“Thank You for Loving Me When I Hate Myself.”
A woman with ADHD writes a thank you note to her non-ADHD husband — for believing in her, for being her calm in the midst of an emotional storm, and for always putting the keys in the same place.
1. Thank you for putting your keys in the same place every day. And processing the mail as soon as you look at it. I’ve watched you work, and I try to follow your ways.
2. Thank you for not being angry with me when I forget to pick up the suit you needed for your business trip. Or when there is no orange juice, milk, or coffee because I forgot to buy them, even though they were on the list that was in the palm of my hand.
3. Thank you for loving me when I hate myself.
4. Thank you for getting out of my way and letting me work at my crazy pace. I work great under pressure. In fact, it’s my favorite way to function. The excitement energizes me and sparks my creative circuits; I know it makes you crazy.
5. Thank you for waiting patiently while I get ready to go out. You sit and read the paper while I say I’m ready, but then forget my phone, fill my water-to-go cup, and look for my sunglasses.
6. Thank you for putting up with me daily. Thank you for loving me, in spite of all the idiosyncrasies that you cannot understand about me. That’s true love.
[Self-Test: Could You Have ADHD?]
7. Thank you for tolerating my intense emotions. I feel, think, and express passionately. My tone of voice is sometimes hard to hear, but I appreciate when you answer me calmer — or wisely refrain from answering me at all.
8. Thank you for being my brakes. Even though I might often complain that you are too bossy, over-organized, and inflexibly scheduled, I need the structure you bring to my life. I need you to stop me when I’m moving too fast, and help me re-prioritize when I’m out of control.
9. Thank you for not complaining about my constant complaining about the lumps, bumps, tags, and fabrics or the temperature in the room. I feel what others cannot feel, and you seem to understand that.
10. Thank you for not making me walk through crowds or go on chair lifts. Thank you for letting me try out four tables in a restaurant before I find the right one.
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11. Thank you for shutting off the late news at night so I don’t have to go to bed with frightening visions in my head.
12. Thank you for being quiet when I’m loud. For being calm, when I’m going crazy.
13. Thank you being a “grounded” reality to balance out my fantastical visions. And thank you for recognizing when my visions are actually helpful and contain truly great ideas.
14. Thank you for being my rock (more like a boulder) to lean on when I just want to sit down and cry because I am overwhelmed and can’t carry the burden alone.
15. Thank you for giving me your silent “everything is going to be fine” look when my heart is pounding fast and my mind is battling a panic attack. Sometimes words are unnecessary.
16. Thank you for believing in me when I don’t. I can accomplish great things. I can do what I don’t believe I can, with your help.
17. Thank you for choosing me in marriage. I bring you impulsive moments, laughter, and a perspective you would never see without my vision. Thank you for letting me be in charge of the 4 Fs: family, feelings, food, and fun.
18. Thank you for filling in my blanks, and letting me fill in yours.
[Read This Next: What is the Key to a Good Relationship Between ADHD and Non-ADHD Partners?]