A Hollywood Writer on Life with ADHD

Frank South, who wrestled with attention deficit disorder since childhood, spills everything he’s learned about himself, the unaccepting world, and his ADHD brethren.

Accept Your ADHD -- Sort Of

Another lesson I’ve learned is to stop hiding and pretending we’re someone we’re not. No excuses -- cop to the whole mess. Accepting ADHD as a huge part of who we are and how we see the world is, at first, creepy and embarrassing. “I’m not going to be labeled as some disordered freak. It’s not that simple. I’m not that simple. I’m complicated, deep, and well, OK, I admit it -- I’m a genius. Sorry you feel bad about it.” OK -- except that, until we snuggle up and own our attention deficit disorder, we’re the ones who feel bad about us.

And so then we do accept, accept, accept. Problem solved? Not really. We still forget everything that isn’t nailed down and labeled. No matter how many ADHD coaches and shrinks we work with, or how many ADHD meds we take, the problem is still the frustration. What was I supposed to get? That’s due now? What’s your name again? What do you mean, it’s Tuesday? And to be ugly and ungrateful about it, what really drives me bat-flap crazy are the understanding friends and spouses. One more sympathetic look or understanding nod and I think I’ll, I’ll... Well, no, of course I won’t.

Next: Taking ADHD to School

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