My name is Mauricio, I just watched a TED talk from Jessica on YouTube and I started crying. A lot.
My wife has suspected that I have ADHD for quite some time. I’ve never been diagnosed, but she insists I probably have it, and she insists that it’s the only logical explanation for my behaviour. In reality I’ve actually been afraid to be diagnosed, I’m afraid that I might be diagnosed and not having anything, because that would mean I’m just extremely careless and distracted and stupid. But then I came across this TED talk and for some reason my reaction was very different than when I read about ADHD. When she started describing not just her actions but her emotions and you could see them on her face, that’s when it hit me, and that’s when I started crying. It’s been painful to be the way I am, not just for me, but also for the ones that love me and have suffered because of my capacity to create problems out of nothing. I’ve struggled with school since middle school, but I was also kind of smart, so I surfed through all of it, although not with the best of grades.
But as I’ve grown up the problems that my inattention cause keep getting bigger and bigger. In university, once I was sitting on the benches outside of the classroom wondering where is everybody, when suddenly a friend comes out and asks me why I didn’t take the exam (which I totally forgot), so I failed that class. At work I’ve forgotten important things but somehow I’ve managed to improvise and cope, more or less.
After starting a family with a wonderful, beautiful woman my issues with attention started affecting my family as well. While living in Europe, I didn’t make the application to extend my personal permit on time (I already don’t remember if I forgot about it or what…), and because of that mistake we had to leave the country where our son had been born and where we were starting to build a life. And don’t get me started on taxes… please, everyone, be careful with your taxes.
Those are examples of the big things, the things that leave a mark on your life forever. But there are also the small things, the things that you will not remember 10 years from now but also decrease the quality of life for you and your loved ones. Going to the store and not buying the one thing you were supposed to, or leaving home chores half finished every time, being always late because you forgot something, going out of the house without shoes, even forgetting when you’re hungry or thirsty.
However I CAN focus, and CAN read a whole book in one night without sleeping when I’m interested. I can even study with music and noises around me. So at first I thought I couldn’t have ADHD, because the name says it, “attention deficit”. I didn’t have that always. But then this girl on the video said something, that it’s not actually deficit of attention, but something more like irregular attention.
I was crying while I was thinking this, by the way, in part because you can feel her emotions on the video, but also because I could identify myself with her words. I’ve been trying so hard my whole life to do things right, to do things normally, and I just can’t. Why am I trying so hard and not getting any result?
So I will get a diagnosis, I finally need to find out. It’s irrelevant if it’s actually ADHD or not. I realized that in any case I need help and I need to do better at life. For my son, and my wife.
I hope the best for everyone here. Good luck.