Pre-ADHD Diagnosis Labels
Before receiving an ADHD diagnosis, many of us wore other labels -- none of them complimentary. Just as the nuns called Maria “as flighty as a feather,” my mother used to beg me to “light somewhere.” My constant movement drove her crazy. I also heard, “you’re giving me a headache,” so I could imagine playing Maria while the sisters call her “a headache,” “a pest,” and “unpredictable as weather.” Piece of cake. I wouldn’t even be acting.
Maria, the cloud who can’t be pinned down, can’t succeed as nanny or nun. Not only does she not play by the rules, she doesn’t even know them. And if you try to teach them to her, she’ll either forget them a second later -- memory being a problem for many of us with ADHD -- or she’ll leap over them to pursue something more exciting. “I just couldn’t help myself; the gates were open and the hills were beckoning...,” says Maria. She was right. She couldn’t help herself. She was incapable of getting back to the abbey in time, just as she was incapable, while living at the Von Trapp estate, of stifling her creative impulses. That’s why the Von Trapp children loved her.