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!