Living with ADHD: The Good, The Bad, The Usefulness?
My brother and sister were diagnosed with ADD/ADHD early in life; I wasn’t and none of us knew why;
I display the same traits as both of them such as being active, chasing 20 goals, and speaking rather quickly in the process.
In this piece I want to reach out to those who have (or think they may have) this same mindset so we can ensure we’re maximizing our potential and the advantage that a hyperactive mind can give to your life experience.
At 32 looking over my performance in life I’m realizing more and more, I’m definitely an ADHDer, spend 10 minutes with me and you’ll see it as well. The thing is, I’m not active and speaking quickly because I’m a northerner or on speed, it’s the rate at which my brain is operating, my mouth can’t keep up.
I’ve never been able to really focus, unless I was really focused and then I would become obsessive.
This has enabled me to excel in certain areas over my peers.
I constantly have family men telling me there is no way they could do the many things I’m doing and my response is always the same, “try to do more“. Having an active mind, while viewed as a positive when accomplishing goals can be quite frustrating at the same time.
I asked my brother and sister to give me 1-2 sentences on how they’d describe living with ADHD.
My Sister,“It’s really hard to focus on the one thing that you’re working on so you usually end up having 10 unfinished projects that you started.”
My Brother,“I got distracted reading this.” (The text I sent) Being a smartass runs strong in our family.
Growing up I could never tell if it was a gift or a curse that had fallen on us.
How To Control ADHD
No matter what anyone has told you up to this point, your hyperactive mind is not a life sentence to sub-standard living. Similar to the way a fire can keep you warm to survive a winter night or it can burn a house down killing everyone inside the difference is control.
Do not allow the world to numb you and tell you that the “calm” you is the better version of you.
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Popping pills to numb out is no different than huffing the fumes provided by a mediocre society.
People want you to do well, they just never want you to do better than themselves and if you were to harness that energy being sprayed all over the world without any direction, they know you will surpass them, so they want you subdued and controlled.
If the pills help you focus and gain control over the mind so you can complete the tasks at hand, then yes use them for that purpose, at the smallest dose possible. But, if you’re taking them so you become acceptable to others, you’re killing yourself and the gift god has given you and yes, having an active mind is indeed a gift.
It’s a competitive edge.
Where others will burn out your mind keeps going and racing and thinking of many different avenues of approach to topics. I’m married with two kids and I’m outperforming men and women who are single without a care in the world, how is that possible?
Simple, my brain remains active and I do not try to harness it any more than absolutely necessary.
How to change your opinion on ADHD
I didn’t always feel this way about myself and my mind; I used to think I was a stupid spaz.
It wasn’t until I was 32 years old that I read ‘The ADHD Advantage‘ after one of the men inside the Fraternity of Excellence had recommended it that I recognized the only way I’ve been able to do what I’ve done consistently is because my brain is really good at doing a bunch of things not exactly at the same time, but with the ability to switch to “full immersion” minute to minute between separate tasks.
I don’t get stressed out going from waking up, doing a podcast on the commute to work, getting to work and doing my job, then writing a blog post, then helping someone plan an event, to tweeting, to Instagram, to a blog post, to writing an email, to attending a meeting, to making a video on the commute home, to baseball practice, to tweeting on the ride back, to eating dinner and helping with homework, to running a live group chat inside FoE, to mentoring men, to reading a book, to gaming the wife, to tweeting.
(See how insane it becomes when you write it all out?)
When you have ADHD your brain is good at completely cutting one thing off from the other allowing you to go from task to task without a loss in quality.
It isn’t 10% to 10 things at once.
It’s 100% to 10 different things throughout the day.
If you’re an active individual who thinks fast, speaks fast, and acts fast there’s nothing wrong with you, you just need to learn how to use this power for good. You’ve likely fallen into the trap my sister mentioned above where sometimes she’ll have 10 projects incomplete while one never gets finished. Going off the handle and accomplishing nothing does, well nothing which is exactly the adjustment you need to make to take your ADHD from a curse to a gift.
You have to be intentional and if you’re like me, you’ll need a notepad and whiteboard to get your thoughts out there lest you lose them as you’ve moved on to the next thing.
The next time you find yourself spinning the wheels and going nowhere, ask yourself, “What is the next thing you can do?“, then do that one thing to completion or at least a good stopping point.
Then go to the next, until completion or a very clear stopping point.
Write your notes throughout the process and update your white board daily. I’m serious about the whiteboard, they’re a godsend for people like us.
If you need accountability in the form of a group, the Fraternity of Excellence is an excellent place for that where you’ll find men who are meeting online and in the real world on a weekly basis and the FoE community holds them to a standard, we keep one another on task.
They definitely keep me focused because, like you fellow ADHDers, I have a bunch of topics and can find myself moving onto the next without completing the first.
No matter how long you’ve lived with this operating system mentally, it’s never too late to harness control over the power you’ve been given and use it to elevate your joy and production in life.
Take action and take care,
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