- Aha! I finally found what to call “it”! You know, that place where you kind of think you might have ADD, but you don’t know if you have ADD? You’re not sure if getting distracted or being disorganized or procrastinating might mean you have ADD, or just that life is stressful and sometimes overwhelming.
“ADD-ish.” I heard the term as an aside during a business teleclass I participated in, and I immediately liked it. In our culture, it’s hard not to be “ADD-ish.” With information overload and the constancy of communication, not to mention just our regular lives, there is a lot of information to screen in or out and then to process.
And More Questions…
So you wonder if your tendency to get distracted or be disorganized or stay focused is ADD, or is it just a sign of the times? You are in very good company and plenty of company! What is important about this question is the answer to another question. How much is it affecting your day-to-day life? How much does it bother you that you’re getting distracted or having trouble completing projects or being disorganized? Do you manage to find some ways to cope with those challenges? Or do those challenges feel like they’re near constant or looming very large in front of you? Or perhaps you find yourself somewhere in between?
Your answers give you some guidelines for how much attention to give this issue because there is already so much to deal with that we don’t want to unnecessarily add more to the pile! Indeed not. What I am hoping to do is to shrink your pile by giving enough attention to what NEEDS attention! If you find yourself frequently
then it needs attention. Funny thing is, we tend to put off giving it attention, thinking that we just need to try harder. Haven’t you already been trying harder? I truly do understand that it is difficult to answer this seemingly straightforward question because, to answer with a “yes” means that trying harder is not working. That – is – very – hard – to – admit. Believe me, I get it. To say, “My best has gotten me where I am” requires a LOT of courage and humility. And when we’re trying to save face because it feels like we keep screwing up, courage and humility tend to come hard.
But they can come. And having a bit of encouragement or support can help. It is no easy task to admit that we need help and then to ASK for help. However, how long have you been miserable going about it the way that you have? That long, huh? Me too. I was miserable a very long time, first because I just did not know what was wrong (thinking that I was inadequate or incompetent or even meaner words…). Then, when I finally did begin to suspect that I might have ADD, well, who wants to be diagnosed with ADD? I certainly did not. I thought that it was yet another confirmation that I was inadequate. So, I didn’t go running to the phone to make my appointment with someone who could do the assessment.
For a while longer, I kept trying harder. Have you ever heard this definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? When I first heard that definition, I was quite insulted by the suggestion that I might be insane! I wasn’t insane! I was just frustrated!! Well, no, I wasn’t and I’m not insane in the formal definition of the word. But in the more casual use of “insane”? Yes, I qualify. Once I could loosen my grip on the formal definition, I came to love this definition. It can help shake us loose from our own chains!
It was because I kept getting the same results no matter what I tried that finally led me to make the call to set up the appointment to get the assessment to be diagnosed with ADD. And I am relieved and grateful that I did. First of all, it put a name to all those years of misery and feeling inadequate and incompetent. That was a relief in itself! Secondly, medication can help improve my day-to-day functioning. And thirdly, there is now so much more information available to adults with ADD. There are books; there are support groups; there are oodles of resources online; there are coaches, AND there are other people with ADD. You’d be so surprised to find out who all has ADD once you begin talking about it. There are very successful people who are making their way in the world WITH ADD. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have their challenges or setbacks or frustrations. They do. They’re human, and they still have ADD. But instead of ignoring it or assuming that they are incompetent or inadequate, they give their ADD, and therefore give themselves, the attention that is needed.
So, is your “ADD-ishness” something that is just a small, manageable part of your life? Or is your “ADD-ishness” something that is causing you enough frustration and self-criticism that it is TIME to do something about it? If it is time, then go make that call to schedule the appointment. Or go research it online. Or go do some reading about it. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that you do indeed have ADD!