In Their Words
This ADHDer has learned the secret of making attention deficit work for him: shoring up his self-esteem by developing his talents.
I started taking Ritalin in first grade, and my behavior went from out of control to focused. My grades went from horrible to great. But I didn’t feel like myself. So I struggled through the years, deciding to take medication and going off of it. My behavior has been up and down because of this.
I could focus when I played the piano. My low self-esteem improved a lot in high school after I performed in the talent show and got an ovation. I developed confidence in myself. The nice thing about playing the piano for a living is that I get to make my own rules.
I outgrew my hyperactivity, but I still have trouble with impulsiveness and focus. This has hurt my relationships. But I’m getting better. I am now able to know when I shouldn’t say something. I count to five, and that usually keeps me from blurting things out.
I advise ADHD adults to find and pursue their passions. Most important, embrace your ADHD and make it work for you. Don’t spend time wishing you were normal.