Did you forget to smile?

Tyler - Escondido, California
Entered on September 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: disability

“Did you take your medications this morning?” A usual question that I would often follow up with, “I forgot to.” I was use to this question by now, even though Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) isn’t uncommon. Every school day was a test of concentration, and I was used to it. It was often concerned teachers that would ask me if I was medicated. What was funny to me was that they would always ask in a hushed tone, like it was a terrible secret.

Even to this day, people tell me “it must be tough to deal with ADD,” and follow up with an apology. I usually laugh and tell them that it’s not a big deal. I remind them that other people deal with disorders and diseases way worse than anything I have. I often joke about how ADD is a “vicious cycle,” because you need the medication to remember to take your medication. Even when I first found out, I wasn’t scared. In fact, I was relieved.

In the third grade, my teacher noticed that I was slower than the other kids when we were doing class work. When my teacher told my parents she thought I had ADD, they immediately took me to a specialist to verify my teachers’ assumption. Sure enough, the doctor confirmed it. The best part is that my parents weren’t concerned about my future, because my mom has ADD as well. Instead of worrying about minor things, they immediately went to work on finding a low side effect medication. The thought of taking a pill every weekday for the rest of my life wasn’t a problem. My parents weren’t scared, so what did I have to fear?

When I reached high school, I found that I was actually quite fortunate to have ADD, because while everyone else was doodling and day dreaming in class, I was medicated and focused because of it. The more I thought about it, I was blessed to have this disorder, because most ADD kids have something called hyper focus. The lack of focus in most situations makes me able to focus really hard on something that interests me. It gives me an extra boost for when something really matters to me. I firmly believe that having obstacles in life is something to be proud of, and they can only make you stronger if you take them head-on. But then again, I wouldn’t know anything about that, because I don’t see ADD as an obstacle.

Having ADD teaches me to look for things to be exited about, and to always laugh about what ever may bring you down. It has also taught me that things are never as bad as they seem. A wise professor once told me that no situation is so bad, that complaining about it will make it better.

Did complaining help our forefathers declare independence?