Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) don’t dwell on why things go wrong in our lives. We are too busy moving on to the next shiny thing. ADD/ADHD medication helps us slow down our racing thoughts, so we can ask, “Is this the best thing for me to be doing?” or “Is this the right thing to say?” Writing about our ADD/ADHD lets us take things to a higher level. We can analyze our behaviors — and misbehaviors — and pinpoint how ADD/ADHD symptoms contribute to the problems in our lives.
I used to come home from work, in my dress clothes and high heels, and head straight to my rock garden to weed. After an hour, my dress was soiled, my stockings ripped, and my shoes trashed. Writing about this impulsive habit allowed me to see my behavior objectively. It made me realize I should change my clothes before working in the yard. Of course, making that discovery didn’t make clothes-changing a habit. I had to train my brain to get into my gardening garb.
The more I write about my ADD/ADHD challenges, the more I learn about why things — at work, in relationships — don’t go well. Writing makes me examine something I used to accept as another bad day, instead of just replaying the day in my mind and chastising myself for poor performance. Over time, writing has reduced the burdens of falling short of my own, or other people’s, expectations by giving me the perspective to make changes.