If you say no, I can totally accept that. As a matter of fact, I’ll probably laugh at it. When I have to deal with challenging or difficult situations, I find that I cope best by laughing at myself. What do you do to cope with life’s hurdles with ADHD?
by Stephen Anfield
I’ve been doing a lot of work lately. So much working. As I've mentioned, my job involves reading, writing, and strong oral communication skills (for meetings and public speaking). A lot of the time, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) affects how competently I am able to perform these tasks.
Contrary to popular belief, I can sit still long enough to read, so long as whatever I’m reading is mildly interesting. Writing on the other hand ... let’s just say it took me nearly 30 minutes to produce the first three lines of this blog.
I hate the fact that it takes me that long. I hate it. A lot.
I don’t hate writing, though. I hate the mental block that I experience when attempting to put words together. I’ve tried to convince myself that the reason it takes so long is because I’m looking for the perfect phrasing, but in reality, I’m trying to put my words into a sequence that actually makes sense to the general public or even just to you, my ADD/ADHD peers (I know how distracted we can get!).
When speaking among friends or colleagues, the mental block is still there, but it takes on a different form. Even with my years of training in public speaking, I find that I stumble over my words and oftentimes ask myself, “Did I just say that? That totally did not make any sense!” (Is it just me or is it normal to always have to think, “Speeeeeeeak slowwwwwwly...”?)
Luckily, over the years, I’ve learned to laugh at myself. I cope with life’s most difficult situations -- even (or especially?) my own ADD/ADHD challenges -- through humor. People are less likely to laugh at me if I can beat them to the punch. I’ve always been somewhat quick-witted, so I guess it’s something I don’t need to worry about, right?
If I'm the only one who thinks humor is a good ADD/ADHD coping mechanism, then I think I can be cool with that, as long as you let me know your secret, effective coping mechanisms!
What are your biggest hurdles related to ADD/ADHD and how do you overcome them? Perhaps we can all provide each other with some solace in knowing that we’re going through similar challenges.