I can't remember why, but yesterday I mentioned to a woman that I'm ADHD. She replied either "You shouldn't let people label you like that" or "Don't think of yourself with labels like that." Either way, I know she used the word "label." But you know, I think I'm better off knowing that I'm ADHD and acknowledging it, than trying to hide it.
I am ADHD. I just am. It means that I often encounter certain challenges, and by the way, it's easier to handle these challenges if I get to the root of the problem. It doesn't help so much if I just know that I often have trouble focusing, even on things that I'm enthusiastic about. It doesn't help much to just know that I often have trouble staying still. It does help a lot if I know that ADHD is at the root of these challenges I face, and learn to work with it rather than simply the symptoms being ADHD.
If my attitude was different, and rather than saying "I am ADHD" I said "I am not ADHD," things would be different, and not for the better. For one thing, I would not have gone to the doctor for help -- and even though most of what helps me overcome the obstacles of ADHD I found by myself, without a doctor's help, I have still benefited immensely from going to my doctor a few years back and saying "I was diagnosed ADHD when I was young, and now I need your help again because I can't handle this by myself anymore." This would not have happened if I had said "I am not ADHD."
If I said "I am not ADHD" I would not understand why I encounter the challenges I do. Rather than recognizing that having trouble focusing on things -- even on things that I am enthusiastic about! -- is due to ADHD, I might think that I was simply too stupid. I might give up, and not go after certain goals or pursue some of my dreams. I would have less confidence in myself.
But I do know that I am ADHD, and I am not ashamed of it. It means that I face certain challenges, but that's ok. Everyone faces challenges. ADHD just happens to be one of mine. I have found ways of working with the challenge of ADHD, and will continue to find more ways of working with it. Doctors have helped me with it, and I know I can go to them for help again if I need to.
There's nothing wrong with being ADHD. What would be wrong is if I tried to deny this part of me.