Why Knowing (And Accepting) You Have ADHD Matters

When you and your spouse are first exploring whether or not ADHD has been a factor in your marriage it can seem both a relief (finally, a reason that explains so much!) and a bit overwhelming (ADHD seems to be everywhere!)  Some with ADHD resist thinking about how much ADHD can impact their relationship because it makes them feel "broken" or lessened.  I asked myself the other day - does it matter if you label it ADHD?

The answer to that question is yes and no.  Knowing about ADHD really helps you find the optimal way to improve your life.  But you don't have to "label" it ADHD in your everyday life.  Here's an example:  For years my husband and I laughed because he is a man who needs to exercise pretty much every day else he can be cranky, unhappy, disconnected and hard to live with (and also doesn't sleep as well).  We now realize that this is related to his ADHD and that exercise is one of his forms of "treatment".  But does it matter that we now know that it's ADHD related?  Not really, as long as he's exercising.  It's just HIM and one of the things that is part of him (with an excellent side benefit for me, in that he's in great shape!)

What does matter is that you (ADHD or not) get a chance to put your life in order in a way that satisfies you and brings you joy.  (Note I say YOU here.  No one is obliged to satisfy anyone else.)  For those with ADHD who are travelling a journey to find out what brings them joy, the label of ADHD is useful insomuch as when you know you have ADHD, then you also know that using specific tactics that are shown to work for people with ADHD is the fastest/best way to get to your goal - and sometimes the only way, given how ADHD works.  I always remind people - don't try harder, try differently - and by that I mean try those things that are known to work for ADHD because they will work better for you than other approaces simply because of the way you are wired.

While it once completely controlled my life and my husband's life, ADHD is now almost non-existent in both of our lives and certainly in our marriage.  You can't imagine how much better things can/will get for you if you are able to think clearly and non-judgmentally about ADHD and what is already known about dealing with it.  (And, for those with a learned fear of failure, having faith that good treatment means you don't have to continue to wonder whether you'll fail at what you try is also helpful...but that's a different post!)

ADHD is only a curse if you fight the idea of having it more than you fight to subdue it's symptoms.  Once you subdue the symptoms then you can start to understand the great things that it offers you, as well.  For some, those things include minds that move quickly and "see" things in unique ways; tenacity (my husband is a good case of this); an ability to love well and forgive quickly (because they live in the moment); almost unending curiosity...the list is very long indeed.  There's a reason why the only guy for me has ADHD!  Everybody else is just too boring!