Tag Archives: thanksgiving

ADHD – Gratitude and Resiliency

Give God Thanks

It’s November, the month of Thanksgiving, and we will likely be hearing a lot about being thankful and having a spirit or sense of gratitude. I love reading the different gratitude challenges posted on social media and blogs during November. It’s a great reminder to take note of the many things you have to be grateful for. It can be easy to miss the good and positive things and experiences that we have in our life until we actually take time to sit down and think about it.

I’m learning that there is a strong connection between gratitude and resiliency.

Gratitude: a feeling of appreciation or thanks; b) the state of being thankful

Resilient: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change; b) able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched; pressed, bent, etc.

Qualities of Resiliency

Managing the struggles and challenges that accompany having ADHD make us resilient, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to us being grateful. Here’s what I’m learning about being simultaneously grateful and resilient:

Mistakes: When I make a mistake, forgive myself. Don’t let bitterness or anger get a hold of my emotions. If I stop and reflect on why I made the mistake and how I can avoid repeating this mistake in the future, I develop a stronger character. I take the time to thank God for bringing my mistakes to my attention and I give thanks for the opportunity to carry on.

Sense of Humour: I have no problems laughing at myself. This was not something that came naturally, but over time I learned that if you have adult ADHD you need to be able to laugh at yourself. I used to become easily angry with myself for doing things that seemed “stupid”, but now I’ve accepted that certain odd behaviour is part of the disorder. Yes, I am that person with ADHD who has placed dinner in the microwave, forgotten about it, only to discover the plate of food two days later when I went to heat up another dish.

I am that woman with ADHD who has had to leave the house with only half of her curly hair straightened because my morning time management skills were well off. I eventually learned that the half curly, half straight look is not likely to be in style at any time and it’s better to leave the early morning hair straitening sessions for weekend.

I’ve known other adults with ADHD who rarely wear a matching pair of socks. They could easily let that get to them, but instead, they’ve learned to accept it. Who cares if one sock is white and the other is black? If it doesn’t bother you, let it bother the others; it’s their problem not yours.

Self-knowledge/Self-acceptance: Once an adult accepts that they have ADHD, life changes for the positive. We don’t get to choose our disorders and disabilities, but we do get to choose how we perceive affects our life. I remember the years when I had not yet been diagnosed with ADHD. Because I didn’t know that I had ADHD I spent a lot of time wondering “What is wrong with me?”. I couldn’t understand why I was so forgetful, had poor time management skills, was always fidgeting, had a short attention span for certain activities, and was always moving from one project to the other. Finally being diagnosed allowed me to develop an understanding of what ADHD is, the symptoms, and how to manage them as best as I could.

Thanksgiving Blessing

I am thankful that we live in a country where we can be diagnosed and provided with much needed help and assistance in order to live a more productive life. For me, resiliency means silencing the internal voice that sometimes still asks the question, “What is wrong with me?”; the difference is that I know what’s “wrong” with me, there is nothing “wrong” with me or anyone else with ADHD, we have a disorder and we diligently work to increase our strengths and decrease our weaknesses.

I’m thankful those who have forgive me for my past habits of being chronically late; disorganized, frazzled with anxiety, forgetful, being the loudest in the room, and sometimes blurting out things that are cringe worthy. Resiliency means looking in the mirror and seeing an adult with ADHD and knowing that we are more than a diagnosis.

Gratitude is being thankful for our quirks; resiliency is not hiding them, but instead living with them and saying, “Hey, this is part of who I am!

We all have a variety of things to be thankful for and different ways resiliency is experienced in our lives. I encourage you to take some time during this month of thanksgiving to take an inventory of the things in life you are thankful for and how having ADHD has helped to make you a more resilient person.

 

ADHD and Thanks-Giving

ADHD Thanksgiving 1

As followers of Christ, every day is a day for giving thanks, but what makes Thanksgiving Day different is that you have one day where the entire nation collectively gives thanks and acknowledges the good things they have in life, be it family, friends, material goods, or health.

I’ve always believed in the importance of cultures and communities having holidays for remembering and acknowledging the past and the present. Thanksgiving is a holiday that always reminds me that we can always find the good and the positive in the midst of struggle and injustice. I see the systemic injustices and atrocities that are occurring in other parts of the world and I can’t not help but give thanks to God for being fortunate enough to live in North America.

So this year I encourage you to give thanks for something no matter what your circumstances are right now. Collectively as Americans we have plenty to give thanks for. Thanks be to God!

Give thanks Lord

As I was preparing to write this blog entry I had to stop and think about whether or not there really was anything to be thankful for in terms of having adult ADHD. Well, I found some!

ADHD and Things to Be Thankful For

Energy. When used properly, the energy we get from having ADHD allows us to accomplish a lot of things, sometimes more than the average person.

Creativity. When your mind is constantly thinking of multiple things at the same time and always on the go, you can end up developing a lot of ideas that are “outside the box”. For those who are ADHD day dreamers, you can sometimes turn those dreams into very creative ideas and concepts that others might not have thought of.

Adventurous. Sometimes ADHD gives people the ability to combine their energy and creativity which results in an adventurous spirit; think Richard Branson.

Knowledge. One of the best things about the ADHD attention span is that when we’re interested in a topic, subject, hobby, or activity, we delve in deep. Ask us anything you want to know about something we are interested in and we will likely have the answer; just be prepared for a long, animated, and passionate answer!

Medical care. Being finally diagnosed with ADHD as an adult has changed my life in too many ways to mention in this short post. I am thankful for doctors and psychologists who have studied ADHD and contributed to medical advances in the treatment of ADHD. Over the years I have taken medication for ADHD, but more helpful than this has been the alternative treatments that I’ve used to help manage my symptoms. I am also thankful to have assistance with covering the high costs of prescriptions. Mindfulness, meditation, and exercise have proven to be effective means for controlling my worst symptoms. I am thankful for those who teach and share these alternative methods.

Having rights. Having ADHD recognized as a disability in the workplace and educational institutions is important. I don’t think I would have made it through college if there wasn’t a department for students with disabilities. The specialists helped me stay focused and accountable; I was also able to take exams in a separate area so I wouldn’t disturb other students with the constant clicking of my pen, the shaking of my legs, humming, and my need to read things out loud. In the past people with ADHD weren’t recognized as having a disability and it made life more difficult for them than it had to be. Today, things have changed and I am thankful for this.

My list is not going to be the same as yours. We all have varying degrees of symptoms and different life circumstances; but I encourage you to take time this Thanksgiving season to make your own mental or written list of ADHD related things that you are thankful for. Having adult ADHD isn’t always easy, but there is always something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!