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"

My personal book about ADHD, the ADDer World websites and me 1 year later

Sometimes it is nice to take a moment and reflect on things. ADDer World is now a year old (ADDer World community only 2 months) and my book “One Boy’s Struggle: A Memoir – Surviving Life with Undiagnosed ADD” has been on the open market for just over 6 months. I sit here, close my eyes and reflect. Where was I in my quest just over a year ago, what hopes did I have and what did I imagine the future would hold? Seems to me I was living on a prayer (to quote the inspirational band Bon Jovi). I have a very vivid imagination, it is incredible, the things I can see and the things I can sense. But who knew? I didn’t.

Fears, anxiety, hope and desire – terrible nightmares and wonderful, splendid wishful dreams. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. And yet, with a little hope and trust in the intangibles of that ‘special feeling’ inside, there is a light that grows brighter and brighter. We take the steps before us, cautiously and anxiously, hopefully and heedfully. I am ever so grateful and ever so humbled. 

If you have not read my book yet, it is a record of the effects of ADHD on a boy becoming a man. We read so often from self help experts who tell us the things we can do to overcome and succeed – and although those suggestions are helpful, it is often more useful to read them from the personal perspective of someone who has “been there and done that”.

Below this paragraph are a few of the things I write about in detail within the pages of my memoir. I tell of how these things affected me and with hindsight how these things either helped me or hindered me. I also explain what these things are from someone who has lived the life unbeknownst, what diagnosis meant and how it helped me overcome the past and create a better future. I give you my very own ADHD reality:

  • Hyper Focusing (the power of and distraction of)
  • Pretending/Acting/Creating Reality
  • Affects of pressure
  • Chastisement and ridicule
  • Anxiety and Fear
  • Hope and Positive Thinking
  • That Special feeling inside (which has brought me to where I am today) I believe all of us have it.
  • Creating success
  • Friendships (both lost and found)
  • Much, much more

“One Boy’s Struggle” is about as raw a perspective as you can get. The editing is limited to simple punctuation and grammar. You get to read the reality as it was lived with no influence or oversight from anyone. In this you receive the purest reality of my life experiences and lessons learned as I could possibly provide. This is also a reason why some of the publishers I approached turned down publishing my book as I refused their professional editing or suggestions thereof. I almost gave in to the requests from publishers to have a professional editor give it the polish they believe was needed to help it succeed. I did not give in and decided instead to self publish. I am pleased with my decision – I do not think ”One Boy’s Struggle” would be the same if edited and polished to perfection. My life certainly was not, and is not, perfect (who’s is?). Perhaps J.K. Rowling felt the same way as she was turned down by several publishers for her first Harry Potter novel?

A memoir, such as mine, needs to be raw and pure to be of value the way I intended it to be. Don’t you think? Perhaps the power of your reviews and comments will help others see the value in this raw reality. For now, I have made my book available to you in the form it was intended.   

The proceeds of my book go to supporting the ADDer World websites and my continued writing of ‘my thoughts’ on ADHD. I appreciate the offers of support – simply assisting in spreading the word about “One Boy’s Struggle: A Memoir – Surviving Life with Undiagnosed ADD” is all the support I ask for.

Thank you, each and every one of you, your friend and fellow ADDer – We are in this together. Let’s walk together, you and me. There are great things to come – the reflections of the past can lead to an ever brighter future.

Bryan 

Go To the ADDer World Social Network

Go Figure August 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Bryan Hutchinson -

You have described my life. Now, how to tell my story?

I’m going to order three (3) copies of your book, “One Boy’s Struggle: A Memoir – Surviving Life with Undiagnosed ADD.”

The first for me; the second for my former spouse; and the third – should I be so blessed – for any companion considering a serious affair with me.
GF

Bryan August 18, 2008 at 7:40 pm

That’s great Go Figure! Thanks!

Steve August 18, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Hi Bryan.

I wanted to add a few comments here for both you and anyone who has not read the book. Actually for those who have read your book as well because I am curious if they feel the same way as I do.

I was diagnosed late in life with ADD and lived undiagnosed for 45 years or so not knowing why I was different from other people and why I did things the way I did them. My life as yours was quite a struggle.

I have always believed that we are only given what we can handle even though I wish that were not the case. I have learned over time from my struggles, that they have made me stronger, although many times I did not think I could take it any more.

I never knew anyone else that had ADD. Well I say that however I am sure that the truth is that probably a lot of people I knew had it but hid from me just as I hid it from them.

As you put it: “Pretending/Acting/Creating Reality”. I was really good at that however it really destroyed me by living a double life and juggling all the lies I had to tell to hide my truth, which created major low self-esteem. The truth is that I had absolutely no self esteem not just low self esteem and I really do mean that.

When I read your book I felt I was reading my own life story. It actually seemed a little bizarre in that I always thought I was pretty unique but in a bad way unfortunately.

In reading your book and seeing that I was not alone, made me realize that not only was I not unique but I did not have to be ashamed of being the way I was, and that in a lot of ways having ADD is a blessing. We just have to understand it and be proud of ourselves and your book has helped me start to feel that way.

The last month or so between reading your book and meeting you and others on AdderWorld.com, I understand myself much better and have learned some new techniques to survive. It is amazing to me how just understanding some things about myself have changed my outlook on life.

I think that others will feel the same way when they read it and I hope that anyone who has found this page will also join AdderWorld.com.

I am using a lot of what I have learned to defend myself against the things my friends and family have said to me all my life. Whether they finally get it or not I don’t care but I do care that I get it and that is what is important to me. I don’t believe that anyone who does not have ADD can really understand what we go thru but maybe if they read your book they would have some idea of what we go through.

With my major focus problem I was not sure if I would be able to finish reading your book, the same way I tend to start reading most books and never finish them. I have a stack of at least 100 books that I need to finish. I hope some day I will.

As silly as this must sound, I was really proud of myself for setting a goal of finishing reading your book in a set amount of time. I had gotten pretty close to not accomplishing the time goal but in the end I did.

I have had so much fun Hyper Focusing on my page. Hyper focusing as you mentioned above which you went over in the book is something that I have done all my life but I did not know what it was or why I did it. I never understood how there were certain things that I could spend hours focusing on and doing but the normal daily things I could barely get through or stay on track.

Your book helped me understand that part of me and I now know that it is a positive factor of ADD, which I have already started using to my advantage.

You mentioned the “Affects of pressure”, boy oh boy did I live with major stress caused by the pressures of life, and trying to fit into a society that does not respect me for who I am, or my different way of doing things.

I have so many unfinished projects that have built up over the years that I always know that someday I will finish. My friends tell me to just finish them but I just cant and I never understood why. It has always P1$$ed me off when they say that because it just causes me to have a lot of additional stress and more feeling of failure.

Through my life, as difficult as it has been for me, the one thing that I always tried to do was have a positive attitude as you mention as well. I think that is the only thing that kept me going.

Reading your story helped me realized that we truly do have the ability to achieve great things and be very successful in life if we use our differences as our strengths rather than look at them as obstacles.

Your book and AdderWorld has really given me the hope to have as you say: “That Special feeling inside”, which I do believe as you do, that we all have it in us.

So I wanted to thank you for writing the book and creating Adder World website. It has been a major life changing experience for me, and I can tell, as well as for others I have met on the site.

Sorry for me being so long winded, but it’s just me, and my hyper-focusing. I tend to do that when I get excited about something.

Keep up the good work, and thanks for being you.

Steve

Bryan August 19, 2008 at 7:56 am

Steve, thank you for taking the time and sharing your experiences with us. I must admit that I am sincerely touched.

~Bryan

Gina Pera August 19, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Happy anniversary, Bryan!

I hope you can take a minute to pat yourself on the back. Launching your book and this blog, etc.–it takes a lot of energy and thought. And it helps so many.

Gina

Bryan August 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Thanks Gina, it does indeed take a bit of energy doesn’t it? I am grateful to have met such people as yourself and so many others through my writing.

~Bryan

Keath Low August 19, 2008 at 6:06 pm

Bryan,
Your friendship has meant a lot to me and it all started out with you sharing your life and experiences through your book. Though I know it must have been difficult at first to open yourself up with such vulnerability, it is this rawness that makes the book so relatable to others.

To know that you are not alone, to understand that others have gone through or are going through similar feelings and issues – this is freeing and healing. Your message is hopeful and your approach to life is so positive. Thank you for your caring and compassion for others.
Warmly,
Keath

Leesa August 19, 2008 at 8:12 pm

The song “I hope you dance” by Martina Mcbride played on the radio today and I thought of you and your book.

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.”

I see you as a person who decided to NOT SIT IT OUT ANYMORE AND DANCE. Even with ADD.
You are a inspiration.

For anyone who hasn’t read Bryans book, it’s hard to describe, what he has had to overcome. He is just like the rest of us, who struggle in life with our ADD. He didn’t get let off easy, yet he never gives up. He didn’t get any special care, any special treatment, yet he carved out a place for himself and now reaches out to others with ADD and their loved ones.

There are things in this book that he writes about that could have been taken from the pages of my own life.

He discusses a imaginary creative world, where he escaped too, complete with made up characters including his hero self, Commander Mart. Never before had I read of another fellow ADDER who did that. I could totally relate and admit that I had similiar worlds I visited when I needed a escape. IT is things like that, in Bryans book, that make it so unbeleivably incredible for another ADDER to read about and realize that they weren’t crazy.

The way he described the difficulties he had in maintaining relationships with people was spot on!!! Why he could love a family member and want to stay in touch, but just wouldn’t. The sadness from confronting that truth for me was eyeopening.

The sudden disinterest in a beloved toy or hobby was another story he told in his book. The pain in not even understanding his own behavoir and how it affected his life. I too have done this, over and over, beating myself up each time for my failings, yet not being able to change.

The loss of self worth and horror of being beaten down for being just you. I cried many times reading what Bryan endured.

There is a happy ending to the book and I imagine his story is just beginning. I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon him on the internet and look forward to more books from Bryan.

TJ August 22, 2008 at 2:52 am

This book should be mandatory reading for teachers or anyone who works with children or teens. I believe ADD goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed way too often. The child can get labeled as lazy or defiant and can lead to more problems as a teenager. So many teens are diagnosed with depression today, I wonder how much is depression or undiagnosed ADD. I would like to see Bryan’s book made into a documentary or movie so people can better understand how ADD affects children and the ripple effects it has in families. It would help educate and possibly heal families who are going through it.

Bryan August 22, 2008 at 4:06 pm

I have to admit, when I read comments like these, it just touches me beyond anything I can express. Thank you all so very much.

Thanks for all of your support and consideration to share your thoughts with our readers and visitors. I always knew within myself that publishing my book was the right thing to do and reading these comments reinforces my conviction that it was indeed the right thing to do. That my book has become such a benefit and reflection for so many people is one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.

~Bryan

Mike August 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm

For parents … this is the only book to genuinely open a window into your adhd child’s mind, and give you the opportunity to learn what it’s like from his/her perspective.

For adults … particularly if you were diagnosed later in life, this is the most important book on adhd you’ll find.

For teens … get this now! No other book will give you the personal insight, in a meaningful way, like “One Boy’s Struggle” does. This is not your standard stuff.

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