So on this blog we always talk about the struggles we have, how we find daily tasks difficult, how people find us hard to take but rarely do we pause and think maybe the problem doesn’t lie with us?
Firstly, of course ADHD exists and of course it makes our lives difficult and of course it’s hard for those who love us to manage it too. However, what is the real issue here? Is it that our brains don’t work the right way or is it because the world isn’t suited for the way our brains work?? Perspective is everything!!
Sadly, as much as we can say that it’s the world that isn’t suited to us we do still have to live in the real world too. The problem is that the western world today is filled with difficult cultural philosophies that are unintentionally cruel to people with ADHD; philosophies such as ‘it’s a dog-eat-dog world’ which encourages us to compete against each other by default.
I constantly tell my children that the only person you should ever be concerned with competing against is yourself, and while I believe that to be 100% true, even I can’t help but buy into the myth instilled by the mainstream media. That a lot of people are doing better than you and you need to up your game to be successful! You might tell me that you’re one of those people who always considers yourself fortune but if you can tell me you never feel a smidge of jealously when you see somebody rich or that’s somebody’s won the lottery I’d be very impressed.
The issue is when you have ADHD and you compare yourself to others, it can be the most soul-destroying thing, because no matter how hard we’re try we’re never going to completely fit in. We’re never going to feel like we’ve got it all together, that we’re truly successful because we have brains that are always overthinking everything. This means that no matter how good we are, and don’t misunderstand me people with ADHD can be successful, we’re never going to feel like it’s enough.
Another cultural philosophy that is on the rise at the moment is ‘cancel culture’ which slowly embeds the idea that you can’t make an error of judgement without people treating you badly for it. The thing is with cancel culture it doesn’t allow for the idea of rationale or intentions within those errors of judgement. In other words it paints everyone who makes mistakes with the same brush. Of course, cancel culture really only affects celebrities mostly at the moment, but these kinds of people sadly have a big impact on our society through the mainstream media. I fear there will come a day where mistakes will be treated with such distain that people with ADHD will constantly be living in fear.
Gosh, I meant for this to be quite a positive blog article and I feel like I’ve gone down the route of doom and gloom. I went all through the houses and down the garden path to tell you this; it doesn’t matter if you’re not the best as long as you strive to be the best you can be at the time. For example, if all you can do one day is to drag yourself out of bed and walk your dog then that might be the best you can manage. It doesn’t matter about the mistakes you make, as long as you learn from them.
The singular most important thing that will affect your happiness in this world and determine how you get on within it, is the people you allow to surround you. These people will either accept you as you are and make you feel like despite your ADHD that you are enough, or they will make you feel like you constantly have to earn their approval only to keep failing miserably.
Of course, we all need people and friends, but to the wrong people you’ll never have any worth. There is a quote in a great movie I like, A Cinderella Story, which says you can be surrounded by a sea of people and still feel completely alone. If we don’t choose our crew careful then we will never truly be happy. Please believe me when I say there are people out there who will accept you for who you are, it may not be your family or it may not be the friends you have right now, but there are kind, patient and understanding people in this world…you just have to find them.
Sometimes, because we have ADHD, we feel like we are somehow worth less, but the truth is no one has the right to dull our sparkle. Our brains are unique, yes we make mistakes, yes we annoy ourselves and people around us, but love and acceptance are basic human rights and not bonuses for ‘good people’ who deserve it.