ADHD Adults: A Manifesto

ADHD adults

I usually write for women. But this article is for all of my fellow ADHD adults who know the struggle is real. I see you.

According to Merriam Webster online, a “manifesto”, is a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.

I had to look up the word because manifesto sounds so militant. Like you are going to battle or something. And I don’t like war.

Let this be a public declaration of our intentions, motives, and views as ADHD adults.

A Manifesto for ADHD Adults

 

VIEWS

In no particular order –

ADHD is a real thing. If you do not believe it is a real phenomenon then you do not have ADHD and you have not experienced it.

ADHD is not a gift. If you think it is a gift you probably should stop reading right here.

News flash: ADHD is also not a curse. It is a part of who we are, but not the whole thing.

ADHD does affect nearly every aspect of our lives. We are trying. Believe me we are trying so hard to make it through life without pissing you off.

Adults with ADHD know that their behaviors and symptoms are annoying to others. We can feel the judgment coming at us every time we mention our diagnosis out loud.

ADHD is frustrating so we get irritable or even depressed.

You might feel like you cannot freely discuss your emotional issues. I’ve got options for that.

Look for understanding within our own tribe. Join lots of Facebook groups, and follow all of the self-help and organizational gurus. (I do too, no shame.)

But If you are in 60+ free Facebook groups (some of which you forgot about) you might** want to go through and cull the list.

The CHADD Conference is a great way to find your people and connect.

The world doesn’t get us. We often feel out of step. There is a lot of stigma around an ADHD diagnosis. But the more we talk about it, the stronger we get.

ADHD does create a lot opportunity for laughter. Go with it and realize it’s ok to laugh at yourself.

MOTIVES

We often are not consciously aware of our motives and how to motivate ourselves.

Sometimes an idea pops into your head. If you don’t act on it, it will disappear. I get it because I am the same way.

Some of us leave things sitting around and accumulate clutter because, “out of sight, out of mind” is a real thing. BUT others are very organized – because it feels like our space is the only thing we can control.

Control is a large part of our lives. Lack of control, feeling out of control, not knowing how to gain control of ourselves.

We do not forget appointments or deliberately blow off meetings, we just forget about them. Even if we really wanted to be there. Am I right?

Motivation comes in waves. The nature of your brain is that you latch on to individual ideas. According to Dr. William Dodson, this is called an, “interest-based nervous system.”

We like competition, or proving someone else wrong. Particularly if we have been called lazy. Because we aren’t lazy, we just can’t hold it all down all the time.

Novelty is huge! We get bored with doing the same thing and having the same conversations day after day. Sometimes just a change in scenery or routine is enough to spark our motivavation.

Using humor can provide some motivation. Many of us were/are class clowns and chatterboxes. This serves a couple purposes:

  • – Idle chatter actually calms our racing thoughts, and

  • – It makes other people less likely to get mad at us.

Making others happy improves your motivation. But don’t try too hard and end up being a people pleaser and perfectionist.

Perfectionism runs rampant in the ADHD community. Which is why so many of us develop compensatory strategies that seem very rigid.

Executive function issues cause us to struggle throughout our lives, so we are seekers. Always looking for the next Bandaid or quick fix to keep us going.

There is no quick fix. And knowledge of that fact is very de-motivating.

 

INTENTIONS

ADHDers intend to do the right thing and be good people.

We know what needs to be done, but we have trouble prioritizing so we often get nothing done.

The question I have most often when faced with a task is, “where do I start?”

I INTEND to start but I don’t know what the first step should be. If you figure out how to determine the first step please send me an email with your insight.

Many of us are constantly looking to better ourselves. Seeking to eliminate or control our symptoms so that we can “fit in” with everyone else.

It’s a sort of vicious cycle where we try to do everything perfectly, and then we burn ourselves out and end up doing nothing. Or we spin in circles for a while and get burned when we realize we are not making progress as quickly as possible.

Do you own 3 different planners?

Wait, let me guess- you have a planner with stickers and washi tape and colored pens that you bought just for use in your planner?

The reason you keep buying planners and binders and new organization systems is because you are trying to do ALL OF THE THINGS.

My message to my fellow ADHD adults

I know (and you know) that you really are trying. Your long-term goal is always to better yourself.

Bettering yourself takes time, and you probably won’t feel it happening. You won’t wake up one day and think, “I am killing it!”  (Or maybe you will? LOL)

Keep moving forward, keep trying. Take care of yourself and your emotions.

Email me with things to add to the Manifesto.

 

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