Guest Blogs

“You’re Not ADHD: You’re a Blonde”

My friends had no trouble identifying what was different about me, but getting an official diagnosis was harder than I thought.

When my son was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD), the inattentive kind, it put me on my own path to understanding my own attention pitfalls. As hard as it was to get him sorted out at fifteen, my own out-sorting has been even more challenging. This post begins a new, intermittent (naturally) series about trying to get to my own diagnosis.

I hear stories all the time about how quickly doctors prescribe Adderall and Ritalin to anyone who seems a little distracted. But there are those of us out there who wear our difference so naturally that it becomes part of our personality.

Here is a list of character traits that have been assigned to me (mostly fondly, to my good fortune), and to so many others who may be secret ADHD sufferers.

[Self-Test: ADHD Symptoms in Women and Girls]

1. Quirky

2. Weird

3. Chatty

4. A Social Butterfly

5. Naturally Stoned

6. Lazy

7. Unmotivated

8. Half-a*ed

9. Spontaneous

10. Flexible

11. Energetic

12. Distracted

13. Spacey

14. Space Cadet

15. A Dreamer

16. A Visionary

17. In My Own World

18. On My Own Planet

19. In La La Land

20. Moody

21. A Temperamental Female

22. A Bit Nuts

23. Bubbly

24. Ditzy

25. Dizzy

26. Blonde (…my personal favorite)

OKAY! I can own that! My blonde hair twists and curls chaotically, in every direction – not unlike the mind underneath it.

Blondes have more fun, right? And, because they help me laugh at my own moments of idiocy, I am often amused by jokes about people being dumb. Songs, too. (“Cuz I’m a blonde – B-L-A-N-D! / cuz I’m a blonde – don’t you wish you were me?” – Downtown Julie Brown)

[Not Ditzy. Not Lazy. And Definitely Not Dumb.]

My favorite blonde joke, for those of you who still remember Wite-Out and Liquid Paper, goes like this:

Q: How can you tell a Blonde has been using your computer?

A: The little white marks on the screen.

A funny image to be sure, but the message behind this joke is actually deeply relevant to the ADD journey: until you get the right diagnosis, all the corrections you TRY to make can’t really solve the problem.