Failure. As an adult, when you have ADHD, you become accustomed to failure. You make plans that are simple and easy to complete, but then your executive functions let you down. There are numerous reasons why your intentions and actions don’t lead to executing your plan. Over extending yourself, underestimating the amount of time something will take, becoming distracted along the way, growing bored with the required tasks, and other obstacles.
When you have ADHD, you need to become used to knowing you will fail many more times than you will succeed. An inability to accept failure will only make having ADHD more difficult for you to live with.
St. Paul reminds us to:
“Set aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself for sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3
To those who didn’t believe that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, he would have seemed like a failure. They challenged him, they ridiculed him, they plotted his murder, and they watched him be sentenced to death and humiliated on the cross. Those of us who believe in the resurrection know that Jesus’s life was not a failure. We have an advantage over those who lived during Jesus’ life on earth. We have the joy of knowing how much Christianity has grown from its small origins to become a religion with millions of followers around the world today.
St. Paul wants us to remember the public shaming and humiliation that Jesus had to endure. In remembrance we draw strength for Christ’s experience. Jesus didn’t fail, but we have. We have a purpose on earth and having ADHD means there will be many detours, mishaps, mistakes, and failures as we live our lives with this disorder. Take courage in knowing that failed plans and stumbling blocks towards your goals are part of this life, and in the midst of disappointment we have Jesus’ life, sacrifice, and spirit providing us with strength to pick oneself up and carry on.
May God’s spirit and the example of Jesus be with you as you overcome failed plans and the resulting experience of shame, disappointment, and embarrassment. You have failed, but you are not a failure.