When you are walking with someone and they are always getting ahead of you what do you say?
“Wow, I need to start walking more.” Or, “You can go so much faster than I can.”
Usually you wouldn’t say something like, “What’s wrong with you, why are you so fast?”
But when a person with ADHD is 10 steps ahead in the conversation the comments tend to be, “You are so distracted.” Or, “What is wrong with you, we were talking about your grades.”
Many people consider having ADHD a hindrance in their life. One that often makes them frustrated with themselves and the people around them. I consider the fact that I have ADHD a bonus and here is why.
A typical conversation with my husband might go like this:
Husband: Those brownies you made last week were really good. Do you still have the recipe so I can make them tonight?
Me: Sure I will get it for you…Is the sticky patch stuff still in the filing cabinet?
Husband: What does that have to do with brownies?
Here is what is missing from that conversation. During the dot, dot, dot (…) my husband thought:
“Those brownies are sure going to taste good tonight.”
But I thought:
“Brownies, our daughter used to be a Brownie in Girl Scouts, but now she is a Junior and she has a Girl Scout trip coming up. She will need to wear her green vest. I have to find her green vest and put on all the patches. I think I put the patches upstairs on her desk, but I really don’t want to sew them all on. I know I bought that sticky stuff that glues the patches on in the dryer but what did I do with it? I wonder if it’s still in the filing cabinet.”
To me my question is quite logical. That nanosecond break in the conversation had a logical series of thoughts leading up to my question. I was completely done with his brownie request because I said I would go get the recipe and I was probably already going to get it. It’s a waste of time explain the logic of my next question so the question I would want to hear from my husband is “What is sticky patch stuff?” To me that is a valid question because sticky patch stuff isn’t very clear. I could answer that while finding the recipe and then he would be able to tell me if he knew where it was. If he did then I would go get it and start putting the patches on while he made brownies. So many problems solved in such a short time.
A common problem that people with ADHD run into is having to explain their train of thought. Which most likely will send them on another train of thought and by then they have forgotten the original thought which in this case was the brownie recipe. After the explanations were done, we still would not have a recipe or the sticky patch stuff and I would have thought about how the dishes needed to be done and started doing them instead of working on the patches.
Instead of the unlucky people without ADHD being in awe of our brain ability we get labeled as distracted. I believe a more proper description would be really fast thinker or person with speedy brain power. I can think and process ten ideas while an average person is still on one. If everyone could keep up with me the world would be amazing. So much would get done and we wouldn’t get caught up in the little bothersome details.
So if you are not blessed with ADHD then one thing you can do for your loved one is to accept their jumps in the conversation and go with them. Only ask for explanations of missing details such as what is sticky patch stuff, don’t worry about why they are on a different topic of conversation. And maybe practice so one day your brain might work as fast as theirs.