ADD: A different way to interact with the world
I began this blog as a way to develop my writing abilities and better clarify strategies for service businesses and career development. It suffered from the same affliction as all my past passions; I stopped working at it when something more exciting crossed my path. It laid fallow for a couple of years. My life is littered with unfinished projects and every unfinished project is a tangible example of my failure.
Last week, I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD). My response was simple; “well, that makes sense.” I immediately read Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception by Thom Hartman and then dove into Healing ADD Revised Edition by Daniel Amen. I decided to forgo medication.
The logic of managing my symptoms without medication is that I am almost 50 and I have reached a level of success that feels comfortable. Over the years, I have developed coping mechanisms to deal with the impulsiveness, disorganization, poor planning, and risk-tolerant behaviors. These coping mechanisms enabled me to graduate Cum Laude with my Bachelor’s in Accounting and continue on to my MBA. I hold three professional certifications, am progressing well in my profession, and carve out a few hours a week for volunteering. I may change my mind later but, for now, I believe this is the best path forward.
The plan moving forward is to refine my coping mechanisms, adjust my diet ever so slightly to optimize low glycemic carbohydrates, and add high quality fish oil to my vitamin and mineral supplementation. The biggest advantage to knowing I have ADD is that it allows me to be kinder to myself when I struggle to finish a project. Instead of beating myself up for not finishing a project, I will have the option of acknowledging my struggle and crafting a better plan to close the gap. Knowing seems to have empowered me versus making me feel like a victim.
If you have ADD or ADHD or suspect that you might, remember to be kind to yourself. ADD/ADHD makes it hard to function in ‘traditional’ society. The people around you might not see your behaviors as gifts. They may push and prod you to change or ‘act normal’. Remind yourself that you are normal … just unique. And remind yourself that you can achieve almost anything you put your mind to. You are a work in progress.