ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, has been a part of my life since being diagnosed when I was just seven years old. When I first got diagnosed with my learning disorder it finally made sense, it made sense why I was so hyper all the time and why I couldn't sit still! You know those scenes in TV shows where the teacher talks very fast and the students struggle to keep up? That's what living with ADHD is like for me. Every day.
Every single class since elementary school would be struggle for me even if it wasn't hard. My brain just didn't want to process the information my teachers had repeated already three or four times. All throughout middle school and high school I was always put into smaller classes with kids who are "just like me." I guess you can say that helped and I definitely kept my grades up. But, when it came to bigger classes like health or art I was just always lost. The noise of my peers talking around me just got me so distracted I couldn't concentrate on ANYTHING I was doing, all I could focus on was the conversations around me. No words that actually came out of my teacher's mouth were even processed in my head. I always just saw their mouths moving and I heard sound, but I couldn't put the words and sentences together. Every time I tried to regain focus, it just made it more difficult to understand what was being said to me.
Holding onto friendships with my disorder was always a struggle for me. When having conversations with my friends I would take what it felt like years to actually finish a conversation. The reason for this was because my brain just lost focus so easily. The zoning out made it worse because I'd be having a conversation with some friends and they'd be talking, and my eyes would just focus on an object and I would be stuck on that one single object for the rest of the conversation. Over the years I've learned that what a lot of people don't know about ADHD is that we have trouble focusing on one particular thing. Our brains can't just pick ONE thing to focus on, it picks a million different things therefore we have trouble focusing on what we need to focus on if there are other noises or things happening around us.
My ADHD will always be something I live with no matter how old I get. I am loud and very talkative and speak a million miles a minute but that's just who I am. I am someone who needs to always be moving or just doing something. I don't just randomly tap my feet and shake my legs for fun, I do it because it is the only way to help me stay focused. I don't just bite my hoodie string, or fidget with a pencil for fun; I do it because it helps me focus and stay on task. When I was younger, and even now, I would ramble on and on about the most ridiculous things, things that wouldn't even pertain to the conversation. I would ask a million questions without letting other people answer my first question, and I would talk FOREVER!! People would ask me if I ever stopped talking and I just replied with "I can't."
My brain cannot process everything all at once. When I'm in class taking notes, I'll try to write down anything and everything the teacher says that's not on the PowerPoint, but because my brain is so slow at processing information, I'll be able to get 3 words down before I forget the entire sentence. My friends will tell me that a certain teacher said something on this day, and even if I wrote it down somewhere I will not be able to recall what the teacher said without looking it up.
ADHD makes it hard for me to organize my thoughts and a good idea is easily forgotten so I tend to blurt things out. I'm aware that I do it, I am not happy that I do because it's rude. I feel terrible when I do this, and I try to stop it, but my brain sends words out my mouth faster than I can think to keep it until it's my turn to talk. ADHD also correlates with my terrible time management. It takes me a while to complete a task because forming the steps I need to take in order to even start the task is a challenge. I'll make a promise to myself that I'll work on a project for an hour and then work on another project but, that never happens. One hour always turns into three hours and then three hours would turn into six. It was always just a constant state of not being able to focus.
This is a disorder that effects my brain. If you don't know, your brain controls you; It's not the other way around. For those who think I just need discipline or that I'm just lazy, you're wrong. I may struggle in school, but I am the smartest person I know! I am someone who can multitask perfectly, someone who can't focus on one thing. I am and will never be ashamed of my learning disorder. It is a part of me and will always be a part of me. I AM MY ADHD!!