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"

Love and ADHD a Bittersweet Reality

To be loved.

Can I be loved? Am I lovable?

Have you ever asked those questions of yourself?

Have you ever stayed up nights, wondering why – why can’t I be loved?

ADHD often seems like a bittersweet reality.

Many of us are creative, we are exciting and we can find things to do when the rest of those around us are bored out of their minds and yet, and this is the part that hurts, no matter how exciting we may be, how much we can liven up a boring moment for others, or how creative we may be, we all too often still feel lonely. So lonely, and then it comes, like a shadow from the dark corner, it spreads so slowly, then wraps itself around us, at first it feels warm and comforting, but it is not an afterglow, it is sadness, which after time may become misery.

Our moments of brilliance, those moments when we make the crowd cheer and we raise our hands so high in victory, are so fleeting. Those moments come so fast, usually totally unexpectedly and they disappear even faster. We attract a crowd momentarily, sometimes a bit longer, but soon, too soon, they are gone, the spotlight fades and the next moment, so painful, so desolate, it comes, when we are alone and no one remains.

The darkness of being alone seems so unfair to us; we don’t understand it.

What happened?

Or, simply…


The tears, they fall and no arms wrap around us.

We are alone, as we always have been, as we always will be.

So it seems.

It is.

For any moments of brilliance, when the light shines so intensely on us, we would give up all of those moments, so we believe, to just have that one person, only one, the one, hopefully who is out there, the one that sees us, really sees us, believes in us, hears us and gets to know us past the shiny surface and the incredibly splendid moments of what at first seems like genius, but suddenly seems more like rapid fire stupidity, but it’s not.

It’s ADHD.

Just that one person who will love us.

And, as the dream goes, which no one else knows, the love of a lifetime waits to be captured in your arms.

But, the question remains – can I be loved?

Can someone truly care for me?

Am I worthy?

Why do I feel as though I am not?

So many of us give up on love, that we can be loved, that someone out there can understand us, appreciate us for who we are, the good, the bad and all that is in between. We give up on it for so many reasons, but mostly, we give up on love because we don’t understand it. Love is about something which is as foreign to us as a strangely named wine from a distant land.

Love is about someone else besides ourself.

Love is about knowing someone. Love is about being somewhere without your special someone and not wanting to see the sights, because, that person you love will not see them with you. Love is about so much more than wanting love. Love is about living. Love is about breathing. Love is about caring for someone else.

Love is about listening to someone, even when they have nothing to say that makes any sense to you. Love is not about fixing someone else’s problems. Love is about caring about someone else’s problems, even if you don’t know what to do about them.

Love is as precious as the world, without it we are empty and wanting, needing and so lonely, so, so lonely.

With ADHD we get so caught up in the dreams of what being in love could be, should be and all those wonderful things that it might be, that we forget the most important aspect of love, and that most important aspect is that love is about someone else, another living breathing person with concerns, with problems, with a life that has been lived that is complex and significant.

That special someone, they may want and need someone who will listen and sympathize, even empathize with their being, too. Someone who will listen to them, fascinated about the experiences they have lived, even if it is only about something seemingly insignificant to the grand scheme of things. What may seem insignificant to us could be everything in the word to someone else.

What I have learned about love and, this lesson has literally changed my life, is that love is not about me. And, for the person in love with me, it is not about her.

It is about us.

Love is about appreciation for self and for someone else; love is about saying a kind word, showing support and letting that person know that even when they fall, you are there, because you truly care.

Love is also about caring about one’s self enough to love someone else.

Not to self deprecate, but rather to self appreciate.

Sometimes, those of us with ADHD, we are caught up in all of our issues, our circumstances and our ways of learning how to live a better life, that we forget, distracted, that the center of the universe of being in love, with all its promised glory, is as separate from ourselves as much as it is a part of ourselves.

It is this awareness and, more importantly, this acceptance, the lack of it, which keeps so many of us in a constant search, never finding, never truly appreciating that love does exist, it is wondrous to be a part of, but, that’s it – to be a part of it, not to be it.

I have found that when I step outside of myself for a moment and take in the needs and the wants of the one I love, something special happens and that special something is not found in any words I may write, that special something is in her twinkling smile when she realizes I get it! The world suddenly bursts into so many colors and then, by recognizing, caring, empathizing and sympathizing, somehow, someway, I suddenly, truly, become the center of the universe – her universe! It is the most precious and wondrous universe of all, which becomes ours, together.

If we appreciate our self enough to be able to care about someone else, in all of their complexities and experiences, then yes, I do believe we can be loved.

Scary – isn’t it?

To open one’s self up.

Yes, true love is risky. Ah, it is not controllable. It has its fair share of anxieties and fearful ventures, but that’s not about love, that’s being afraid of love, true love, commitment and responsibility – of being hurt, perhaps even again. Because, yes, the risks are high, the fears and anxiety are even higher – to be accepted, and so we return:

To be loved.

Can I be loved? Am I lovable?