May 25, 2020
One of the biggest struggles for those of us with ADHD, is coping with the lack of understanding on how our brain works. We try to make people – loved ones, friends and even strangers – comprehend why we act this or that way, and even what we need and don’t; but for I what see we are all hitting a wall that is bigger than it used to be.
During these tough times we’re going through due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the quarantine is affecting the mental health of that people we needed to rely on, and … it’s a mess. So I wonder, what can we do when the support system we were diligently trying to build is not strong enough or even less strong than before?
A Short-circuit in the Support System
Almost a month ago, I hit a wall. Someone from my “support system (in the making)” hurt me so bad that my meds started giving me side effects and I couldn’t do anything but playing with the Play Station for two weeks. I did feed the cats and cleaned their litter box though…
Allow me one paragraph to explain: on 2015 I found out I my parents were not my biological ones (which I always knew somehow) and then – year after year- I started finding out there was a web of lies that seemed to have no end. The puppeteer was my mother, and our relationship started to fall apart… but we tried to make it work.
So, at the end of April I was talking to her about the effects of the quarantine on me and how I needed her to please understand my situation and she said “I’m struggling just like you! We are all feeling like this.” I said, “No, you are not, trust me.”
I have a psychotropic in my head, I need to come up with a new schedule to function as a human being and I am alone… So no, she is not struggling just like us… But still, she is struggling; she is suffering too.
That conversation escalated to a point of no return; and I had to make a choice: to stop talking to her, for good. Loneliness knocked on my door and said “Hey, what’s up; it’s either bed or Play Station; what’s your poison?” You know what I chose:
What We Deserve
Loneliness is very strange concept for me; I grew up surrounded by a big family that my dad and the army gave me, by another one also big and loud from my parents’ sides and by tons of friends… all of which I no longer have; therefore, being on lockdown with absolutely no one to talk to, made me feel completely lost. So lost, that I installed Twitter back on my phone, which is almost sinful to my brain.
And then I saw a thread initiated by Jessica McCabe for ADHDers to say, “I deserve … fill in the blank.” My first impulse was to reply “I deserve to be understood”, and so I did; then I started going through the replies she was receiving and I found myself saying “Me too!” after reading almost each one of those tweets… and they lift me up…
When Our Resilience is Our Teacher
Two things happened after reading that thread; one, I realized – I felt deep inside my guts – that I am not alone; two, I started reflecting “but actually, I am alone; what do I do?”
Since that April 30th, it took me almost four weeks to get back on my feet; and now I can see that – as tough and difficult as it may sound – it’s our time to be bigger. Our ADHD comes with a bullet proof resilience; and even though sometimes a bullet or two get through and make us bleed, they won’t kill us; no, they won’t; they can’t.
Yesterday I went over my parents’ house at lunch time; I knew they would invite me to stay because it was, it is, our thing: Sunday’s lunch. As I entered, I basically said “I’ll only stay if you’re careful with what you’re going to say” and they nodded… and we had a really nice time together (because I ran away before they’d get comfy with me being so cool)
In times like these where everyone is hurting, I’m thinking about my personal ADHD struggles as a topic such us sports or religion: you don’t talk about it at the table. My parents are old, and they are feeling very depressed; I am young, and even though I’m hurting I have a resilience they don’t have…
Am I saying, “suck it up?” Kind of… But actually I’m saying “trust in your resilience; know that you are not alone.” Everybody is having a rough time so it’s more difficult than ever for neurotypicals to understand us; but – as the thread at Jessica’s timeline showed – we do have each other 😉
I believe it’s time for us to be stronger; yes, one-more-freaking time; and I believe it because I know we can. Having ADHD – its resilience and hyperactivity – has saved me from a lifetime of trauma; and if I came up stronger every time, you can do it too. It is a choice; it is one freaking hard choice to make but it’s doable.
Trust me… trust in yourself, and remember what happens when you spread that funny little thing called love…
If loneliness and misunderstanding seem more unbearable than ever, spread some love and rely on our kind. We could be heroes; you know that; don’t you?