Embrace Your ADHD Brain

Embrace it? Don’t we need to fix it?

I will be writing about the many aspects of having ADHD, and how to, yes, actually embrace it.

Labeling ourselves as ADHD is just one way of describing what we experience–and how others experience us. It is one way of getting a handle on what we struggle with. But the process of working with ourselves, and achieving what we want in life, can be a gentle one. Getting to know ourselves should always, always be a kind process, even if you discover patterns you wish to alter.

Medication, neurofeedback, and other treatments may go a long way to make the ADHD brain more workable, but learning self-management skills is still important. Everyone needs to learn self-management skills, but they are particularly challenging for ADHDers:

  • how not to lose your keys
  • how not to over-commit
  • how to get places on time without feeling stressed out
  • how to prioritize
  • how to finish a project
  • how to manage spending
  • how to say “I’m sorry” and actually do better next time…
  • how not to beat up on yourself

In my life I’ve had difficulty with the above and more, and my jobs, friendships and other relationships have been affected by it. Now that I’m managing a chronic illness–a job in itself–I find it challenging in new ways to balance emotionality, inspiration and practicality. I have to maintain gentle awareness of how to conserve my energy for the long haul. I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned over the years about managing my mind. It’s all useful.

We’re all capable of learning and training our crazy brains. By applying strategies consistently we are actually reshaping the brain. (Neuroscience is telling us that all of our experiences are shaping the brain. That’s a sobering thought….)

We all deserve to feel like we can function in the world. More than that, I believe that if we are inspired to do great things in life, we need to be the very best we can be.

Learning some strategies doesn’t eliminate the wonderful aspects of being a creative thinker, and doesn’t eliminate the core ADHD tendencies, either. Enhancing our strengths and learning some self-management strategies may be easier than you think.

There are pitfalls to self-improvement. The main one is not believing that you’re already basically good. We ADHDers are not fundamentally flawed. No one is. This should not become a beating-up-on-the-ADHD-self program. Remember kindness to oneself in the beginning, middle, and end. We have to maintain our sense of humor–by which I mean the lightness with which we hold our thoughts about ourselves.To be more helpful to others and achieve more in this life, having a light touch and maintaining kindness for ourselves are keys to success.

I plan to write more about specific challenges and strategies. I welcome your comments:

  • Do you have ADHD?
  • Do you have a significant other with ADHD?
  • Do you have ADHD clients?
  • What challenges do you encounter?
  • What have you found to be helpful?

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