Signs of ADHD: Where Were They? Why Didn’t I See Them?
Failure at regulating emotional responses? When I was eleven years old, my best friend began telling me, “You need to use your brain first, before opening your mouth!” … He crushed me and made me feel ashamed; however, growing up I came to accept that I was a cute weirdo who was brutally honest and wouldn’t shut up. As for my deep and uncontrollable emotions, which would burst into tears of pain as much as of joy, I always felt, “I’m sorry people cannot see the world the way I see it.”
Failure at taking action to achieve specific rewards? I have a remarkable collection of unfinished activities; at ten, for instance, my foster mother said, “Ok. We’ll get you the guitar, but are you sure you’re going to attend the classes?” The corps of that stringless wooden piece of craft remains in the back of my closet and, from to time, I go like, “Next month, for sure; I’m gonna write a huge note in… this paper I’ll never see again.”
Regarding that, I always believed – and I still stand to it – that I was seeking for something very interesting; the things I tried and loved doing (such us learning English on my own, photography, writing!), I still do. I banned the word boredom from my dictionary.
And as for my hyperactivity? I lost most of my milk teeth falling out from places I shouldn’t have climbed; but it was the eighties! My mom would say, “Honey, you should have been more careful,” and I’d show off with my friends, “Hey! Look at my new scar!” Eventually, I switched the high places for sports (field hockey, basketball, figure skating); I knew I needed to drain the immeasurable amount of energy I had.
What I see now as clear signs of ADHD, I always saw it as the cute little things that defined me as a person. Holding my head up against the “you’re childish; nothing is ever enough for you,” it was hard, but I knew my way of seeing the world was right… And then, I got lucky: at nineteen, fighting my first depression, one day I took a bus and a boy left a bookmark on my lap, for some dimes, which read, “Being a child is wonderful, but even more wonderful is to keep that child throughout our whole existence.”
I was right; and I was not the only one.