Reply To: Affraid to Pursue treatment.


Dear “wilschr10”

Hello, my name is Doug and I’d like to share a different perspective with you on ADD/ADHD than any of the other folks who’ve written have, so far. Let’s begin with a simple question, “wilschr10”: “What is the meaning of a foot on a piece of wood?” (That’s an important question, and one you may wish to remember, for future reference, when situations like this one arise in your life.)

And the grande epiphany (answer) is… “A foot on a piece of wood, by itself signifies nothing, except that which we take it to mean!”

So, for example (to extrapolate on something that Anthony Robbins once said) if you’re all alone and it’s late at night, and you’re absolutely certain that you’ve locked all the doors, and you hear a one of the back steps creak, that creates one kind of meaning for that “foot on a piece of wood”, doesn’t it? But then again, what if you’re five years old and bouncing up and sown on a long, springy sheet of plywood that has one end on the ground and the other on a log? (Can you picture it? “Boing… boing… boing…” Big fun, right? And pretty safe, too, huh?) …Or, what if it’s that you’re in your middle school gymnastics class, and have finally mastered the art of walking from one end to the other of the balance beam? …Or what if it’s that you’ve come so far in your Karate classes that every time your sensei holds up a board, you’re able to kick it in half? …Or what if it’s that you’ve realized that you can do the Sunrise Salute asana in perfect mindful stillness whiile standing on a seesaw that’s being used by a bunch of noisy kids on a playground?

In other words, what might it be like if you tried looking at you as just “you”, and not some preconceived version of you that’s only acceptable (and therefore, not stress-inducing) if you’re viewed from a certain perspective, or with a specific set of rules and regulations? Granted, this is a bit radical, but it can also be pretty emancipating, if you give it a chance.

Another cool insight is that ADD/ADHD isn’t (or at least, doesn’t need to be) some horrific diagnosis, to be dreaded and hidden from view, any more than you would fear identifying something as a potato. Yes, it’s a potato; no, it’s not a thick, juicy, perfectly-grilled steak, like all of the other steaks in the room, but if you frame it (bake it) in a way that works for _you_ like , and maybe add just the right amount of salt and pepper, or butter, or sour cream and chives, or bacon (or any combination of the above), you may just discover that it can compliment those steaks pretty nicely, while still being very different than they are. (And if you do, at some point, discover that you’re among the many, many “potatoes” in this world, I think you may also discover that we’re among the most intriguing, exciting, adaptive, creative, and profoundly loving/caring/feeling and intuitive people on the planet!

Oh, and that fiance of yours, whom you haven’t shared this with, yet? Well, if he or she didn’t already know what an incredibly strange, beautiful, magical, and just plain _different_ individual you are, and how wonderful your differences make you look and feel to him or her, do you really think they’d want to devote the rest of their lives to loving you? No, clearly, “wilschr10”, you’re an absolutely incredible woman, and what would it be like if it turned out that maybe, just maybe, a significant percentage of what makes you so incredibly brilliant, beautiful, vibrant and precious to the world are the very things you’re most afraid of confronting? And what if it turned out that the reason you’re having so much difficulty remembering what the definition of “the” is is that you were put here on Earth to accomplish far greater things than you’ve ever dared to consider? Who might you be willing to let yourself be, or become, if one day, you awoke to discover that, while you were sleeping, all of the “should’s”, “must’s”, “can’t’s” and “have to’s” in your life had become null and void, and were no longer of any use to anyone?

And who am I, to be sharing all of this with you? I’m a 58 year-old male ADD’er, who frequently experiences the exact same symptoms that you’ve described — in fact, just last Friday night, while onstage with my cover band (I’m a professional drummer, among many other things), the band was waiting for me to count off and begin Stevie Wonder’s hit, “Do I Do”, but I never even saw or understood it on the set list (which was printed out in 20pt Helvetica Bold (all caps, no less; black ink on a white page), my eyes and mind went straight tothe next number on the list, “Mustang Sally” (which is _considerably_ slower and far less syncopated, and feels nothing at all like the one I should have seen and counted off!) And you know what? These things DO happen, and will happen, and guess what? It really sucks when they do, but you know what? Life goes on, and people either get over it, or don’t, but we all make mistakes, and sometimes, if we’re lucky enough to be in a place and time where we’re able to be fully present with our mistakes, then who knows? A great new design, or invention, or song or novel may come from it!

And believe me, when I say that, because I am a (primarily self-taught) professional drummer, published author, poet, designer and photographer, an inventor, songwriter/lyricist, an award-winning jewelry designer and genmstone cutter/cut designer (all self-taught), an innovative massage therapist and medical massage practitioner (and developer of a truly painless deep tissue massage modality) and about to launch the non-profit foundation I first imagined at age 12, to help ADD and Asperger’s kids from poor families get musical instruments and lessons, and, if I’m to believe both my fiancee’s and daughter’s frequent estimations and reminders, a great dad and a loving, devoted, thoughtful and generous partner/lover/future husband.

I’m also almost always late, disorganized as all hell, frequently flustered and/or embarrassed by my inability to keep up to pace with others around me and to efficiently juggle all of the “stuff” of life, but, ultimately, a great guy who’s constantly finding new ways of adding value to the world around me. I’m far from perfect, “wilschr10”, and you don’t need to be, either. But if given half a chance, I can blow your mind, and I’ll bet that the same can be said of you!