I was listening to an audio book recently: Challenge to Succeed by Jim Rohn. I recommend it to anyone interested in self improvement. In the audio Jim makes many good points about wealth, health and state of being. The most important point he makes is this: “What you don’t know will hurt you.”
Any late diagnosed ADDer will tell you that this is too true. What if we had known 10 years, or, 20 years earlier? What if our parents had known and we were diagnosed as children? What a difference would that have made? We can deal with ‘what if’s’ all day long, but, what about today? Today there is a wealth of information available in books and on the internet. There is no reason we cannot self-educate ourselves about our condition, not in an information packed world such as ours.
As anyone knows that reads my blog posts and books, I am for positive thinking, affirmations, medication and having heroes to look up to. And yet, above all of everything else, education about ADHD is the absolute most important method to improve one’s quality of life and situation with concern to ADHD. When I talk to people who are thriving and have overcome tremendous difficulties there are always two things which they identify as their keys to success: Self-education and a PMA Positive Mental Attitude. For those who have success with medication, that becomes 3 keys; however, self-education is always first. Medication can’t teach or instill new coping skills. PMA – a positive mental attitude is developed by the more you know and understand, the more personal stories about ADHD you read, the more you learn about current research and the latest strategies and by helping others! There are books, audio books, Teleseminars, podcasts, blogs and so much more available to you, at your fingertips!
“If I had known…” Don’t let that be your statement, put it in the past. Start now, if you haven’t already, and if you are reading this I am assuming you have already started. I am telling you, the more you understand, the more you know… it will make a world of difference.
“Schooling will get you a job; Self-education will get you a life. – Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” Jim Rohn
For the person who refuses to self-educate with or without medication, nothing else will help them! Some have told me that they can’t read just one book at a time and that frustrates them. Why? Who made the rule you must read only one book at a time? When we went to school and had 6 classes in a day, how many books were we required to read at any given time? It’s okay to read more than one book at a time, its okay to listen to yet another book, or podcast, or teleseminar on the way to work. It’s not okay to do none of those things! I am telling you, we can’t rely on medication alone, or, PMA alone! It is being proven day in and day out that awareness of and self-education of ADHD is improving lives! Yes, some are pretty ticked off about having it and yes, some people hate and loathe ADHD, but, even so, to deny the existence of and not learn as much as one can about ADHD will just make things more difficult, not only for yourself, but, also for those around you.
“What you don’t know will hurt you.” Jim Rohn
PS: I do support medication and try to avoid writing about my personal experience with medication, because, I do not want to deter anyone from seeking proper treatment which could include medication. With that said, I had a very bad experience with medication and after nearly 3 years I am still recovering. If I had self-educated myself about medication for ADHD and self-educated myself about side effects and withdrawal syndrome I would have known that I was taking medication NOT designed for ADHD and I would have known that going cold-turkey off of it could lead to my current situation with discontinuation syndrome. Now, answer me this (I know I can’t change the past), – would that information have been valuable to me before taking the medication? Yes, I can blame others, doctors or an industry, or, I can try to make others believe medication is destructive. Well, since I don’t agree with those things, let’s move on. Truth be told, I have another personal experience with medication which has also been detrimental and which, for my own reasons, I will not share. However, I have since discovered I could have learned all I had wanted or needed to know about the medication if I had chosen to self-educate myself. Every bit of information that could have given me an informed personal choice was already available on the internet. That’s all I am saying – self-educate. “But, Bryan, it’s not your fault… you didn’t know…” That’s the point exactly. Uninformed decisions with consequences can be pretty unforgiving and lasting. Thankfully, Dr. Charles Parker is writing a book about ADHD medication which will help explain the factors we need to know. How did I make it without medication? That’s already been written.