“We’re afraid to inform you that your son, Marc, will not be making it to the next grade.”
A sentence said by my guidance counselor to my Mom when I was of the age of 16 years old, heading in to my senior in High School.
I’m not going to lie to you, I always knew there was something different about me. I always say that my Father captured my ADHD more than anyone else – if you look at most of my childhood photos, there’s no shortage of me being all by myself in photos, almost always “in my own world”.
“…when something actually managed to capture my attention and interest, you did not have someone who was just focused, you had someone with an above and beyond hyperfocus and strong passion.”
My teachers would describe me as someone who never really caused trouble in class (which if we’re being honest, is always what we’re thinking of when it comes to ADHD boys), but as someone who was there, but never really “there” if that makes sense.
There was an interesting dichotomy here, though. And it’s that when something actually managed to capture my attention and interest, you did not have someone who was just focused, you had someone with an above and beyond hyperfocus and strong passion.
I’ll give you an example. I loved, loved Batman. Not only did I watch Batman shows, I would watch all of the behind the scenes, daydream about being like Batman, and even spent most of my Halloweens being dressed up as Batman.
Things in my life weren’t always kicks and giggles though. I spent years and years with little to no self awareness as far as how I operated, which led to years and years of confusion, poor grades in school, and struggling socially. My junior year in high school then came, and for the first time, my Mother was told that I wouldn’t be able to make the next grade.
She was furious. As many parents would be. We had a long conversation about this, and for the first time, I confessed to my mother that I was struggling. I felt alone, unmotivated and was depressed.
My mother then, being the amazing Mom that she is, took strong action on figuring out what was up for me. She got me a pysychiatrist. I started seeing a therapist and based on the problems I was having, the health professionals got curious and then put me through the ADHD test and after hours of different testing (quite boring, if I remember correctly) I was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD with a little bit of hyperactivity.
This was game changing for me. It gave me self awareness for the very first time. It’s the reason why I am where I am today (only planning on growing more). It’s the reason why I connect with so many now on social media on a daily basis. Got my first public speaking gig talking to people who were in a similar place.
“Learning to navigate my ADHD brain and getting a diagnosis has been not only been a heck of a journey (still is), but an incredibly healing one and has helped me find my best self that has always been there since my young mind wandering days.”
And here’s the really, really good news that I wish I was shared when I got diagnosed – we ADHD folks can be VERY successful. There’s so many examples such as Seth Godin, David Neeleman, and Michael Phelps – the list goes on. And what I want you to know is that you can be successful, too, and it would only help to have some self awareness through a “name for your thing” and then building from there.
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