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"

Kate Kelly R.I.P. – What I Learned From an ADHD Master

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Kate Kelly

A friend, ADHD pioneer, co-author of the book You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid Or Crazy?! and an incredibly positive light in the worldwide ADHD community passed away last week.

Kate will be missed. She’s left a remarkable legacy. Her message of hope will carry on.

She touched so many.

For better words about Kate, please read posts by Rick GreenZoë Kessler and Madelyn Griffith-Haynie. I had tears in my eyes as I read them. Kate touched them profoundly, as she did so many of us. If you’ve posted a tribute to Kate, please feel free to link to it in the comments. I wish I had known her as well as they did.

Not only ADHD…

I’ve wanted to write something about Kate since I heard the sad news, but my emotions were too strong to realize what I wanted to say. I waited.

After reflection and rereading messages from her I finally figured out the most important lesson she taught me. It didn’t have much to do with ADHD.

Kate taught me something incredibly valuable about life and people. I’d like to share that lesson with you. But first…

A little background.

I met Kate Kelly online last year when she joined the ADDer World ADHD Social Network. I felt an instant connection with her. We discussed issues, but mostly she shared with me and our members her ideas and beliefs about ADD in the spirit.

She also created a group on our network called ADD in the Spirit and gave away a signed copy of The ADDed Dimension.

It was all a wonderful experience with Kate Kelly that I will treasure forever.

What was new for me was that she was discussing issues as if we were equals and that my opinions, whether she agreed or not, were valuable and important.

You might think that would be a given so allow me to put this into context.

I consider Kate to be the pinnacle of the ADHD community, a true pioneer before books about ADHD were as common place as they are today and I value her every word.

Clearly, she was an ADHD master.

However, I am always nervous when an expert reaches out to me. Its part of my nature to be anxious, but it is also from past experiences that have made me so cautious.

Why I was cautious.

Shortly after I started ADDer World I attracted certain “experts” with their own agendas. I was new to blogging and these people tried to “mold” and “shape” my messages about ADHD through suggestions. They seemed supportive, but basically tried to put words in my mouth – ultimately to convey their messages.

Today, as an experienced blogger I know this is a common practice that happens to a lot of new bloggers and some, as I was, are eager to be read and fall for their traps because someone is paying attention. Many bloggers consider this behavior a form of trolling.

Indeed. I was a sucker at first, grateful for the contact and “support” – support that would vanish when I did not comply or said something out of line with their points of view. If they would just go in peace that would be nice, but…

As they say you eventually know what you are dealing with when you go off their track because those people all too often begin to attack viciously. Those who once praised you turn around and despise you. I’ve been amazed, shocked and appalled how others manipulate my words indirectly when they cannot do it directly.

That’s not real support. Is it?

That’s why I am still a bit apprehensive when someone new reaches out to me.

Kate Kelly was a true supporter!

Thankfully, God bless her heart, Kate Kelly wasn’t at all like those people who tried to force their message and control my ideas. She turned out to be like the many others, the majority I’ve met who are honorable. The ones who matter.

Part of what made Kate wonderful is that she paid attention, but responded to me without judgement or control. She shared her insight but never forced her beliefs. She welcomed new and different perspectives from me and many in our community.

I will admit, though, that there was something extra about Kate that was so pleasurable and likable. I still cannot put my finger on it.

Let’s just say it was something incredibly special.

Not everyone has it. She did.

What Kate Kelly taught me.

Kate taught me to ignore the people who try to manipulate and attack me. To write what I feel I need to write. That everyone has a unique path.

However, there are those who are not tolerant of others who see and believe things differently hence the manipulation and when that doesn’t work some become hateful, resentful and attack. It’s part of their path.

Forgive and stay on your path.

Stay respectful. Stay honorable. Stay in the spirit. And, learn from mistakes. (Because God knows I make plenty of them.)

But never, never back down from what you believe in.

It’s okay for people to disagree, yet still honor and respect each other.

Go in peace…

Unfortunately, some people see it differently and I choose to let them go in peace, even if they choose to do otherwise.

What about you?

Has anyone tried to use you, manipulate you or twist your words? Did you reject their efforts or are you trying to? It doesn’t feel good does it, but you know you must take a stand. If so, then what Kate taught me might be valuable to you as well:

Stay Strong.

When the student was ready the master appeared.

Dearest Kate, you will be missed. Thank you for everything. I wish I had met you in person and I am so very thankful I met you in the way God intended. The time was too short and yet, so meaningful. God bless you.


If you learned something from Kate Kelly either directly or from her writings, share with us in the comments. If you’ve had people try to manipulate you, what did you, or, what are you doing about it?