My husband shared something with me last week that was a bit unsettling. He had just gotten home from a quick business trip to North Carolina (he doesn’t usually travel) and when I asked if the process of flying and luggage and check-ins and plane delays was overwhelming, this was his response:
Husband: ‘Hear me out, it’s not what you think. I’m just saying, the tornado in my brain would be over. I would no longer feel like I was always behind, always restless, always living life in reverse.‘ I was stunned. He quickly followed up with ‘Obviously, I don’t WANT that. I would never want you or the boys to be in pain and experience that. It’s just, until you live with ADHD, one can never understand the constant mental exhaustion. The motor in your brain never turns off.‘
If you’ve ever wondered what it literally feels like to have ADHD, well, there you have it. I appreciated my husband’s honesty. They were tough words to hear, yet woke me up a bit. I thought I had a good idea of what someone with ADHD endures, but the magnitude is much more than I imagined. How the thought of not having to THINK about anything (let alone 20 things) actually seemed like…a break. Some relief. It reminded me of my role in all of this: To be mindful of his journey at times when my patience grows thin. He carries a heavy load.
What about your kids? How would they describe their ADHD? I recently posed that question and received some interesting responses.
It’s like having all the tabs open on my iPad.
My thoughts get noisy.
It is too much to describe in one sentence.
My brain goes back and forth and makes me feel stupid.
I don’t know, it is just normal to me.
ADHD makes me feel tired all the time.
It means always being blamed for things I don’t really understand.
It means feeling different than others.
It means losing recess a lot.
It means I forget things all the time. I don’t like that I do that.
My brain is having a party.
The traffic controller is asleep at a busy intersection.
Honest descriptions from some innocent youth. Their attitude toward ADHD will eventually be what shapes how they view themselves, their self-worth. ADHD brings some good qualities, though they are easily overlooked due to the frustration it also creates. For parents, it means often repeating instructions, heightened emotions, possible problems in school, trouble sleeping, etc. But, the person who feels the most frustration? Your child. Chances are that he or she is often reprimanded by teachers, often losing privileges at home, maybe the last one picked for tag, you get the point. My husband’s words were a reminder to have empathy for the people we love and what they endure every hour, every day.
As they live life in reverse.
Take a moment today to observe your child closely and find the good. Be mindful of your role in their journey!