My name is Rachael Harper and I have ADHD. I say that proud and unapologetically because it’s part of who I am, but it’s certainly not all I am. I am also an author of fiction novels (published under RE Harper) and I’m also a foster parent to two delightful children. I used to be an education lecturer, teaching teenagers how to work with children, but I found the job overwhelming with no work-life balance. I’d blame that on my ADHD, but it’s happening to nearly every teacher everywhere.
I have been discriminated against for having ADHD, I’ve been bullied for having ADHD and made to feel different, but actually there is nothing wrong with me. ADHD is a different way of the brain functioning and while it definitely is not without it difficulties, who gets to say that just cause our brain works in a different way that we’re not normal somehow.
“ADHD is not as bad as it’s made out to be, it’s that nobody talks about the good parts. Sometimes the struggles can hide them or outweight them”~Rachael
People with ADHD can be creative, passionate, bubbly, spontaneous and friendly. These are generally seen as good traits to have. Yet it’s our inability to concentrate on things that don’t interest us that proves to be tricky. Sadly, no matter how much we don’t want to do things that are tedious, real life does not allow us to just avoid that stuff. Of course lots of people don’t like to do tedious task, but for people with ADHD the impact is significantly worse.
I’ve already done many articles on what ADHD is for me, because no matter how much the stereotype is that “People with ADHD are just energetic and can’t concentrate’ the reality is so much more. It affects every aspect of our lives because we have the ability to think of lots of different things at once. While that may help us to have some pretty great ideas, it can also lead to anxiety and a tendency to blurt out whatever comes to mind.
” I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that there is nothing wrong with being different.”~Rachael
The way I see it, ADHD can be both a blessing and a curse, and in regard to that I am reminded of a famous quote by Marilyn Monroe; “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best.” When it comes to ADHD, people are very quick to judge us, label us and even make us feel bad because we don’t fit in with what they think we should be. The key is to find people who are understanding, loyal and compassionate who bring out the very best in us.
I was first diagnosed with ADHD when I was ten years old and back then I didn’t realise it was a bad thing, but I’d always known I was different. I just wish I could go back and tell myself that different doesn’t mean bad. Though it would have been hard to believe that growing up. Due to my ‘difference’ I barely scraped through mainstream education, and it took me a while to find a career that was suited to my skills, but doesn’t that say more about the world? Education at least is a basic human right in most countries.
So now you know my name and a little about me, but my name or background isn’t that important. What’s important is ADHD is not misunderstood, under supported and not stereotyped. Moving forward I still think I’d like to call myself ADHD girl if that ok with you, because as I’ve mentioned previously, I prefer this blog to be a platform where people can find out more about ADHD and raise awareness of it to others. Maybe they might see themselves or someone they know more clearly, in all their ADHD glory and know they are not alone. Besides, I kind of like calling myself ADHD girl; it sounds whimsical and proud.
~ADHD Girl out (for now!)