“Why Do I Feel Different? How I Stopped Hiding (and Started Celebrating) My ADHD Differences”

I’ve always felt different — and it wasn’t a good feeling. I didn’t know exactly how I was different, so I couldn’t alternate myself to fit the mold. I wasn’t a social misfit, as I had buddies and participated in actions, but I rarely felt relaxed or comfortable in the corporate of others.

In junior prime, a bunch of the preferred girls called each and every different each and every night to hash over the college day and gossip. My very best buddy used to be on this workforce, and whilst I was relaxed speaking together with her, I felt awkward talking on the phone with any individual else. For instance, the primary and most effective time I talked on the telephone with “Judy” I knew I was expected to talk to her for one hour or more. I ran out of subjects after a couple of mins, however persisted having an ungainly and strained dialog for the remaining 50 minutes prior to placing up, and sadly concluded, “I’m different. I don’t fit in.

In high school, I played at the girls’ softball workforce. I have in mind standing on third base yawning and yawning, looking to keep wide awake. It seemed odd to me as I wasn’t tired. Who yawns whilst enjoying a sport? I do, I reasoned, as a result of I am different. Now I know I yawned from boredom and was once struggling to keep myself wide awake.

Even as an adult, my obvious differences were questioned and noticed.

When my five-year-old son injured his finger and got here to me for convenience, I responded by striking a bandage on his finger. He requested, “Why are you different from different moms?”

When I took ballroom dance courses years later, the same son, then a teen, requested, “Why can’t you be mindful the dance steps?”

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Another son requested, “Why have been you so mean to that financial institution teller?”

Was I? I responded, “I don’t factor I mentioned anything else unsuitable.”

A neighbor as soon as advised me, “You’re different.” When I labored at a retirement neighborhood, a resident mentioned, “You’re different.” I was keeping count.

Was I delicate to being advised I used to be “different?” You bet!

At the age of 49, I was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD. After being advised and believing for such a lot of years that I used to be different, I in spite of everything discovered why: My ADHD made me different.

I didn’t want to be different! I felt ashamed and sad. Being different, I believed, intended I was not up to others.

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But 5 years after receiving my ADHD diagnosis, the ones feelings subsided. I got here to spot my ADHD strengths — creativity, problem-solving, flexibility, and compassion — and to worth my variations.

Yes, I'm different. But different doesn’t imply less than. Different just manner different, like mustard and ketchup, or tulips and daffodils.

Cynthia Hammer, MSW is the Executive Director at the non-profit group, the Inattentive ADHD Coalition with a site at www.iadhd.org

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