Congratulations on being you!

honey-brown300I read a wonderful article the other day in the Weekend Australian Magazine (April 20-21) about a woman who has recently become a recognised author, and this BECAUSE of a disability rather than IN SPITE of it. Honey Brown (her real name, proposed by her dad after seeing a great ad for honey on a galvanised iron shed over 40 years ago!) was left a paraplegic after being crushed by a cow on their farm in Victoria, 5 years ago, when her children were still little. She describes her depression that followed, and the loss of her identity.

None of this, of course, is the wonderful bit. Not the disability nor the depression, not the coming to terms with life in a wheelchair nor even the discovery of being able to express herself in the written word. Neither is it the fact that her husband had to take on a completely different role for a few years, caring for her and the children (although that in itself IS pretty wonderful!).

No, the wonderful bit is Honey’s realisation from a very young age, that she was creative and that this trait, this gift, was still HER. Growing up, she was always thinking and wondering “what if”, about things that were not her current reality. She describes being distracted by her thoughts about the “what if’s” more than being engaged with present tense life experiences, regardless of how positive or emotional those experiences were. She was happy enough growing up, with an eccentric dad and a nurturing mum, and felt loved by family and friends, but her creativity came from her thoughts, her imagination, her pondering on the “what if’s”.

Her eloquent description of her entire thought process made me think about people with Adult ADD. Perhaps Honey herself has ADD (but grew up in a time when labels were not given!). Her thinking has been a way of life, and has provided her with creativity and resilience, determination and bravery – although she writes “If overcoming adversity is a brave act, then bravery is natural in all of us.”

So it is with people with ADD – often they realise they are different to others, and are criticised or ridiculed by others as “big dreamers”, and they are made to feel they have ‘something’ that they have to overcome. Honey writes, “I .. have an inability to recall anything that I can’t have an emotional connection to. Maybe it’s because I spent so much time thinking outside the box, or maybe the reason I do is because the wiring inside it is frustrating to use.”

So to all those who struggle, whose thoughts distract them from their present tense, to those who are constantly thinking outside the box, or dreaming big dreams and planning big plans, to those who can’t remember and who keep being distracted, don’t let the irritation of others get you down! Know this is who you are, and your creativity gives you a personality. Congratulations on being you! And thank you to Honey Brown for your brilliance in putting this down in words.

Read More – The Accidental Author by Honey Brown >>

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Who else is constantly thinking “What if?”. Let me know if you relate to what Honey Brown has described about her own inner musings.

Whole Hearted ADHD

This guest post is by Jacqueline Sinfield of Untapped Brilliance.

whole hearted adhdDr. Brene Brown studied human connection for over 6 years. During that time she realized that connection isn’t something that can be studied in isolation. Love, belonging and worthiness are all intertwined with the connection.  Dr. Brown discovered there are 2 types of people.

The first type she named “The whole hearted”. These people have a strong sense of love and belonging . The second type struggle for a sense of love and belonging.

Interestingly the difference between the 2 groups is that people who have a strong sense of love and belonging BELIEVE they are worthy of love and belonging.

Adults with ADHD are exceptional, sensitive, kind, and emotionally open people. However often, because of rejections and hurts starting all the way back to kindergarten, they often  don’t believe they are worthy of love and feel disconnected from those around them. This can lead to loneliness, depression, and low self esteem.

Since human connection gives our life meaning, keeps us sane, happy, healthy and is the vital for meaningful relationships, its worth learning the commonalities that the ‘whole hearted’ people have.

Watch the video here:

1. Courage to be imperfect.

They let people ‘see’ them, warts and all. Very often we try to hide what we consider to be our imperfections. Yet despite our best efforts, people can see who we really are. Its tiring to keep up the facade, and it puts a barrier between you and those around you, because you don’t want people to get too close in case they discover the truth.

2. Compassionate to themselves.

In order to be compassionate to others you need to be kind and compassionate to yourself first. People with ADHD are really bad at being compassionate to themselves. They are so hard on themselves, they expect so much of themselves and when they don’t match those high standards, they become very critical.

3. They’re authentic.

They let go of who they think they should be, and be who they actually are. This can mean we have to stop our ego from ruling us and start to listen to our bodies and hearts.

4. Embrace vulnerability

They believe that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. This is quite different from the common western thought pattern that values being strong and independent. Yet it takes tremendous strength and courage to put yourself  ‘out there’ every day. You may find yourself feeling exposed without your armour on if you start to do this. Yet when you do, you have the rewards of amazing connections with all those dearest to you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacquline SinfieldAs well as being a registered nurse, Jacqueline Sinfield is a qualified counselor, has a degree in psychology (Hons) from London, England and is a graduate of Coach University. Her expertise has been featured in the media, including CJAD radio and the Montreal Gazette.

Her first ADHD book, “Untapped Brilliance: How to Reach your Full Potential as an Adult with ADHD”,  has been endorsed by Dr. Hallowell and Dr. Gabor Mate. She also has her own radio show which airs every Monday.

She has helped hundreds of adults with ADHD all around the world and lives in her all time favorite city, Montreal, Canada.

Printed With Permission.

Talk on Adult ADD

Talk on Adult ADD
I have been asked to speak to a group of mental health professionals (mainly psychologists and social workers, possibly some GPs or psychiatrists) next week about Adult ADD. I have an hour. And my dilemma is, I don’t know what my focus should be in this hour.

I could tell them about the neurobiology of Attention Deficit Disorder, how it really is a neurological condition and it really does impact on the way a person thinks and behaves. I could show them diagrams of the brain and the faulty thought patterns that arise due to insufficient dopamine. I could then explain why the ADD person gets stimulated by doing things that are new or exciting, fun, challenging, interesting, fast, illicit or reckless.

Or perhaps I should give examples of how Adult ADD impacts on close relationships, how, if you are the one with ADD, your tactless comments, thoughtless behaviour and sharp bursts of anger, cause loved ones to withdraw and start to resent you. Chances are, you are not even aware that you are doing it. And if your partner tries to speak to you about it, you will deny it, because you do not even remember acting in that way. Her criticism hurts you. You may think she is exaggerating, and anyway, she should just “get over it”, like you do.

Perhaps it would be best to role play what it is like to BE a person with Adult ADD, so that non-ADDs can understand what my ADD brain feels like. How it is always thinking, and I can’t switch it off, which explains why I have trouble getting to sleep at night. How my brain feels like it has many streams of thought all at once, like TV channels. I go from channel to channel, finding the most interesting topic, which explains why I tune out sometimes when others are speaking, and I often make random, irrelevant comments.

The worst thing is the anxiety. It seems that everything I think about, has a possible negative outcome. I am constantly thinking ‘what if?’, and playing out scenarios in my head of all the things that may go wrong. Similarly, I feel as though I could be and should be doing better than I am. Regardless of what I have achieved, I still feel as though I have not reached my potential. There is so much inside of me that I can’t explain, I often feel I want to burst! It is SO FRUSTRATING. It feels like an anger, a restlessness, inside me.

No. I’ve decided. I will tell them a summary of all the above, and then focus on the GOOD things about Adult ADD. How ADDs have a zest for life and heaps of energy (most of the time!). How they are creative and think outside the box. How they are persistent, sometimes stubborn, even when they should just quit. How they can get involved with a project that interests them and get totally absorbed, and end up with a brilliant outcome. How they can be funny, and the life of the party. I will tell them how to help ADDs unwrap their gift of potential, and be proud of who they are.

Coping With Marriage And ADHD

Today’s Relationships – Meredith Vieira’s Interview with Dr. Edward Hallowell and Melissa Orlov

Gold Coast Counsellor Karen Gosling specialises in helping couples adapt to each other’s personality and quirks, including behaviours associated with Adult ADD (ADHD). She teaches couples to celebrate the difference where Adult ADD (ADHD) is impacting on the relationship.

Over time, once you know about ADD you can challenge each other to re-examine long-held expectations about gender roles, relationships, and your own core issues.  Partners need to detach a bit from the behavior and focus on themselves for a while. Often the partner can stop taking things so personally.

Get Karen’s Help With Adult ADD Counselling >>