I just got back from the 2015 CHADD conference. No matter how great the key note speakers and experts from around the country, for me the conference is about the community. When we come together the energy, enthusiasm and connection are palpable.
Beginning with the opening plenary and through the very last breakout session there is an air of acceptance. However and whenever you show up is ok, no apologies necessary. This is a group of people who, for the most part, have walked in your shoes. Their children aren’t perfect, they face daily challenges that most people don’t even notice, they have fallen down and picked themselves up more times then they can remember. Survival stories are shared. Most of all, we learn that we are not alone.
When 1000 people affected by ADHD come together, no one thinks twice if you come in late or leave early. It’s par for the course when you tell someone “I forgot your name” or ask “what did you just say?” We can laugh about the near misses and close calls. We commiserate about our hopes for our children and our relationship challenges. We talk about how to keep our brains and our lives functioning, the tips we’ve learned along the way and how to keep a handle on our emotions.
We are constantly striving to get more sleep and exercise, practice mindfulness and eat better. We have gone to battle to make sure our children get a fair shake in school. We struggle to be better communicators, be in better relationships.
We connect, talk, commiserate, laugh, and cry. We are understood and accepted.
Very often, in our everyday lives we are surrounded by the neurotypical folks who don’t understand our struggles that we are working twice as hard to keep up and be “normal.” It’s nice to come together at least once a year and be able to show up just the way you are.
Sending warm wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
#ADHD #CHADD2015 #oneof15m