A personal story about adult ADHD: Til Death do us Part

Finding out you have ADHD as an adult can be a difficult, albeit powerful, journey.

A member of Springboard Clinic’s community recently wrote an incredible piece about her own journey with adult ADHD that we wanted to share. This woman’s story describes her thoughts and feeling about her ADHD diagnosis as an adult, and how she has been going through a journey of her own to define its role in her life:


Til death do us part.

My adventurous spirit, my talkative nature, my habit of picking up on minuscule-y minute details, my remarkable creativity, the disfigurations on my left ankle caused by ripped ligaments after too many careless and clumsy trips, my inability to pay attention, my difficulty managing money—or remembering to manage it. The list of qualities—good and bad—attributable to my ADHD goes on and on.

The final D in ADHD stands for disorder. I’ve had a lot of trouble with this. Disorder implies a problem, something wrong, when in truth when reigned in, there are many ADHD characteristics that I, along with many if not most others, would consider more of a blessing than a curse. It’s a delight to pick up on detail that others are blind to, it is equal parts pride and joy to create something that leaves others in awe, it’s comforting to know that should boredom strike, my brain always has six or seven back up plans waiting in the wings to sweep me away just as it’s encouraging to be the one that others look to for excitement.

The trouble is the good is thoroughly intermingled with the bad. It’s the bad that wraps me in chains of procrastination leaving me feeling helpless to accomplish even the simplest of tasks. The bad that distracts me so profoundly that I feel like I am drowning in a sea of lost confusion and missing participating in my own life. The bad that yanks words from my mouth before they have opportunity to fully form as thoughts in my brain. The bad that like the proverbial dangerous stranger in a trench coat lulls me away to a faraway land of daydream leaving me trapped for hours. And the bad that has forced me to devote countless energy to guarding my own words and actions as I have come to accept that I cannot trust myself.

The good twin and the evil twin are meticulously conjoined. For one to live, they both must.  ADHD is not a cancer. It’s not an extra limb. It’s not a diseased appendage. It’s not something where what ails can be pinpointed and attacked to be done away with. Rather than removal, ADHD must be reigned in. Plain and simple the good of ADHD is the bad of ADHD. Even if such a differentiation were possible to make, there would be no way to separate the two. Over and above that there is no way to know where I end and where the ADHD begins.

And there lies the disorder.

This conflict of being trapped somewhere in the middle of the conjoins of the good and bad twin is like something out of Greek Mythology. Finding ways to create even a vague separation of the good and the bad to improve daily life is daunting, to say the least. This is not something I will ever escape. Though, if I am determined and I work diligently then through guidance and medication, I can earn more of my freedom from it. But I can never become cavalier about the reality of it or of its permanency or I will lose my freedom from it.

No matter what degree of Pygmalion I implement in an attempt to refine it so that it is more palatable and subservient to my will, for the rest of my days, it will be there.  Equally willing to spirit me off on a marvelous adventure or persuade me to wander off chasing hollow promises only to find myself trapped for hours in the mental quicksand of daydreams.

In good times and in bad, til death do us part, ADHD will remain a part of me.

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