Hi! It’s me again – Laura. If you’ve ever read any of my previous articles, you have most likely noticed my exuberant approach to writing, as well as life in general.
In person, my countenance is even more enthusiastic. I credit this to the unique way that God designed me, knowing that he delights in my excitability and curiosity, however a few years ago I started thinking about these traits that didn’t fit it with “normal” people that I knew.
Initially, I really struggled because it made me feel alone; like no one else existed and functioned the same way I did. I was also confused, because I didn’t know why I was like this, nor did I know anyone who could relate or explain.
One day, I came across a short video about people with ADHD and how to use ADHD as a strength rather than a weakness. This peaked my curiosity (no surprise), so I pressed play.
After the first few minutes into the video, I started to cry.
In just a few minutes, my unexplainable characteristics that isolated me and confused me found a home. After a lifetime of confusion and questioning why, I finally had an explanation. I could finally begin to understand what my brain was doing, why it was doing it and how to use it to my own advantage.
The refreshment and liberty that this newfound understanding of my brain gave me was life changing and instead of feeling limited by this thing called “ADHD,” I felt so free.
(Disclaimer: I don’t encourage self-diagnosis; it’s not a credible way to diagnose an illness or disorder. I was confident that I had ADHD after having such an overwhelming relatable experience, so after extensive research, I asked a psychologist for an assessment who officially diagnosed it.)
The power of understanding yourself
The more I found out about ADHD, the more empowered I felt. Every strength I read about told me, “You’re unique, but it’s okay! It’s a gift.” Every weakness I read about proved to me that I wasn’t crazy – my brain is chemically different to a typical brain which causes different symptoms, like difficulty focusing, disorganisation and forgetfulness.
Understanding this made me feel way less ashamed and confused. There are other people like me! And even more, there are other people like me who are excelling and doing incredible things despite and even because of their ADHD. It’s a million times easier to be confident in who you are when you see others like you owning who they are so well!
Along with a great sense of belonging, because I now knew what the problem (cognitive issue) was, I knew how to strengthen and work with it. So not only did the discovery of ADHD help my self-image, it also inspired me to strengthen and improve my ADHD-typical traits: disorganisation, impulsivity and restlessness.
By practicing organisation in the small things, like making lists, setting aside time for scheduling etc, I am now a much more organised person. After using meditation and speaking with the Holy Spirit, I am much lest restless. Practicing these traits over and over has changed my life; I’m still me, but I know how to function and manage my mind so much better!
Funnily enough, I work as an Administration Assistant, so organising and time management is what I get payed for… My job has really helped me to practice and strengthen these skills which most ADHDers lack!
The power of understanding others
As I said, understanding my own ADHD helped me so much, but it is surprisingly blurry in the public view. I know that if the people around me knew more about ADHD, it would open their eyes to a whole new world of cognitive processing, let alone help me feel less insane!
According to ADHD Institute, it is estimated that 3.4% of the global population live with ADHD. That’s 272 million people; if you haven’t already, you will surely encounter plenty of people living with ADHD (diagnosed and undiagnosed) in your lifetime.
Since ADHD affects so many people, it is worth getting to know.
Why? Well, to be able to empathise and understand one another is a gift; a gift the Bible regards highly.
“Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, But the discipline of fools is folly.” (Proverbs chapter 16, verse 22)
In studying the ADHD mind, you can uncover so many hidden treasures. Creativity and invention run wild through the ADHD brain, with deep passion and emotion close behind. An intrigued and captivated ADHD mind has the ability to hyper-focus on a task and complete it in record time.
Getting to know the strengths of ADHD or someone with it, will change your life for the better, no matter how many ADHDers are in your life.
The power of patience
ADHD can be a hassle, but it is also a massive blessing. ADHD has been a massive struggle for me, and I know it’s also been hard for close family and friends in my life. My tendency to forget plans, miscalculating my arrival by over an hour or my inability to listen to them in a crowded room are not the best friend-making characteristics. Thankfully, the people in my life are incredibly patient with me. And I’m learning to be patient with myself too.
If you have someone with ADHD in your life – or even if you don’t yet – please, learn more about ADHD! You’ll benefit just as much as your ADHDer. Patience and understanding are powerful tools, and once you get past the forgetfulness and fidgeting, you’ll realise how much of a gift your ADHDer is to you and to the world.
Laura Miles is an excitable and fast-paced Brit, living in Australia. After committing to studying, she is expectant and excited to see all the crazy things that the Lord is going to do in her life.