I've been thinking about the power of shared experiences.
You assume everyone experiences something the same way as you, until someone points out "hey, it's not supposed to be like that."
Last week, I tweeted about how I recently discovered that eating raw broccoli (delicious with ranch) is not supposed to burn your mouth.
Because I thought broccoli burned everyone's mouth.
It probably sounds ridiculous, but I just assumed everyone struggled with broccoli the same way I did!
It's a lot like how I assumed everyone struggled with focus and motivation the same way I did.
That's why it began to feel like a moral failing—like I was too lazy or selfish or I didn't have enough willpower like everyone else to get things done.
But just like my undiagnosed OAS that was making broccoli burn my mouth, I had undiagnosed ADHD causing my focus and motivation to be much more difficult to control.
When I shared my broccoli experience, a lot of people responded saying "wait, it's not supposed to burn?!"
I think that's one of the most powerful realizations of an ADHD diagnosis.
"Wait, it's not supposed to be like that? I'm not actually lazy, selfish, spacey, or a failure?"
Because even if you accepted those labels—the labels you heard from others trying to explain why you were struggling—part of you knew they weren't quite right.
Maybe you didn't know how to explain why you struggled, but if you were like me, you never identified with the "lazy" label no matter what they said.
Jesse J. Anderson
P.S. I'm launching a podcast soon. Patrons got an early sneak peak of the first episode, but the full thing will launch sometime in April. patreon.com/jessej
📝 ADHD at Work: Should I Tell My Boss – Or Not? You do not have to disclose your ADHD (or any other disability) to an employer before you are hired. Until you understand the demands of your job, you may not know how your ADHD will affect your daily activities.
✏️ ADHD Writers Club, this Friday at 11am (Pacific) Come join me and other writers with ADHD for a focused writing hour this Friday. You'll say hello, share your writing target, then get to work for 30-40 minutes with mics muted. You can work on your next book, create some poetry, fill out paperwork, or whatever writing you want to get done.