Reply To: ADHD and loneliness

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Hey whisperingwings,
This has been my biggest struggle my entire life. I’ve only really ever had five real, true friends in my life with the fifth being my wife, who I’ve been together with since 2004. Each friendship was my only real friendship (as in, a person I confided in and trusted and loved) at the time we were friends (although there was some overlap). They were the only people I hung out with, and it was only because of their friendships with others that I ever went to parties or events. Nobody else ever invited me or I often knew (or heard) that I was not wanted there. And although I get that I can be annoying, I have never understood why people dislike me so much, when I know I can be absolutely delightful and hilarious and generous and kind. I like me, but I know that most other people don’t. It’s only those five special people I’ve met who not only could tolerate me, but who actually appreciated me. I cherished those friendships. But you know what sucks? I recently learned that two of those former friends won’t speak to me. I have no idea why, but I know it’s my fault and the self-recrimination is constant.

I turn 40 this month. When I look at my brothers, or pretty much everyone else in the world, it seems like five friends is a quiet Friday night for them. But for me, those were social lifelines that, if severed, would have left me despondent.

I say all this not to sadden you any further than you already are. It’s simply to tell you that you are not alone and the pain you are feeling is entirely warranted. ADHD makes relationships difficult and people are assholes.

But I also want to reassure you that not every person is an asshole. As I’ve aged and mellowed a bit, I have learned to find “my people.” These are the people who appreciate the old souls. And though those won’t all become deep, meaningful, lasting relationships, I assure you that at some point you will meet a special person who likes you and understands you and, yes, tolerates your (our) annoying ways. They are out there and you will find yours in due time.

I wish you the best.