My letter to ADHD


I have come to loathe your name; in fact, I don’t want to give you any recognition by having a full name.  I want you to have only initials.  It is hard enough for me to recognize and accept your existence.  I won’t dignify our relationship by letting you have a full name in my mind.

I imagine you are a dark entity….shadow-like…..dressed in camouflage so you can infiltrate a life, a family undetected.  I know that you operate in stealth, quietly and patiently waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting.   You are devious and operate without remorse.  Your victims are more than just the people who are diagnosed.  They include the loved ones affected by that diagnosis as well.  The more pain and frustration you can cause, the happier I think you feel. 

I think you have been around for centuries, perhaps since the cave man, but it is only in recent years that you have been given a name (or initials).  You should know that we are actively working to eradicate your symptoms.  We have combined forces and sought out medical science and psychological support to minimize the damage that you do.  You will not win this fight in the end.

I can write down all of the feelings I have toward you, but I know deep down that will not matter.  You do not care about me or my family.  You are simply lying in wait for your next victim.  However, I will share this anyway….why?  It will put in black and white the pain and confusion I have and perhaps even the anger I hold in check.  Maybe by getting it all down on paper, I can release some of that control I feel you have had over my life.

First, you invaded my life through my son’s misdiagnosis.  I think you relish in the thought that what he was eventually diagnosed as was something that only presented like you.  I picture you sitting there with a smirk and snickering as we tried multiple medications and dosages only to learn later that you had tricked us.  You weren’t really there… just looked as if you were.

Then as time went by, it wasn’t good enough that you tried to invade our lives through my son, you went after my husband.  You stayed submerged for more than half a century and then you reared your ugly head.

I hate you because I don’t know what is really “you” causing certain behaviors and what may merely be an excuse.  I hate the fact that he can’t remember conversations because of you.  I hate the fact that I sometimes don’t feel loved or important because of you.  I hate the fact that he disconnected from me, from his family and from his home life because he can only handle work OR home…..and it wasn’t us that he chose.  Perhaps ‘chosen’ is the wrong word, I don’t know the right word for this part of your infiltration.  Should I be upset that my husband can handle multiple tasks and projects at work, but at home, we are seemingly way down on the list of importance?  The books say it is not him thinking, rather it is the disorder showing.  My…..but you are a confusing entity.

This other bothersome symptom that you cause….hyperfocus…...It is where you steal a person’s ability to be fully aware of what is happening around them.  You allow them to focus only on a certain thing and it is not always the thing that is right in front of their eyes.  The proverbial “forest for the trees” had to have been penned by a person with ADHD.  I hate this symptom the most I think.  I don’t understand it.  I cannot comprehend how someone can’t see what is right in front of him….a person begging to be talked with, a person asking for an emotional connection.  No matter how much I did or sacrificed for him, it was rarely noticed.  Because of you, he could not see that I was trying to connect……No, because of you, he could only recognize on one thing….. physical touch or more specifically “sex”……something I quit giving when I felt no connection.  Talking in a drastic generalization, I feel as if I might have well not been there and everything was for not. 

I feel that because of you I wasted the last 10 years of my life.  I am angry with you because of all the times I did something I didn’t really want to do or like to do for him, and you kept him from seeing those things.  This hyperfocus that you have created made him think only of sex and that left us miles apart.  I know I don’t want that to become the only barometer for a successful relationship, but because of you, I feel like that is all he will ever be able to see.

Your hyperfocus symptom led to resentment building over the years……so much resentment that I don’t know where to begin to break it down.  So much resentment that I now expect failure and the resentment to automatically follow.  I assume failure before we ever get off the ground.

I despise you ADHD because I feel that all of the things I did or times I scarified were for the most part a waste.  The books say I am not supposed to stop doing those things just because of your diagnosis.  The problem is I don’t know if there is anything left to give.  The well seems empty.  I am spent.  My motivation has been torn away by you.  I don’t want to give so much of myself….and only for a chance at happiness with no guarantee.  Is that what you do ADHD…….steal from people until there is nothing left but an empty shell?

I allowed you to make me a person I don’t like…that I don’t even want to be around.  I am angry and bitter.   The hurt has made me put up the walls I worked so hard to tear down so many years ago.

As I write this, I get angrier and angrier.  I am so mad now that I have changed my mind.  You don’t have a face.  You aren’t dressed in camouflage.   You are a virus….undetectable by any known scientific method.  You are like a cancer that no one knows is there until Stage 3.  You may have degrees of severity for your diagnosis, but once you are there, you cannot be eradicated, only treated……and then that is a wait and see.

How do I defeat you?  How do I live with you being such a strong presence in my life?  How do I stop the fact I let you control so much of my happiness?