By Jeff Emmerson
Adults with ADHD have a way of “skipping over” the great times, the amazing moments in our lives, and racing toward the next goal, or getting distracted too much to even recognize (let alone appreciate) moments that we can’t take for granted! Trust me on this – I wished over a decade of my life away on a dream I was obsessed with achieving, while wonderful moments with friends, family and others simply passed me by! God, I hate focusing on that fact, as it makes me feel like someone has punched me in the stomach, but at least I can learn from it and savor each precious moment more than I ever have before.
As adults with ADHD, it’s almost like we’re “robbed” of the ability to savor our successes and special moments in a way, and if you’ve got it, you know what I mean. We’re so damn obsessed with our passion, our goals and our screw-ups that we end up spending much of our lives with blinders on, having life pass us by in ways if we let it. We’ve got to work twice as hard to take moments to stop and smell the roses in this life!
While I wished those years away, Dad was getting older, my brother committed suicide, and my first marriage to a long-time sweetheart crashed and burned in a very short 4 months. That separation and divorce ripped me apart inside, and it’s all in my up-coming memoir. Funny – as I look back, it’s easy to savor the heartache and bitter-sweet irony from those days, but at the time, my mind was a machine on a mission to achieve the goal of becoming an armed guard to FINALLY prove myself: I could go all the way from a jail cell and a criminal record with a 10-year weapon ban to being legally trusted with a firearm and delivering millions of dollars to banks, ATM’s, etc. It consumed me, and even though I did eventually get my gun licence (one hell of a story – I’m not sure how I lived to see that day arrive), screwed it all up with my adult ADHD symptoms, harassing recruiters and not being PATIENT in the hiring process! How God-damn ironic, huh?
How (swear word) ironic……..Can you learn from the years I threw away?
God, I hope so. If there’s one thing I regret, it’s the years I took for granted. Sure – we all take life and loved ones for granted at times. That’s part of being human. The key is to regularly tap ourselves on the shoulder and say “Hey – I know you’re focused on life, success and stuff, but what about right NOW? Take some time to focus on how far you’ve come, and even if you’ve got challenges right now, what IS going well?”
- Family and/or friends? Be grateful for them
Your dreams? Appreciate the fact that you’re alive and on your journey!
Food on the table? How grateful are you for that?
Music? It can change your life and inspire you
Support from mental health professionals and/or loved ones – it saved my life!
Amazing memories – we ALL have them!
You get the point – take regular time to savor just how far you’ve come, and the fact that you want a better life! How about the sky? The trees? The water or a beautiful rainfall? The sun? The snow? I’m telling you – us adults with ADHD have to stop and see the special moments going on around us as much as we can.
“Once we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” – Wayne Dyer