Book Review: “Unraveling ADHD” by Joyce Kubik, CMC
I’m often asked to review books. I suck at it. Because I suck at reading. Verrrrry slooooooow reader. But I picked one up that was sent my way recently, and couldn’t put the dang thing down. Joyce Kubik, ADHD coach and certified master coach, wrote Unraveling ADHD: How I Turned My Greatest Deficit into My Greatest Asset, a personal account of her struggle with undiagnosed ADHD and all that can go with it (which is quite a lot of additional burden).
As a long undiagnosed ADDer throughout childhood and much of adulthood, as well as an advocate for the millions of undiagnosed adults around the world, this book resonated – on two fronts.
First, bits of the book offer a checklist of the many classic woes of ADHD sufferers. If you wanted to explain to people what ADHD is really like, hand them this list of quotes from Joyce’s narrative…
> “I recall how I was admonished continually for being the last one ready [to leave the house] and making everyone late.”
> “I fought to protect myself from the daily criticism of being told I was late, wrong, or in trouble.”
> “My days were spent looking over my shoulder to see who was next to catch me doing something wrong.”
> “Many nights I lay awake wondering why no one liked me or why everyone thought I was so dumb. I tried to think of ways to be more like everyone so I wouldn’t get in trouble, but nothing seemed to work.”
> “Why is it I can’t pick up a newspaper and read, ‘The café is open until 11:00 tonight,’ put it down, and tell you what I just read? The words leave my mind in seconds.”
> “I would also blurt out comments or jump to conclusioins when someone was talking. Once I became aware of this, I tried to control myself, but I never made much progress.”
> “My parents argued about many things and tried to hide it from us. But often I heard their arguments and they always seemed to end up being about me…”
> “One [thing] I struggled with daily was controlling my distractions. ‘Why is it that I can’t stay on task?’“
Second, on the positive side, she offers some great tips that I really identify with. Here are my favorites…
- Lists Are Your Friends: Even if you lose them or don’t always work from them, MAKE them and continually work to work them into your daily life. They are a surrogate for our weak working memory!
- Never Email Before Breakfast: Joyce would find herself lost in emails and losing track of time…until she realized it was 2pm and she’d not only missed breakfast, but lunch as well. Get a healthy, protein-based breakfast in your tummy to start the day. THEN tackle your inbox.
- Advocate for Yourself: Don’t let others tell you what you need or don’t need. Listen to your gut. This is not to say don’t listen to others’ suggestions, but just make sure you give your OWN opinion as much or more weight than that of others.
A key thing about Joyce’s story is that she “unvraveled” her ADHD in a long, arduous process. It wasn’t a single “aha!” – it was a series of them that eventually led to her ADHD diagnosis, treatment and triumph. But along the way, she managed many successes, not least of which were a later-in-life college degree and being president of the ADHD Coaches Organization. Pretty good unraveling, I’d say.
Thanks for a great read, Joyce.
P.S. If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! – Team Crusher