I have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). It impacts me on a daily basis in the sense that I am always aware of it. Thoughts zoom through my head like race cars, so fast that I can barely keep track of them. It's difficult for me to focus or clean my house or manage money or be on time for jobs. I do the best I can, but it's extremely challenging. There are good attributes to having ADHD. Hyperfocus can be extremely helpful. If I feel inspired, I am able to zero in on a project until that concept is completed to fruition. When my brain clicks into gear, I feel extremely excited and inspired.
So what's the problem with ADHD?
I just named some things about ADHD that are positive. However, there are negative ways that ADHD impacts my life and in particular my interpersonal relationships. The most major way in which ADHD impacts my friendships is that people perceive me as selfish or rude. I have a bad habit of interrupting people when they are talking. There are a variety of reasons that I do this.
1. I have a thought to add to what they are saying and I don't want to forget it!
2. I want to commiserate with them and say "me too." I need to tell them a seemingly tangential story that relates specifically to what they are saying to me.
3. I am excited by what they're saying and I want to express that excitement right that moment because my brain proverbially exploded.
People don't always empathize or understand
Unfortunately, ADHD is highly misunderstood and people don't always understand why I do the things I do. My behaviors can be frustrating to loved ones. People have called me;
These words are hurtful and I don't mean to come across this way. I want to be a good friend. I'm trying the best that I can, however, I do have a neurological condition that makes me behave in frustrating ways.
I'm not making excuses
Trust me when I tell you, I don't want to interrupt you. Believe me when I say I want to support you and hear your story. But, sometimes my brain is an a**hole and it doesn't let me do that. I'm sorry about that, I'll reset it like an old-school Nintendo cartridge and put it in time out. I didn't mean to be insensitive.
I started a hashtag on Twitter so that other people could express how they feel about ADHD. It does impact us on a daily basis and it's not always warm and fuzzy. Join us and express how ADHD impacts your life. Do you interrupt people? Are you bad at managing money? Are you consistently late? I want to know. Use #ADHDProbs and tell us.