Andrew: After the early euphoria from an adult ADHD diagnosis, it not uncommon to feel disappointment: medications don’t offer a miracle cure, the negative traits of ADHD as not simply going to go away. The reality is even successful ADDers, have still got ADHD. Some may be helped by medication but they’ve still essentially got the ADHD, different from other people. But they work with and around their ADHD and their focus has changed, more than the problems have changed?
David: I think that understanding your ADHD allows you to access the strengths you already have. Your ADHD is a particular kind of brain wiring. It doesn’t make you who you are. We are born with genes but those genetics don’t determine our lives, it’s our perception of reality that determines our lives.
Black and white thinking
When people don’t understand how their brains work they think that everything they do is going to exacerbate their situation, that it’s hopeless, it’s sort of black and white. They are either going to cure it or suffer living with it for the rest of our lives.
There is no cure for ADHD, but there is a prescription for a better life.
So the approach to a better life is to understand that I’m born with this certain kind of genetic make-up and to see how it impairs my ability to access those natural recurring patterns already part of my genes, If you have the attitude that you can cure this thing, that thought gets in the way, nothing will cure it.
Can you be put on a level playing field biologically? Absolutely.
What am I willing to do?
Can you take what you’ve learned and begin to reframe it and say “ADHD is not who I am, it’s what I have. Who I am is who I choose to be.” That’s where it’s got to begin. “And who I choose to be is a function of my brain wiring, but it’s also a function of choice, and what I choose to pay attention to in any given moment is still up to me.
This is such a powerful and simple concept that until our clients identify that, they won’t move forward. Those four clients that I mentioned and thousands of subsequent clients all have to make a decision and ask themselves
“What am I willing to do to change these impairments that get in my way, these challenges?”
Because everybody has challenges; it’s just ADHD is a more intense, difficult level. But every human being has challenges. And if you choose to stay stuck in the challenges, whether you’re ADHD or not, doesn’t make a difference. You’re still going to manifest that challenge and that problem.