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.

“Guess What? You Have ADHD”

Being diagnosed with adult ADHD did answer some of the questions I had about my past experiences in life, but it took a long time to near the neighborhood of the enlightened. I now occasionally get a glimpse of “enlightened,” but only the tiniest one -- like the blurry view you get looking out through a train window as it zooms along.

My first reaction after my ADHD diagnosis was fear. I was scared silly, and, since I was still drinking then, I got drunk. It was my standard solution for any strong emotion at the time. With work -- with various therapists and on my own -- some version of reality started taking hold. Then I dealt with the drinking, and got sober. But that took a long time. I am a very stupid, stubborn man when I put my mind to it.

It took me four years before I could admit to being an alcoholic, and to see the connections between my ADHD and my drinking without excuses and self-pity. That’s hard -- I love self-pity. All day in bed with self-pity, oatmeal cookies, and ice cream looks like heaven to me.

But I’m grateful for the diagnoses, grateful for the whole big mess, because now my glimpses out at the scenery rushing by are longer, and I can see slivers of beauty out there.

Next: Always Have Someone in Your Corner

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