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I have ADHD. In some ways, it makes me a better parent to my daughter.

0 2 years ago

As a teenager, nobody could figure out why I was clearly a bright child but seemed to be always on the brink of failing.

When I got close enough to that edge, I would somehow pull out the “A” I needed to pass. This just frustrated people more. They wanted to know why I didn’t always try that hard.

I beat myself up about it constantly, wondering why I was so lazy and why couldn’t I just do the work I saw so many others doing.

I really tried. One day I might spend hours organizing my book bag and putting pretty colorful tabs into dividers for each class. I would make a list of what needed to be done — color coded, of course.

I’d think to myself, “This time I will change my habits!” I didn’t.

My life felt like a litany of things I was “supposed” to be, until I was finally diagnosed with ADHD.

I struggled to understand why I was the way I am

I didn’t know why my brain just shut down. I didn’t understand why I could sometimes organize everything down to the most minute details and other times my backpack looked like a writer’s trash can full of crumpled paper.

In eighth grade, I read all of “Frankenstein” far ahead of the class, only to fail to turn in any of the actual work.

It felt like my life was a series of “She’s smart, but…” statements.

In adulthood, I feel like my brain has far too many tabs open and the browser is about to crash as I flip madly between them trying to figure out where to put my attention. I’ve come up with some coping mechanisms of varying degrees of helpfulness but still feel on the edge of tears when my brain won’t do what I know it needs to do.

My diagnosis just before I turned 40, in May 2021, shifted so many aspects of myself into a clearer light. I grieve for that kid who thought she was lazy. I found compassion for the adult who gets overly invested in an idea or goal just to completely abandon it.


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