It’s hard to believe that before ADDA, I never had a genuine connection with another person.
I knew I didn’t fit in at school. I knew I didn’t fit in at college. Once I discovered I had lost interest in any career I had studied for, I knew I didn’t fit in, period.
I didn’t understand how or why I was different. Where do you turn for help? Doctors don’t understand. Employers, insurance people, teachers don’t understand. My family doesn’t understand.
And as I searched for answers, I realized even the information I needed on ADHD wasn’t made for me. The secrets were buried in dense research, hidden in a footnote on page 15… it was like no one wanted me to have them. Somewhere in their research, they needed to discover that the people who needed that information most would need it presented differently.
Before I found ADDA, I was lost, alone and filled with self-loathing. Without feeling understanding and compassion, you cannot learn self-compassion.
That is what ADDA has given me.
For the first time, I was in a space with other people hearing experiences like mine. They described the challenges of ADHD and how they influence how people treat you. Or they’re just people with a similar sense of humor, habits, needs or perspective. The information was available, and it was designed for me.
Here, I am part of the status quo. And when I do something that is natural to me but different to others, no one points it out. It’s not good or bad. I exist as I am for the first time. Before ADDA, I had emotionally and spiritually shriveled, subsisting on shallow and conditional love relationships and friendships.
Here, there’s no need to fix yourself. You’re not here to figure out how to cope while being less than. Suddenly, you realize you are not broken and deserving of love. The neuroscience-backed perspective makes way for self-compassion. ADHD isn’t character flaws or personal failings. It’s hardwired into your gray matter.
Zay Elliot, ADDA Member