Law in Hyperspeed

The ADDventures of a practicing attorney in a southern state. I hope those in the law and those with ADD can find some comfort and help in these postings. The only real person in this blog is the author. The people described in this blog mostly represent sterotypes of some of the characters I see in my travels.

Name:
Location: Southern, United States

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Finding Acceptance

Back in the late summer I was traveling with some friends of mine. They had a son who had just graduated from high school. I knew the child and the parents well from church. As I observed their son, I sensed that he was quite a bit like me. He is smart. (Yes I'm being not very humble and admitting that at least some of the time I might act smart.) He can be withdrawn. He appears to have some issues with moodiness.

Up to this point all I knew about the son was that he had previously had some problems with depression and had received medication. During this brief ride, I discovered that in fact the son was in many ways a younger version of me. First I discovered that at some point their son had been firmly diagnosed as having ADD. As they started talking about what a "mess" their son was, everything started to ring in my head. "Yep, been there." "Yep, done that."

What chilled me to the bone was how these loving parents failed to appreciate that many of the things that appeared to them as "messy" were just a natural part of this son's unique ADDness. They were quick to tell me how lazy, boneheaded, and disorganized their son was. I don't know for sure how much similar thoughts are communicated to their son, but I sensed that if they were quick to say these things to me, then surely some of this message must at least be being indirectly communicated to their son.

Their son is brilliant. (Full scholarship to a major university.) Their son is sensitive. (He went into a major tailspin because of his girlfriend relationship.) I know his struggles. I also wonder what he is telling himself right now.

Finding acceptance is hard as an ADDer. Parents, friends, associates, and our significant others are quick to shake their heads in a sense of negative disbelief to our natural behaviors. Many times they often will tell us how lazy, disorganized, and irresponsible we are. The sad and troubling part about this is that 99% of the time, the ADDer already knows that. They have probably told themselves that thousands of times.

In the 43 years before I realized the truth about my condition, I had one predominant mantra that I would repeat to myself. I would hate to try to count the number of times I have said to myself, "Damn, I've really got to get my shit together."

Understanding and coming to grips with my condition has helped to start the healing that 43 years of lack of acceptance of myself has created.

As I think about my friend's son right now, I just can't help but worry that right now he's lying in his dorm room thinking, "Damn, I've really got to get my shit together."


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