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What It's Really Like When You're an Adult With ADHD

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My attention-deficit disorder/hyperactivity disorder(ADHD) is an everyday promise to myself to be better and more organized. Then the days come where everything is a mess and motivation is the hardest part to find. If I don’t put important dates in a dairy the minute you tell me, I will most likely forget about them. I’ve forgotten birthdays and family events, countless doctors appointments and even dates to catch up with friends. It makes me feel inadequate and awful.

The simplest of tasks for most people become the hardest of tasks for me. When I was younger it was a battle to clean my room and not get distracted by noise outside, the toy I found under my bed or something I had to tell mum right then and there. Now as an adult, it could take me a whole day just to clean the house and do the laundry. I also have to remember to actually hang the clothes out and not just put them into the washing machine as a final destination. But it eventually gets done, even if it takes me all day.

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When I am having a conversation with someone, it takes all of my will power to actually listen properly. While my mind is processing the string of words you’re saying to me at 100 miles an hour, I’m already coming up with what I’m going to reply with next… I’m also thinking about the weather, next week’s appointment, the kids over there playing loudly and practically anything that is or could be distracting. There is so much overwhelming information passing through that sometimes I will forget what you just said. I will maybe ask you five or 10 minutes later the same question you just answered while my mind was somewhere else. I am not being rude. I care about what you are saying, but my brain is determined to keep me off track.

As I muddle through life the best way I can, I wonder who else is struggling with these issues. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one, but that’s only because in my circle I don’t know many other people with ADHD. I often place unrealistic expectations on myself after watching other people seemingly manage life so easily, but I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I know other people have their problems too, any maybe they are not as profound or prominent as mine. Some people will try and dismiss my condition and say, “I forget things all the time too,” or, “Don’t worry I’m like that as well.” But I don’t think we should be comparing ourselves to each other, or dismissing another person’s condition because we are all different.

If you also have ADHD I want you to know you are not alone. There is another person out there struggling just like you may be. Remember to be kind to yourself and let’s keep trying our best to get by.

Photo credit: bunditinay/Getty Images

Originally published: February 4, 2019
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