My son Matt (whom you’ll read a lot about in my blog) raised his hand the first day of class after winter break in the 8th grade. ‘I’ve got ADHD’ he shared excitedly with the class. He couldn’t wait to tell everyone. He has a simple inattentive type but don’t get me wrong, it’s a daily challenge for him to attend to life’s activities. Now 22 he’s gone on to study ADHD and Learning Disabilities and graduate from Landmark College in Vermont, a college that specializes in teaching students with these challenges. And yet every day he still struggles to pay attention.
When adults wonder about the value of receiving a diagnosis I share my story. I was relieved and invigorated to make the discovery of my lifetime, that I lived with the characteristics of ADHD and that the not knowing, the ignorance of it if you will, left me blind and on the side of the road of my life. I’ve had the best ten years since my diagnosis not because it’s been easy but because I can see clearly that attention is the golden grail for me; what I pay attention to and why and how long and under what circumstances is a moment by moment decision process for me. It’s as if through realigning my intentions from moment to moment I’m shortening the distance from my outermost wanderings to the midline of my intention, my goal. I am compassionately forgiving now when I wander too far knowing that I can gently nudge my attention back to the midline and stay on course for a while longer.
What is your ADHD diagnosis story?