• Samah Syed

An Insight Into ADHD

It’s ironic when you live your life wanting to be yourself and when you finally discover it, you don’t even know what it is anymore. You’re left with multiple puzzle pieces that almost resemble an image but don’t exactly fit. That’s how my brain unravelled the diagnosis that was ADHD.

Something that seemed so insignificant at the time, just a label that shadowed under me, completing that image, with closure. But no one ever told me about the aftermath. That feeling didn’t last. It was barely even there, instead, it only showed me my past and present through rose coloured glasses when it was actually just a timeline of loosely connected strings.

I remember growing up mainly alone, but maybe that’s only how it seemed. I was, however, never truly alone. I spent my very first school year playing with imaginary friends formed from a place of strange becoming. I couldn’t be present, I could only return to the imaginary people who seemed, to me, more enticing than any other sticky six year old in my class. It was peaceful in the moment, like that feeling right before you woke up from a dream. And when I’d finally wake up I’d realise that the present I’d returned to was not the one I’d left. A daydream perhaps. Seems childlike at first but not so much when I’d go home forgetting what the teacher said and not remembering a single conversation from the day. And as I think about it, I still can’t recall any conversation prior to my teens.

It’s funny how focus is the one thing universal to all aspects of being a functional human being. And while I don’t remember the conversations, I do remember the feeling of dysfunction and frustration, now grilled into my mind. That means there’ll always be this little voice, representing everyone’s disappointment. At least that’s what I thought when I struggled to finish any task, academic or not, or when I couldn’t hold a hobby because nothing could sustain my interest long enough to amount to anything. There was nothing my parents could be proud of. I was just the little girl who had so much potential but could never amount to it, or so I’d been told. I’d spend countless hours wondering if everyone else could excel somewhere, where would I?

I’d try to force myself to work harder, to fit this idea of ‘normal’, only to forget the pivotal part which makes anything normal. I didn’t realise it at the time, but starting a school assignment and ending up with random facts, hobbies, ten hours wasted and an empty stomach because it’s 1 am and I’d forgotten to eat again, was not normal but simply just, me.

I only wish I knew the dysfunctional way I waddled through the hallway of monotony we consider existing, was not a deficit like the label tends towards, but instead an endless chase for sustainability that was impossible to keep a grip of. But what I really wish I knew was the way I was still part of the people who I called normal. Like different colours. Both still colours but different in their composition. I really wish I knew that was okay. And I only wish other people knew that too.

Writer: Samah Syed

Illustration: @linkymew

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