For every Michael Phelps, Terry Bradshaw, Paris Hilton and Richard Branson there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of others with ADHD who go by each day unnoticed and alone in their struggles. These are wonderful people suffering chastisements, belittlements and ridicule from themselves, and others, who may never know what it is like to smile a genuine smile of pure happiness. Lonely spirits searching for hope and happiness, searching for some relief from the constant bombardment of life in a void, uncontrolled and unrelenting.
I have not forgotten the days gone by, the pain or the tears and the fears. No, they are still fresh in my mind, in every step I take forward. They beckon to me and I remember them for what they were.
The goal of my writing, in my memoir, here and elsewhere, is to show that life does go on, and that there is a way, that there is hope out there. We are all in this together. I don’t know how many times I have written that. I mean it. Yes, there are people who strive to tear others down, who beat down and ridicule until tears banish hurt souls into the darkness of helplessness. That is the sad truth. It doesn’t have to be that way. We do not have to run, hide or fear the world we live in. We can stand up and we can be counted. We are not alone. It might not be easy, the courage might be hidden and we must take those steps forward.
This is the reason I write the way I do and where my subject matter comes from – deep within a place which has not only been visited, but has been lived in, that place is full of the shadows of pain, hurt and sorrow. No, indeed, ADHD might not be all rose gardens and rainbows, but who is to say it can’t be? Who is to say we can’t make something of ourselves? Who is to say we must fail? Who is to say that the burden of the world is on our shoulders for us to bear alone? Again, I say, we are not alone.
I emphatically agree we should recognize the achievements of those who have ADHD, who have found their way to success and fulfillment. Hopefully, those that go before us also take a moment to reflect and remember there are those who are still trying to make it, still trying to find a way to manage what may seem reminiscent of chaos. Most do, but not all. I know I do, the past is never that far behind any of us and I still have a ways to go myself. Not all of us will become world famous and that need not be what we strive for. The truth is, the greats become ‘the greats’ because they know they are not alone and are paving the path forward. Being successfully famous does not necessarily make a person one of the ‘greats’. Inspiration, hope and examples of a better tomorrow, regardless of those who would stand against us, who would call us outcasts – to stay positive and stand with those who truly do care, now that my friends and fellow ADDers is something great! Those who inspire us and motivate us to move forward!
A million people might be against us, but that doesn’t mean we must add ourselves to strengthen their numbers. Does it?
I do not believe ADHD is an acronym for mediocrity. I believe the exact opposite can be true – there are gifts within. Excellence is what we make it – not what others say excellence should be. The world will not conform to us and we cannot expect it to. We must stand together and use our type of thinking to benefit not only each other, but all. Our type of thinking is not ‘less than’ that of others, it is just different and in many situations our type of thinking is necessary to see ‘the way’ that may be hidden, just as ‘the way’ others without ADHD see things which we do not always notice.
To that end, to stand together, connected and lift each other up, I have joined with Dr. Lara Honos-Webb and many others in the ADHD community to assist fellow ADDers, and those related in some way to us, with a series of interviews. Just yesterday Lara interviewed me and we talked about some important matters concerning the ADHD community. The interview will be freely available to you soon. I am excited to be a part of something special which takes ADHD to the next level with people who understand and genuinely care.
A million people might be for us – I stand with them.