For years I fought my ADHD as if it were a virus that invaded my body. I tried to eradicate it but it is more cunning, more resilient than I expected. So I tried a different approach. I would wrestle it to the ground, wear it down and constrain its movement. Once I got the upper hand I would put on the straight jacket of normalcy. However, this had an unintended side effect — constraining my ADHD also meant constraining me. [note 1]
I can no longer tolerate being constrained. I am ready to own my ADHD, to embrace it, not as a foreign object but as an integral part of me. ( See Koretsky’s book on working with your ADHD.) I’m finally understanding the need to allow myself to be who I really am. I’m ready to go to the next step, to make ADHD a part of my daily existence in that other world, the world occupied by (self-described) “normal” people. I’m ready to open the ADHD closet door all the way. (See Coming Out Of The (A.D.D.) Closet)
I have one concern.
Letting ADHD out of the closet is like opening Pandora’s Box. The forces inside are tremendous, uncontrollable yet, as I swing open the closet door even further, I want to be able to contain the uncontainable. I want to find the balance, the pivot point, between letting out the ADHD forces while living a somewhat sane existence in the land of normalcy. I want to control my ADHD but not the way I did in the past. I am ready to ride the ADHD waves like a surfer rides a wave. I would be in control while riding the forces that are beyond my control. I will be in harmony with the wave knowing that, if the surf gets rough I can decide not to ride a particular wave. There will no doubt be a wipe-out or two but that’s to be expected when you are riding a wave. [note 2]
This different approach, this new attitude towards ADHD is not so much a sea change (pun sort of intended) but an evolutionary change. I still see ADHD as a curse that gets passed from generation to generation, much like King Tut’s curse. But I now accept that this “curse” is a part of who I am. It is not a foreign object. I’m sure I will still have my days when I wake up and wish I had a different curse, such as the curse of too much wealth. But in the meantime, I will accept the curse that I have, the curse that makes me different even if I think this difference does not make me sexy. [note 3]
The bottom line — I am ready to let myself be me.
Source for Image: http://buffetoblog.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/caption-contest-unfair-sumo-wrestling-match/
- Some examples of these struggles are Adult A.D.D. As A Form Of Madness, my writings on ADHD as gift and curse, and my recent post A Ransom Note From The Kidnapper. Of course, most of this blog chronicles this struggle.↩
- Despite my disdain for the beach, this seems the right metaphor for what I want to achieve. If they only got rid of the sand…I’m sure I would love the beach.
The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were only cleared away," They said, "it would be grand!"
- There are some who may believe otherwise. See Adult ADHD Can Be Sexy↩