Songwriter Tom Petty wrote that “the waiting is the hardest part,” and while that may be true in relationships, there is little doubt that for millions of people struggling with mental issues, addiction, and or even making positive change, starting is the hardest part.
You may have heard the moral judgement people make about ADD, “You’re so smart, it’s a shame you don’t try harder.” It’s important to turn this morality into ADD truth: you know what to do, but you have trouble doing it. You succeed at the classic definition of insanity: you keep doing the same things and keep getting the same results. Never mind that ADD probably keeps you from doing the same things exactly the same way.
Never mind that people sometimes avoid what they know is best because they can’t face the perceived pain of change. Never mind that change is hard, but so is re-living the pain.Human nature is such that substantial change comes in a moment of crisis, when the pain is such that you either give in and despair or take the most important, essential step, which is to acknowledge the pain.
This is the first step of the classic 12-step program, but it is also the first of the Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths that “life is suffering.” In the West, it may be viewed as a “dark night of the soul” or a Biblical “cry in the wilderness.” I think it’s important to let your spiritual self that dwells with emotions encounter the pain, which is emotion, on its own terms. Doing so allows you to see that you are not ADD and ADD is not you: ADD is something you can choose to deal with.
I reached a moment where I was tired of feeling like a victim, where I was tired of feeling like an observer in my own life, and where I simply wanted to change. The East may see it as a moment of enlightenment. The West may see it as a moment of salvation. I prefer satori, a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, “comprehension; understanding”, but you can simply call it knowing.
The ADD brain finds inspiration in all sorts of places: the G.I. Joe cartoon characters used to give kids advice like, “Don’t accept a ride from a stranger,” and they always ended by saying, “Now you know… and knowing is half the battle!” They were right, because knowing is the first step to owning.
You must own ADD in order to change.
Tim Justice is a 61 year-old local technical writer who dealt with major depression for years only to come to realize the depression was a major outcome of his ADD trials and frustration. Although relatively late in life, he stays on the journey of self realization while striving for compassion.
#adhdawarenessmonth #adhd #oneof15m