How I Have Accepted My A.D.D.

Alison - Fort Collins, Colorado
Entered on November 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Attention Deficit Disorder will not define my life. Prior to 4th grade, I lived a very tough life. I went through friends each week. I was always bored and it was very difficult for me to sit still. So in 4th grade my parents finally decided to run me through tests. The doctors told me that I have a disorder called A.D.D.

A word my mom used to describe me was “high maintenance.” I was always in the nurse’s office at school, crying because my shoes didn’t feel “right” or running around screaming. After I found out I had A.D.D., it took about three to four years for me to really feel comfortable telling people. My friends would often joke around with me about it. I would be very wild one day and someone would say, “Uh oh, I don’t think Alison took her pill.” I would laugh but sometimes it hurt. Sort of like getting a shot, it stung for a second, but my mom was always right there holding my hand. She would tell me that it is just like having acne. You’re in junior high, you are going to get made fun of for something you can’t control, but in the long run, people become mature and they won’t judge you or make fun of what you can’t control.

Today, I still live up to those words. I get made fun of about the size of my ears, the sound of my voice, and the pills I didn’t take; and I just take a breath from the cool air around me, and let it all go.

One day I forgot to take my pills. In photography, some of my friends were making fun of me and I just wanted to scream. The blood rushed through my veins like a flood wipes out an entire city, But, I knew I had to be mature and let it go. Then, in math, I was so jumpy. My teacher, who knows about my A.D.D., gave my class an hour to sit down quietly and work on our homework. To me it was like telling a blind person to read a book for a whole hour. I wanted to go jump around. It was weird; I really wanted to squeeze something and then quickly release it. I wanted to make quick, fast movements, sort of like the crisp break of a thin sheet of ice. I thought I was able to keep it to myself until that night my mom told me she saw my math teacher at the store. He told her that I was very bouncy and always out of my seat. He could tell I hadn’t taken my medicine. He was very nice about it but for some reason, his words hit me ten times harder than my friends’ cruel words earlier in photography. Their words were like an alarm clock waking you up in the morning. I just wished I could hit the snooze button on them and shut them up. But my teacher’s words were like my mom coming and pouring a bucket of ice water all over me to wake me up. And it sure did wake me up fast! My mom always said the cruel jokes will wear off later in life, but I never thought about how the observation of a mature, professional person would affect me. I felt like I will never be normal. It’s not the jokes that scare me; it’s me. I was scared of myself ruining a job interview because I didn’t take my pill. After thinking for quite a long time, I have realized that I am normal whether I take my pills or not. Taking my pills doesn’t determine which path or direction I should take in life. It helps build a bridge over the problem. I accept the fact that my body needs more help than most people. I believe that once we accept our reality, only then will we truly embrace ourselves.