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"

My Normal Mask by NerdyMommy – Hiding Covering Masking ADHD Symptoms

The following blog post is by a member of the interactive ADDer World, NerdyMommy. She is a fun and charming ADDer that has a flare for expressing herself. She also has her own personal blog. I highly recommend reading her articles. I have read this particular post a couple times and agree with her assessment of our mask; however, I believe practice doesn’t just make perfect, it can make reality. I wrote about this exact subject in more detail in my book and this ‘mask’ or ‘pretending’ is not simply a way of manipulating what we do or how we act, it is a way of correcting our behavior and improving our quality of life as human beings! I believe anyone can do it. If you have read my book then you know how self- defeated, depressed and disillusioned I was growing up. It was a pathetic way to live and I punished myself for living that way daily and, of course, that punishment was meant to be a way to motivate myself out of my miserable daily scheme. Punishing one’s self is not the answer, it just pushes one deeper into depression and self defeat.

If we can pretend to be a certain way, then it is clear we can be a certain way. Practice makes perfect and when we pretend to act a certain behavior, well, that’s a way of practicing that behavior and therefore making it our own. We have the power to build habits and create better life styles for ourselves. If you don’t believe me, pretend to believe me and act it out for a while. Put your mask on and see what happens. I am not the same self defeated, depressed person I once was – I have inner strength, fortitude and a very healthy self esteem. In my book I explain the ‘why and how’ I transformed and I continue to improve every day, so can you!

Anthony Robbins, Norman Vincent Peale and other notable motivators have written about ‘acting’ the way you want to be and from reading their books it is sometimes difficult to understand what they mean and how to go about it. In my book “One Boy’s Struggle – A Memoir” I explain how I did it, as a real life person overcoming ADHD, depression, low self esteem and PTSD. It can further help to read about such a technique from a person who has actually put it into his daily practice and successfully lived it – creating a better quality of life for himself. When you read about me growing up with undiagnosed ADD, you may find it hard to imagine that young boy growing up to write a book, create a popular blog and an interactive world for ADDers – a man self assured, confident in who he is and successfully making his way through every tomorrow knowing things can get better, things are getting better! Once you have made it all the way through my story, you will see how things can and do improve once we take the right steps in the right direction and for me pretending is a way of ‘practicing’ the way I want to be. Or maybe it is all just an act? Let’s ask Aristotle:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
– Aristotle

Without further a due, here is the article by NerdyMommy “My Normal Mask”: 

I realized the other day, after getting lost in self analysis as I am wont to do….

I have a mask. I will call it my Normal mask, and I don’t intend to offend anyone who gets upset that I don’t feel that I am not ‘normal’ because I have ADD. It’s just easier to call it my Normal mask than my Conforming to the Socially Acceptable Behaviors of General Society mask – that’s just too dang long to type. Normal mask it is, no offense intended.

Back to the Normal mask. The Normal mask reminds me of those women who wake up an hour before their husbands so that they can put on their makeup, because they would be mortified that anyone sees them without their face on. The Normal mask is my way of presenting myself to the world in such a way that no one would ever suspect that I am, underneath it all, an ADDer. I believe I’ve perfected it over the years. I honestly think that 99% of people, who know me, work with me, are related to me, are friends with me… would never believe that I am an ADDer. Not that my symptoms are completely hidden or manageable when I have my Normal mask on, no….. but I have learned to compensate for them and make excuses for them in a way (often with self-deprecating humor), that people generally wouldn’t take me for an ADDer.

I can honestly say that the only people that I don’t wear the Normal mask for are my children and my boyfriend, and it only ever comes off in the sanctuary of my own home. My home is where I am myself, my true ADDer self. At home, I give myself permission to forget things, to walk into rooms and forget why I’m there, to lose things, to get lost when I’m having a conversation….When I step out the door, I put on the Normal mask, and there it stays until I return to the comfort of my own home.

Does anyone else have a Normal mask? Do you wear it all the time? Do certain situations threaten to make it fall off?

This is a posting by a member of it has been reposted here with permission. If you would like to read all postings, please feel free to become a member HERE.

Thank you NerdyMommy!