Using perspective to change a difficulty into a superpower
I have ADHD. This makes my life super interesting. Interesting is a relative term but this is how I have to label it in my life. This is because my life is different than most people because of my ADHD. Spiderman has an interesting life. Spiderman can do some really amazing stuff. He can cling to walls, has super strength, can sense danger, and is really flexible. These sound amazing to have but when you look closer, Spiderman's life is really complicated because of these powers. Let's put aside the fact that he's attacked by super villains and saves people from falling buildings. These amazing powers make his life complicated anyway.
He can cling to walls. Well that means he probably clings to a lot of things when he doesn't want to. Like couches, wearing mittens, slapping his friend on the back. It can get really embarrassing I'm sure.
He has super strength. How often does he forget to watch his strength and crushes the pickle jar he's trying to open? He can't play Thanksgiving day football for fear of hurting uncle Steve. And high fives are out of the question. Not only might he slap someones arm off but he might stick to their hand in the process.
He can sense danger. This means he has heightened senses which means every sound and smell is amplified, he is constantly visually distracted, and I bet the tags on his shirt just drive him absolutely bonkers!
And he's more flexible. Well this one I wouldn't mind at all. It must be nice to be able to touch your toes and not pull your back out when you reach to put away the cereal.
But my point is that there is a down side to having super powers. On the flip side, super strength, agility, and the ability to stick to things is pretty awesome! But you can't have one without the other.
ADHD is a superpower. Only people don't look at the positive side of it. The opposite of the Spiderman analogy. People with ADHD have difficulty finishing things, staying on task, controlling their emotions, maintaining an organized mind. These are a few of the many kryptonites people with ADHD struggle with. The less talked about part of ADHD are the benefits. I've always been a glass full kind of guy. I usually see the silver lining, make lemonade out of lemons, mashed potatoes from potatoes, soup from leftovers kind of guy. But I've been struggling with ADHD my whole life and anyone I've only ever focused on the negative aspects of it. The difficult symptoms, what supplements to take, what to eat, when to eat, how much sleep I should get, medication to take, and on and on and on.
But there is more to it than that. There has to be. I mean, I'm a fully functioning adult with a career and a family. I have friends and a family that loves me. I'm creative and musical, and I have a lot of experiences to draw from. I must be doing something right! Yes, school was a nightmare for me. I've bounced from job to job to job my whole life. I can't pay bills worth a damn, and if I go through a day without losing my wallet, keys, and glasses then it's a day to celebrate. But if I look at it closely, my ADHD has allowed me to make all sorts of unique friends. Ones that are magnetic and have strange, and different, and wonderful personalities. I have had so many jobs that I have an array of skills to draw from in everyday life. I have created some amazing things in my life from art, to music, to school programs, fitness programs, educational programs (a lot of programs). I'm spontaneous and energetic about things that I like. I still can't pay bills worth a damn or find my stuff but I've met someone who fills in my gaps (this isn't necessarily a superpower. It's more my wife's superpower). I can hyper focus on something and create some incredible things! I'm quick with a joke, I am able to roll with the punches, and I can do 11 things at once (not well, but we're looking at the positive here).
I can do things others can't. I made the decision a while ago to not look at my ADHD as a disability but instead a different ability. I'm emotional, forgetful, eccentric, a slob, forgetful, and if don't move every hour or so I start to lose my mind. My mind does not distribute the right amounts of dopamine for me to organize my mind like everyone else. So I have to do things to help me do that like sleep, eat right, and exercise. Lot's of exercise! But I make it work. Partly because I was tired of frustration, failure, and losing my mind along with all my stuff so I developed strategies but also partly because of how I decided to look at my ADHD. I had to change my mindset. My mind works differently than most people so I can't compare how I do things to everyone else. I have to do what works for me. I know that when I have a disagreement with my wife that I will take it more personally than it really is. I am aware that I have to have a high protein breakfast so I can think clearer during the day. I understand that I have to schedule in times for exercise throughout the day so I can stay focused. I am aware that my superpower that allows me to be hyper focused, spontaneous, super creative, and all over the place has to be balanced. Just changing my mindset that my mind is not any less able than anyone else's. This has given me the confidence to stop caring what others think and live my life how I need to live it in order to do things. And I am much happier.
Once I started thinking this way, then it changed how I saw my ADHD. I began to look at
the superpower side of it while at the same time managing the difficulties of it. I still utilize my strategies and yes I still have bad days (especially being stuck in the house during Covid. Holy stir crazy, Batman) but I appreciate who I am and the things I can do. Confidence alone can give you enough poker chips to not only ante in the game of life, but also cash in once in a while.
So I continue to wake up everyday and wonder how it will go. I still have to use all my developed strategies and struggle with accomplishing daily activities. Some days are good, some days are bad. But I no longer let it get me down and keep me down.
So if you have ADHD, what are your super powers? Think about all the things you are good at. It is all because of how your beautiful, amazing brain works and the incredible things you can do. For every struggle you have, there is a positive side to that. You just have to look at things a little differently. And tights. Get some tights. They help.