ADHD Support Group With a Twist

Where can you see improvisation, listen to Bach, hear some ukelele music, and sing “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” all on the same night? At the Ann Arbor ADHD support group’s Bright and Shiny Talent Showcase, that’s where.

It may sound like a small event, but, for an adult with ADHD, taking the leap to share a talent or try something new in front of other people in a judgement-free zone can be very freeing and can even lead to other small leaps of faith throughout the year.

The Ann Arbor, MI Adult ADHD Support Group had its second annual “Bright and Shiny Talent Show” in December as part of an ongoing effort to provide opportunities for adults with ADHD to connect with one another. The atmosphere was low-key and all levels of talent were encouraged to take a risk and join in.  The event is a nod to ADDA’s infamous conference talent shows that have brought laughter, encouragement, and the opportunity to take a risk in a supportive environment to so many ADHD’ers over the years.

Doug Harris, who serves on the ADDA Board of Directors, started the night off on the right note with his ukulele and a rendition of the iconic “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” (Many associate this song with the 1968 version by Tiny Tim, but it dates all the way back to 1929, where it held the #1 chart position for 10 weeks. George nods to it in Yellow Submarine, singing a few lines of “Tiptoe Through the Meanies” and J.K. Rowling mentions it in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.)

Mike Fedel, an ADDA Talent Show staple, opened the show with Cheryl Wheeler’s “I’m Unworthy” – a song many of us ADHD folks can identify with (Wheeler’s verison is available on YouTube and worth a 3-minute listen) – followed by an original song about kids waiting for their ADHD dad after work and wondering what kind of mood he’ll be in today.

Shailesh Saigal read some of the jokes and one-liners he’s been working on and Suzanne Ostrowski-Dansel hosted an “Ask the Poet…” reading.

John Erdevig brought his cello with “seasoned strings” and played three wonderful Bach pieces. His performance was a high point of the night, many of us sitting with our eyes closed, lost in the music.

Doug Harris and Mike Fedel did an impromptu read of Monty Python’s “Cheese Shop” and we closed the show with a sing-a-long and some more improvisation.

We want to encourage you to take action in your own area, reach out to other folks with ADHD and get together to have fun. Maybe host a potluck. Maybe order pizzas and have a sing-a-long. Maybe have an outing to a park or museum. Connect, be curious and have fun.

It seems that curiosity and a sense of openness are some of the positive attributes that ADHD brings to our lives. Let’s enjoy that by doing a little more playing in our lives.

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      • Douglas Harris
      • January 15, 2016
      Reply

      It really was an awesome evening. I had no business playing my ukulele in front of people for the first time but that didn’t matter. It was more a performance piece about vulnerability in front of a warm, receptive and supportive crowd. There is no safer place to take risks than in front of your ADHD tribe. Find them any way you can. It truly is life-changing. If you don’t have anything local look into the ADDA Virtual Support Groups.

    1. Reply

      I wonder if there any support groups on the east of Cleveland, MENTOR, Painesville area. You could direct me towards. First time in my life no health insurance, suffered job loss due to medical disability. Any help would be appreciated

        • adda-ADMIN
        • January 14, 2016
        Reply

        Support groups are a fantastic resource for adults with ADHD. If you’d like to meet with other adults with ADHD without leaving the comfort and privacy of your home, ADDA Virtual Peer Support groups (https://add.org/adhd-support-groups/) offer ADDA members the opportunity to connect with peers for support in a safe non-judgmental environment. At these groups, you’ll find people who are FOUNTAINS of knowledge and resources.

        If you prefer to meet in person, CHADD has an excellent database with groups all over the US (and some beyond). Please see link below for CHADD’s support group database: http://www.chadd.org/Support/Directory.aspx?state=111111111

        Some people feel strange about going to a support group initially but of all the people we refer to support groups that actually go, almost all of them say they are so glad they went. You’ll find that many other individuals are going through the same thing you are going through. It’s an amazing feeling to be around other people that know what you’re going through and it will help you feel less alone and more empowered.

        Thank you for your interest in ADDA.

        To your success,

        Duane

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