ADHD is Like a Box of Chocolates…

We’re told every February that Valentine’s Day is a time to focus on romantic relationships. Amidst the flowers, cards and candies it is easy to fall into a trap of idealizing romance, comparing our relationships to those of others, and to focus on other people. It is easy, once again, to get  too caught up in the hype of it all to appreciate ourselves.

The date of love should include ADHD.

This year, what if you spend not just one day, but a whole month, appreciating YOU and being grateful for the life (and brain!) that you have.  I know from personal experience that accepting and appreciating ADHD can lead to a lot more. When I noticed what I liked about having ADHD, it became easier to find other traits about myself that I genuinely liked, too.

Even though it can lead to challenges, I consider ADHD to be a real gift in my life. I find it humorous when I get distracted in ways other people don’t. When I forget about a doctor’s appointment or lose my keys, I smile at how goofy I am, a trait that I think is endearing. With ADHD, I am always entertained; there is never a dull moment!

Appreciate the little things.

‪You don’t have to write a Valentine to ADHD, but I am challenging you to think of ways that ADHD brings some unique gifts into your life.  I want you to write down 25 positive things that ADHD has brought to your life. Even writing things that you don’t quite believe to be positive can be helpful, because oftentimes including a few challenges in the a list of positive statements can help you try on a new perspective. The negative statements may just appear more positive than you initially thought.  My list includes:

  • ‪ADHD makes me laugh
  • ‪ADHD is a something that makes me unique
  • ADHD is never boring and people like that (including me)
  • ADHD helps me be creative
  • ‪ADHD makes me uncomfortable sometimes, and that can be a good thing
  • ADHD does not make me feel “less than”
  • ‪ADHD brought me closer with my family
  • ADHD connects me with other like-minded people in communities like ADDA

Take another look at how you think about yourself.

Now, ‪the statement, “ADHD does not make me feel less than,” is not always true. ADHD feels uncomfortable sometimes, but when I considered the statement, “ADHD makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes,” I realized that even in times of discomfort, ADHD does not make me “less than.” Putting a statement that could be seen as a negative next to other statements that I see as positive, actually helped me reconsider my perspective. Doing this helped me reaffirm the positive.  

Show appreciation.

This Valentine’s Day, look for things to smile about and do something to celebrate YOU, ADHD and all.

Meredith Graf is an artist, student, and advocate. Visit her instagram account whatisyour_point for inspiration and positive messages promoting healthy body image and self-concept.

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