Adult ADHD and Success: Baby Steps Will Get You There!

It took me 37 years to finally get through my head that REAL success with adult ADHD involves baby steps and NOT burning out! - Jeff Emmerson

It took me 37 years to finally get through my head that REAL success with adult ADHD involves baby steps and NOT burning out! – Jeff Emmerson

By Jeff Emmerson

Today’s post hits a nerve with me – just a tad! Wow, has this ever been my challenge since I was a small boy. It all started with wanting to be a pro hockey goalie, looking ten years ahead to my first pro contract, getting WAY ahead of myself. I still remember Dad saying “One game at a time, Jeff. If you don’t focus on the next practice, and the next game after that, you’ll only hurt yourself.”

…he was right. I had a long way to go, and I had to get that through my head. I didn’t, and I paid a big price for it.

Would you mind if I YELLED this one out, it’s so important for people with adult ADHD? I’m practising what I preach here, as I’m about to send my book proposal and sample chapters to an amazing publisher with a stellar reputation. We’ll see what happens, of course, and my editor is the person in control. I must let them do their job without getting impatient, racing in my mind, and doing something unhealthy like checking in with them too much to see how things are going.


I have sabotaged myself throughout my life, wanting way too much way too fast, only to become exhausted as a result, screw things up with armored car company recruiters, and destroy a dream I had, a mission I was on for over a decade!! Damn it, that hurt, but somehow I’m learning to calm the “beast” within, the monster of determination that lurks within me, so that I can take small, manageable steps to success this time around! I’ve come a heck of a long way in a short time with this blog, my nearly 18,000 Twitter followers, my YouTube subscribers, and Facebook audience (not to mention the 103 people who have signed-up to buy my memoir as soon as it’s out). However, make no mistake – I still “race” in my head at times, and my wife reminds me to relax, savor the journey, and enjoy the fact that I’ve helped one person already, which is a huge victory in itself!

Lately, I’ve been thinking of my mortality, wanting this blog to stay long after I’m gone (way down the road, of course). This subject is so very close to my heart…..God, it strikes a chord deep within me, needing to help people out there! After all, my life was saved in the nick of time by a diagnosis and the support of amazing people in my life! I simply wouldn’t be here if not for their love and kindness, and believe me – I NEVER, ever forget that. Anyway, baby steps are the antidote for a mind afflicted with the potentially negative aspects of adult ADHD. Focusing on how to win when it comes to adult ADHD and success, you need to stay organized, know your inner “racing” or “distraction” patterns very well, and counter them with tools such as deep breathing, medication (if needed), cognitive behavior therapy, and how ever else you step back from hurting yourself by making sudden, unhealthy decisions. God, do I know about that as well! I’m the poster boy, my friends.

There are a TON of ways to learn to minimize the negatives of adult ADHD and allow your strengths to shine through! But hear me when I say that it isn’t an easy road. Nothing worthwhile ever is – but WOW, is it satisfying! I promise you that.

You are on your journey. No one else’s. It sure as hell isn’t a race, no matter what anyone says. Do it your way! …..just be sure to be honest with yourself, and keep an open mind to learning about ways to “get out of your own way.”

That’s how I FINALLY changed my life, and I’m just gettin’ started, my friend. You have my full support! Adult ADHD and success: The two DO belong together. It’s a riddle to be solved by each of us. That’s the key.

To The Woman Who Raised Me: I Love You (Happy Birthday, Nan!)

Inspirational Adult ADHD author Jeff Emmerson with his Grandmother on October 13, 2012.

Inspirational Adult ADHD author Jeff Emmerson with his Grandmother on October 13, 2012.

By Jeff Emmerson

HAPPY 98th Birthday, Nan! I wanted to stop, to take a moment and introduce the woman who played an absolutely major role in saving me from myself: My Grandmother! She raised me from the age of fourteen onward, and to the woman who raised me, I say thank you, I love you forever, and I hope you’re at peace very soon. She’s in a nursing home, full of pain medication, nearly non-existent, she’s so thin and frail. She deserves peace, and God knows she’s led a full, satisfying life. My memories with her are some of my most sacred, close to my soul.

The 1990s were amazing with her, through thick and thin, as I experienced my first kiss, my first real relationship, and so many other wonderful moments. It would take me hours to go through them all, if that was even possible.

God, I’m thankful for Nan! She bailed me out when I was in handcuffs in the year 2000, when I sure as hell needed someone to give me a chance, even when it looked like I didn’t deserve it. LOOK AT ME NOW! I’m here because of her and my Dad, not to mention amazing friends who have had my back along this journey. Man, oh man……am I ever lucky. Millions out there aren’t nearly as lucky as I am.

I have to get to work at the hospital, so I need to end this post early, but I had to take a moment to pay tribute to a true Angel in my life: My Grandmother!

I can never repay you, but you’ll always be right here in my heart, cheering me on in the way you do. I promise to stay true to myself and my principles, just like you taught me through your example.