…we can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness. – Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
Everyone has a story to help them understand themselves and their relationship to the world. It is their personal explanation of who they are and why they do the things they do. It is their mental comfort food. They repeat the story to themselves when they are confronted with something unknown or with a story that conflicts with theirs. The Late Diagnosed ADHDer (Ltd-ADHD) — an ADHDer who was not diagnosed for twenty or more years — may create a story that contains extraordinary leaps of logic in order to explain, in a logical manner (or at least in a consistent manner) why they stand outside of the “accepted” norm. Most of the disagreements I’ve had with other ADHDers has been over the nature of our stories. Some ADHDers have developed the story of ADHD-as-a-Gift while others have invented new personality types: ADHD that is not ADHD.
My story can be summarized in two words: Yes…But. I may agree with you about some things, however there’s always that “But,” always the reminder that life is both bitter and sweet and never experienced in a pure state. We may fool ourselves, for the moment, into thinking that ADHD is a gift in much the same way that we fool ourselves into believing that the world is flat when we need to drive from one place to another. But we’re adults. We know better. The world is not flat (physically, that is). There are no fairy godmothers and, yes, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. So while there is great benefit to be derived from intentional blindness, from focusing on the sweet and pleasurable — the taste of your lover’s sweat; completion of a large, complex project; the summer sun warming your bones — I always worry that we’ll forget about the drudgery, the struggles, the monotony of much of life. So my response to many things is, Yes…but.
But let’s be honest.
Who wants to be reminded of the bitter when the sweet has such a wonderful taste?