Mike’s Story

I am about to turn forty years old, and finally, the travails and difficulties I’ve experienced throughout my life are beginning to make sense! I finally have a name for what has plagued my life. As a child, school became both a salve and a terror for me. On one hand, the challenges provided by my teachers allowed me to express an innate intelligence and creativity; on the other, the social aspect of school left me terrorized, outcast and alone. Mix the hormones of a thirteen-year-old into the equation and my life turned into a confusing, misunderstood hell!

Kicked out at fifteen, underachieving, turned to drugs and then religion-high school was a blur. In a few venues (theater, writing, individual sports) the brilliance appeared, while being suppressed in most other areas. I was withdrawn, angry and oh, so alone.

At eighteen I joined the Navy, because my lack of attention had limited my GPA and thus my choices. The structure presented by this organization, however, did nothing to organize the turmoil still roiling inside of me. I survived the first four years, then continued into the outside world, never holding a job or relationship that satisfied.

Funny thing about life; you look back over twenty years and wonder two things; how in the hell did I get here, and how did I survive the journey?

The revelation about my condition came to me in 1990 shortly before my divorce. My stepson was diagnosed as ADD. On reviewing his symptoms, I was struck with similarities that we shared! For the first time, all of the failed dreams, relationships and jobs began to make sense.

Now it is 2001. I am attempting to complete a Master’s degree in Organizational Change Management. Oh yeah, I also might be headed to jail over a road rage incident. The despondency I have suffered over this latest incident has been almost unbearable. Once again I have become my own worst enemy. A change in my thinking is beginning to emerge, however.

I am trying to use this incident in the best possible light. I have decided to devote my Master’s Thesis to the affect of adults living with ADD in the workplace, and what steps or methods can be used by Human Resource professionals to take advantage of the positive aspects of our condition, while at the same time, assisting in the minimization of the negatives.

I am leaving my e-mail address. I would positively love to hear from anyone out there that has lost job after job, or has been touched by my story. Thanks and good luck!