The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) is dedicated to helping adults with ADHD lead better lives. ADDA has a responsibility to spread awareness about ADHD and to help combat stigma and discrimination for those with ADHD. But we also have a larger mission.
We often talk about “neuro-diversity”, for just as we combat prejudice against people with ADHD, we must also combat discrimination against all people with invisible differences. And in that same vein, we would be remiss not to express solidarity with other people and organizations fighting the same fight for equality and respect in the world; the fight for human rights.
ADDA cares about people who experience hardship due to differences, both seen and unseen. Just as we believe that ADHD lives matter, we believe that Black lives matter. We believe that Blue lives matter. We believe that LGBT lives matter. And we believe that we, as citizens of this world, as human beings, all have a part to play in making the world a better place. While it is certainly true that all lives matter, right now we must focus on those facing particular challenges, including the threat of violence and potential loss of life.
Mental health demands “psychological flexibility.” A healthy mind can see two different viewpoints at once and allow them both to have truth. For instance, you can mourn both the black lives AND police lives that were lost last week – at the same time. You can feel devastated about the loss of police lives AND simultaneously want our criminal justice system to do something about racial inequality. You can have experienced great hardship in your life AND also benefit – albeit often unintentionally – from a system that benefits you in some way because of your gender identity, skin color, sexual orientation, financial standing, or educational opportunities. These things can – must – ALL be true at once, as heavy as they are – wrapped up in so much complexity, so many layers.
There are many shocking events happening right now in Baton Rouge, in Minnesota and in Dallas. We also want to take a moment to honor the lives devastatingly lost in Orlando. And we support all people internationally, where we’re also witnessing horrendous violence, all motivated by fear and hatred of the “other.” Don’t let it overwhelm you.
As shocked, heartbroken and frustrated as we have been by these events, we have also found ourselves inspired, emboldened and empowered by the actions of people – small groups of ordinary people – who have chosen to lift one another up with small acts of kindness. We are grateful to those who have been brave enough to participate in the hard conversations that are necessary to move forward together.
Take time for reflection. Sit with whatever thoughts and feelings might be arising for you in the midst of this past week. Prioritize your self-care and reach out for support and connection. ADDA is a great place to connect, and you’re always welcome here. At ADDA, we VALUE difference! We don’t believe in tolerance; we believe in embracing and honoring diversity of all kinds. We believe that the more inclusive, understanding, compassionate, and open we are, the better chance we each have to make a difference in this great big world.
When you are ready, consider the questions: “What can I do to be a bit kinder, a bit more compassionate, a bit more informed? As a person with ADHD, what do I hope my loved ones will do to support me and how can I do those things for someone else, for someone DIFFERENT from me?”
We all have our role to play.
In a concrete demonstration of the values ADDA holds dear, we will be working on creating, collecting and sharing resources related to diversity issues and ADHD. If you have a story about living with ADHD and other differences that you would like to share, or if you would like to help in this effort, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May we all do what we can, however small, to be the change we wish to see in the world.
To your success,
Duane Gordon, President
The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)