By Patricia Schwab
That is the greeting from YouTube sensation Jessica McCabe to address her fellow adult ADHD’rs. Jessica explains in her TED talk, “Failing at Normal – An ADHD Success Story”, that she uses that greeting to address us because it’s actually our brains that drive all of our activity. Think about it. Your brain decided to open the email containing this newsletter. Then it decided to click on the link to this article. Hopefully right now it’s telling you this article is interesting enough to finish reading. All our decisions and behavior are determined by our brains.
As an old(ish) adult diagnosed at the age of fifty-eight, I was determined to do whatever I could to not only salvage what was left of my life but to turn it into a masterpiece. A lofty goal, but really what is there to lose? So, like all the rest of you reading this right now, I began my search for resources to help reach my goal.
I’ve spent countless hours on the internet looking for answers. I’ve bought and read dozens of books on ADHD, I’ve even finished some of them! As we all know this can be a frustrating experience as many of the answers we find only lead to more questions. Plus, frankly, sometimes it just sucks that we have to do this at all.
But there are those moments when you read something and recognize yourself. You feel you’ve stumbled upon someone that truly understands what you’re going through. You’ve made a connection with this person and in that moment, you are not alone.
For me, one of those people is Jessica McCabe. I happened upon her TED talk after googling ADHD for the gazillionth time in the hopes of finding something new and timely. And, boy oh boy, did I find it.
Jessica’s TED talk, which made its debut in Jan 2016, was a breath of fresh air. In her talk, she bravely described her painful realities of living with ADHD as a child into adulthood. She freely admitted her vulnerability in this new forum, which only served to make her presentation that much more authentic.
But this wasn’t a poor me story. Jessica had done her research and related with great clarity the biological science of ADHD and its effect on our brains, our behavior and our feelings.
She spoke of her own frustrations in finding reliable resources for ADHD’rs. So, she did what is normal for someone with an ADHD brain. She found a new way, her way, to fill that void. With no idea how to do so, she forged ahead and started a YouTube channel, “How to ADHD” which has soared to success and currently has over 160,000 subscribers! “How to ADHD” has over 100 short videos that address the many issues we face and ways to deal with them. Jessica accomplished this in about two years. Wow, talk about hyper-focus!
I’ve struggled to find a way to end this article. And then I realized that there is no end because it’s all about beginnings. Everyday our brains encounter problems but we also discover our own unique solutions.
Jessica McCabe touched me, she gave me hope, she made me proud to be a member of our ADHD tribe. If she can inspire an old(ish) woman like me to keep looking for my answers, to believe in new beginnings, just imagine how many young(ish) ADHD’rs will find their own way to lead our tribe? We’re in good hands.