Monday, February 1, 2010

ADHDers can even be found on status lists...

...and today I was honored to be published in just such a local affair in a major newspaper.

For my community event organizing work.


See...don't ever let anyone tell you that ALL of your ADHD "big ideas" are bad ones. Some of them are good. Some of them are BRILLIANT! Some of them are at least partially good and even better after you step away from them to analyze them a little more closely.

This particular idea has blossomed into an endeavor that feeds my soul...that makes me feel good about myself...and helps other people at the same time, and adds something really unique and special to my community.

Proof that there's no reason that we ADHDers should apologize for our "random" ideas...that there's value in learning to focus and asses and develop them...and really, you know what? People with perfectly normal brains have crappy ideas every day! People with normal brains also sometimes miss the value in idea that an ADHDer will find novel, intriguing and worth investing time in.

ADHD may not be a gift, but it does have plusses sometimes as well as minuses. I'm working to maximize the benefits of the plusses :) And today, my state community recognized me for doing just that...wicked bonus...!


  1. You gotta know you've just made us all incredibly curious as to the specifics!

  2. You know, that's such a tricky thing with a blog where you are not totally anonymous! In reality, I'm ALLL about details, and telling a good story. It's just that my life, at least in my community, is very public at times, and as much as I want to just spill beans right and left, I also have to respect the identities and privacy of those nearest to me...blah, blah, blah. It does annoy me sometimes.

    I feel that ADHD allows me to entertain ideas that others might dismiss more quickly. "I think I'll just start a market in the middle of downtown" was definitely one of those. People told me it was going to be a challenge...people told me I might not be able to do it...but I'm pretty tenacious...when people tell me I can't do things its like I've been challenged to a duel, and I can't let "no" be the final answer.

    It's something I started out of love and inspiration, and its nice to be doing something purely for those reasons, and then have it become something people publicly pat you on the back for. Serious bonus.

    But I will say this: I created a weekly outdoor market that runs during the warm weather months, that features artisan work and handcrafts. I'm a seamstress and before grad school interrupted, that was a significant chunk of income for me, selling my handmade work.

    I used to have to drive great distances or pimp myself out to boutiques far away to do I thought we should have a venue for that here in my community. So I started it...and it's taken off like wildfire...hence the recognition...which is awesome!

    So I find myself on a list recognizing the top young achievers in the state. If my grandparents were still alive, they would love this. It feels good...and it's all been possible precisely because I am an out of the box thinker, I'm stubborn as all get out, and I grew up with a family that encouraged my unconventionality :)

    I'll take your curiosity as a compliment, and a note to self that details should be divulged whenever reasonably possible, lol...

  3. You've touched on two important issues: how much detail should one reveal in public, and whether ADHD has any pluses (you note it has pluses and minuses).

    As for issue one, I've sometimes written things in code (carefully selected words/phrases) so that the few people in my life who know all the details will understand EXACTLY what I've written while those who are not privy to that information will still be able to follow along. A sensitive reader will be able to pick up certain things but never quite have all the details.

    As for issue two, the real question mark is whether you would be doing the things you are doing if you did not have ADHD. Because we cannot separate the ADHD component from our personalities, we don't really know if we are doing something BECAUSE of ADHD or DESPITE having ADHD. On the individual level, that is, from our own internal perspective, we tend to think that we are doing something BECAUSE of the ADHD. When ADHDers are looked at in the aggregrate (as part of a large statistical group), ADHD is never shown to have any beneficial effects at all. Statistically, there are no pluses.

    Jeff -

  4. I realize and agree with the need for hesitation when it comes to declaring any "gifts" of ADHD.

    I do think that I would be less disposed to the kind of explosive idea generating that I do though, if I had a normal brain. There's a reason that women like me (with clearly hyperactive ADHD) used to be regularly diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There is an initial stage to my idea generation that is far from normal and that observers sometimes find a little wild and offputting due to its intensity...its certainly nothing I have never witnessed in my "normal" acquaintances. It is near-mania and sometimes resembles a drug high...and because of ADHD I have had to learn to filter myself before acting on anything I concoct in those moments.

    So...I would contend that indeed, I would not have these ideas occurring to me in precisely this fashion if my brain was normal. And because of ADHD, whether or not these generated ideas are useful, has to be determined by the later filtering I have to do. I feel that ADHD/brain abnormality indeed gives me this ability...however, you're correct Jeff, it also gives me a bunch of obstacles to go along with it, that I have also had to learn to work either with or around as I select the "good" ideas from the pile to pursue (and figure out how to pursue them). And it is no easy is a very mechanical process that I have to go through to keep myself reigned in...a process that a normal brain does not have to manually shift into the way a brain like mine does.

    Is it also true that I am an unusually intelligent person? An unusually creative person? Yes. And I'm sure those things have impact on my ADHD "outcomes" in life, and allow me to find strategies for success that might not be possible for others. I understand that there are ways in which I am exceptional. I also understand that my brain abnormality allows me to ignore obstacles and boundaries in idea generating that stop many normal-brained people at the gate, as they dismiss things, because quite frankly they're able to see the challenges more clearly.

    Again...that's where the filters come into play, and I'm simply quite lucky that I have been able to learn (and continue to learn) strategies for doing that.

    So...without ADHD, I would still be unusually gifted in many ways. Unusually intelligent...a quick learner...a gifted collector of information...good at lots of interesting things. But my life path, would likely have been far more conventional. In some ways that would have benefitted me...but in other ways, I rather enjoy my unusual life.

    Plus, as a adult with ADHD, a woman with ADHD, and with one with obvious hyperactivity no less, I'm already a statistical outlier ;) So...bah to statistics, lol...

    In my particular life, because of who I am, as a combination of ADHD and personality, I am able to see pretty clearly where personality begins and ADHD ends. Because of my personality I'm able to turn some shitpiles of ADHD mania into gold sometimes. Diagnosis has only made it easier...not just because of medication, but because now that I have a label and an awareness of what it means, my personality and experience can step in to remind me not to follow my every impulse...

    I guess it's sort of up to each individual ADHDer to determine where those lines are in their own lives, and through trial and error (often very frustrating), determine if their personality, skills, and individual gifts will allow them to do what it is they are hoping to achieve. And that process is bound to be easier for some than others...