Andrew: In many ways society conditions us to ask for help with physical challenges but not with mental. I’m quite tall, 6’4″, and I am occasionally asked to reach for something off the top shelf in the supermarket. No one is concerned, there is no judgement or criticism. But when it comes to planning or organising, others do comment and ADHD adults are embarrassed and feel they “should” be able to handle it?
David: Very true, if I stand a ladder alone, straight up in the middle of the room, it will fall before I even step on the first rung. The ladder must rest against a wall. But if that wall is slippery, covered with moss and dangerous you may start to climb the ladder, only to fall half way up and injure yourself.
So it is with people, we need other people for support “our walls”, but we need to choose our supporting walls carefully.
People who have supported you whilst making fun of you, criticising and ridiculing, may help you to start climbing your ladder only to let you fall flat on your face. I’ve found that people like to help each other, but there are some people who will help you because they’re trying to manipulate you, control you and do things their way. Those are the ones that you have to be careful of.
We need support with ADHD but you need to know when you ask for help that you identify what’s important to you and your values. If I value respect and connection then I’m not going to ask for someone to support me, who does not respect me.
If I ask for help without paying attention to what I really need I may not get what I need.
I think people make better decisions about their cars than about their friends sometimes!
Andrew: I’ve experienced this “wrong” kind of support myself. It’s only when we lose this “support” that we come to realise how negative and inhibiting it was.
David: It’s sad but you’re so right. So I think you’re absolutely right Andrew, that it’s a sign of strength when you ask for help, just make sure you ask for the right kind of help