Prior to being diagnosed with ADHD I thought that this neurodevelopmental disorder was something that affected only kids and which had fairly sketchy origins. As part of the journey of self discovery that all recently diagnosed ADHDers go through, I discovered that my knowledge on the subject was woefully ignorant. I simply had no idea whatsoever just how debilitating this brain disorder is and how enormous an effect it had on my entire life. Like all of us, I also discovered that the ignorance surrounding the disorder is nearly as damaging as the disorder itself.
How many people have you spoken to, since your diagnosis, who say things like - "Oh I'm always forgetting my keys too - I must have ADHD!" or "I was a super active little kid - I must have ADHD too!" It's a bit like speaking to someone who has only one leg and saying, "Oh I have trouble running and jumping too - I must have only one leg!"
I don't think any of us who were diagnosed later in life had any idea that there was such a suffocating cloud of bullshit around ADHD and that it's one of the most misunderstood mental disorders on the planet.
So what does all this have to do with ADHD Army. Many years ago when I was a rookie journalist at a publishing company, a colleague came into work wearing a t-shirt that said, "This is what a lesbian looks like." She was taking back control of the dialogue and confronting the sub-text of the conversation that went on around here. I liked her t-shirt and I liked the way she wore it and I was reminded of it when I was trying to explain what ADHD is to an acquaintance. So simply, this site is an attempt to 'take back' ADHD and to own it.
We are the ones who have to deal with this neurodevelopmental disorder on a daily basis. We have to cope with the fall-out from having a chronic lack of will-power, an inability to focus, terrible working memory, hyperactivity, recklessness and all the side-orders of shortcomings that define ADHD. And you know what, I'm proud of myself and the fact that I'm still here, despite having been unknowingly crippled by this thing my entire life. I'm proud of the things I've accomplished despite having been dealt such a lousy hand of cards. I'm proud to have ADHD and I'm a willing conscript in the ADHD Army. I hope you are too.
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