I have to be very careful not to get into the biographical mode because so much has happened during my lifetime before and after I learned I had ADHD “in spades” as one doc described it. You all know how sometimes we ADHDers can get when fired up in the act of doing something we love doing, in my case, either writing or woodworking. But as my father used to say when he wanted to goad me on and stay focused, I have to “stick with the program.” And hopefully, in using his phrase, I’ll be able to illustrate the importance of doing so can help everybody, not just people with ADHD or other learning and neurological disabilities.
Some times he said it with a gazed look off into the window whenever I did something incredibly dumb, that both of us, including the one getting chewed out for, knew was dumb and I had to “punt” on points of pride. Don’t feel bad or that your pride and self-esteem has been damaged beyond repair when this happens. And don’t forget to tell your kids to avoid the “hang dog” look and guilt that comes with it. Learn from it, use it and determine to move forward with the knowledge you’ve gained as quickly as possible.
The more we do this, the better it gets. Well, that’s nice, but what if you’re hanging in limbo after one slump, one flubbed opportunity, one screw up and embarrassment after another? And it doesn’t seem to end? Take a breather, but not for long. And remember this, no matter how painful it was to hear “get with the program,” or take a bad afternoon’s worth of cold shoulder and hot tongue therapy from your spouse and just plain avoidance from your kids and even the family dog(s) … it’s not permanent, or doesn’t have to be. And what I’ve just described for home applies at work, school or the ball field.
If others who don’t know us, what we’re made of that makes us who we are, or doesn’t even care to learn more about us, and let’s face it, this covers most of society — could care less about our quirks and difficulties adjusting to life every day with ADHD, so what. Just say to yourself, “So what?” Don’t let others presume any rights to destroy your self-confidence, and with that, your right to choose your path in life. If you do, then be prepared for the consequences, some of which can be life-long and very detrimental to your self-confidence, self-esteem, whatever we want to call it. Don’t let others steal your life’s lunch right from under your nose. We can try to prevent back-stabbing and not always succeed, but by and large we can and must work to succeed in pushing back anybody else from stealing what’s inside you. They don’t have that right now or never had it unless they conned us through seductive praises only to be followed by humiliating verbal or written attacks. Be always on your guard for this and be prepared to push back immediately and with class. Always with class and don’t betray any foul thoughts or words. Always be the one in control of your circumstances as best you can and don’t let them control you. This kind of self mastery is gold. Pure gold. And this golden gift that God seeks all of us to possess just enough of to master our own emotions and cravings for … whatever, especially in excess … is far too priceless to ignore and let go to waste. This is how to guard your self esteem.