I kinda hate that “I’m so ADD” has become a thing to say. Because chances are, you’re not. You may have forgotten something or even some things, because you’re really busy. Or you might be distracted, because there sure are a lot of things vying for your attention these days. Or you may just be feeling like it’s tough to focus on what you should be doing because you’re thinking about everything else you need to do, too. That’s all pretty normal. But that’s not AD(H)D.
I know. I do. Chances are also pretty good that you don’t mean it to be hurtful, and that you don’t realize the pain and frustration and turmoil that actually being “so ADD” causes. You probably haven’t given much thought to what it would be like to have relationships impacted by the incapacitating inability to listen and engage in conversations or decision-making, or to have a career influenced by what you can’t do rather than what you can.
Sometimes I look at the things Avi does and says and I wonder, is he just being five or is he being like his mother? I see patterns in his behavior and I worry, is that a kid thing or a me thing? And I hear us “get in trouble” for the same types of things – and use the same excuses – and sometimes, it scares me.
I spent the first 25 years of my life developing reasonably successful techniques to work around my deficiencies. I’ve spent the past six years (with occasional breaks due to pregnancy and outright irresponsibility) on medication. The difference to me, and the people I’m closest to, is remarkable. But I was a adult when I made that decision. I could articulate the way I felt before and after to my doctor, my partner, my self.
It’s waaaaaaaaay too early to be freaking out about my awesome kid and the possible chance he’s inherited some of my less desirable traits. So I’m not. I try to keep my sometimes-thoughts in check and focus on all the incredibly great things he does that are entirely, totally 100% not like me. And the good stuff from me, too, of course! I’m not being intentionally self-deprecating here. It will be something we discover about him like every other thing he does and he is – and like everything else we will love him and support him and help him grow to be an awesome adult, too.
But maybe I’m feeling a little extra vulnerable the night before my baby starts kindergarten, ya know?