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"

Goodbye

True love, with the right person, at the right time, as unpredictable as that may be, can be, and I believe is, the best self-medication the universe has ever created!

The last month or so I have been writing rather frequently about love, relationships and the connection to us ADDers in general, from my point of view. I don’t know exactly why I started this indulgence; therefore, to answer a lot of emails in one post, the answer I come up with, and believe the closest to my true motivation, is that I enjoy it. I take pleasure in writing about love and relationship, probably more than I enjoy writing about anything else. It’s self-indulgence, I know. Forgive me.

It seems though, that many of you have found connections in the posts I write and that means a lot to me.

There is a story about my first love in my first book “One Boy’s Struggle”, the pleasure, the loss and the heartache of that first time, what I learned from it. The story was actually written long before my book. I was compelled to write about it because that relationship had an intense impact on my life and I simply could not stop thinking about it for a long time, there was something about it that was beyond special. Up until that point, it was the very best experience of my life and I never wanted to let it go, ever. It was the first of many goodbyes to come. Of course, I moved on, but even to this day, that relationship, that time in my life, that first goodbye, still holds a very special place in my heart and mind.

I think to some degree writing about that relationship lit my desire to write about other things in my life, my experiences. I have wanted to translate these writing yearnings of mine into a fictional book about love, the heartbreaks, and especially the triumphs, but let me go ahead and put those requests and my desires to rest right now, here, in this post: I am not a very good fictional writer or rather, maybe I simply haven’t found the stimulus to be one… yet?

There, I said it. In spite of this, when I write about relationships, true relationships, which I have experienced, the emotions of them, suddenly I believe I can write, I feel confident about it and that’s when I really, truly, enjoy it.

Making up stories, I simply do not enjoy yet and thus far, I haven’t been able to convince myself to fake it – I have tried. I feel things too intensely, as you may have noticed, and I appreciate reality far more than I do fiction. I tend to think this has something to do with my ADHD mind. I simply can’t lie to it or compel it to enjoy something it knows isn’t what I want to be doing. I think we all can recognize a fake climax from the real thing. Don’t you? Can’t you?

Oh YES!

YES!

I think we can.

This brings me to… goodbye.

Yes, goodbye, farewell, perhaps we’ll see each other around, but you and I both know, it won’t be the same. Don’t we?!

There is something unbearable about goodbye, when a special relationship ends.

I have had relationships that I didn’t walk away from, no, I ran as fast as I could and goodbye wasn’t a task I frowned upon, it was more like good riddance! But, that’s another true to life story, for another post, another time.

It is very painful when someone special, someone who seemed like ‘the one’ says the relationship is over, they don’t want you anymore, please leave. When this comes unexpectedly and, sometimes even expectedly, it is difficult to switch directions or even accept the reality, the finality of it. Suddenly all the things I should have been appreciative of, cared about, acted on, those things suddenly become so clear, as though some sort of fog has been lifted. All those missed signals, messages and insistent hopes the other person had but I had failed to recognize, I want to scream and say I understand, I see everything so clear now, let’s give it another shot!

But, alas…

Too late, is too late. It really is.

That’s often a rule for those of us with ADHD we must come to grips with, there is rarely a do-over, repeat chance, when it’s gone, it is usually gone for good! There is something very important to take in about this outcome, the depression, regret and hurt isn’t always about the lost person we thought we could, should, would and they could, should, would – love. It’s another loss, another missed opportunity, another ding on our list of failures and maybe, just maybe, we know in our heart, even if not in our head, that the relationship would have eventually ended anyway, we know it wasn’t going to last, but to be rejected, to make another mistake, to miss yet more signals – these things trigger our inner angst that we as ADDers live with day in and day out.

5 reasons the ending of a relationship may hurt so much extra for ADDers, but are not directly about the person leaving or that we left:

  1. Another loss marker.
  2. Another missed opportunity.
  3. Another list of regrets to add to an already long list. (The things which were done wrong in that relationship, we all have our private list. I can never tell this person or that person is this or that way – why didn’t I see that coming? Why did I fall for that type of person… again? Etc… etc…)
  4. Another reason to chastise ourselves and curse having ADHD.
  5. An added testimony to a low self-esteem that has already felt ‘less than’ for long enough.

Make sense? Sound familiar?

Even a relationship which was obviously meaningless and fruitless can suddenly seem like it meant the world because we get confused by these other self-punishing thoughts. Ultimately, whether we end it or the other person ends it, there is a deep-seated feeling of inadequacy that is from a list we started long before that person ever came into our lives. This gives very real meaning to “It’s about me, not you.” Doesn’t it? 

Then again, what if I had been more responsible, more attentive – what if I had recognized the signals, what if I had been appreciative and done everything I could. Given everything I had, I did everything perfectly and, goodbye still came.

Goodbye.

To be alone again.

This should never happen if we do everything right, perfectly, textbook perfection, but you and I know the truth, it does happen.

Sometimes, the wrong person is the wrong person and beating ourselves up for every nuance isn’t going to change that. Sometimes goodbye… is what it is.

Or, maybe it is more.

There is no rule book, no standards of conduct, and no perfect words that can enable a relationship to be what it is not. Sometimes our quest to correct and improve a relationship isn’t going to work. Sometimes it is going to backfire. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, just that sometimes, it is in vain.

Sometimes the best we can hope for is to learn from each relationship and grow a little along the way, so when the right relationship does come, we will be ready for it, but we will never know when we are ready for it, we just are. In this way I share my experiences, my lessons learned, my heartbreaks and my triumphs in love and in hurt, because it seems that so many of us share so much and perhaps, maybe, my sharing a little helps someone else figure out a puzzle or maybe, just that we are not alone.  

5 reasons why goodbye can be the new hello:

  1. When a relationship ends for good, the pain will still be there for a while, but time is saved and the world opens with new possibilities, it makes room in our lives for the future right person.
  2. Sometimes people are put in our path to teach us valuable lessons and the lessons could mean all the difference with the right person.
  3. It’s better to be with someone in love and not someone who just doesn’t want to be alone. You know who I am talking about.
  4. It’s not about you, it’s about me. Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes it isn’t. What’s important is that each person can move on and find their true happiness and love wherever that may be.
  5. Not everyone is meant to be together. Sometimes people do get together for the wrong reasons. That’s okay, what’s done is done, it is about growing, learning and becoming better for the one you will love and who will love you.

Keep in mind, when it comes to ADHD, it takes a very special type of person to not only love, but to live with and appreciate us and, for us to fully love and appreciate them in return. When we meet this person, many of the things we thought we could never do or would never do, somehow those things seem possible and regardless of explanation, it starts to work or we seek the treatment that will help it work. After all the failures and goodbyes, I never thought I would find that, or be saying that, but I am and I did.

True love, with the right person, at the right time, as unpredictable as that may be, can be, and I believe is, the best self-medication the universe has ever created! Suddenly you just want to get better in ways that never seemed possible before, options open up, we make that appointment, we go there, we do this, and we do that. Love and appreciation is a powerful antidote.

Goodbye is the new hello. Indeed, it can be.

Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a lot of goodbyes on our road to bliss, at least it did for me, but… would I be writing this if I had not found that special person? The answer, the obvious answer, the right answer, is:

You know the answer…

Goodbye – till the next post!

~Bryan

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