Awake: Yes – It is Really Real

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with ADHD; it was not so much a shock as much as it made perfect sense. It was like an aha moment – that is why I have always had trouble doing things that seemed like everyone else around me could do so easily. It made me see not only my high school years in a new light and the struggles I had in school, but circumstances in my everyday life outside of academia also came into view. But that was only the tip of the iceberg. The struggle was only beginning.

So many people in this modern world look at ADHD as “fake,” often quipping that “we all have a little bit of ADHD.” Having learned and actively researched more about ADHD, I unequivocally know that that is just not true. ADHD is not a matter of laziness or “just trying harder,” it is actually having everything you need to do something laid out right in front of you and physically not being able to bring yourself to do that thing, regardless of whether you do or do not want to do it. It feels like sandpaper scratching in your brain keeping you from taking that last step, assuring you that it will not be enjoyable or fulfilling. 

Before learning I had ADHD, I thought I was depressed or had severe anxiety. I had to start all over figuring out how to deal with this newfound clarification. My type of ADHD – put simply – is a lack of motivation and energy. Also, those who have it struggle with time management, focus, and organization. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is similar to OCD, another diagnosis that I have recently been given. That is also something people often jokingly say that they have. But – OCD is so much more than organization, it causes the most random or dark intrusive thoughts to invade your mind about life, especially the what ifs. It is a recursive cycle that can be paralyzing. Hearing people so quickly dismiss these mental struggles as “fake,” or flippantly saying that they “have them” is frustrating.

This battle has been my whole life, but I have only just realized I have also been fighting my whole life. This is a blessing and a curse because the knowledge makes it all the more difficult now as I work to navigate it all. My hope is that people see my battle, how I am contesting it, and know that they are not alone. Seeing others talk and share their experience sure has helped me on my journey. My message is this: Please do not be so close minded or quick to dismiss someone who has ADHD because the battle alone is hard enough. And for those struggling with it, whether it be severe or mild, you are not alone, and it does and will get better – all you have to do is fight back even when it feels impossible.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here