Living with ADHD: Listen! Did You Smell That?

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Living with ADHD | No Comments
Living with ADHD: Listen! Did You Smell That?

Continuing with my Living with ADHD series…

This is MY Story

Life with ADHD is a very individual experience. There are so many different factors that make us who we are. ADHD is not who I am; it’s just one of the many threads woven into the tapestry that is me, and that tapestry is uniquely mine. Someone else might have all of the same threads (experiences, mental health issues, etc.), but no one experiences things in the same way. We are all beautifully unique tapestries. I haven’t always embraced that. I still don’t always embrace that. Sometimes I want to set fire to it. But it is true, none the less.

My tapestry includes being a predominantly right-brained introvert with ADHD – a combination that presents a lot of challenges both for me and for the people around me. It also includes being in and from a family with a rich spiritual heritage, lots of love, loyalty, lots of spirited discussions, a deep love of learning, and a twisted sense of humor. I learned to speak sarcasm at a very early age.

It includes the loss of my baby (and only) sister who died in a tragic crib accident the day before my fourth birthday, childhood sexual abuse, chronic depression, a strong distaste for school, and a very rebellious season in my late teens and early twenties.

I grew up with three older brothers in a neighborhood full of boys. I understand guys better than I understand gals.

I’m married to a truly wonderful man who puts up with all my eccentricities and loves me as unconditionally as a human can – who models “husbands love your wives as Christ loves the Church” everyday.

I’m the mom of two fascinating (and extremely smart and handsome) sons who both had the good sense to marry the most amazing women. I love spending time with all of them.

But the most predominant thread in my tapestry in a deep faith in God that I’ve had all of my life. And I’m a bit of a theology geek. I love thinking about, talking about and talking with God.

So this isn’t just about living with ADHD. I’m living with 61 years of experiences and all the nuances of all of my other personality traits.

All that to say that this is not the story of everyone with ADHD. This is just my story. But seriously, at my age, the ADHD part is just fun now. The people who know me the best know that there are things they just need to go with…


  • Text me; don’t call me – unless you are immediate family. Phone calls are hard. My ADHD brain doesn’t listen well – especially if I can’t see you.
  • I don’t pick up on subtleties well. There are too many things competing for my attention. Shiny will win over subtlety every time.
  • Unless you caught me at a rare attentive moment, you will have to remind me of what you told me. I don’t always hear everything you say to me. Sometimes I’m desperately trying to remember something really important you said, or something really important I want to say to you.
  • It is not safe to assume I’ll remember that I’m supposed to meet you for lunch. Remind me. I want to be there. This is why it is better to text than call. I can reread the text you sent as many times as I need to. And thank God for Facebook! It reminds me when everyone’s birthday is!
  • I’m not a snob. I’m terrible in large social settings. I can’t tell you how hard it is for me to walk up to anyone other than close family and friends and start a conversation. Come over and talk to me. I’ll love you forever. Did I mention that I’m very loyal? And then we’ll be close friends and I won’t have as hard a time coming over and talking to you! …Unless something shiny is in the room, then all bets are off.
  • I don’t process housecleaning tasks like normal people do. This will be the subject of its own post. Join me in not caring about that while you are visiting me. Again, I’ll love you forever!
  • Some days are harder than others. This is true for all of us. Let’s agree to not assume things are going great when we meet.  Some days, just being dressed and out of the house is a major achievement for both of us. Let’s just walk beside each other without judgement!
  • And one of the beauties of the “ADHD really bad short-term memory” thing… I rarely hold a grudge. It’s just too hard to remember what I’m supposed to be mad at. If I am holding a grudge about something… it was extremely memorable.

Next up…

Order, Chaos, and the Spaces Between… Confessions of a Domestic Dropout

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