Queen of the Distracted

Imagine life in a house with 6 kids - now imagine if 5 of those kids and their father have ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - that is our house! Welcome to an inside view of my life and our home dominated by ADHD... THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!"

Those were our oldest daughter Rachel's first words, from the time she was a toddler she would belt them out proudly standing on the arm of the couch. At the time we had no idea what ADHD was or that it would play such a central roll in our lives.

Since then we have learned a lot, not the least of which is how many individuals and families suffer in silence. We have experienced first hand how misunderstood and misrepresented a disorder can be.

As a family we decided to take action - to risk embarrassment and labeling to get this important message out to the world. Come join our family, share in our lives, and see ADD/ADHD as we see it...
A gift with a heavy price tag.

WELCOME to life in the ADD/ADHD House!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dear Adam Levine, Thank You for Owning Your ADHD

We gathered as a family to watch the end of The Voice the other night.  But in my opinion the most important moment didn't come when all the superstars sang, or when they handed out keys to new cars for the finalist or even when they announced the winner.

As the mom to 6 ADHD kids (7 kids in all) and wife to an ADHD husband the most pivotal moment of the evening came as they played a video of Adam Levine playing the piano, the drums, the guitar, whistling, talked about him playing the accordion, and showed him singing.

In that moment one of my kids reminded everyone that Adam Levine had ADHD too. There was a level of pride filling the room.  "He's just like us." one said.  Another added, "you know it's because of his ADHD that he has to play all those instruments, that he's good at all of them!"  They know that drive, the unquenchable force that pushes you past distraction, past focus, and lands you on the positive side of hyper-focus.

and drums, basses, electric guitars & flutes
The excitement, the acceptance, the hope in that moment was tangible.

There are many successful ADHD people out there, more and more of them are coming forth and owning their ADHD.  I wonder if they will ever know the impact they have on the upcoming generation of kids with ADHD.  Those kids and struggling adults can find they have potential in the success of another person.  To struggle through school, through feeling different and awkward, through trying to master coping mechanisms, and find a way to use all this energy and potential seeing someone's success is a beacon, it's proof it can be done. Instead of just seeing all the things they aren't, they catch a glimmer of all they can be.

Every successful person who comes forth and owns their ADHD is important in the life of others who struggle with the same issues no matter what walk of life their success is in.  Adam Levine hits home in my house because he's creative.  Creative is what we do, art, music, singing, acting, writing, film, animation to see a successful person with ADHD inspires them towards their own greatness.

Stigma, shame, embarrassment, the threat of being judged by negative stereotypes for admitting your ADHD are real. The world would have us hide anything that is different or imperfect.  Ironically, the only way to change those negative stereotypes is to take that risk, to face that fear, and be bold about our disorders in front of the world until those walls are broken down.  Then, fear, stigma, shame,embarrassment, negative stereotypes can be replaced by knowledge and understanding.

There is no doubt that ADHD is a mixed bag.  There are struggles, endless struggles; but, there is greatness also.  Thank you Adam Levine for being willing to show both sides to the world.  Thank you to all successful people who stand up and own it.

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