ADD and ADHD always seems to be portrayed in such a negative way. There are Medical Journals, Media and even educators who describe having ADD in such a bad way and are always trying to find new ways to 'cure' it. Its being treated like a mental disorder which only medication can fix when in actual fact it is nothing of the sort.
I don't take medication and have made the choice not to pursue the option. I have had a few overwhelming moments where I have wondered if taking medication would make my life a little easier, but then the moment passes and I bounce back. Who I am is probably 50% made of having ADD and being wired the way I am makes the world a lot more colourful than most of the people I associate with in my opinion.
For this reason, there are a few of my ADD traits I would like my kids to learn and to take with them wherever they go.
1. Love with all you heart soul and mind
Love. The Bible is based on Love. It speaks about God being Love. But we don't really love, not as we were meant. ADD on the other hand is not objective about love as the world would like it to be. We love, and when we love, we love HARD. I can say that I have been in love twice, and I know that when that love is not possible anymore, it really hurts. So much that I can barely breath. Its intense and takes up every cell in my body and completely overrides my mind. I am glad though that I freely love again, no matter the pain. I would like to think that having ADD aids me in loving unconditionally because no matter how wrong someone is, the love that takes up every membrane of my body and every facet of my being makes forgiving that much easier. I don't fully understand it but I am grateful that it is there because I know that in cahoots with my passions, this love is seriously going to pay off one day. I want my kids to love, without condition and truthfully with all their being. Its the only real way to live.
2. Passion is not just a feeling, its an action
I have a lot of passions. It consumes me sometimes. Writing for one, draws me into a little cocoon where I cannot be reached. Pouring my soul into something is what makes my life worth all the hard stuff. Being ADD makes it easy to have more than one passion. I see how the none ADDer's around me struggle to juggle to do many things at one time which makes me appreciate the ability to have a conversation, type and sing all at the same time. It can be very overwhelming but the benefits outweigh the costs. Finding a passion is very important in my household. My hubby is blessed to have found his at a very young age and loves that he gets to do it every day. For me on the other hand, it has taken a while to figure it out but as it turns out, I have more passions that have fallen into my lap than I would have anticipated. Being ADD allows me to follow through with all my passions all at the same time. Whats even more wonderful, is that fact that I can find ways to have them intertwined and work together as one when nobody else can fathom what I know will happen. When kids are young, they have the best and most beautiful dreams, and nothing can deter them from the belief that those dreams are possible. If they had more than one dream at the same time, who's to say they could and should not make it work. New inventions are developed form two very unrelated properties brought together to produce something new, why can't passions be treated the same way.
3. Be a better friend than any friend you have
I love my friends, wether I see or speak to them or not. They have been there on my journey and have a solid part in the foundation of who I am. My parents never understood why I was so determined to always stand up for my friends, and even if they did me wrong, I will cherish the moments that they have contributed to my path forever. These friendships have taken me to painful places but they have also helped me develop a sense of selflessness when someone is in need. We have encouraged our kids to have good friends from a young age. Aspens best friend used to sleep in her cot when they were both just two weeks old. These friendships are the ones that help nurture our kids and they learnt to love people who are not related to us. Most of all, our kids will learn to be the friends these people need when the time calls for it. What is the point of being a friend if you cannot be there when it is required? Being a woman comes with being thoughtful, but my ADD brings with it the analysis of everything, compassion and an undisputed love. That is the definition of a forever friend. If my kids learn anything from the friendships that I keep, it needs to be that they need to be the best friends that anyone could ask for and to be willing to be the tear catcher, the listener and the peace that their friends are at ease to be around.
4. Dont Argue, convince them into belief
The people who know me, know well that I am great at putting together a compelling argument. Take having VBAC's and Breast feeding for one, I love to discuss it and have read every piece of information I could practically get my hands on, on these topics. I love a debate, it draws from me the inelegance that I don't so often get to show off. The older I get, the more I am learning to let peoples opinion stand and agree to disagree when there is no resolution. Having an opinion is part of who I am and tends to stick to my passions like a parasite on a plant. This has driven me to become very good at stating my case and more often than not, get a satisfactory response. ADD making me very talkative, which would not be beneficial if I could not make someone believe blue is actually green. This is something I am hoping my kids will learn from seeing it happen in our home. At the moment we are still at the age where we are trying to deal with attitudes and ego's, but I see Aspen starting to develop a knack for debate and she has pretty much knocked me off my feet a few times. It might seem rude to some, but it portrays a strength that not enough people possess. They need to stand up for their rights and the rights of other people. My hope is to develop this skill so that they may become leaders in the area of their passions because they can speak up for those who cannot.
5. There is enough pain in the world, be the Joy
The world is made up of horror stories. About 90% of the news and even on social media has some sort of negative event happening or way someone feels. Its sad. Very sad. That being said, I was that person and everybody gets negative sometimes, but if we pay too much attention to all the bad, we push out all the good. I am an extrovert and happen to get very excited when I am happy. I have been told on three different occasions that I need to tone down a little bit because I don't realise how excited I get. But I am glad that having ADD comes with that. I love to express myself and can get very excited when good things happen. Why is that a bad thing? Because the rest of the world is mellow and still when good things happen, why do I have to be? I don't want to be and neither do I want my kids to. I want them to shout with elated joy when they get great scores at school. I want them giggle with uncontrollable glee at something silly they just did and I want them exclaim a thought out loud without a care at who's watching. They need to stand out and be different because
conformity is overrated anyway. My hubby and I love them the way they are and if that means that they have to scream every singe time they swim in the pool because it is the greatest thing to do, then so be it.
There are very many people who know me that might disagree with the views as they think that I am loud, embarrassing and annoying. But then again, who cares? These are the things that I love about myself no matter how many times people try to tell me that I need to calm down and be still. I was made this way and want to embrace it the way I am sure it was intended for me. If I can make someone who needs it smile just once, then it was worth it and just that moment makes all the wrong in the world and in my life but just a grain of sand.
To Read about the 5 ADD Traits you DO NOT want to rub off on your kids, go HERE