How I Stopped ADHD From Ruining My Life

How I Stopped ADHD From Ruining My Life

ADHD is not a disease, it's a disorder, something that follows you around everywhere you go. It's so common that people tend to downplay its effects and how it truly feels. Throughout my life, I've had ups and downs, and I've had to learn that what I viewed as a negative part of me, was actually my biggest strength, all I had to do was find it.

Throughout my life and my younger years, I have always been one of those crazy people. My grades were never good, and my behavior was never good. Everywhere I went, trouble followed. The truth is, there's no rational explanation in my brain for my behavior, besides the fact that I was young, I was dumb, and I was still figuring myself out. I was constantly living in a world where I didn't feel like I fit in, always away from everyone, always getting into trouble. Throughout middle school, this evolved from becoming just a childhood issue into something that would begin to take a mental toll on me as well, and I feel that the school itself did not make it any better.

“Picture a room with 1,000 TVs, with each TV showing something different. Now try and concentrate on just one TV without getting distracted.” ― Damian DaViking Aird

The problem isn't with disciplining a child when he does something wrong, the problem becomes when you punish him and don't actually help him stop the behavior. But that's exactly how most of my middle school went, with my mind now building emotionally, the reactions and lack of support really played a large role in making my behavior and impulsivity worse rather than helping it. Sure, my teachers were good at teaching the activities and helping us learn important skills. What are they weren't good at? Trying to deal with me of course, which is fair enough, sending me to the principal's office and having him deal with it should have helped me. These people are supposed to be trained to handle all types of students that came through the school.

Let's take a look at the school administration, which I had to deal with a lot when I was in school. Regardless of whether it was me or another student causing the problem, the principal wasn't making my life easier, or making me want to commit fewer offenses. Instead, he felt he needed to pressure me, indirectly place blame, and straight up ignore anything I said as a lie. Later on, I would learn to see that this principal's behavior was also disliked among my friends with his lack of action and his improper handling of incidents. Anyways, this principal should've looked into my behavior, which only took 1 look at a file and a quick Google search to understand. Impulsivity is one of the most common effects of ADHD, pair that with immaturity at the age of 10 and you have my behavior. I had no reason to care about school, or myself even, I mean what was the point of it all? I had nothing to work for, and no adults I could trust. The lack of support from the school administration, when it came to actually trying to understand me and get me help and possibly even therapy, is a big element of what delayed my maturing rather than helping it. You can't just make a student sign some "decree" and expect him to be fine.  I just needed someone to understand me, to talk to me, and help me find something in my life I enjoyed. I had no plans for the future, I just thought about going to school and had a smile, which wasn't even reflective of how I felt all the time. Every single time the principal called me down, whether it was positive or negative, the result was still the same, pure hatred, frustration, and feeling misunderstood. It is easier to take a detention or lecture rather than try to explain my feelings to someone who truly does not actually care.

“Living with ADHD is like walking up a down escalator. You can get there eventually but the journey is exhausting.” ― Kathleen Ely

Frankly, every moment in his office just made me slowly hate the school that I once loved to go to. I liked learning about lots of different things and thinking about the world around me. I was a curious child from a young age, obsessed with computers and all of that stuff. The administration could never understand this part of me, and how when I wanted to, I could put my full attention to something and truly work for something. Had they helped me discover something that would actually make me clean up my life, then they would've seen significant improvement in me. Instead, I had to discover the side of me that spread positivity by myself.

Some of the positivity at home started with making videos on YouTube, where I learned some things about videography and editing, although it was very poor content initially. I was very into getting ideas for growth and understanding how this stuff worked. I still did not realize it at this time, but the amount of effort and focus I put into this stuff was really something I had never done before. But YouTube wasn't something I felt like a real skill to me. That was until I discovered websites. I thought that if I wanted an audience, I should start a website. But looking online, nothing really caught my eye, everything felt restrictive and stupid at most. I decided that I would do everything myself, so I pulled out a YouTube tutorial and started writing code myself for my website. This began my journey to finally finding something I felt fit me.

“When you have ADHD, your home reflects your thought. Disorganized and in disarray. And like with a disorganized house. you can only apologize for your disorganized brain so many times before it becomes exhausting.” ― Sarah Young

As I continued programming, I realized slowly that this was more than just a phase, this was something that I truly cared about. This ability was direct proof to me that I was capable of more than I could imagine. The things I thought were impossible for me were actually becoming easier and easier. As I learned new things and added more and more features, I realized that this was something I loved. At the same time, in school, I slowly stopped causing as much trouble, I was too busy thinking about what the next project at home is going to be.

Towards late 7th to early 8th grade, I realized web development and programming were something I wanted to do when I grew up. I realized that computer science was an extremely hard subject to get into. So, I changed my strategy and started paying much more attention in my classes, and slowly but surely, my grades improved. By 8th grade, my C's had turned into Bs and As. Going into high school, I was determined and had a goal in mind, I knew what I wanted and I knew how I planned to get it.

“I have more thoughts before breakfast than most people have all day.” ― Anonymous

Don't get me wrong, I regret my behavior in middle school, but I also see it as a situation that truly helped build a part of me. Of course, the struggle isn't over in the next stage of school. Even in high school, remnants of my ADHD still remain, with inattention and time management. I still struggle with keeping up with all the activities and remembering things. I also struggle with remembering my assignments. But I keep pushing through and setting goals for myself, trying to push myself to overcome these obstacles so that I can try to be the best student I can be. My journey has only just begun. To see how I handle sleep and other problems at school check out this article.

So what can this 15-year-old teach you about life and being a teenager? Well, it's that no matter where you come from or what you're doing, there is always a way to do something. Finding yourself is the first step to being happy. You don't need to prove anything to anyone besides yourself, if you are able to show yourself that you can do it, then you will be more determined than ever. Don't let something like ADHD or people stop you from finding and doing what you love. If you are ever feeling stressed or upset, stop and take a moment to remind yourself of what you can do and how you can turn your weaknesses into strengths.

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