Imagine, for a moment, this entirely absurd scenario - you wake up to find yourself face to face with 100 beautiful clones of you. All of these yous want to do everything you love to do - cook everything you've ever wanted to cook, talk about everything you love to talk about, listen to all the music you ever wanted to listen to, plant and harvest and grow all the things you've ever wanted to grow, play games and Facebook and twitter and imgur and Pinterest all day, do dishes and laundry and clean the house so sparkling clean, write those stories you always wanted to write, go hiking, learn a new language, start a new business, no, make that two, no THREE new businesses, throw a vase, go hunting, take dance lessons... They all want to do something different from every other you, and they all want to do it now. They talk at you incessantly, sometimes mumbling, sometimes yelling, always interrupting...well-mannered, polite, and filtered, these clones are not. There is no order, only cacophonous chaos.
Now your kids are getting up, and their energy is like adding 3 perpetually energized electrically charged bouncing rubber balls to the mix. They, of course, think the clones are great fun, because everything they want to do, well, there's at least ONE clone that wants to do that, plus PANCAKES!
THAT is ADHD. THAT is my every morning, day, afternoon, and night. I have such grandiose plans, but am inundated with options until I am paralyzed with indecision. I am jacked up to the point of exhaustion, but I am too wired to sleep. I don't use coffee to stay awake, I use it to focus, and it doesn't work very well. I do things, but only parts of things. When I DO make a decision to act, it is often sudden with no advance warning. Where someone else reflects on a million points of light, I am trying to touch every single one simultaneously. Where someone is being driven to distraction, I am the vehicle. How long did it take me to write this? At this point, several months, but I'll really never know, because I'm never done.
There is a flipside. I see shit that no one else sees. I can hold a dozen conversations at the same time. I can MacGuyver the fuck out of anything on a moments notice. I'm funny as hell. I handle anxiety and stress exceptionally well, and recover from conflict remarkably fast. When necessary, I actually, truly "multitask" like a motherfucker. As a parent, I can attend 3 vibrant, confident, energetic individuals at the same time - and keep up! And, when properly medicated, I can hone my skills with laserlike precision. Yes, medicated. And yes - it works. I take 2 little pills of something called Methylphenidate, and I am FOCUSED. I am no longer Wacky Waving Inflatable Arms Flailing Tube Man. I am...LASERBEARD. DUN DUN DUHHHHHHHN. I can get shit DONE. Oh, the things I have accomplished. (Now, I just have to work out the kinks with the dosage, and, hopefully, a semblance of peace and normalcy can be attained.)
So please - tell me ADHD is not a thing. Tell me I'm just a daydreamer that needs to learn "self-control." Tell me I'm undisciplined. Lazy. Lack motivation. "Hyper." I've heard it all, and I've heard every layman's "cure." And I'll tell you this - you're full of shit. I know purely from my own experience that you are full of complete and utter bullshit. I am the EMBODIMENT of ADHD. It's not a fucking choice. ADHD is very real. I speak from my own life's experience, of course, but there are also at least 200 years worth of documented research and experience to prove it.^1 I implore you - don't dismiss me as a daydreamer, or inattentive, or bored, or dumb. Me, or anyone like me. It really is not a choice. We are who we are, every one of us, and beautiful as all fuck.