At the Finish Line. What Now?

Adults with ADHD know to celebrate every accomplishment. Well... I crossed the finish line, literally and figuratively.
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D.
Jane D.

I know that, for the past several months, I've been a bit of a wet towel, a sour puss, writing constantly about what is wrong with my life, and what is wrong with me. But here now is a turn of sorts.

I have been in Gatorland, aka Florida, for the past week, soaking up the sun. I arrived to swim a 24-mile race as a two-person relay with the Type A Ph.D. friend, who I had a serious crush on. It started with a dialogue last September, and with the hope that this partnership would bring us closer. Instead it did just the opposite.

I increasingly felt as if I were partnering with my harshest critic. It ate into my self-confidence. He graded me on my workouts, and he seemed rather cold in telling me what I should and should not do. As an adult with attention deficit disorder, I've been attracted to people who "tell it as it is," since I seem to lack the common sense that most adults without ADHD have. (And, frankly, Mr. Ph.D. had all of the things that I lacked.) But I'd already signed up and paid for the swim, so in many ways I had to do it.

The partner and I braved rough waves and conditions and almost did not finish. We swam for 13 hours and 25 minutes, starting in the dark and ending in the dark. But the event seemed soured by his coldness. I had saved the last leg of the race for him, and knew that this might be his last race.

And yet he did not wait for me to climb into the water as he dashed onto shore and to the cheer of the crowds. Even then he did not say, "Good job, good effort, nice swim." He was as quiet as a sphinx and went up to the bar grill to meet his family and relatives. And in sitting there he turned his shoulder to me.

There was a time when I would not have spoken up, and in some ways I still wonder if I should have early on. This time, however, things would take a very different turn. Stay tuned for part two.

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