Growing Up with ADHD

Want to know what it feels like to grow up with ADHD?  This poem, written by one of the members of this site, gives eloquent testimony to the challenges – and strengths – of a childhood with undiagnosed ADHD.


ONCE there was a handsome man knowing not of ADD, who was clad in shiny tin armor, and rode a white steed.
His manner giving, his heart tender & true, but there was something down deep, that felt oddly askew.
When young his uniqueness got him bullied a lot, he’d keep standing back up, “Why Lord why”, “is this my life's lot?”
He was taught not to fight, “a bigger man walks away,” wrapped his humiliation up tight, later on in life he would dearly pay.  
Time in Grandpa’s workshop, challenged not his self view. Helping & building things, that, he could do.
No sports, no clubs, little enjoyment in school, when he looked at himself, could see only a fool.
The learning was tough, only just get’n through, “I know I’m not stupid. Why’s this so hard to do?“
In only two subjects could he get an ‘A’, horticulture & ceramics, there his focus could stay.
Confidence he had none, and talent, “what’s that?” “Two Ton Tommy..Hey Moose..’Fumble Fingers’.. You’re fat”
“I know, I’ll build walls, build them high thick & long, to hold back this hurting, that’ll show ‘em I’m strong.”

To God & integrity he held very tight, “I’ll follow the Good Book, that’ll make things alright.

As he grew older, as life went along, he found some peace, some purpose, for others being strong.
Blind leading the blind,  Wounded Healer, to him unaware, convinced that this mission shields his heart from despair.
Still all the while, “What’s inside that's not right?” others, just normal, “I HATE shouldering this plight?”

Alas, came a Princess, his heartstrings wove round. A Country Girl Beauty, with moral integrity, so sound.
With swift Loving perception, her inner turmoil he'd see, “Fear Not my Fair Maiden, lay your burdens on me.”   
He’d sing love songs and hold her, picking flowers to show, his affection and commitment was ‘meant’ to help healing, grow.
As oft happens on this planet, hurts more hurts can create, His Mother, for him, desired a “Healthy Helpmate.”
He wished he’d not had to, such a choice forced to make, “Leaving and Cleaving” would cost him, his whole family to forsake.

So together, both hurting, start their journey combined, her wounds coming to focus, and his not yet defined.           


This man’s experience really moved me – his descriptions of bullying, feeling as if he didn’t fit in and there was something wrong with him…the solace he found with his Grandfather and working with his hands, his empathy (born from years of being the odd man out) for the emotionally injured woman who would become his wife…even the creative way that he expresses himself.  He is now on a journey of self-exploration and story change.  This is common for people who get diagnosed with ADHD as adults.  They look back at their lives through a new lens – and start to reshape the story of their lives.

If you are an adult with ADHD and want to share your story so that others may learn more, please send me a short blog post about it.  It’s important for everyone to hear about what it is like to grow up with, and live with, ADHD.

For more comments about living with ADHD, go to What It Feels Like to Have ADHD on my blog.