Support & Stories

“The ADHD Characteristics I’m Most Thankful for Are…”

“My creativity has blessed me at every stage of my life. My grandkids and I write songs or make videos, and I do sing-a-longs at my mom’s nursing home. Being ADHD is a rollercoaster ride, but I love the thrills along the way!”

Thankful at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not about perfectly mashed potatoes or a beautifully basted bird. It’s not about baking a picture-perfect pumpkin pie, or even squeezing in a turkey trot before supper. If we embrace the brief respite that it offers, Thanksgiving is a much-needed pause that encourages us to express gratitude for our families, friends — and ourselves.

To that end, we recently asked ADDitude readers to share a moment they felt thankful for a specific trait associated with their ADHD. Read their responses below. Which ADHD characteristics do you appreciate most? Tell us in the Comments section.

ADHD Characteristic I Love: Hyperfocus

“I started my own business from home when my children were small, and I couldn’t afford nursery fees. I had to work evenings as that was the only time I wasn’t running after three kids. Since getting my ADHD diagnosis, I can now see that my ability to work from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. was due to hyperfocus. At the time, I just knew I had to do it, so I powered through without sleep several nights a month.”— Anna

“The trait that comes most to mind is my hyperfocus in my work as a therapist. My hyperfocus allows me to be very present with my clients, and the forgetting, disorganization, and time mismanagement that frustrates the heck out of me (and others) almost melt away. I do need to be mindful of my impulsivity and tendency to interrupt because I get excited about some breakthrough statement a client is expressing, and I want to jump in right there. But I can catch myself a couple of words into my interruption and quickly say, ‘I’m sorry, go ahead.’ So far, they almost always do.” — An ADDitude Reader

“I was studying for a calculus final exam and had the uncanny ability to block out all external noise. My professor suggested that I may have ADHD and was correct! After I was diagnosed, I learned about the term hyperfocus. I did well in the calculus class, which I attribute to my ADHD. Hyperfocus can be mentally draining but is necessary at times.” — Dovid, Michigan

[Self-Test: Could You Have ADHD? Symptoms in Adults]

ADHD Characteristic I Love: Creativity

“Creativity is definitely my best ADHD trait. As a music teacher, it has helped keep my students (and me) engaged. I had my classes write songs about math or reading, and I once wrote an entire Christmas musical one act at a time. I have episodes of anxiety and depression but writing poetry and music helps bring me out of my funk. My creativity has blessed me at every stage of my life. Now my grandkids and I write songs or make videos, and I use my piano-playing skills to do sing-a-longs at the nursing home where my mom resides. Yes, being ADHD is a rollercoaster ride, but I do love the thrills along the way!” — Debbie

“Creativity is head and shoulders the best ADHD trait for me. So, while I can’t think linearly to save my life or make decisions easily, the sheer number of connections my brain makes in a day brings me the most joy. I have never completely lost my childlike wonder or curiosity. I’m grateful for this trait every day. It keeps me going when everything else becomes an unbearable grind. If only I could find a career where this was my most frequent ‘job duty,’ I would find my calling in life.”— An ADDitude Reader

“This weekend, I choreographed an entire solo dance number for next week’s performance. ADHD played into my waiting until the last minute, but it also helped me buckle down and quickly invent and memorize four minutes of choreography in three hours. I’m thankful for the creativity and passion ADHD gives me that allows me to accomplish things like that. And although I normally hate it, I guess I need to give hyperfocus a shoutout as well!” — An ADDitude Reader

ADHD Characteristic I Love: Impulsivity

“I’m thankful that my lack of impulse control made me ask my husband if we could get married after we first met. I just knew he was my person, and lucky for me, he didn’t run away! We’ve been happily married for 12 years now!” — An ADDitude Reader

[Free Download: 3 Defining Features of ADHD That Everyone Overlooks]

ADHD Characteristic I Love: Curiosity

“I am never bored. I see the extraordinary in ordinary events and places and people. I also always have ‘play’ in mind.” — Susan, Canada

ADHD Characteristic I Love: Great People Skills

“My ‘superpower’ is the ability to read people exceptionally well and to see underlying currents that others don’t. It has helped me excel in my career in HR. I can walk into a room and instantly tell you what is going on.” — Charlie, Australia

ADHD Characteristics: Next Steps


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1 Comments & Reviews

  1. Please don’t insult my intelligence with stories about a wonderful ‘gift’ this ADD or ADHD affliction is. For me it has been nothing but a handicap and an embarrassment in both my social and professional lives and I cannot cite a single instance when it has been an advantage.

    It seems that a few respondents have gone public about their ADHD condition. You might get away with it in the fields of medicine and education but revealing it at for-profit companies is an act of career-ending inspired stupidity.

    Many years ago I was working as an engineer at a large corporation. One day the boss of our division was relieved of duty and replaced by a hard-ass dude who was given carte blanche authority to fire or hire anyone he wanted.

    Mr. Hardass called our group of 30 or so into a conference. Among his many rants was one in particular: “We had some social moron say something stupid in a customer-facing meeting and that killed a $1M sale! We cannot tolerate that!”

    We were all ordered to report to HR and submit to a psychological test that was intended to smoke out and identify ADHD people. Talking incessantly, interrupting people and saying things without thinking are symptoms of ADD/ADHD. The next week about 10 people were summarily fired, including me.

    Imagine that: psychological testing designed to hurt people! No law requires you to confess sensitive information about your personal health so don’t let your own mouth be your worst enemy!

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