A n email from an ADHDer.
Subject: Open this email I have ADD and I want to share!
Message: Hi Jeff, my name is Aaron and I’m an 18 year old who just graduated high school. And I wanted to let you know that your pitiful and degrading view on ADD is just your reasoning for not being able to use it to your advantage. You’re a piece of shit who never followed his dreams, and when you started to see how you are ADD you decided to blame all the bad on that solely and not yourself. ADD is a motherfucking awesome way of thinking in this generation. There are more things going on in this world than ever before. And someone who can use their ADD can have a grasp on all of it at once. I spat out my Ritalin as a kid. Cause I wanted to show shitheads like you that it is just my personality and that I can do everything just as good as a “regular kid”. When are you gonna wake up and appreciate what mind you have left. If you believe ADD is just negative, you’re a fucking pussy. I feel like I’m on coke all the time, and I still get shit done right and quick. Suck it up and realize what great life and mind you have left. Be creative and be yourself. Be happy. Don’t give up over a label.
I appreciate fan mail. Normally I engage in a private correspondence with the writer. This time I felt a public response was needed. I’m not doing this to embarrass Aaron. I’m doing this because I believe my response will be of value to him and to those who think like him.
Even though I don’t see ADHD as a “motherfucking awesome way of thinking,” that doesn’t mean I don’t understand why you see it as awesome. As you pointed out, in a world where so many things are going on, having an ability to pull it all in and “still get shit done” is fantastic. It’s likely that you’ll find that it helps you to accomplish many more things in life. However, I’m quite a bit older than you, and I can tell you that years from now your awesome ability will become your Achilles Heel. It is difficult for you to see that right now. You are young and have decades of life ahead of you. But as life moves along, you’ll be spending more time focusing on fewer things, such as a career, a family, and perhaps a hobby. That’s when your tendency to pull it all in will be fighting with your need to stay focused. That’s when ADHD will no longer seem so awesome.
For now, please ignore the negativity of my blog. There are so many great things in life that there’s no reason for you to live with a dark cloud overhead. But do not forget the message. ADHD is not magical. It is a serious condition. It does not become less pernicious by labeling it as an “awesome way of thinking.” Remember this when, years from now, your life seems to go awry. It’s not you. It’s the ADHD.