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"

The ADD ADHD Ghosts of Relationships past

A frequent question I am asked is how to get over past relationships, especially the relationships which never make it off the ground. That’s a tough question. First of all, I don’t know if ‘getting over’ the past is the right way to look at this. I am sure you, just like me, have been told time and again to just get over something, let it go or forget about it. Don’t you just love that? Not too helpful is it? “Just get over it” and presto it’s gone, wiped from your mind never to rear its ugly head ever again! If you have ADD ADHD you know it is not as simple as that, it’s not and frankly I don’t think it’s that simple for anyone when it comes to a past situation that has significant emotional impact.

The problem for us ADDers is that we have a lot of trouble creating and maintaining relationships. It doesn’t matter if it is with a friend or with someone we would like to be ‘more’ than just a friend. We beat ourselves up constantly for saying the wrong things, doing the wrong things and thinking what could I have done to not have this or that happen. We tend to make a lot of mistakes, that’s the way it is and we tend to think very negatively about ourselves for these mistakes, because we know if we could just stop and do the right things, everything would be different. Relationships, and how I have carried them around with me is a very important part of my memoir “One Boy’s Struggle” because of those very reasons. Relationships make and break us and the latter being the most common.


If I were to suggest a way to deal with past failed relationships, I certainly would not tell you to get over it, because you can’t and you won’t. At least, that is what I believe—I am not a doctor, so take what I say as simple friendly advice from someone ‘who has been there and done that’. What you can do and what you should consider is coming to terms and in order to come to terms you must learn a great deal about yourself and the condition of ADD ADHD. First of all, it’s not your fault that you have ADD ADHD and it’s not your fault that you are afflicted with ADD ADHD traits. Do you agree? I hope you do, but let’s do one very important thing here and change something, one single word, a very important word and that is: You are not afflicted with ADD ADHD, but rather you are blessed with ADD ADHD. If you can change the basic most simple definition of what ADD ADHD is to you, then you can change the meaning behind a host of other troubles which envelopes your mind. That’s deep so you will have to either read my book or read more articles on my blog for more of my thoughts on that, because I am going to stick to the current subject of ‘getting over past relationships’.

We don’t get over past relationships, but what we can do is come to terms, understand and learn from them. Just because we have ADD ADHD does not mean we cannot learn. We learn and we learn quite well, just not in the normal ways people are used to. We ADDers are very emotional and sensitive people and sometimes we try to enhance our own sensitiveness by remembering things which have profound emotional meaning to us. That’s okay, but how we remember them is just as important. No, I am not going to tell you that a certain person wasn’t right for you or it just was not meant to be. Hog wash! You have heard that stuff countless times before. Haven’t you? And it probably has not helped. No, what I am going to tell you is something different. Go back to your memories, treasure them, they are a part of you and who you are today, they have helped you become the person you are today whether you like the person you are or even if you don’t. But, and this is important, while you revisit those memories take from them some lessons, examine what you did right and what you think you did wrong and take away from it the positives. Maybe gathering the courage to meet a certain person was the positive and it didn’t work out after that. Well, then that’s important and valuable, you gathered the courage. Keep that and remember it, that’s positive. Remember the feeling of that courage gathering within you, remember how you stood and walked, benefit from those memories. Then you went on to say the wrong thing. Yeah, I know, I say the wrong things all the time, but I learn from them and I am well known to be diplomatic and that’s thanks to also remembering what I have said correctly in the past. There are things that have worked for you too, remember those, and focus on those things.

My point is to take everything as a lesson, break it down, take the life and death illusion away from the picture, because your still here and you’re reading this article. You have a very important ingredient within you and that is desire. It’s powerful. There are so many positives that we overlook each and every day. Next time purposely look for the positives. Everybody makes mistakes and bites the dust once in a while, but that’s okay, get up, brush yourself off and learn from the experience. And yes, we do repeat mistakes, but that’s usually because when we look back we focus on what we could have done and should have done, but are focused on what we did wrong and we don’t take a breath and look at what we did do right. If we look at all the things we have done right, then we can put the pieces together like a puzzle and come up with solutions. So that’s it, change your focus from the negative to the positive and look a bit closer at what you did right. Most of the lessons which build our future come directly from our past. Your past has value, so don’t get over it or forget it, you need those memories. Use them for your benefit. I learned to do that and so can you.

That’s just my new way of looking at the past, because it used to mess me up too.

Happy Valentine’s Day!