Adult ADHD and My Identity Crisis

I literally lived my life for over a decade WAITING for this licence, hyperfocused at the cost of precious time and memories! - Jeff Emmerson

I literally lived my life for over a decade WAITING for this licence, hyperfocused at the cost of precious time and memories! – Jeff Emmerson

By Jeff Emmerson

Yesterday really hit me hard – my hero, the man who took me to see the music group Hall & Oates live in the summer of 2006 (which inspired my up-coming life story) after raising me with their music and missing them in our small city 15 years earlier, is not well. I won’t go into any more detail out of respect for the man who adopted me at 8 weeks old and NEVER gave up on me, other than to say that the fear for him ties-in perfectly with today’s post! God, does it ever……too much, in fact. It hits one hell of a nerve, so let me explain:

With undiagnosed adult ADHD, I was living to find myself “outside” of myself. That very statement can make or break a person. When we’re having problems with self-identity, seeking it anywhere “out there,” I think we’re living very hard lives, as I did for many years. However, our society is heavily based on who we are in our jobs, and what our title is to a degree, that I suppose we have to come to our own self-awareness as we walk along this journey. I just know that for me, adult ADHD and my identity crisis came full-circle when after waiting for so many damn years to finally get my gun licence (pictured above) to be able to prove myself in society and become an armoured car guard, I sabotaged myself through adult ADHD symptoms! I had come ALL THAT WAY, gone from a jail cell, a criminal record lasting a decade, and stayed clean from trouble, worked my butt off to improve through self-help books, and became obsessed with being in that uniform, entrusted to the nines, only to THROW it away! God, that broke me. That f’ing RIPPED me apart, and yet, I simply couldn’t stop obsessing over my applications with companies, harassing recruiters ’till they thought I was nuts or something.

Identity…..be careful what you wish for!

When our ADHD minds go from goal to goal, idea to idea, relationship to relationship, job to job, and so on, it takes a massive toll on our hearts, our identity. “What the hell am I meant to do??!” That can literally drive us to depression and worse if we aren’t careful, and ESPECIALLY if we aren’t officially diagnosed! God. Don’t even get me started on that aspect.

Anyway, who you are is NOT strictly what you do for a living. Sure, many of us are fiercely determined for any number of personal reasons, and I get it! I sure do – that’s how I live to a large degree, and I accept it. I’m learning to also stop to smell those ever-elusive roses much more than I ever did before as well, and as the shocking news about my Dad came in by phone yesterday morning after I was heading to bed after a 12-hour night shift, it hit me like a ton of bricks: “Why didn’t I savor those years with my Dad MORE?

Dear God – whatever you do, please remember as much as you can to savor moments with loved ones! They can be ripped from us at any time! Don’t live in fear, either, of course – just appreciate EVERY day in your life a bit more as I’m doing.

Identity can cost us everything, or help us find our true path. Awareness is the entire key to unlocking the bank vault to a better life. Period. I’ve banged my head against a damn wall for decades “trying” to find myself…….I WAS HERE THE ENTIRE TIME!

Adult ADHD and Self-Pressure!

Up-coming Adult ADHD author Jeff Emmerson is on a mission to bring his story to the world to help others battling ADHD!

Up-coming Adult ADHD author Jeff Emmerson is on a mission to bring his story to the world to help others battling ADHD!

By Jeff Emmerson

I know – this photo isn’t necessarily related to the post today, but this is my Dad, and he’s battling some health issues, the man who adopted me at 8 weeks old, I just found out today. I had to stop and share how lucky I am to have had a father like I do. This was a 2006 photo, just before I started my up-coming memoir, after seeing Hall & Oates in concert. There’s a long, beautiful story to it, and it’s all in my book, I promise you. I am in pure shock as I write this late blog post today, so please bear with me. The man is my hero, and I’m devastated. Anyway, on to today’s post!

If you have adult ADHD, you know how we’re often our own worst critics. We get all pent-up in our goals, the fact that they sometimes aren’t coming true nearly fast enough, and the fact that our minds are SO full of ideas! God, do I know how it is – like a blessing and a curse, of course. On one hand, we’re often inspired, passionate people who want to live lives of real purpose and vision, but living as the minority in this world, society isn’t set up to cater to us, so to speak. I’m fine with that in a way, since we get to feel like we’re helping to live our dreams since not everyone might think like us, but we can INSPIRE people all over this world in our own small ways! Adult ADHD and self-pressure are something we need to be incredibly aware of for safety purposes (TRUST me on this), and prior mistakes also have a profound impact on our self-worth as we grow up, which I also understand only too well, my dear readers. God, after my brother Ryan hung himself in 2008, it murdered a part of all of us. I thought I was invincible, a warrior for living my own purpose, but my own undiagnosed adult ADHD and self-pressure landed me in the local Emergency Room, and the psych ward a year later! How many others are suffering through not being diagnosed, my friends? Or mis-diagnosed for that matter?

THAT is why I’m here working hard to build this blog, get a book deal for my memoir, and HELP! Sure – a lot are doing very well because they’ve managed to manage their symptoms, but MILLIONS aren’t! That is all I’m saying…….After seeing my brother in a casket, his face with make-up on it, knowing that his daughter would miss her Dad growing up (and God, the damage that can cause), I want to do Ryan proud, my Dad proud, and myself proud, as well as my gift of a wife…..and my Grandmother, another one of my “angels.” As I sit here, looking at the Canadian Rocky Mountains every now and then out our balcony, I’m a couple thousand miles from Dad, so I’m aching right now. I just found out today, and he’s battling some stuff, so this post was very hard, but SO important. Dad is my hero, as mentioned. He helped save me from disaster when I was young, including NEVER abandoning me, even through my decade-long criminal record and the MISSION to prove myself, even if it killed me.

God, I’ve been so very lucky, but I’ve also had the sheer will to survive, and not just that, to live by following MY heart while I’m here. Adult ADHD and self-pressure can be devastating, so please remember to take regular steps back when needed to remain “sane” in your big-picture objectives, be GENTLE on yourself, schedule regular time to “blow off steam” and be a kid, or whatever! It’s so good for the soul. What a journey this has been. I had another Acquisitions Editor from a major publisher reach out to me today, so as you can imagine, what a roller-coaster of a day!

Please always be grateful. Even through the sheer heartache and trauma that can come in life. ALWAYS seek the deeper, precious meaning! I’m reminding myself of that…………

Sending you healing, inspiring thoughts of gratitude, Dad. I love you SO much for standing by me! May I live to be somewhere half-close to who you areas a human being. Now THAT would be success.