While listening to the Additude’s podcast about ADHD, shame, and stigma, Dr. Dodson said this and I almost cried.
Objectively speaking: I am not a shitty person, stupid, or lazy. I work a full-time job, go to classes full-time at night, have an internship that I love, and work on being fully present, loving, and thoughtful with my kids as a single mom. I know these things, and yet… I always feel like I just suck as a person.
I always assumed that my sense of shame: that I’m a shitty person, stupid, lazy, etc. was probably due to being raised Catholic. (This is not an entirely impossible cause lol). But I had never considered the role ADHD has played in the development of my shame.
According my neuropsych eval, I have the Inattentive type of ADHD (aka “the daydreamers”). So throughout my childhood, I would get lost in thought, get distracted, lose track of what was happening. In an academic setting, what does that lead to if you’re called on for an answer? Confusion, embarrassment, shame. Or if the class was given instructions but you missed hearing a step and get corrected in front of your friends and classmates?… embarrassment and shame.
Over the years, I’ve developed a self-deprecating persona: if I say I’m shitty or stupid and laugh at myself, nobody else can. But… why? Literally no one has ever called me shitty (probably some exes but that’s comes with the territory) or stupid. It’s all in my damn head.
And yes, this voice is still there, telling me I suck. But over the last few years, I’ve accomplished things that I’m very proud of… see my current activities above, along with finally graduating and with honors for my Bachelors, doing fricking grad school (which was never in my life script), and advocating for my children and for mental health care in my community. My pride in what I’m doing is becoming the tool against those thoughts I have about myself that I wouldn’t dream of having about anyone else because they’re dicky and cruel thoughts
So here’s to having pride in yourself… I think I’m beginning to have pride in having ADHD because it doesn’t seem to stop me or anyone else I know who has it. Cheers