“Your ADHD life is to be celebrated, not lamented. You should feel free to laugh at your silly self, but never to have disdain for yourself. And if your parent or sibling or spouse is an ADDer, look to the things in their ADHD life you can both celebrate.”  – Alan

As my brother delivered my father’s eulogy a few years ago, highlighting some of the many charms of a man who led a long and full life, I began to hear a celebration of an ADHD life. Yep, he’s where I got my ADHD from, though it took me a while to figure that out.

But back to the eulogy…

powered_by_adhd_trucker_hatMy brother of course spoke only of the good stuff. And that is as it should be. On balance, a great guy and a great life.

But each of my father’s charms came with a troubling anti-matter counterpart. So much so that in his last decades those foibles became areas of friction for me – smoking, drinking, clutter, finances.

So as my brother spoke, I heard both sides, but was of course reminded that the good stuff is what really matters — especially in our autumn years.

And so with all due love and respect to the memory of my dad, I share a few of the both-sides-of-the-coins here with you. See how many of these pairings — ADHD positives and negatives — you can identify with (or identify in a loved one)…

 

Youthful…and…Childish

Even at his passing at 86, most of his friends – and he had lots – were a generation or more younger than him. Right down to the last, he was fun, silly…and in many ways frustratingly immature – all-night poker games, reluctance to deal with serious issues.

 

Generous…and…Broke

He wouldn’t let you pick up a dinner check or a bar tab. And thanks to the impulsiveness of ADHD plus the disorganization and lack of financial planning, he was a financial mess.

 

Funny as Hell…and…Offensive as Hell

Great sense of humor, which he maintained right up to the end. The last conversation we had – the day before he passed – ended with a big laugh. But with that ADHD impulsiveness at play, there were plenty of awkward moments thanks to waaaay-off-color jokes.

 

Risk Taker…and…Mistake Maker

He made some bold moves that moved his newscasting career forward swiftly, reaching the top echelon of the business in little more than 10 years. Later, he made a bold blunder by selling his house to buy a tavern, which cost him his job and wedded him even more to his self-medication…the bottle.

Funny Guy…and…Troublemaker: Only recently found this film from 1941 – guess which kid is my dad. And watch for his dad’s kick in the pants.

 

As it should be, the things he’s remembered for are all the good ones. And so it will be with you and me. Don’t worry.

Only thing you should worry about is whether you’re celebrating your positive ADHD life (while you work to improve it) rather than lamenting and brooding over it (which makes things worse).

And again, if your parent or sibling or spouse is an ADDer, make sure you take the time to savor the things in their ADHD life you can both celebrate.

-Alan

P.S. If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. It’s an exclusive members-only library of over 100 videos teaching hacks and strategies that “unleash the power of your unique brain” to beat procrastination, get prioritized and take control of your time.. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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