If you read my last post, you know that I have almost every symptom of ADHD. Although ADHD isn’t life-threatening, I like to think of it as socially life-threatening. In my next two posts, I want to give you a glimpse of how it affected my life from the first signs until now.
The first signs of ADHD in my life were when I was in elementary school. I used to get “Unsatisfactory” on report card for using my time wisely. Part of it was due to my ability to comprehend things really well. I would finish my work then draw until it was time to go. I used my creativity to challenge myself. Unfortunately, being creative isn’t always considered an acceptable way to use spare time. My teachers saw it as me not taking advantage of the time and studying, but it was how I dealt with the boredom and lack of challenge.
I had a hard time focusing and prioritizing because ADHD makes everything seem important. Only a few things seemed important enough to hyper-focus on in my life. If I wasn’t creating something or solving a puzzle, I couldn’t stay focused.
By the time I reached high school, I was a master of compensating for my symptoms. I could compensate for them really well, but I couldn’t hide them completely. One great example was how I dealt with my most obvious symptom–laziness.
I had figured out that I could get away with doing little to no homework, but make up for it on the tests. One time, one of my classmates got fed up with my lack of effort and said to me, “Why don’t you just do your work? You’re smart enough. We try so hard to understand it, but you don’t even try.” I didn’t take their advice because I was already convinced that I didn’t have to. It wasn’t until I failed my first semester of calculus that I realized I needed to put more effort into my homework. Nothing really changed, though. I still only did enough to get by with a decent grade.
It still amazes me how deep this disorder rooted itself into my life without even realizing it.
In my next post, I’ll talk about my life from college until now and address more of the social aspect of ADHD on my life. I didn’t want to overload you with too much at once. Some people, like me, don’t have the attention span for long posts. 🙂