By Jeff Emmerson
Wow – NOW it’s getting even more important (if that was possible) to open society’s eyes to the destruction that adult ADHD is creating! Just yesterday as I was helping Canadian company Bell Canada raise $4,000,000 for mental health initiatives by using the Twitter hashtag “BellLetsTalk,” a good friend by the name of Pete Quily on Twitter, a seasoned ADHD counselor and advocate for the condition sent a message saying “21% to 45% of adults with ADHD are in jail, and 90% are still undiagnosed!”
….Dear God. What sort of epidemic is this turning out to be? I shuddered inside, knowing I was also once in jail, and having ADHD has nearly killed me on a couple occasions via suicide. Jesus! This has to change! I lost a brother to suicide already, and my family almost lost a second son to it (me). Though my brother didn’t have ADHD (he had other issues, God bless him), it underlines the crucial importance of research when it comes to this issue. Dear God, how many have committed suicide due to the racing thoughts, inability to hold down a job, a jail record that drove them to self-medication, to actually KILLING themselves? How about that statistic?
Wait – I don’t think I even want to know. It would be too heart-breaking. And yet, I have chosen to be a man on a mission, baring my entire story of screwing up and eventual true success, so I can’t shy away from the truth. How many lives could be saved (like mine was) due to a diagnosis, an ANSWER to why so many are endlessly messing their lives up? 90% are STILL undiagnosed? I look to the sky and tears begin to fill my eyes when I think of that statistic….How many are on the verge of taking their own lives? How many are in jail without getting the right help to be able to live out a full, successful life like I finally am?
God, this hurts in my stomach. I wish I could save everyone through my story, and yet I’m not that naive. Maybe my brother didn’t die in vain…I love you, Ryan! With or without ADHD, he fought a battle no one should have to fight. He had it SO much harder than I did, and yet, everything is all relative – you cannot compare, since we all feel in different levels of depth. What hurts me might not affect you, and vice-versa. We must remember that, and have empathy!
21 to 45% in jails? God, again…..I was there, and I knew I could do SO MUCH MORE than I was showing, that I could move the world with my passion, my caring, and my vision for helping others, yet I was being patted down by correctional guards, wearing my blue “World Gym” sweatshirt, knowing I was more determined than ANY of the people in those uniforms….I just needed to get the hell out of my own way!
I accept full, and I mean 600 percent full responsibility, and here I am, sharing it all, hoping my journey to hell and back will HELP someone out there, damnit. OK – today is the day for another viciously intense workout. I know – I sound a tad self-righteous, but believe me: I’m often my own worst critic. I clearly need to make up for so much of the crap that I’ve done, or said more accurately: I must show who I truly am, and to touch others in a positive way. I’ve always known deep down that I was meant to do more. You might hear that a lot, but it’s true. If you could feel the way I’d do, you’d never question that statement.
We’re all in this together, and I promise to keep pouring my soul out and building my online community. My brother would be smiling, cheering me on, I’d love to think. I still ache for him, missing him so much.