First of all, I want to start by saying that ADHD is not an excuse.
That said, when I was first diagnosed with ADHD I felt like I was using my diagnosis as an excuse and, unfortunately, at least one of my family members was wondering the same thing. Through reading ADHD books, websites, blogs, I have learnt what ADHD presents itself as. In educating myself I was able to understand how my brain works and now I can have a life that allows me to be my best self using the brain that I have. This is so huge for me because I have spent my life trying to fit into the mold that the non-adhd brain has created. This is impossible for me and I have struggled for years trying.
Let me give you an example:
I was working for a company doing assembly line work. Literally tasks that a child in elementary school can do. These are very repetitive tasks; doing the same thing over and over again, sometimes thousands of times. The tasks can vary but most of the time they are very mundane.
One day in the middle of the work day I just could not take it anymore. I was SO BORED. I told the boss that I had to go home. I had tried things like listening to podcasts, audiobooks, music. I tried to plan what I would do when I got home to give myself something to look forward to. I brought lots of snacks to keep my blood sugar levels steady and avoid getting tired. Everything that I tried to make the day go by faster and more easily did not work. Every minute was painfully slow.
Several things happened after I told my boss I had to go home:
Firstly, I had a complete breakdown. I was so mad with myself. I had no idea how I was going to make money, what job would I actually be able to stick with?!
Secondly, One of my family members commented “if you can’t do this, what are you going to do?”
** I know that this sounds like they were being mean and unsympathetic and in the moment I was so mad and hurt by them for saying that. I was so hurt because that was exactly what I had been thinking. I do understand where they are coming from though. The work that was required was super basic, not overwhelming, no responsibilities. They naturally want the best for me and to find a job that will suit me. Their view was what job will you be able to do if you can’t do this? They don’t fully understand what ADHD is and what I need. I do not blame them for that because I am the one that is living with this. I can tell them what I need and what I want, but until I figure it out I do not know how to help them help me.
I have now come to terms with not being able to do that specific job. It is lacking so many of the things that I need to be able to wake up each morning and head to work:
– Social Interaction
– Multiple Tasks
– Detailed work
– Creativity, Inovation
ADHD can easily become an excuse and I make sure that I never use it as one. If there is something that I do not feel that I can do I make sure that I take a step back and ask myself why I can’t do it.
Originally published on 22/02/2018