How to Own Your ADHD
There are many things you may hear about what life is like when you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Is it a blessing? Is it a curse? Neither? Both?
If I could give anyone advice for living with ADHD it would be simple – stand up and own it. Take a minute, stand a bit taller, and work that diagnosis like a celebrity on the red carpet. As long as we feel like we are being scrutinized anyway, we might as well make the best of it, right?
It might not always be easy to love every symptom of ADHD or even ourselves, but what we can always do is own our ADHD. We aren’t rejects. We aren’t lost, hopeless, or beyond help. Also, we are strong, capable, creative individuals and we can do anything we want. Here's how to own your ADHD and be proud of who you are.
It’s Okay to be Okay With Our Diagnosis
Guess what? It’s okay to enjoy having ADHD, it's okay to think it makes us interesting, and it’s okay to like how our minds work.
No, we can’t do things the way most of the world expects us to, and that can make school and work difficult, but those moments where we can use our talents and our creativity to solve problems, explore our passions, or help others are the moments where we shine.
ADHD and Confidence
It can be difficult to be confident when you have ADHD but cultivating confidence in your abilities and the unique way you see the world is the best thing you can do to own your ADHD.
My daughter and I were talking today about confidence and ADHD. She was saying how it was the key to unleashing all the abilities that can come from having ADHD. It wasn’t always easy for her to be confident, as she always felt inferior to others because she couldn’t learn or do things the way everyone else did.
Once she became surer of herself, and once she started to embrace her ADHD as a positive force in her life, her confidence increased, and she was able to discover and grow her abilities.
My daughter said it helps to have a good friend group who accepts her. She fears being annoying but says her friends assure her that she is not. She is, however, impulsive and can be loud and overly talkative. Her friends give her a gentle reminder from time to time when she needs to take it down a notch and let someone else talk.
These gentle nudges from people who are not judgmental help her to feel confident and know that she is appreciated and valued for being herself.
This can be just as important for us as adults too. I wrestle with my confidence daily; almost as much as I wrestle with my concentration!
Owning my ADHD and being proud of what I am able to do instead of focusing on my shortcomings helps me build the confidence I need to tackle my day.
A Sense of Humor Helps
ADHD is not all fun and games. It can be frustrating, tiring, embarrassing, and we all know how difficult it can be for those who love us the most. We can be hard to deal with no matter how lovable we think we are.
Owning every part of our ADHD, even the not so good traits, is all part of the process. When we can own that we can be forgetful, annoying, confusing, anxious, impulsive, and even angry, we are halfway there.
When we can laugh at ourselves and the mishaps that seem to follow us around we are one step closer to being in control.
Things happen. I used to get embarrassed by my forgetfulness, feeling like everyone was judging me for it. Some people probably do, but once I learned to laugh at myself and even crack a joke or two about it, the trait became less of a mountain I could never overcome and became more of a hill I can manage.
I couldn’t own my ADHD without a sense of humor. If I couldn’t laugh at myself and the ridiculous situations I get into each and every day, my anxiety would completely control me. I would worry so much about the little things and getting everything “right” that absolutely everything would go wrong.
Let Go of Perfectionism
Learning to own your ADHD means having to let go of preconceived notions and the idea that you have to be, or even could be, perfect.
I am never going to be perfect. I will settle for just getting through the day without falling on my face because I forgot to tie my shoelaces.
Own your quirks. They make you unique. Own the differences that make you who you are; the things that set you apart from everyone else. Own the beautiful swirling chaos that is your brain. Own it, to learn how to work with it.
I don’t need to be perfect. I only need to be the best version of me I can be.
Forget the Rules
Okay, some rules you have to live by. But who says there is a certain way to act, think, or be? Owning your ADHD means living your best life; your way. And owning your ADHD is doing what is best for you and your family and doing it the way that makes the most sense to you and to them.
Lighten up, loosen up, laugh at yourself, and learn all you can. Read books, blogs, magazines, and anything else you can find on how to manage ADHD. Try new things. Talk to your doctor, your therapist or coach, and others with ADHD. Create an ADHD toolkit that sets you up for success.
Know your symptoms and know how to best deal with them. Find what works for you.
There is nothing that can hold back the powerful force you will become when you own your ADHD.