I read an email today from an ADHD coach that talked about ADHD being a gift.
Sure, ADHD’s name is misguiding, but it is a DISORDER. People may learn how to live good lives or become successful according to today’s society, but if they do it’s not because they have ADHD, it’s in spite of it.
Learning how you function, and how to make that work in this world, is everyone’s struggle. We are all trying to figure out where we fit in society, in our cultures. But for people with disorders we can’t just follow the majority’s example because generally we just don’t function like they do. So we take longer to work things out, or we never do.
But my daily struggle to function in a society that demands I be many things I simply naturally am not, like organised, punctual, attentive, socially aware, reliable and consistent, is not a gift.
So why do they call it a gift?
There are aspects where if you manage to exploit your malfunctioning brain you can put that to use. For example, hyper-focus. Hyper-focus is awesome if you’re pouring all that energy and focus on a single project, rather than on a computer game. But the odds of you picking the best project to work on depends on a good ability to prioritise, which most ADHDers lack. Also, you may get the project done, but it’s likely to be after missing outside responsibilities: the children haven’t been fed, the cat’s peed in the laundry cos you never noticed she needed to be let out, and by the way, your first stop needs to be to the toilet too else you’ll have an even bigger mess. And so you need to use time management and reminders to knock you out of hyper-focus when necessary, which means back to things that we’re not particularly capable of!
Another thing they say is an ADHD gift is ‘creativity’. This, I just don’t buy. Not all creative people are ADHD, and not all ADHD people are creative. I know at least one ADHD person who is not creative. You may be both, like I am, but that doesn’t mean the creativity is dependent on the ADHD (or vice versa for that matter).
Ok, so my rant has to be over now, simply because it’s small child’s bedtime, and if I magnanimously say, ‘I’ll come back to this’, I know I never will. That I’m posting it now is not a gift, it’s simply knowing myself and working with what I know.