Terry Huff

I grew up with parents who spend much of their lives serving others. My dad had a family grocery store with a delivery truck, and we took groceries to elderly, handicapped, and families with no means of transportation. He and Mom were among five couples who co-founded a social service agency called AGAPE. Dad later co-founded a disaster relief program with other members of his faith community. My parents taught me to live a life of value to other people and the community. I got bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology at Middle Tennessee State University and worked in mental health and developmental disabilities before returning to graduate school at the University of Tennessee to complete my master's in social work. After obtaining my license for independent practice, I worked at Vanderbilt and Family & Children's Service before beginning my private practice in 1996. Diagnosed with ADHD in 1994, I began to specialize in serving other adults with attention disorders. I soon learned that "attention deficit" was a misnomer that reinforced the notion that individuals with ADHD simply were unable to focus their attention. If allowed to rename it, I would call it "attention management disorder." My practice evolved into multiple services. Providing psychotherapy just isn't enough, and many adults with ADHD don't need traditional therapy anyway. So, I started a support group for adults, and began to provide workshops for ADHD couples and a meditation workshop tailored to the needs of adults with ADHD. Most recently, I've begun to write and speak on how to live well with this neurological difference. After years of hearing clients say, "I never thought about it that way," I decided that I might be able to help others by offering a perspective that would appeal to the inherent resourcefulness and creativity of this population. I wrote a book with the intention of sharing this perspective and helping more people than I could help in my office, my support group, and the workshops. My book has been a labor of love, which is the title of my last chapter. My wish is to enhance the lives of adults with with brains wired like mine and inspire them to use their talents to achieve their life goals.

Moving into a new year

Thanks to all who came to the meeting last night. Participation was relatively balanced, although we all need to refresh ourselves on the guidelines (you can view them on this site). We had a little trouble following the theme and staying on topic. As we approach the new year, I want to invite comments on how we can improve the group, what topics are important to you for the coming months, and what you think about reserving one of our monthly meetings for professional guest presenters. Several of you volunteered to meet an hour before our next group meeting to discuss peer leadership, topics, presenters, publicity, and generally how we can improve on what we do. Thanks to all who volunteered. Others are welcome to come early and join us. I plan to visit some support groups in other parts of the country next year and learn how they operate. By the way, what have we done to run the women off? There were only two females present last night and one was a non-ADHD spouse. Have a wonderful holiday. I look forward to receiving your comments. TH

Who we are

As we near the end of the year, I want to review how we see ourselves individually and collectively. Who are you in relation to your partner, family, colleagues, and peers? Who are we – as ADDers – in relation to neurotypicals? And I want your input regarding topics for the coming months. See you tomorrow night.

Terry

A Little “Board”

File Dec 16, 7 14 33 AMI just returned from a 3-day meditation retreat in Kingston Springs, TN. The retreat location normally hosts kids in summer camps and other events for youth. In the kitchen area there was a little board on the wall that appeared to have been sliced out of a log. Imprinted on the board was this four-word sentence: “I’m a little board.” It was one of the first things I noticed at breakfast time, and it is ironic because the first thing I usually have to deal with at a meditation retreat is my unquiet mind and restless feelings. By midway into the second day, my brain arrives, and I am reminded that silence is not somethnig to avoid. When I practice tolerating sensations of restlessness, I learn all over again that boredom is a phantom – something that we create when we believe we can’t tolerate being quiet and still.

Monday’s topic – “Permission to Proceed”

Our next support group meeting is Monday December 7. I want to stimulate discussion of unleashing your creativity and potential to actualize your vision. I will be sharing some inspiring thoughts from David Giwerc’s book, “Permission to Proceed.” I met David at the annual CHADD conference in New Orleans. He is the founder and president of the ADD Coach Academy. See you Monday.

MindfullyADD

Among the many discoveries at the CHADD conference in New Orleans was Casey Dixon’s mindfulness website. Go to my resources page for the link to her site. Casey and Winne Kinder presented to a standing room only classroom of people interested in mindfulness for minds like ours. 

CHADD 2015

CHADD in The Big Easy 2015

 

Good meeting, on and off topic!

We had a good turnout for the November 2 ADDnashville meeting. The topic was “Are you making the right bet?” In other words, you are likely making the “wrong bet” if you are: (1) always betting that the worst case scenario is the most probable outcome (anxious); (2) buying the notion that nothing is worth trying because you are going to fail (depressed), or (3) not anticipating at all before you leap (impulsive)? Off topic discussions were useful, especially regarding tools and strategies for effectively using “to do” lists, with electronic devices and paper.  C shared information on an app that she uses, one that she said has a snooze function. “It won’t leave you alone,” she said. I’m not sure how it is spelled, but she referred to the app as “any do.” And B shared how he syncs up all his devices so that his lists are always wherever he is. E keeps a notepad with him, which he feels is much more reliable than his memory. Thanks to all for making the new participants, and returning participants, feel valued and welcomed. See you November 16. TMH

Three items at the grocery

I arrived home from work Wednesday night, and my wife asked, “Did you get my text?” No, my ringer was off. She wanted three items to finish making her black bean chili. I wanted to impress her with how quickly I could make a run to the grocery, and so I left without my jacket. At the checkout counter I discovered that I had neither my wallet, nor my phone. I went to the service desk to use the store’s phone. Just as my wife answered, Barry from the ADD support group walked up to me to say hi and ask if I needed his phone. Just my wallet, I told him. To my wife: “Would you ask Lindsay (my daughter) to bring my jacket to Publix. Barry from the support group is standing beside me as we speak.”

Lindsay laughs without rolling her eyes these days because she doesn’t have to live with my ADHD. She has her own place. She delivered my jacket with a smile. My wife laughed and was sympathetic that I tried and failed to make this a quick trip for her.   

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