Do You Know or Are You Wondering?
In 1965, there were no gifted kids, no kids with behavioral disabilities. They were just smart kids, dumb kids, and kids who got in trouble a lot. ADD was only heard of during that hour or two that we spent doing Math.
Now we hear about ADD — Attention Deficit Disorder — often and in many contexts. Now the problem is that the what we know isn’t necessarily accurate. Bad information gets in the way of good things happening.
- We can misdiagnose our problem and work with a broken solution.
- We can decide that we’re hopeless, stuck, and need to stay in the closet.
- We can miss all of the options for finding out how to use our creativity and intelligence.
I’d rather understand myself and be understood by others.
Accurate information makes life easier. Here’s a great example of how getting past that information barrier changed a life in the most dramatic way.
Last night I finally got up the nerve to “out” myself as having been officially diagnosed with ADD last year. I was so nervous about it because of how controversial and laden with stigmas the label of ADD is. — How I Survived My Life with Undiagnosed Adult ADD and Learned to THRIVE!
I’ve had a lot of time to go round and round about how it was possible for me to have ADD since prior to becoming a professional organizer and ADD specialist I had some of the same misconceptions about ADD that a lot of people do. For example:
People with ADD:
- – never finish anything
- – are unreliable
- – can’t sit still
- – can’t focus on anything
- – can’t listen and always interrupt
- – are reckless and in trouble all the time
- – don’t care how their behavior affects others
- – are losers
What I have learned was that ADD is much less obvious than that. It’s kind of like having back pain, you can’t see it, but it sure makes it hard for you to walk. But you find a way to do it anyway. You may not know that people have it unless they complain about it, or don’t try to compensate for it.
ADD can be harnessed and channeled. For me it was a very privately painful struggle that I worked very hard to conceal and minimize the impact on others. Not knowing why everything seemed to be so much harder for me than for other people, I often wondered if something was wrong with me, but I chalked it up to my creative personality type and persisted in trying to overcome.
It’s amazing to me how many people thought everything I was able to achieve came easily. In fact, it didn’t and still doesn’t. For almost everything I do finish, I probably have at least 2 unfinished projects, and countless ideas for projects I have to keep saying no to in order to focus. It’s soooo exhausting at times.
When I read, I reread every paragraph several times. It’s takes me many hours to finish a book, and even to read all my email. When I type I usually have to retype at least half of my words and sentences due to transposing words and letters. It’s takes me at least an hour for every blog post and sometimes over 4 hours. This email just took me about an hour and a half to write. That’s why I can’t always respond to all my email. I would never leave the computer if I did.
People in my life I’ve shared this with actually don’t believe I have ADD because they think all people with ADD are total messes. It’s so not true. I work with so many gifted and productive ADDers who cry at night like I did.
It was written by my friend and hero, Ariane. Read her story of finding out about her ADD.
With information and tasks to complete coming at us from every direction, it’s easy for us to think that we might even have it ourselves. To get more information, check out these resources.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Need to sort the chaos? Work with Liz!!