Chuck’s Story

Tell me if *this* all sounds familiar to you all…

I’m 36. When I was younger, ADD didn\’t exist. Or, more accurately, it hadn\’t been discovered yet. Sort of like the Americas before the Europeans came along. But I digress – frequently.

I have been blessed with lots of talents, many as a result of ADD, some not. I\’m very intelligent (most ADDers are). I learn so damn quick it looks like I know what I\’m doing. I was always a good test-taker in school, largely because I was fortunate enough to be able to remember enough of the classwork to make a wild guess at the answer. I\’m a very positive person, fun to be around, have what has been described as a great sense of humor. I was capable of great things \”if only he\’d apply himself\”. If you look at all of my report cards (except kindergarten – now THAT\’S what school should be like!) you\’ll find that line directly quoted or paraphrased.

So here\’s the thing. If you\’re reading this, you have ADD or know somebody that does.

If you have ADD: Celebrate the chaos that is your life. Really. You have permission. You *don\’t* process things the way others do, and you never will. (Clue: you\’re valuable because you don\’t process like everyone else – you pick up what they miss) Your drumbeat is R&B while everyone else is doing a marching tune. \”The Box\” only exists for you to color outside of it. Everyone else thinks you\’re fun to be around, believe them. Rely on your strengths, you have so many. Find people or processes that will help you with your weak areas. You\’re not lazy; if you were, your brain wouldn\’t be going \”8 ways to Tuesday\” all day long. You\’re not stupid. I don\’t care if it takes 10 trips back into the house to get everything you need for your day. At least you remembered your pants.

If you know someone that has ADD: Help them find their keys. 😉 Be patient. Know that they\’re very frustrated with not being able to function like everyone else, and that frustration may show itself in a \”short fuse\” temper. They have no recognizable organization system, but that doesn\’t mean that they don\’t know where everything is. You process things in a linear fashion (first we do this, then we do this, etc., etc., etc.,) while ADDers process more like a starburst (lots of stuff going in a myriad of directions). They won\’t be on time. Ever. Give it up. They\’ll have bookshelves full of books with bookmarks marked at the last page that held their interest. When they gaze off, don\’t take it personal. They\’re exploring. Or resting. Or regrouping. Enjoy their absolutely unique points (there are so many) of view.

We’ll all get through this. 😉