Mind Coach NOLA on "Isn't Everyone a Little ADHD?"

A line I often hear is “Well, isn’t everyone a little ADHD?” It’s usually followed by something along the lines of, “I can never remember anything anymore.” Or, “I have trouble keeping track of everyone’s schedules.” Or, “I sometimes lose stuff, too.” Yes, all of that is normal because NOBODY is perfect. And yes, life brings on more challenges as we grow up and get more responsibilities. And it’s hard to keep up with the technology and availability to incessant communication. And as we grow up, we get more stuff, and having more stuff means that it’s hard to keep track of it. And if you had a baby, well, a chunk of your brain flew out with the placenta. Didn’t anyone tell you that?

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But none of that is having a true ADHD diagnosis. Having ADHD means your brain is wired differently. It means your internal clock has only two times: Now and Not Now. It means you have a million ideas flying around in your brain, and most of them are ideas that will make the world a better place. It means you notice things others don’t, full of meaning and importance. And hardly any of this is valued in the standardized, normalized world of neurotypicals, the world that values timeliness, order, practicality and productivity. So for an ADHDer, trying (and sometimes failing) to adjust is really, really hard. It’s hard in a different way than just, “Dang. Where’s the matching sock?”

So to the ADHDers I say: Life is hard for neurotypicals, too. They also need to plan and write stuff down and keep a calendar and organize their stuff. That’s just the way to adult. To the neurotypicals: Life for someone with ADHD is even harder. They have to adult, too. And it does NOT come naturally. But you know what? It can also be more fun. Who wants matching socks anyway?