Mastery

Pretend You Don’t Have ADHD

ADHD

Sometimes I wish that I could follow a non-ADHD person around for a day – just to see how they do life.

Haven’t you ever wondered how the so-called “normal” people do it?

I can spend a whole day, frenetically doing a bunch of this and a whole lot of that. I try to be mindful of what I am doing, while I am doing it. I feel like I am pretty efficient, for the most part. But I’m sure if I hung out with a neurotypical, their day would look a lot different than mine.

But would it be better?

I’m thinking of asking someone if I can shadow them for a day. But how do you approach a request like that?

“Hey, can I follow you around for a while? Just go about your business and pretend I’m not there. You be the lion, I’ll be the camera woman. I just want to know what a normal day looks like in your wilderness.”

It’s creepy and weird, so perhaps I won’t.

This idea came to me the other day. I am a member of a task force in my community, whose focus is on promoting education about ADHD and enhancing resources for those who live with it. Every October, we put on a community event in honor of ADHD Awareness Month. This year, our theme is going to be “Getting Inside the ADHD Mind” – with a focus on creating a better understanding of what it’s like to have ADHD, designed especially for those live with an ADDer.

I would like to engineer the reverse of that. What’s it like to not have ADD? Do people without ADHD have only one thought at a time? When faced with a big list, do they automatically know what to focus on first or do they have to think hard about it? Are they naturally organized and on time, or does it take effort?

Think about this for a few minutes. What would it be like to NOT have ADHD?

I’ve been contemplating this. I can’t come up with a conclusive answer, obviously. I can’t live in someone else’s head. I’m stuck with my own. But this is the conclusion I’ve come to, based on nothing more than a thought experiment.

Without ADHD, I’d still be me. I can see that certain parts of my life are definitely affected by the fact that I have it, but I can’t say that my struggles would go away if my brain was wired differently. Perhaps I would just have different struggles. Perhaps you would too.

Being organized, focused, and on time would no doubt be easier. But I don’t think I’d necessarily be happier, more successful, or fulfilled. I imagine it this way:

 

People who wear glasses might feel that some things in their lives would be easier if they didn’t need to wear glasses. No doubt, that’s why laser surgery has become a popular procedure. I don’t wear glasses, but I can imagine it’s a pain-in-the-butt to have to rely on them, and there would be times when it’s extremely inconvenient to depend on them.

But take away the need to wear glasses – how much better would life become? I mean, after the initial novelty wears off?

This is what I think:

Life without ADHD would have its own struggles. Having ADHD can certainly make a lot of things harder, but it doesn’t necessarily make life harder. Living with ADHD, successfully, can mean that it’s no more inconvenient than relying on a pair of glasses for reading or driving.

It really is that simple. As I’ve talked about many times before, there are many ways in which ADHD can actually benefit our lives, especially when we know how to use it to our advantage. The difference between being overcoming ADHD struggles, and being overcome by them, comes down to whether or not you find ways to make it work for you.

Read through the archives of this blog – I’ve outline dozens of ways that you can make ADHD work for you. If you’d like to find more unique ways to manage your ADHD, shoot me off an email and we’ll talk about it. And don’t forget to sign up for more free tips delivered straight to your in box in the signup sheet below.

Mindset

What Do You Hate about ADHD?

I recently finished reading 10 Things I Hate about ADHD (Plus 10 more) by Bryan Hutchinson. In case you haven’t heard, I recently made Bryan’s list of top ADD blogs, which I am (super) proud of. Check it out here at ADDer World.

Now before you assume this post is merely a gratuity for the honour he bestowed me, let me snuff out your suspicion. I have read several of Bryan’s previous books and enjoyed them immensely. Quite simply, Bryan is a funny writer. Plus, he is a very generous person who has his given a lot of his time to the online ADHD community. He has a way of making people feel like they have found a friend in him, and that shines through in his writing.

If there was an adjunctive reason for me to review his book (apart from the fact that I enjoyed it), it would be this:

We (ADDers) have been misunderstood for most of our lives. Sometimes, just feeling understood – like somebody else “gets” us – can be a more powerful than many years of therapy. And its certainly better than the ass-kicking we give ourselves. 

If there was one book that could bring you face-to-face with your ADHD personified, this book would be it. Bryan, as always, does a fantastic job of bringing ADHD to life with his witty prose. Are there laugh-out-loud moments in this book? You bet. And also some cringe-worthy ones, but then – haven’t we all had more than our share of those too?

10 Things I Hate About ADHD is concise – a perfect read for the impatient mind. But don’t be fooled by its brevity. Its impact is far-reaching in its objective to show us we are (definitely) not alone in the crazy quirkiness of our ADHD lives. Each of the 20 things he mentions are things that drive me crazy about ADHD too. I won’t spoil the book for you (go get it here!), but I’ll bet they are the things that you hate too.

I spend a lot of time writing about acceptance and embracing the positive side of ADHD, so it’s hard to admit to the things I hate about it. Nevertheless, there ARE things I hate, and I wonder if you hate them too?

I hate the restlessness. I hate how, at times, NOW is never good enough. I am always reaching for the next thing or eagerly pursuing the next moment rather than being in the present. Hell, I can’t even have a good time without wondering what is going to happen when the good time is over. (BTW, when is this post going to be over? I was ready to start painting my basement door three paragraphs ago!)

I hate not being able to transition. I hate when I am really into whatever I am doing, but have to stop. It violates all the tasks I do afterwards. All I can do is perseverate on getting back to that thing I was doing before. Likewise, I hate it when I have no perseverance. My kids would tell you that hanging out with me is a kind of playtime speed-dating – we do lots of things together, but nothing for longer than 12 and a half minutes.

 

Lastly, I hate the impatience. In fact, I can’t stand one more second of life with impatience! No one understands the ills of waiting like an ADDer. Our minds run like the bus in the movie Speed – if you take your foot off the gas for one second, the whole thing is going to blow. And if it does, its taking everyone else with it!

Those are my top three, but I am more curious about you. What are the things you hate the most about ADHD? Or, what things have you learned to stop hating over the years? Tell us all in the comments below. But please hurry up, I can’t wait a second longer for your reply because I have other things I need to move on to! 😉