Francis’s Story

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Hello! It’s me, Francis. I appear in a couple of the Adult ADHD videos! This is my first attempt at a “blogpost”. It is supposed to be my experience from the perspective of ADHD which I find a little difficult to separate from my experience in any other way. I suspect it may resonate with a lot of people when I say I have never not inhabited my mind and so compartmentalising it is tricky. Like asking a colour-blind person to spot the wrong parts in their field of view. 

This beginning bit isn’t very good, its mostly to get me into the flow of the thing. I tend towards flowery writing for some reason. When I was in college it would amuse me to approach essays in as grandiose a manner as I could for comic effect and I am afraid I just kind of got used to it.  Thus, you may find I overuse words like thus, or that my writing might take an unexpected and upsetting alliterative lurch. It doesn’t help that I fancy myself a poet either. Perhaps it is true to say that this was the way I was able to push my ADHD mind to the end of writing essays in college. I made it a treat to myself and it worked. Because I was always taking such linguistic liberty, I felt obliged to back it up with some good hard fact. Such barefaced academic cheek could only be tolerated if I was also begrudgingly right about some of it. 

However, this style had far less traction at university. We poor students were obliged to observe referencing and style guides up to the placement of the very last comma. Why, I ask you and indeed did ask anyone who wasn’t wearing noise cancelling headphones, is this punctuative pettiness worth actual marks??? Who, the giddy fuck, cares? 

Apparently, a lot of people care and I crashed out of uni after one year. Using the time-honoured defence mechanism of ADHD I convinced myself that I never really wanted the degree anyway. This was easy to do because it was after all a music degree and who needs one of those to get busy musicing? So I did that, I started a band. 

Performing was easy, all the other bits were hard. But let’s not make this a life story. I imagine I’ll want to write some more of these blogpost thingys and I should save some of my frankyfuel. (I just made this up and I am pleased with it). 

Truth be told ADHD has always been for me, a little shameful. For one who was diagnosed so early I did a fantastic job of not educating myself about the thing. Thus, I didn’t know until my early 20’s which of my problems were squarely at the feet of our little disorder. I just thought it came down to not putting my foot in it and tablets were how I did that. Even that idea, that I must take tablets to function properly was a little shame-making. Knowing as I do now that my inability to do any homework or commit myself to anything boring are also camp ADHD, I can see I might have excused myself quite a bit of strife and warded off some of the anger from those around me. 

Mind you, was it ever my responsibility to be the educated one at the age of 7? Surely that wasn’t my gig. You don’t trust 7 year olds to get a bus by themselves let alone understand the complex inner workings of a developmental learning disability. Here’s the problem as I see it. In a perfect world, or a perfect childhood for me, every adult would have been educated to PhD level about this disorder in particular and would have made it their mission at every opportunity to help me understand why I was having the difficulties I was having. Tad unrealistic no? 

So, how to protect a child from the ravagings of the world around them when neither the world nor the child knows enough to excuse them their failings? After all ADHD is a disorder made most profound and hurtful by its developed comorbidities, its coping strategies and defence mechanisms. Without knowledge ADDers learn to retreat, to avoid social gatherings. They learn as a matter of fact that they can’t do what others can, and they are less valuable because of it. I’m preaching now. Let me sum up before I go all day. 

Despite the luck of my early diagnosis and treatment I still retain some shadow of the difficulties faced by my less fortunate colleagues. I am deeply sympathetic towards them and anything I can do to help a rising person (child) grow up in a slightly more enlightened world, I will do. Empathy, that’s the thing. Let’s spread it around a little.

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