By Jeff Emmerson
Adult ADHD and insecurity: linked so deeply! I have felt this all my life in ways, and it’s easy to explain why we feel this way (most of us, anyway).
When we’re young, whether we’ve been diagnosed or not, we screw up, we make mistakes like others, but we often “feel” different, like the world wasn’t made for us in a way, like school is absolute punishment, that things should be structured differently. I remember when I asked my college professor “Why is society the way it is, where we have to work most of our lives, missing loved ones and the invaluable quality time for family, dreams, and free time to contemplate life?” in 1999……and boy, did I mean it. I felt like rebelling against “the system,” before I came to my senses, realizing that I had to make my own path in this life, while paying the bills and keeping the powers that be happy.
Through trials and tribulations, mistakes and not quite thinking the same way the masses do, we develop a lack of confidence over time, which in turn leads to anxiety, depression, insecurity, all or some of these, anyway. It just makes sense. Whether your mind is on the hyper side, or more on the inattentive, distracted side, we all feel self-doubt and a deep sense of insecurity at times, which is like a vicious circle that can lead to negative, spontaneous behaviors to try and feel better about ourselves: one-night stands, spending money we truly can’t afford to spend, getting drunk 5 nights a week, using drugs, and in other ways. It’s a damn shame that we do these things, since we often have such amazing talents and passion for this life.
So how have I learned to overcome this monster called insecurity?
First of all, I don’t like the word “overcome” in this case – I much prefer the term “evolve.” You see, we will always feel insecure at moments – we will ALL have some level of self-esteem issues. That’s called being human, and it can be a good thing not to get too cocky and high on ourselves. I have, however, worked very hard on forging my own identity, and being proud of who I am as a human being, a man on a mission to help others in this life through my passions, a true win-win as I see it. I went back, spoke to counsellors, got my past resolved as much as I could in a healthy way, began to move on, and realized that as different as I might be in ways, I am a natural leader, a man who loves with all his heart, and a man who is deeply passionate for following his heart in this life, whatever it takes.
That has helped me a TON – to say to myself: “Why the hell would I want to be like everyone else? In fact, people need leaders with the guts to speak out about their challenges, their struggles, to show a true, honest human face with mental health challenges!”
It took time to truly begin to love myself, but holy crap is satisfying, unlike any “high” I can imagine. This is for REAL.