Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

Sometimes it’s for our own good



I knew I would have to get around to this article and I have tried to put it off as long as possible. This article is about doing things that others ask of us or rules we must follow: compliance, conformity and obeying. I tell you what, and I think (“I think”) I speak for all of us when I say; we Adders detest those 3 words! Okay, maybe detest is a strong word, but the emotions we feel when we must comply, conform and obey are strongly distasteful—they even have a nasty aftertaste that lasts for days! We Adders are rebels because of our very nature—we are already against the system the minute we are born. Be that as it may, if we want to get along in the world, become successful and have some semblance of harmony we must learn to: ‘obey’, ‘comply’ and yes “oh dread”, ‘conform’.

Doesn’t that just sound awful? I know, even the thought of what I have written gives me the willies and makes me feel, well, tired.

As youths we grow up seemingly doing everything wrong and what we don’t realize at the time is that we made our parents pull their hair out in frustration. Yes, we all understand about how we were treated for our behavioral problems due to ADD ADHD and they are still valid, but looking from the other side, we must take into account that our actions have a price and as youths our parents are usually the ones paying the highest part of that price. Our parents work hard to find ways to work with our behavior: changing schools, changing teachers and even changing babysitters and yet no matter how much they try to modify the things around us or the people around us, so that all of our needs are met, we continue to act out in rebellion. Some of us have even made up excuses that, well ‘Mom’ because you keep changing things I never know what you want or how to act, even if mother has changed things, because of, and to meet the needs of the way we act. It becomes the fact that we must comply with something that we act out against and not the actual change. This causes a lot of pain and distrust of us from our parents and others and then we complain that it’s their fault. It is nobody’s fault!

Okay, as youths we can blame ADD ADHD, but we know as adults, that blaming our ADD ADHD will not work and society will not tolerate such an excuse. The real fact of the matter is that complying, obeying and conforming are not the basic problems of ADD ADHD—they are the byproduct of ADD ADHD.

This is my thought on the matter. We are put into systems at a very young age and we are not able to meet requirements and during all the trials, errors and changes we get used to being ‘bad’ (not complying, obeying or conforming). Being ‘bad’ in this way becomes something we just believe we are and when we are later asked to do something that we even like to do or want to do for ourselves, we are very highly likely to say ‘no’! “Damn us if we do and damn us if we don’t!”  

The thing about it is and what most of us forget is that we Adders are people pleasers and we want to do good, but we get caught up in saying ‘no’ and being ‘bad’ so often that we just continue to do that when we know we shouldn’t and even when it’s not something our ADD ADHD gives us a disadvantage in. It’s not our natural state of being and yet due to circumstances of our past, whatever those circumstances may be, it becomes our synthetic state of being to rebel and it destroys us by eating us up alive with dislike and retribution from the outside world—especially those closest to us. We get fired, divorced and some even go to jail because of the seemingly endless need to go against the system. The worst of it is: we almost always think we are right, even after we are behind bars, divorced or fired. Why can’t we just get a little sympathy? Because it is repetitious and society, in general, will only put up with it for so long.

With what I have written in mind, we then seek ‘good’ feelings because we perceive we are not getting them from those the most closely associated with us. It can be abusing drugs, cheating and a multitude of things which in the end only hurt us, but feel good for the moment. We will have to pay a price and more restrictions will probably be placed upon us and we will probably blame someone else and even think people are out to get us or are just against us. The fact of the matter and what some realize very late in life, after losing most of those closest to them, all that must be done is to learn to ‘comply’, ‘obey’ and ‘conform’.

To comply, obey and conform is not as bad as it sounds. Any negative connotation we feel from those words should really tell us how much they are a real problem for us. The worse you feel by reading those words, the more of a problem the meaning in those words is for you. The most important part is coming to a realization that you can change, it is an understanding thing, and just like learning you have ADD ADHD can be liberating, so can learning what those words mean to you.

Every day of our lives WE ALL must comply, obey and conform on some level. It is just the way it is. If we break a law then we must go to court, if we cheat on a spouse we probably will get divorced and if we are insubordinate to our boss we will probably lose our job. Depending on the level of which we rebel we usually get a second or third chance and if it is understood we have a Learning Disorder some things will probably be modified to meet our needs, but if we continue to rebel eventually the price we pay will be very high—even life altering. It doesn’t matter who we blame or what we blame, be it changes or people, we are the ones who will pay, and what’s worse, and indeed even selfish, is that we tend to hurt a lot of people in our wake.

Actually, once a person decides to learn how to comply, obey and conform to the methods of society, marriage and jobs etc… that in itself can become a better feeling than any drug or any other substitute! Once an Adder learns these things they will feel the genuine appreciation, the admiration and love of others on a whole new scale and once that becomes realized, it in itself can become the best ‘addiction’ ever and 100% natural and legal! Why not be appreciated, loved and cherished? It’s your due! Don’t let the hard times and the missed opportunities of the past change your tomorrows—you can learn today to be the best that you can be and you can show your appreciation to others much faster than you ever thought possible.

REALLY! It’s not very hard. I am willing to bet that you have a whole list of things in your mind that you are rebelling against right now. Take that list and write down your top 5 or even your top 3 and decide not to rebel against them anymore and watch the benefits that come your way. And remember, some of the changes will take some time to be noticed and appreciated—after all, people around you are used to you going against the system and it’s up to you to prove that your changes are not simply here today and gone tomorrow. It’s not up to anyone else but you!

For any of us who might think that we are giving in ‘to the man’ just self reflect for a moment on what our rebelling has caused and ‘made’ others have to do for us!?! How fair is that?—we make others do things because of our own refusals of ‘doing’ the right things. Many of those things are at the detriment of others for their protection and support of us, and to think we usually call them the ones who are ‘controlling’. One way streets only go one way and if we want to be treated equally, then, well, it’s time we take the roadblock off of our side of the street and get things going two ways.

So, in the end, we are asking ourselves who chooses what we must ‘comply’, ‘obey’ and ‘conform’ too. Well, if you’re an Adder then you have very keen common sense, you only have to choose to use it in this situation, because, really, you already know that answer—don’t you?

If we take a moment of honesty and think about it, as adult Adders, we usually know when we are about to do something that is not in compliance, is non obedient or we are just not going to conform to certain standards or expectations—I am talking the basics, parking in another’s parking spot, j-walking or even going on a date with your best friend’s spouse when your best friend is out of town (no-no), it can be many things, but we know what we are doing before we do it and if we continue to do it then we start preparing all the blame we will put on others for our misbehavior and really, if we had just resolved to do ‘the right thing’ when we knew we were going to ‘do the wrong thing’ then things would be so much better and there would be no painful consequences. It’s a choice.     



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