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Things I wish people knew about my ADHD

  • Once people know you have it, everyone has it.

I know, you get distracted easily, no this does not mean you have ADHD.

  • Sometimes, it’s all too much.

Occasionally the constant stimuli drive me crazy. I cry, hit things, tear off my clothes, and scream. Why? So much going on around me, in addition with the feeling that I need to run three miles all at once while solving a Rubik’s cube hits pretty hard.

  • Give me a gift? Yep, tears. A puppy looks sad? Or cute? Yep, you guessed it.

People with ADHD have crazy emotions. Everything from sadness to happiness is way over extended. For this reason we constantly deal with very serious depression.

  • I do get distracted easily, but I’m not a dog or a caricature.

People seem to have this weird idea of those affected by ADHD. They think we are solely our distractions but there’s much more serious issues that come into play. Please, really, PLEASE, stop making fun of ADHD. I love jokes about ADHD, and yes, they can be hilarious. This is, however, a serious disorder. We are constantly bombarded with environments and sounds we can’t ignore.

Which brings me to my next point:

  • This is a serious disorder.

I’m not only effected in the classroom or at work during times when it’s convenient to use ADHD as an excuse, which I’ve never done. ADHD affects EVERY part of my life. If I set up twelve post it notes telling me to do one thing before I leave the house, there is a safe bet that thing won’t get done. It’s a problem, and yes, I am working on it.

  • If you date me, I’ll probably love you.

Like I said, our emotions are all over the place. When I love, I love deep, and fast. Beware.

  • Don’t ever make the “Squirrel!” joke.

Really. This bothers me.

  • I’m a nudist, because my clothes drive me insane.

I’ve torn countless shirts solely because my ADHD brain couldn’t forget they were on my body. I always feel like something needs to burst from my body but I don’t know how to let it.

  • It is real, and yes I do have it.

ADHD is for some reason been made into a fantasy. When I tell someone I have ADHD, they don’t seem to believe me.

  • Sometimes hyper focus can be awesome.

Okay, yes, there are upsides to ADHD. Aside from my ability to make crazy and totally unique connections and my absurd creativity, hyper focus can be one of the greatest things. ADHD people tend to fall into a sort of tunnel vision when they find something they are super passionate about. It happens every so often and we may not have any interest in the project after a few days but when we fall into hyper focus it is almost guaranteed that the screenplay that needed writing or house that needed painting has been finished and then some.

  • I don’t mean to say the weird things I say.

People with ADHD have less dopamine headed to their frontal cortex. This is because we have so much going everywhere else (which is why we have trouble with depression). The issue here is that the frontal cortex deals with a lot of our control. As in controlling what we say and do. When we don’t have enough chemicals headed to that control center for controlling, you lose control.

  • What was your name? Jeff. Okay, nice to meet you, what’s your name again?

I promise I am listening to you. I am making a constant effort to retain what you say but it may not happen. Those close to me know they should be ready to repeat what they just said a few times before it clicks. I’ll watch your lips move, hear your words, think about them, and out they go.

  • I’m not ignoring you, I just forgot.

If it takes a few hours for me to text you back, it isn’t because I don’t want to talk to you, it’s because I got distracted and forgot to compose a message or simply hit send. I apologize in advance.

  • Sleep? Ha.

With ADHD sleep comes… About as easily as airing up the tires on an elephant. It’s probably not gonna happen, and you barely know where to start.

  • I’m either two hours late or three hours early. There’s not in between.

Unless someone is reminding me of the time, it may as well not exist. Sometimes an hour goes by in a second and I’ve started three different projects that need to be finished, but after I start the fourth. In terms of ADHD this is actually referred to as “time blindness.”

  • I may die of malaria someday.

When I am about to take medicine for ANYTHING, there’s about a 70/20 chance it will actually be consumed. Something will distract me or get in the way and I’ll have half of a beautiful hand knitted scarf but may need to watch out for the side effects of missing my seizure medication (more on that later).

  • I’m not really a messy person, but you may not see my floor for months.

My room or any area I spend enough time in will become messy. I don’t love messes, though I do work better with my own… Unique organizational system. I just get too distracted to clean. Until my hyper focus kicks in. Even after a good waxing, my space tends to find itself askew again within an hour.

  • It may seem cliche, but sometimes I do love my ADHD.

In general, ADHD makes my life miserable. I struggle with depression and I know my professional life takes a severe blow. But without ADHD I lose who I am. I lose my creativity and what makes me crazy and unique. So yes, I may stay up crying and punching the wall, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Written By: Grant Smith

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