ADHD Awareness Week …

16 09 2010

Wow, this seems like an oxymoron, being aware of my inability to pay attention consistently. But I do get it. It’s not for me, it’s for others.

It’s for the people who don’t understand, the people who need to be made aware, the people who think that ADHD is exclusively a childhood problem, the people who think it is an indicator of low intellectual function and worst of all, the ones who think it’s a joke.

And while I’m discussing people being made aware, there is a group of people who do need to be made aware of ADHD, a group to which, until recently, I belonged. These are the undiagnosed, the unaware. People who have maybe heard the term ADHD as a negative description of their traits and tendencies. People who are trying, unsuccessfully, to make a success of their lives. People who, once past the stigma of the label, could benefit from diagnosis and treatment.

If you know anyone who appears to be unengaged at times, is easily distracted, says or does things that are either at an inappropriate time or are inappropriate to begin with or both, ask them to consider the idea that they might be able to get some help. If they are as frustrated as I was, they may well end up thanking you.

Spending much of my life thinking of myself as odd and unusual left me splitting my time between cultivating pride in my uniqueness and beating myself up emotionally over that same uniqueness. Finding out there was a label and a description that could have had my name as a heading was an amazing revelation. Finding out that there were people who were like me made me weep. I had people, peeps, a pose, my tribe! I was no longer alone.

This is what I want to have happen for all the people who, like me, were struggling with their distractability, impulsivity and hyperactivity: I want them, like me, to find their people, and realize the potential that these people can be examples of. I want them to see that normal ain’t so great, not when you can be strange, like us!

Happy ADHD Awareness Week.

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