examination of all angles. A focus on learning. An awareness of how the self operates in tandem with ADHD. An endorsement of both strengths and challenges. A spirit of acceptance with a commitment to ongoing work at positive change.
What you didn’t notice was criticism or judgement. Not of the self or the ADD that goes along with it.
Why is this important? Because ADD is a defiant bugger. The angrier you get at it, the more it will act out. Have you ever had an argument with a difficult person? The more you engage in the argument, the more difficult they become? That’s your ADD – acting out, because it feels misunderstood.
Sometimes, in order to manage life better, you first need to change the dynamic in your relationship with your ADHD.
Some of you out there are struggling with the realities of living with ADD. I’d like to ask the rest of you to share your stories of personal growth and self-acceptance, so that we can reach out and help our tribe members who are struggling! Please share in the comments below.
(P.S. I’ve heard from some readers that they’re often afraid of commenting, for fear that they won’t be able to express themselves the way they’d like to come across. Here at The Art of ADD we promote a spirit of acceptance that allows you to say whatever is in your heart, however you are able to say it – so go ahead and say it!)