I Have ADD/ADHD, and It’s a Blessing
And it’s also my end. I was born in 1950, a time when no one had even heard of ADD/ADHD. Today, at the age of 73, and looking back, I can say it was a blessing, and not the “disability” so many people seem to consider it today.
This attitude was only strengthened when I attended a lecture given by — and I’m sorry I can’t recall her name — the woman who at the time was recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on the issue. Like me, she also had been diagnosed with it.
“I don’t have ADD,” she said. “The rest of the world suffers from AED: Attention Excess Disorder.”
At last! Vindication!
All through my school days, when my parents were called in for those torture sessions laughingly called “Parent/Teacher Conferences,” they were treated to a never-ending litany of “Your child is extremely smart. She’s just lazy.” “Robyn would do well in school if she would only apply herself.” And so on.
The funny thing — or sad, depending on your point of view — was that no one ever asked me what I thought was going on. If they had, I would have said something along the lines of “Mom, Dad, school is boring. There’s nothing to hold my interest.”
Later, after graduating from high school, I realized that except for algebra and geometry, I hadn’t learned anything new since junior high. Oh, right: I forgot. I learned the truth about the myth of the Alamo from Mr. Cardwell, my senior year instructor of Texas History. (HINT: it had nothing whatsoever to do with freedom or liberty, unless you counted the freedom to own slaves and the liberty to stop paying taxes.)
My freshman year at college was basically a repeat of high school, with the difference that I learned about the Beat poets and writers: Corso, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Strand et al. To this day, I am grateful to Dr. Alan Grant for those lessons.
Long before Apple came up with that seemingly ungrammatical slogan, I was already thinking differently. My mind made lightning-like connections between topics. Sometimes they were so rapid that other people couldn’t…