Speaking of ADHD...

People sometimes wonder why I am so vocal about my ADHD. At work I am often saying things like, "Ugh, I'm having an ADHD moment!" And when I do something goofy, like break into a spontaneus Mexican hat dance to entertain the Alzheimers residents, or burst into a room and blurt out that I added too much cinnimon to my oatmeal and burned my esophogus, my coworker Karina often laughs and says, "Is your ADHD kicking in right now?" There are people, including those who have ADHD themselves, who think I would be better off keeping my medical diagnosises to myself.
Here's the thing. I didn't get diagnosed until I was an adult. I didn't have the luxury of growing up being embarassed about recieving special ed services or extra help or having to take medication. Instead, I grew up thinking that every aspect about me was messed up. I grew up being yelled at and punished for things I did and the way I acted, when I didn't really know how to be any different. I grew up thinking I just was a lazy, stupid kid with a very annoying personality... a kid who nobody wanted to be friends with... a kid who always had to stay in at recess to re-do the homework she lost or forgot, but who didn't really mind because there was nobody to play with outside anyway. A kid who became physically ill with headaches and stomachaches around dinner time, because she knew that after dinner she had to do her homework, and might be sitting at the kitchen table working on that horrid stuff until well after bedtime. A kid who got told by her mother that if she didn't calm down and stop jumping around excitedly, she would scare the other children. A kid who not even a mother could love.
So when I first learned about ADHD... I was about 17 when I first read a book about it... the feeling I had was not, "Oh my God, there's something wrong with me," but, "Oh my God! You mean there's nothing wrong with me? Its just something in my brain? You mean I'm really not just a failure as a person?"
And when I began meeting or hearing about others with ADHD, who had gone through many of the same things as I had... Well, have you ever seen that music video where the little girl in the bee costume goes around town dancing doing this crazy wild dance in front of people, but everyone just looks at her funny or ignores her? Finally she comes across this field, and it is filled with people in bee costumes, dancing around just like her. The girl gets a huge smile on her face and breaks into a run, to join them. She has finally found out that she is not a freak after all!
So, let me be honest with people about my ADHD. I'm not embarassed about it or upset about it. I've met a lot of awesome, unique, brilliant, interesting and friendly people with ADHD, both adults and children... and I am proud to be one of them.


yusufyusuf said...

Nice blog...

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