It’s not something we want to talk about, it’s not something we want to admit and it is clearly something we are ashamed of. And yet, as much as we already understand our mistakes, our failures and our impulsive mishaps we do it more and more, to the point from which we see no return.
ADHD are symptoms of a magnitude and force which no one, and I mean, no one, who does not have ADHD can truly empathize with, because, no matter how well they understand our symptoms and can explain them with detailed clarity, they do not live with them as part of their self-internal life force. And, as much as each of us relates so well with each other that have ADHD, there are even differences between us that elude our recognition – no matter how familiar we are with each other, and, we are, remarkably, naturally familiar with each other. This is the reason that our personal stories and our personal insights help each other so much.
Try as we might, with the seemingly futile efforts of separating ourselves from ADHD, when it is a part of everything we do and everything we think. Others would have us view and define ADHD as a label, as somehow separate from who we are, in the hope that we can rise above ADHD and with that, leave it behind. This is the issue for which ADHD causes so much misery for so many – to somehow think and believe that ADHD is separate from who we are and therefore we can leave it behind and overcome it in a way that it no longer exists within us. And then, perchance we believe that we have done exactly this, left it behind, and then, out of seemingly nowhere, the symptoms arise again – oh the failure, the defeat, the thoughts of how inferior we must indeed be – pathetic beings that we are.
From our failures we look for fault and blame – while we do this we gain a curved perception of others, who have been blessed with what we see as normalcy. Ah, the envy to be normal – the jealousy to be complete and the wanting to be whole. The holy grail of the ADHD mind is to ‘recover’, sometimes the exact thing which defies our ‘recovery’ is this holy grail of being ‘like others’ who are ‘normal’. Recovery indicates that ADHD is separate from who we are and that at some time in our past it did not exist within us – having been purged of it, we can then ‘recover’.
There is no recovery process for overcoming ADHD, because, ADHD never leaves us – ever. The recovery, which doctors and psychotherapists speak of, I believe is a different kind of recovery and it is that which the focus of resolving ADHD should be on. Let’s replace the word recovery with another word, one that is far more accurate and tangible than many realize at first glance: Acceptance.
When we look upon others who have ADHD and are achieving great things, the first instinct is to look away, to not dream of ‘more’. And that, in my view, is wrong. No, it is more suitable, in my opinion, to not look at those who have achieved great success as better or as something we must attain in as far as their material gains. But look at them we should, to study them and ask ourselves the ultimate questions:
There is always that question, and the answer to that question holds the key to something far more important than any one person’s achievements or successes.
We should not be afraid to ask these questions and to seek the answers. It is only in seeking these answers that we can find them. The knowledge that others seem to have found answers helps us push on.
Nothing has ever been accomplished by human beings without those two questions: Why? And, How?
You do not have to win a gold medal and you do not have to invent the next form of artificial light, or, draw the next painting which will become the hallmark of an era. No, these are not the reasons to ask the questions. There’s something else. To achieve any great success one must have something. Is it grit? Is it tenacity? Is it hope? Is it motivation? Is it inspiration? – Yes, it is all of these things, but, these things come from something else:
Acceptance liberated me from seeing ADHD as a label or, the symptoms of ADHD as something separate from me. It was through psychotherapy that I found an understanding for what awareness truly is and how certain aspects of ourselves try to protect us, but, at the same time, through that protection, also circumvent us from achieving or finding any kind of success, or, happiness.
If you find yourself intrigued by this blog post, let me lead you to a book which could change your perceptions of how ADHD is affecting you. Now, the trick is, I am not simply talking about the ‘symptoms’ per se, but, rather the consequences of those symptoms over time and how we have judged and characterized them over the span of our lives. Our characterizations and judgments may be giving far more power to the term ADHD than most of us realize. The book is called “The Art of Confident Living” by Bryan (great name!) Robinson Ph.D. Bryan Robinson’s book is not about ADHD; it is about how certain aspects of who we are, which have developed from our experiences, judgments and characterizations, try to take over in order to protect ourselves.
The more people I meet and talk to, with concern to Adult ADHD, is convincing me that treating the symptoms without treating the psychological aspects of the mind, as a whole, is like fishing in a lake without any fish in it. There are reasons habitual thoughts are hard to break, there are reasons why we repeat certain things over and over again and sometimes, it’s not the symptoms of ADHD alone always doing that – rather it’s sometimes the result of past experiences connected to how ADHD has affected us and the external consequences of given past situations. Have you ever believed that something is the way it is and it just is and nothing you can do will change it? I have. That’s just the way it is – – or, is it?