If you had told me, when I was 14, that you had a magic lamp with a powerful genie and that he (or she) would let me change one thing about myself I would not have hesitated a second. I would have wished away my ADHD without a second thought. School was hard… harder than it should have been knowing how smart I was. Being organized was nearly impossible. Impulsivity was still sometimes an issue. And I didn’t feel awesome about myself.
Over time I taught myself strategies to compensate. I learned to be successful. I survived school and found things I was good at. Eventually, I learned to like myself and recognize all the great qualities that I have, even if there hadn’t been any credit for those things in school. Not coincidentally, I found a great partner in my wife once I learned to love myself.
Now I recognize that me and my ADHD are one and the same. I think of them like a sapling growing through a chainlink fence. Eventually they become inseparable. I know now that I wouldn’t be the me that I am with my ADHD and all that comes with it, both good and bad. My empathy, love, creativity, problem solving, passion, sense of humor are all intertwined with my ADHD. So in that sense, I am thankful for my ADHD. It has shaped who I am. And who I am is pretty great, if you ask me.
On this Thanksgiving, it is my hope that we can all be thankful for out total packages, ADHD and all. Happy Thanksgiving to all.