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  • Writer's pictureTyler Miller

ADHD Adventures 1

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

By: Tyler Miller

Horoscopes are fascinating pieces of writing. Objectively, they're simply broad statements pointed at a base of readers with the end goal of latching onto some subtly universal aspect of life in such a way that doesn't appear to the reader as a part of common human experience, but rather as something quite personal and unique. Such is the way I feel as I learn about adolescent-to-adult symptoms and behavioral patterns for people with ADHD such as myself.

I am beginning to realize that many fellow individuals with ADHD are struggling to navigate a world that seems to outpace us, dealing with the same soul-devouring demons of self-doubt, unattainable perfectionism, and paralyzing anxieties which have seemingly all-of-a-sudden become comorbidities of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

I've recently come across this video by Dr. Tracey Marks, in which she details these various ways that ADHD can affect self-esteem, detailing relationships with self-doubt, reactions to feelings of failure, as well as other behavioral patterns people with ADHD are likely to experience. Watching this simple 6 minute video I stumbled across on YouTube, I felt as though every personal crisis I have experienced fits neatly into the difficulties Dr. Marks has outlined. Like a perfect horoscope or some eerily specific Zoltar card, I felt like this fit my life's experiences like a perfectly tailored glove. I had been read like a book. Read like there's highlighter markings on the pages and those little arrow sticky notes were poking out of the edge.

And so, as I take inventory of my life thus far, ruminating on my greatest shortcomings, my worst struggles, and the various obscure and ever-changing pathways I find myself travelling, I can't help but to wonder how many of the life-altering, soul-crushing experiences I've endured were predestined all along by this disorder that I have. Further, if this pattern defines my prior experiences so well, what does that mean for my future endeavors? Am I destined to continue with this struggle, or am I simply at a higher risk to fall into these negative patterns? Why is it that I never knew about this entirely new side of a mental disorder that I just assumed made it hard to focus on the tasks I have at hand, or near impossible to write if I'm not in some cafe with the perfect ambiance. I feel like I totally mischaracterized my journey to address my mental health.

I blame a lot of my shortcomings on my own self-perception of me being lazy and unable to achieve anything without a combination of stimulant medication and the fleeting urge to do something, anything productive. While that may be a personal issue to address in itself (and probably another post), I'm also not going to hide behind a set of symptoms to excuse the opportunities and experiences in my life that I've completely destroyed or otherwise fumbled. I just never knew that I secretly need to do things perfectly, and anything short or underdeveloped just isn't going to cut it for my subconscious, even if the reason for imperfection is simply the very nature of any learning process. I procrastinate and underachieve partly because of this very common ADHD trait, not solely because of the tell-tale lack of attentiveness or some other personal flaw. I feel frustrated that I've been unknowingly running through the "real world" with this hidden tendency towards self-sabotage. But now I know. Now I can work towards overcoming this invisible hurdle.

Special thanks to Dr. Tracey Marks for the psychological palm reading that changed a piece of my own self-perception.

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