Category Archives: Parenting
Hi there! I have neglected you! The past few weeks have been busy and overwhelming and when the overwhelm comes, I typically go hermit. I think its a fight or flight thing. It’s definitely an ADHD thing. This brain of mine, while capable of achieving incredible things, is also incapable of managing the mundane. Things like making sure there is enough toilet paper in the house and remembering to actually look at the to-do list I naively wrote on Sunday night, convinced that this time I’d actually look at it and cross things off. If you know anyone with ADHD, you’ll know well their pure intentions to do things. Depending on your level of interaction with them, you’re likely to be frustrated by their constant earnest promises to follow through and their subsequent failure to deliver. I’ll let you in on a little known fact: the person you’re disappointed in is exponentially disappointed with herself. That person is so beyond frustrated by her own broken promises that self-flagellation has become her default. That person who has let you down again doesn’t trust herself anymore because of the countless times she’s been proven wrong and discovered that her memory has failed her again. And then, someone tells her ADHD isn’t real. Today I want to share with you 9 things people often say to people with ADHD and then I’ll addmy two cents.
ADHD Myth #1You’re right. Everyone does have “ADHD moments”. Everyone forgets things sometimes, everyone gets distracted now and again, we’ve all struggled to focus on boring tasks from time to time, we’ve all experienced walking into a room and forgetting why we’re there. Absolutely. These are all ADHD traits and there’s not a human alive that can’t relate to every single one. But, and this is a big BUT, the difference between neurotypical people and ADDers is that people with ADD / ADHD experience all of these traits all of the time. Let me be clear – there is not a moment in our lives when we have a clear head and uninterrupted thoughts. There isn’t a day when we experience the peace of knowing exactly what we have to accomplish and know that we can do it. Every conversation with other people is a fight to stay focused and quiet not only the outside distractions but also our own internal dialogue. It’s like attempting to hold a conversation in the middle of a kindergarten classroom – every thought is loud and demanding immediate attention. Our brains are noisy and chaotic. Every time we attempt to remember what we are supposed to be doing, another mental crisis jumps the queue and BAM, we’re fighting distraction. This is not a ‘sometimes’ thing. It is perpetual. Day and night. (Hello, insomnia!) It’s why we drive you insane with our interrupting and talk at the speed of a running-late bullet train. We are trying to expel the thoughts from our heads to make space to be able to listen to you.
ADHD Myth #2:Spend the day in our shoes. No, scrap that – spend a day in our heads and then say that again with a straight face. The drug companies that make ADHD / ADD medication are most definitely making money off people diagnosed with ADHD / ADD, no argument on that front. So are the drug companies that sell insulin to Diabetics and Viagra to people with Erectile Dysfunction. As are the companies that sell glasses to people with Vision Impairment and hearing aids to the Hearing Impaired. ADHD / ADD is no less real than Diabetes, Erectile Dysfunction or Vision and Hearing Impairment. Would you tell a Diabetic to try harder to manage his diet because his Diabetes isn’t real and his sugar crashes are simply a result of his own laziness and lack of effort to manage his own sugar intake? After all, you also have sugar crashes from time to time so really, we’re all a little Diabetic, if you think about it. No? Because that’s ridiculous and insulting, right? It would be an insensitive and uneducated stance, wouldn’t it? It would, in fact, make you look like an ass of epic proportions and you’d never think of thinking it, never mind saying it. Now, try to imagine the frustration that we ADDers feel when we hear this statement, again and again, delivered with a smug expression and a truckload of judgement. Read the rest of this entry
no more sleep, I am reminded that before all else, I am Mum and I have three little people depending on me to fulfil that role unquestioningly. There are days, of course, that I inwardly groan and silently beg for a break from this relentless responsibility to be their cook, cleaner, stylist, mentor, therapist, nurse, art teacher, entertainer, jailer, enforcer of unfair rules and referee in countless brawls over the middle seat in the car. When I wake up on these tired, uninspired days, I have to dig deep and remember that my children are innocent passengers in this trainwreck of my exhaustion. I have to be mindful always that even if it means regular visits to hide in the bathroom and silently cry for my lost, pre-kid independence, they need a Mum who looks at them with joy in her eyes. On those days, when I lose the battle and scream and yell because I’m not the perfect Mum that I aspire to be in the late, guilt-riddled hours before sleep, I will always take the time to apologise and explain that Mummy is tired and that just like them, I feel grumpy sometimes. I make sure they see that I am fallible and flawed and, more importantly, that I will always own my failures and apologise for hurt feelings. Read the rest of this entry
eleven, she is beginning to show little hints of the woman she will one day be. Time has chiseled away at her face and is, startlingly quickly, revealing beautiful, angular cheekbones where chubby cheeks once were. Without me realising, she has grown in stature and is nearly as tall as me and only a shoe size away from becoming a sharing buddy. When she tries on my heels, she no longer totters around, comically playing at being a grown-up. My breath catches in my throat as I watch her instead, fitting almost convincingly into something that was once no more than a dress-up. Read the rest of this entry
school lunches and folded laundry. Feeling unusually ahead of my game and positive about the day ahead, I went to wake the kids. Mary Poppins-like, I woke the kids with smiles and kisses (everything short of scampering animated squirrels, I kid you not). They, in turn took a hundred years (not exaggerating, this is totally accurate) to do every. tiny. task. Read the rest of this entry