ADHD Awareness Month 2021
October is ADHD Awareness Month. You might not have realized October was approaching until September 30…not yet October. Remember that we live in just two time zones, “now and not now.”
I wish you a great month, from October 1 to Halloween. The weather is great this time of year for most of us. Spend some time meditating and exercising outdoors. Take a mindful walk and just notice what you see and hear, like my Pyrenees-Beagle does every morning.
Do what you can to stimulate your brain’s dopamine naturally. Take medicine if you need it, but don’t think it’s all you need. John Lennon was wrong when he said, “All you need is love.” Love is never enough, and medicine is not all you need to live well with ADHD.
If you have a marriage partner, consider attending my 3-hour Saturday workshop for couples on October 30. Also, Melissa Orlov, author of The ADHD Effect on Marriage, is beginning a new round of her courses for couples in October (https://www.adhdmarriage.com).
There are many non-medical resources for adults with ADHD these days. It is a large menu. Check out my resources page and Melissa Orlov’s.
I promise to continue my efforts to advocate for us and educate the public about what ADHD is and what it’s not; and who we are and who we’re not. And I will continue to challenge my ADHD peers, as I challenge myself, to take charge of living responsibly with it. We do best when we understand our neurological difference, accept the effects of ADHD in our daily lives, and acknowledge its effects on people we love.
Embrace every moment. Put as much effort into becoming mindfully present in each moment as you would put into your favorite pastime. Otherwise you will just pass time, and you will never get that time back. My personal best resource for living well with ADHD is daily meditation. Dr. Daniel Siegel, author of The Mindful Brain, says substitute a t for the c (meditation for medication). Meditation has been proven to enhance executive functioning. But I would add that you should not dismiss medication if you haven’t tried it. Either or both can enhance the quality of your life.
During this year’s ADHD Awareness month, consider how you might raise awareness in your community about the realities of ADHD. Encourage someone you know who may need professional support, or advocate for a young person with the disorder whose parents or teachers may not see the card that’s missing from the deck.
Let’s celebrate our strengths all month and beyond. Accept that the natural inhibiting features of our brains are inhibited. Put simply, our brains don’t easily inhibit our surplus of selective attention, speech, or behavior. But being uninhibited is not all bad. Know your strengths and use them. Acknowledge your weaknesses and be open to feedback no matter how uncomfortable. Express gratitude to those who are willing to be honest with us, and don’t judge their intentions. Accept that you may tend to see obstacles more easily than possibilities. Keep a beginner’s mind. In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few” (Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki).