Saturday, May 5, 2007

You Say I Have ADD like it's a Bad Thing?!

I've been diagnosed with Adult ADD. Mind you not by a medical doctor but in the court of public opinion. The first time was several years ago by an employee of a vendor I did business with. Apparently this gentleman was afflicted with ADD and recognized a fellow "sufferer". He founded a local support group in the small southern town in which he lived and was trying to offer me his unsolicited advice. While it was inappropriate to do this with a total stranger, I realized he was trying to be helpful.

I also have been told by a former employee that I was one of the most clear-cut cases of ADD that she has seen. ( notice that she is a "former employee"). This associate's husband was on medication for ADHD at the time.

Recently I found out that one of my siblings is on medication ( Adderal?) for ADD. He finds it helps him in business communications as well as being able to focus.

I for one am happy the way I am without medication. ( unless caffeine is considered a drug ). I also think that we are a label-happy society. Bad habits and idiosyncrasies with medical names become disabilities. So you don't mistake me for Tom Cruise, I think some people clearly need to be medicated and under physician care. I prefer to look at the advantages that ADD brings.

1. People with ADD tend to be highly intelligent and make good entrepreneurs. ( from my well-read former associate who is Mensa material.)

2. ADD helps enhance multi-tasking abilities. ( important if you are an entrepreneur).

3. If you are blessed with ADD, you probably are creative. One of my marketing interns who helped keep me organized told me, " You can pay someone to organize you. You can't pay someone to be creative for you." I think you probably can but it would cost more than a small business person could afford.

4. ADD gives you the ability to eavesdrop on another conversation while having one of your own.
A great power if you are a mom or if you are a busy-body and have to know everything that is going on around you.

5. People tend to underestimate the ADD afflicted and mistake them for being scatterbrained and of less than average intelligence. We just have a lot on our mind and will use this fallacy to our advantage.

Thankfully I use my powers for good, not evil.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Control is only an illusion

Control is an issue we struggle with our entire life. When we are children, we push to be independent from our parents. As young adults, we try to live on our own and are reluctant to ask for help. I don't remember the exact situation but my father's words are burned in my memory.
"You will always be dependent."

At first this statement really bothered me. And then I came to realize he was right. As a parent, he was happy to help lessen my struggles, whether they were financial or emotional. It was a symbiotic relationship. My father derived pleasure at being able to take care of his child, and I was grateful to have support a system.

The tables get turned as we get older. The parent starts to reluctantly depend more on their children. And fights it every step of the way!

This past weekend I took my oldest son for a weekend trip to Connecticut to visit my Aunt & Uncle who moved from California to an assisted living facility near my aunt's family. My Uncle, who is my dad's older brother, and his wife have no children. One of my aunt's nieces and her husband have been working hard to get my Aunt & Uncle's affairs in order.

The visit was a nice chance to bond with my eldest child and help lift the spirits of my uncle.
My son was eager to get away from younger brothers and have an adventure. My uncle was having a difficult time adjusting to living in an assisted living facility and needing round the clock help.

It was an interesting juxtaposition. My 10 year old son, trying to assert his independence and my uncle bemoaning his loss of control over his life.

I advised my uncle to relax, let family help and I made a silent promise to myself that if I find myself in a similar situation in my twilight years, I will let my kids take over.