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ADD and the Gift of Resilience

Mar 12, 2008
Attention Deficit Disorder challenges people in diverse ways. A number of us have the most difficulty in fixing attention and thinking, just as a few of us have a big trouble in managing feelings. No matter the problem, there is one guaranteed way to be thriving in spite of it - the capability to be tough.

Resilience has been defined as the ability to recover from, or adjust easily to, change or misfortune. Relating this to grown ups with ADD, we may alter the description to "an ability to make progress from, or adjust without difficulty to adversity, change, hold ups, challenges, and disappointments."

In order to be flourishing grown ups with ADD, we have to acknowledge the unquestionable reality that we will have problems, we will have disappointments, and we will have frustrations. But we cannot let these hindrances stop us.

Let us take a realistic look at resilience by evaluating two grown ups with ADD, "Jane" and "Lilly".

Jane is a remarkably smart woman, but she does not think so. She works in an office of high pressure where people are hyperactive. She is a general assistant to quite a few VIPs. One of her bosses often blames his own blunders on her, and another boss time and again calls Jane unintelligent.

Jane spends her evenings exhausted and distressed. She feels overwhelmed. Once a very positive and cheerful woman, she has let the messages of a few idiots bring her down. She wishes to search for a new job, but she does not believe that anybody else will employ her. In the very first week of her job, Jane knew it was not a good position for her and she ought to resign, but she did not have faith in her sixth sense and as a result stayed put.

Lilly is as well a wonderfully smart woman with ADD. Lilly had a tough time in school. She did not have very good scores, and was time and again told that she was lethargic, but she carried on. She graduated high school and, even though her parents dispirited her from heading for college, she went in any case. She started off in a community college, where she found out that when she could select her course of study, she in fact did pretty well. From there she relocated to a very fine state school.

Lilly was determined that she wanted to teach high school. She wanted to be 'one of those teachers who have an affect'. Her college counselor told her she was foolish. She said, "A woman of small build and soft voice, like you, cannot teach high school. You will not be capable to control the kids. They will eat you alive."

Lilly was disappointed for two days. But in her heart, she knew better. She made a deliberate judgment not to pay attention to her counselor. In fact, she made a formal request to the school for a new counselor who would be more encouraging, and she got one.

Lilly has at the moment been teaching high school history for 7 years, and was also chosen as the "favorite teacher" in the annual report superlatives.

Jane allowed the words of others change her opinions about herself, and she no longer believes in herself.

Lilly, on the other hand, has remarkable determination. She believes in herself, and she does not let other people's pessimistic messages bring her down. She permits herself to be saddened, but not for too long. She gets right back, heading in the right direction. And she has great accomplishments to show for it.

Resilience in grown ups with ADD is all about moving ahead. If we would like to be flourishing grown ups with ADD, we cannot let adversity hold us back.
About the Author
Tony Sinclair provides an in depth interview on the causes of ADHD, and simple tips to work with the family challenges ADHD creates. See adhd-secrets-uncovered.com
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