Hi. My name is Andrew, and I have ADHD.
It’s not something I’ve always been comfortable saying nor always been willing to admit. But there it is.
I’d like to take you on the journey of one man with ADHD, my journey; during which I have learned just how much I didn’t know. My journey of self-awareness, resentment, and struggle.
It is a cobblestone walkway, made of Ritalin, parenthood, food and exercise (and the unhealthy quantities of each). My path of personalities, triggers, lost friends, and social awkwardness that has brought me to this moment.
“My name is Andrew, and I have ADHD.”
It’s not easy to say because sometimes I want to share this with the world, and sometimes I’m afraid of what might happen if people find out.
I spent all my childhood, adolescence, and young adult years hiding my reliance on medication, denying that I was different, with different needs and different abilities than all the “normal” people around me.
Back then …
I never really paid much attention to the things that worked or the things that didn’t. I had temper and anxiety triggers which, looking back, I must have completely ignored, or I was really naïve.
I only knew how to resent what was wrong with me.
I now know that there is nothing wrong with me, I am simply unique; just like everyone else.
When I was young and single I wanted to deny everything. But something changed when I got married.
A big change.
I got married when I was twenty-five, and within the year we had a baby. This was my 2nd daughter, but the first time I had a kid in the house every day.
The stress from work and parenthood had me angry and anxious more than I had ever been. For the first time, comorbid disorders came out and dominated my life.
By this time I was back on meds, but still hated them. I talked to my doctor and my wife and, yes, my boss; and decided it was time to take this seriously. I slowly weaned myself off.
But this was different
This time I did more. My wife and I took the time to reflect on my behavior, anxiety, and self-discipline. In the process of learning more about myself, I realized there was a lot I had been blind to, and I decided to take notes.
Notes became my first blog, thinking I was going to make a bit of money. I made $0, but gained so much more. I learned about ADHD. I learned about myself. I met people who changed my life.
A community found
People like Jennie Friedman, Tom Nardone, Eric Tivers, and Justine Ruotolo have helped me to better understand myself and ADHD. With their help and camaraderie I have battled, accepted, and learned to live with my ADHD.
I’ve tried diets, medications, and exercise to be healthier and to cope; sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, but always learning.
And now …
Now, with Jennie’s help, over the next few weeks/months, I will share what I’ve experienced being diagnosed at 5 years old, spending 2 decades dealing with Ritalin and Resentment, and finally accepting and embracing my differences.
Throughout it all, the most important thing I can share is this: you are not alone. It may very well be that no one completely understands you, but in that we are in the same boat as many others.
We’ve all been misunderstood, and we’ve all struggled in our own way. I look forward to sharing my story with you.
My name is Andrew. I was diagnosed with ADD at the age of five, and have grown up with it. This is the window through which I discover more about ADHD. The pages on the newsfeed are my favorite ADHD related pages, so that I may, in turn, directly share with others those things which I find relevant, useful, or just plain goofy.
~ Andrew Wilcox