Having lived with ADHD my entire life, I have repeated behaviors that I see, yet cannot change. I try and I try to change. Then I repeat, loathe myself, apologize, and repeat again. It’s a horrible vicious cycle that others cannot understand and I cannot explain. I sometimes think that the lack of explanation is the worst part of it all. How can you apologize for the same thing five times, never have an explanation and then hope for someone to forgive? There have been many times when I was genuinely sorry and ashamed of my disgraceful actions, but didn’t want to apologize because I knew that if I were the non-ADHD person that was offended or effected (again), that I wouldn’t accept an apology from this insane person. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then maybe I’m insane. If I were really able to sit and think through every word before it was spoken and every action before it was taken, then I would likely be alright, but my severe impulsivity is truly a disability, which isn’t an excuse, but an explanation. So, that is the explanation. Maybe I should apologize to people by saying, “hey, sorry I lack the neurotransmitters and executive functioning that would make me not insert my foot in my mouth. Please forgive me.” Although it sounds insincere, it would be truthful. Those that truly love you and know your core and intentions may be kind enough to give you such grace.
It is truly no wonder that ADHD is linked to a higher risk of suicidality. No one wants to unintentionally cause pain to those they claim to love and the guilt starts to build after each mistake until you can no longer bear to see the pain you’ve caused, and the ADHDer will withdraw, thinking they are completely unworthy of the time and affection of anyone. When you pair the guilt, loneliness, and hypersensitivity of ADHD, it can be a recipe for disaster.
I write this not as a warning necessarily to loved ones of ADHD, but with great hope that others diagnosed with this disorder may learn to feel worthy, despite the disdain from the crowd that was born with their executive functioning developmentally appropriate and intact. Those with ADHD may not be understood, nor may we understand our behavioral patterns and destructive tendencies, but our intentions are pure and our love is real. I would like to think that is worth something. ♦️
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson