I was interviewed a while back by Jeff Copper on Attention Talk Radio. They’ve on occasion done interviews with various folks called “behind the scenes” – a sort of “unplugged” version of the show where ADHD personalities can let loose with tales of the darker/funnier side of their ADD.
My Undiagnosed ADHD Past: The G-Rated Version
I love telling stories about my dark years – mainly the years in my 20’s when I had no idea what ADHD was, let alone that I was an epic ADDer. A lot of the stories are beyond “G”-rating, but even the ugliest episodes are worth remembering and retelling, because they shed light on the nature of ADHD and inspire me NOT to revisit those days or those behaviors (more about that in a moment).
Some highlights of my undiagnosed, untreated adult ADHD, much of which will likely sound familiar to many of you:
- Banged up or totaled very car I ever got my hands on, including at least 2 dents on roofs (that I can remember). How do you dent a roof?? Well, flipping it over is one way, but there are others — trust me, I know.
- When you crack up 8 motorcycles, you’re lucky to be alive – though most of those were on a race track, which is way safer than on the street believe it or not. I crashed one just a few weeks ago!
- Alcohol was my escape – and my constant companion.
- Drugs were my self-medication (though I didn’t realize it at the time).
- Crime (most minor, a few major ones) for which I never got caught, amazingly.
I still think I’m on the verge of getting caught for stuff I did, or somehow in trouble. I see a cop car, and I think he’s looking right at me and knows every bad thing I’ve done! And on some level or another, nearly ALL adult ADDers – particularly those who went undiagnosed for a long time – have this kind of baggage. But, there are lessons to be drawn from our darker days…
Lessons from Dark Days Can Support Alternative ADHD Treatment Efforts
As I’ve said in this space many times, there are forms of alternative ADHD treatment in not only hard-fought changes to life habits, but also in simple acts and even simple thoughts and keener awareness. Here are lessons from my past that likely mirror some that any previously undiagnosed ADHD adult might have:
- Understand your past . Know why you did what you did. For instance, I did drugs because I was self-medicating; I committed crimes because of stimulation-seeking and willingness to do stupid things for peer approval.
- Come to terms with it . Don’t regret it – see it as part of the “quilt” that makes up your interesting life history. You’re your stories!
- Use the painful memories as forward-moving fuel . This is what I call a Negative Nag, which can combine with a Positive Nag to provide consistently strong MOTIVATION (Way 2 in Video I).
- Know that we ADDers have the risk-taking, stimulation-seeking gene – and most importantly, see the difference between stupid risk-taking and worthy risk-taking.
There’s one more section of this blog – the ADHD strategies I developed to emerge from the darkness. But I’m running a bit long, so I’ll pick up on those in a later blog (they’re of course the foundation of what’s taught in the ADD Crusher Videos, which you can preview here.
And By the Way…
Whether you’re a regular Attention Talk Radio listener or not, I announced on the show a special discount code for ATR listeners: ATR15. If you’re reading it here, you’re entitled to use it for 15% off any purchase at ADDCrusher.com. Go for it!!
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! ab