Thursday, December 3, 2009

I have ADHD

I am not ADHD. Rather, I have ADHD.

Maybe I should explain the thought process behind this.

In one of my classes for music therapy the professor has explained that we would not refer to someone with autism as "an autistic patient," but as "a patient with autism." There's quite a difference between those two phrases. (This also applies to patients with strokes, head trauma, etc.) The first one defines a person by whatever their condition is. The second one doesn't.

This makes sense to me. I was thinking about it, and realized that if it really makes sense to me, and that if I want to embrace it, then I would need to change how I think about myself and my ADHD. Even just last month in this post, I referred to myself as being ADHD, rather than having ADHD. (I actually wrote that backwards at first -- wonderful dyslexia! lol) (Agh, and then I messed up when I retyped it...what fun I'm having!) (Actually it's probably sleep deprivation that's causing this trouble...) (Anyways...)

I mentioned this thought process to someone else who is in college to become a counselor. She told me that I was on the right track.

So, I only had to convince myself that rather than being ADHD, I am actually an individual who has ADHD. I discovered that there was sort of a difference between intellectually knowing something, and really believing it wholeheartedly.

Then one night in the past couple weeks I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep, when I finally internalized it. In my mind it started going like a mantra:

I am not ADHD,
I have ADHD.
I am not ADHD,
I have ADHD.
I am not ADHD,
I have ADHD.
etc, etc, etc.

This has entirely changed my attitude. I no longer define myself by my ADHD. Yes, I have ADHD, and I'll have it all my life, with its funny quirks and its challenges. That won't change.

What has changed is do I even explain it?

lol I'm sitting here, shaking my head and laughing. This is more than a sleep deprived college kid can explain. Or anyways, it's more than THIS sleep deprived college kid can explain.

Maybe what I'm trying to explain is obvious. I don't know. If it isn't, say so, and I'll attempt to explain it sometime when I'm not so sleep deprived.

I think it's bedtime for me! Straight off to bed right now...right after I feed the fish.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I think I understand what you're getting at. Saying "I am xxx" connotes that xxx is the sum total of who you are. Saying "I have xxx" means there's a lot more to who you are than just xxx. Good for you for applying what you learn in class to your own life!

Sarita said...

If I don't apply it to my own life, how can I apply it to the people who come to me for help when I'm a music therapist?