I was going to title this mail ADHD and Money but then I realised that if you have ADHD you most likely will be too terrified to open it. If you are married to or living with someone who has ADHD you are quite possibly so frustrated and angry that you might throw your computer out of the window hoping it will hit the ADDer on the head and knock some sense into him or her.
Yesterday Dave and I were privileged to attend a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) brainstorming workshop hosted by a very dynamic and caring businesswoman, Debbie. Debbie works closely with many NPOs as she runs a debit order collection service for people who donate to these very worthy causes.
The common theme for these NPOs is that raising funds is a continual challenge especially in tough economic times.
Although Living ADDventure (LADD®) is not an NPO we face many of the same challenges. ADHD is a dirty word, it is mired in controversy. Does it exist? To medicate or not to medicate? To remediate or not to remediate? These are common questions.
Everyone has an opinion whether they know what the term ADHD means or not. ADHD medication is expensive as are trips to doctors and other therapists.
At this workshop 8 small businesses were represented excluding Debbie's company. Surprise surprise almost without exception we all had some connection with ADHD. ADDers do not shy away from tough challenges though without a doubt we are also exceptionally good at creating these challenges.
Among the wealth of talents and skills of those present were:
A very talented musician
A superb artist
Interior and textile designers
Public speakers and Support Group Leaders
Social Media and Technology experts
A psychiatric nurse who has combined her animal rescue shelter to provide emotional support to broken humans.
An expert on, above, in, and under water he is achieving great success with street children among other projects.
Passion, drive, strong work ethic, and above average intelligence were abundantly present.
Despite what many people believe, ADDers are not lazy, crazy or stupid.
As each person told their story they emphasised that they are not "driven by money". Yet they also mentioned that cars were being re-possessed, electricity had been cut off and homes in the process of being taken away.
They only care about people and want to help others using their unique talents and skills.
Light bulbs finally started popping on in my brain as I have been grappling with these same challenges all my life.
One of the key characteristics of ADHD is low self esteem.
The majority of adults with ADHD have grown up in an environment where our impulsivity has got us into endless trouble, we have battled at school, been bullied, or ostracised by classmates because of our lack of social graces.
Add to the mix, 4 out 5 children with ADHD have at least one parent with the condition.
ADHD relationships are volatile, physical, mental and verbal abuse are not uncommon. Untreated and un-managed ADDers self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling,food and work.
We have not learned the necessary life-skills to equip us to live successfully in a non-ADHD world.
It is therefore no surprise that ADDers have low self esteem and when your self esteem is in the toilet you have no sense of self worth.
We do not believe we are worth being paid for what we do even though we have incredible talents, qualifications and skills. Being passionate people we are idealistic and believe we can change the world so that others do not have endure what we have been through or are going through.
This is why many of us start NPOs or similar organisations driven by a desire to help others.
Sadly what frequently happens is that we end up more broken than ever as we fail to achieve our dreams because we haven't take care of ourselves and our basic material needs. We can't help others if we don't have a car, a roof over our heads and food on the table.
It has taken me 58 years but I think I am finally seeing the light and I am really excited to be part of this group of passionate, caring and bright people who want to make a difference.
We know that what we do at LADD® is powerful and worthwhile and has changed many lives. We just have to keep reminding ourselves and not sell ourselves short.