Validation can be exceptionally powerful. Validation is often underestimated and left out of discussions when it comes to the recovery/improving process. I have found it to be extremely important.
This is what I believe:
Validation is a powerful healing agent for those who have suffered too long with ADHD unaware of why they are the way they are.
Validation does not mean that things were in actuality okay.
Validation means that yes, something was different and not completely under the person’s control. ADDer’s, especially those of us who have lived a very long while not understanding the ‘why’ behind our actions and reactions, feel a powerful sense of validation when diagnosed with ADHD. And as we learn more about ADHD the validation grows stronger still.
Validation brings with it a new sense of self, increasing one’s confidence and self-worth. A proper diagnosis, coupled with understanding, helps many through the grieving process and allows one to have direction in developing into a more capable human being, recognizing struggles for what they are and becoming conscious to the fact that there are methods for improvement.
I very good way to increase one’s self-esteem and realization of how powerful validation is, is to learn as much as one can about ADHD, in every form available. Never stop learning. The more one understands ADHD, the more one will understand their individual reality and can find ways to help improve day to day. As comprehension becomes clearer and clearer, so does one’s validation – validation for being who you are and feeling okay in a ‘new’ world. Validation does not allow one, or offer one, any excuses. Excuses are for the past and are not worth anything. Validation is for the future and is worth everything!
A reader sent me the following things she was told most of her life before she was diagnosed with ADD:
Try harder, eat more protein, study harder
Be nicer, meditate, don’t yell
Talk more, pray, donate to charity
Talk less, help others, do yoga
Get up earlier, express your emotions more
Get more sleep, don’t express your emotions so much…
All would seem to be helpful advice, but to those of us who have suffered from undiagnosed ADD, those helpful suggestions can be depressing and simply confirmation that we don’t/can’t fit in, that we are messed up and just don’t belong… It can be overwhelming and still, there are those who try to convince you, even after diagnosis, that you simply need to try harder, put more effort into it, pray, meditate…
Validation brings with it: liberation, freedom and best of all: direction and new found hope.
Do you know what else I believe? The best that we have to offer is still to come! The best that we have to offer is dependent upon what we think and believe, and is never, ever dependent only on what others think or believe. A wise person never turns down a suggestion and a wise person never takes suggestions blindly.