The Compassion Cure: An End to ADD/ADHD Self-LoathingMarch 19th, 2012 by admin
Through my coaching, speaking, and writing, I have worked hard to break down barriers and bring a feeling of self-worth and confidence to rapid-fire thinkers. By working with students, I enable them with knowledge about their strengths and with strategies to focus and fulfill their dreams. With couples, I encourage them to communicate openly and fight for their relationship, understanding the role that ADD or ADHD plays in it. In the workplace, I conduct workshops to create an open, inclusive environment, and to help organizations realize the vast potential of their ADD/ADHD brain type employees. In short, I work to help individuals with ADD/ADHD to realize their own great worth, and to minimize the time they spend in this life feeling frustrated, misunderstood, undervalued, and even self-loathing.
The Lingering Scars
But for many of us with this brain type, especially those from older generations weighed down by labels and taboos, there is no denying the scars that still linger from years or decades of mistreatment. Instead of understanding the profound wonder of rapid-fire thinking in unparalleled problem solving, remarkable ingenuity and the power to adapt to new situations, it may even have become the characteristic you dislike most about yourself. The negative stereotypes about ADD or ADHD are so pervasive, they have even harmed your opinion of yourself.
The truth is that compassion is the healer. For me, it was a long journey with many hard lessons, but I discovered that when my compassion for myself outweighed my feelings of inadequacy, and when my compassion for others outweighed my disappointment, frustration or jealousy towards them, my wounds healed. For me, that was the key to a healthy spirit. Celebrating the good things about myself and forgiving the shortcomings has led me on the path to happiness and success – and it will for you, too.
The Steps Towards Compassion
Visualize yourself as a special gift underneath unique wrapping. Some might look at the wrapping paper and think it’s perfect, but others simply might not like it. No matter what, it’s the gift that counts. In the end, the wrapping paper always gets tossed away. My point is, everyone has an opinion, and sooner or later everyone meets someone that they clash with. Nobody gets universal popularity. It may take time to realize this, but other people’s outward perceptions aren’t the final judgment on your worth as a person. It’s what you believe about yourself that matters the most. These steps toward self-acceptance will make all the difference:
Establishing a habit takes lots of repetition, but making the decision to establish that habit takes an instant. Reflect, and promise yourself that you will start the journey towards compassion.
- Look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say, “You are a gifted human being and I love you.”
- Find someone who believes in you and listen to him or her. Keep listening until the electric current of their faith in you wakes you up.
- Healing takes time. Keep working at it, but don’t rush yourself. Everybody wants a quick fix, but this is a major part of your life’s journey, and it will take as long as it takes.
- Ask the people around you that you trust what they like about you. The qualities of your character that they love the most might be ones you didn’t even notice.
- Acknowledge the things that you like about yourself, even if to start out with they are qualities that seem silly or small.
- As you learn that you deserve love and that your role on this earth is meaningful, treat yourself. Every step deserves a reward.
- Tell the people in your life that you care about the assets you have found in yourself. Express gratitude for the unique person you are, and for your support system.
- Write down your story in a short essay, 3,000 words or less. Notice all of the ways that your rapid-fire thinking has helped you survive with creativity and adaptability.
To All Non-ADD/ADHDers
For any non-rapid-fire thinkers reading this, I ask you to offer your compassion as well. It is so important to understand those with the ADD/ADHD brain type, to forgive the lack of follow-through and dependability in consideration of how valuable the rapid-fire thinker’s problem-solving contributions are. Years of disapproval at school, work and home take their toll, and the rapid-fire thinker in your life deserves your support on the journey to repair that damage.