“I Thought I Was a Crazy Kid”
Read what British musician and recording artist Loyle Carner has to say about growing up with ADHD — and coming to terms with it as an adult.
I was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia when I was in school. I was seen as a disruptive idiot in class — I couldn’t focus and I couldn’t spell. I had no worth at school. Parents would talk to my mum and say, “My son’s not allowed to sit next to yours anymore.” My friends would come into school in the morning and say, “Sorry, we can’t hang out anymore, because my mum said you’re going to get me in trouble.”
I thought I was a wrong and crazy kid, and no one else understood me. If I could have looked at someone who was 20 with ADHD, it would have put things in perspective. I didn’t know anyone older with ADHD, and I didn’t know what prospects I had or what I could accomplish.
Medication didn’t work for me. I was a zombie. I didn’t eat and I couldn’t socialize or make music. For me, it was about figuring out that [having ADHD] wasn’t a bad thing. I was good at having ADHD. It makes me who I am — it’s the only reason I can make music, play shows, and make people laugh.
I came to see ADHD as a superpower. I feel deeply, and I am emotionally charged and impulsive because of it. I’m energetic because of it. I didn’t try to fix my ADHD, because it’s not something that needs to be fixed.