Help Create Hope
ADDA was founded over 25 years ago to bring together adults with ADHD. At a time when the medical community believed adult ADHD did not exist, help, answers and hope were rare. Even today, as an adult struggling with ADHD, life can feel hopeless. However, when you realize you’re no longer alone in your struggle, you discover people just like you have solved the same problems you’re facing and you feel empowered and – perhaps for the first time in a long time – you feel hopeful. It’s a powerful feeling.
You Have the Power
That is why there is power in your story. Your life, your adventures, your trials and triumphs are all elements that make up your story. Rick Green, founder of TotallyADD, and well-known writer and speaker on the subject of adult ADHD, speaks of The Power of Story. In fact, his story inspired ADDA to encourage you to tell your story. Your story can change your life, and it can change others’ lives, giving them hope, courage and joy.
It’s All in How You Tell It
I love the way Lisa Wills, an ADHD coach in Denver, Colorado, explained how powerful your story can be when you forgo the, Joe Friday, “Just the facts, ma’am” school of communication.
Imagine a conversation with a friend sharing the experience of driving your daughter to college this summer. You could just report the facts, “Saturday, I helped my daughter pack and drove her to college. It was hard, but I’ll see her at Christmas time.”
That’s fine, it’ll work. But when you tie in the “why” and “how,” it makes all the difference in the world.
Imagine if, instead you shared, “I knew I had to help Jenna pack for her big move to college 5 states away. God I wasn’t ready for that. I cancelled my weekend plans to focus on helping her pack… I had to cancel my chemo appointment, I haven’t even told her about THAT yet. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her the news knowing it would completely overwhelm the experience we were about to have; I’d dreamt of this moment since she was little. We spent the entire weekend sorting, going through her photos, folding and packing the handmade quilt I made while she struggled in 9th grade. I remember that time because it was right after her ADHD diagnosis. She and I worked together on that quilt, it was the only thing that seemed to give her relief from her anxiety – time stood still. We found an old essay she’d written and lost about how she would never be accepted to this University because she wasn’t smart like everyone else. So many of the things we came across sparked conversations we’ve never had before. I can see now that she is leaving a mature woman – and I can’t wait to see her at Christmas break!”
It’s not the facts; it’s the story that creates a personal connection. When you share the facts in a way people remember, you create a connection, and connection beats the Web, email and even social media, email.
Help Create Hope
During ADHD Awareness Month, its important to remember that while we’ve made progress, amazing progress, we still have a long way to go; 85% of adults with ADHD are still undiagnosed, confused and feeling hopeless.
You can make an important contribution. Your story can help those adults with ADHD. Remember how you felt when you first discovered you were not alone? You found answers. You felt hope. You were empowered. That experience was absolutely life changing for you, and sharing your experience could be life changing for someone else!
Won’t you help ADDA give the gift of hope by sharing your story?
To your success,
Duane Gordon, ADDA President