Living With Adult ADHD (Jim’s Corner)

I believe one of the most frustrating things a person with ADHD has to endure is the disbelief coming from “normal” people. A lot of the time when I comment about ADHD influencing my behavior I hear stuff like, “Doesn’t everybody have that?” or “I think you’re just not trying hard enough, it’s not ADHD.”

Sometimes I want to say, “Oh, where did you get your M.D.?” or “I didn’t know you were a psychiatrist!” but I don’t want to be rude. Sometimes I do say things though; like the other day when an acquaintance said, “Oh, ADHD, maybe that’s my problem.” I said, “No, you don’t have ADHD, but you might have mental issues though.”

She didn’t like that very much.

I think what happens with some people is that they think I get away with stuff because I have ADHD; like I use it as a crutch.  I actually really try to avoid doing that because I don’t want people to treat me like I have a disability or like I am “Handicapped” or just dumb.

For people who appear to be jealous of my ADHD, for some reason, I say, try growing up with teachers giving you a “D” because you “aren’t trying” or you’re not “performing to your potential.” My Army drill Sargent made me sit out of my units marching parade because I wasn’t “following his orders” and my marching wasn’t “good enough.”

Anyway, I wouldn’t wish my “disability” on my worst enemy. ADHD is both a struggle and a big part of my personality. It can be very frustrating one minute and sort of fun the next. A lot of times I dread having to learn new things at work just like I had trouble with previously un-learned material in college. I don’t transition from one activity to the next well and I know I have a lot of trouble in relationships. I can be very frustrating to my wife just like I might have been frustrating to my parents at times. I don’t have a lot of close friends. My army buddies were true friends, but I haven’t seen any of them in 20 years or so.

LivinWith Adult ADHD Jim's Corner

To people who say that ADHD is a “childhood disability” (including a former psychiatrist) I say, “You’re kidding, right? Is autism a childhood disability also?”

I guess ADHD is, and always has been, a double-edged sword for me. I like the energy, the humor, the creativity, and the risk taking that is part of the ADHD experience. And I dislike the frustration, the depression, the struggle, and the isolation that is also part of the ADHD experience.



One thought on “Living With Adult ADHD (Jim’s Corner)”

  1. My stepdaughter’s son (an Army Staff Sergeant) also has ADHD, so I’m a bit familiar with it. I’ll have to send you one of the stories I wrote about when he was little. I appreciate the “humor” of the situation, but also the stress. Thanks for your blog!

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