ADHD is in no means a gift but I’m quite happy to admit that I’m one of the lucky ones when it comes to having been diagnosed with it. I’m sure few people react with joy to being diagnosed with anything but I did (to an extent…). Suddenly the struggles I’d had in school and when I was younger fitted into place a little better and I was able to compartmentalise them.
Sure, I had days where I thought what does it mean about me? Am I stupid? And so many other natural anxiety driven questions. But on the whole, I just thought “Ah, that all makes sense now”.
I’m no pro at living with it and I’m sure my friends and family complain about my “quirks” from time to time. My friends have even nicknamed me the “Parrot” as I often lose concentration during a conversation and then repeat something that’s already been said when I draw myself back into the conversation.
As part of my diary of a fidget series I wanted to briefly explain a few potential ways people with ADHD could excel. I’m sure there are dozens of “superpowers” associated with it, but these are my top 4.
1. We are great in a crisis. We have so much energy all the time that when a crisis occurs or problem solving is required our brains kick into another gear some people just don’t have. Our extra energy that is often so unwanted finally has a use and avenue through which it can be released.
2. We can be super creative. I don’t just mean thinking outside the box I mean creating a whole new world where the box even is.
3. We can have hyper-focus and running out of energy just isn’t an option. I was reading though research about the various advantages and found one where Dr. Hallowell points out that the benefits of having ADHD, when channeled, can be greater than the negatives.
“With ADHD, you get this curiosity, creativity, and entrepreneurism,” he explains. “There’s a hyperfocus that allows you to create and focus on something with extremely focused energy. You don’t want to stunt that with medication or get rid of that. On the flip side of distractibility is curiosity. On the other side of hyperactivity is energy. These are wonderful gifts of ADHD that you don’t want to lose.”
Having excess energy could actually be our greatest asset as once our excess energy has a productive place to go a level of focus that once seemed questionable takes over.
4. Finally, we can be funny. There aren’t many situations that can’t be improved by a little sense of humour. I am by no means normal, but I personally wouldn’t trade my goofiness for anything even if that does mean people laugh at me rather than with me occasionally. Every time we laugh, just for a split moment, we forget about everything but what’s funny. I mean imagine a life without laughter right? So, embrace you humour, risk looking stupid and never take yourself too seriously.
At this point I know most people reading will be thinking:
“If they have all these great attributes why aren’t they unstoppable?”
Well whilst a lot of successful people in the world have ADHD most adults with it are struggling. And yes, that really does include the ridiculously successful ones.