Meghan’s Story

As a child, I was always extremely sensitive, disorganized, forgetful and had trouble keeping focus on a task unless it greatly appealed to me. However, I was also very eager to please (teachers loved this), incredibly creative in both art and writing, humorous, upbeat, caring and adventurous. I feel that these positive ADD qualities helped my teachers, peers and parents in disregarding my so called “weaknesses.”

As a child, the traits of my personality was something that I did not personally register or consider, with regard to changing or improving on (makes sense, I was a child). Alas, years passed and high-school approached. It seemed as if the bubbly, happy young girl who my parents’ loved and admired took a turn for the worse. My grades dropped in my first year of high-school. This stunned my parents’ as I had always been very academic oriented. However, as I reflect back upon those early years, this was due to me being overly dedicated to schoolwork.

I excelled only in English and the many Art classes I enrolled in, and failed terribly in the maths and sciences (never strong subjects for me). My parents and teachers would constantly tell me to “try harder, you have potential”- “focus my attention”- “to just get things done.” I understood 100% where they were coming from. I though to myself “this sounds very simple, it’s only a matter of focusing your attention.” This proved, however, to be much harder than I ever imagined.

It’s a very difficult thing to have the people that know and love you most to tell you that you are a bright, capable young girl, only to feel entrapped in the complex brain that you have been given; where thoughts are always racing in your mind and new ideas disappear as suddenly as they have first arrived. And so, I tried to succeed. I full-heartedly tried my very best. But to no avail.. my short-attention span and impulsivity continued to negatively rule every area of my life. Gradually, I began to withdraw socially. I began to feel inadequate, was plagued by low-self esteem due to failures in work and school, and soon began to take my frustrations out on those who loved me most. I only wished that someday, I would find my place in the world; a place where creativity, intuitiveness and a very short attention span were welcomed and celebrated.

I’m now 21 years old and was just recently diagnosed with inattentive ADD, commonly found in girls. When I read literature detailing the symptoms of ADD, I feel as if I’m talking to a long, lost friend; a friend who I have forever wished for- one who knows me inside-out, and is accepting of my crazy thoughts, off the wall humour, lack of organization skills and true eccentricity. Despite the hurdles faced by those like myself who are ADD- who struggle daily with the complete and utter chaos that exists in our minds, there are so many good things that we have to offer. I value, above all, my zest for life. I have an energy about me that is incomparable, and I enjoy sharing this with people.

Due to my hypersensitivity, I am able to sympathize and show great empathy to those who are suffering, or in need someone to speak with who can lend a hand or an ear. Due to my humour, I have the ability to make the best of most all situations- I possess the ability to laugh at myself, which makes life seem bearable during difficult times. I still very much struggle with my disorganizational skills and constant procrastination. I have yet to find these qualities beneficial to me. However, they are still innate qualities that I have no choice but to accept, and attempt to make the best of.

We all have to realize that no one walking this great earth is perfect. We all have something very different to offer. ADD is a difficult diagnosis, but there is certainly light at the end of the dark tunnel. I find it imperative to surround oneself with people who enjoy the personality of an ADD person- surround yourself with people who accept and love who you are! Try your best to find a career that is best suited towards your skills and personality so that you can thrive, and finally feel as though you are “in your element.” It has taken time for me to feel this way. When first diagnosed, I was devastated. But life goes on. All we can do is take one day at a time, and believe in the people that we are. As of today, I am enrolled in an art institute studying graphic design.

For me, the greatest gift of all is being able to express myself creatively. For years, I withdrew from this favourite pastime, and my soul suffered. As ADD people, we certainly have to pick an environment that allows us to be who we REALLY are. I attended University years ago and failed miserably because I was not following my hearts’ true desire. You have to love what you do. If you are unaware of what this is.. take the time to uncover what you love, what makes you tick. What is it that makes you lose track of time?

What makes you feel most content? You have to be proactive, and take the time to evaluate your life so that you are better able to access the passions that exist inside of you. Ah, look at me. I’ve almost written a novel here.

I just desperately felt the need to share this piece with other ADD sufferers. After reading a few of these stories, I felt as if I had finally come home. I can relate to each and every one of these personal reflections. And so, I do hope that some comfort is found in my story. It’s good to know that none of us are perfect, and the sooner we begin to accept ourselves for who we really are, the sooner happiness comes knocking on our door. Best of luck to all of you, take great care XX