Participants in ADDNashville often tell me that our support group has been more useful than anything they have done for their ADHD. A room filled with understanding and support is good medicine. Not having to waste time defending or explaining ourselves frees us to give our full attention to information, strategies, and tools that can help us.
During October, ADHD Awareness Month, I want to celebrate the diversity in our group and encourage celebrating diversity outside the group. Of all people, we have reason to embrace differences because we know how alienation feels. We wish to be accepted as we are.Others with discernible differences do to. Adults on the autism spectrum are often misunderstood and left out, physically disabled persons may be isolated in a small world due to limited mobility, adults with OCD live with an endless stream of unsettledness, combat veterans feel alienated with experiences that are beyond comprehension to others, and people who simply look and speak differently from the majority are often shunned by the majority.
If you have the courage to be yourself, show gratitude to those who let you. And if you think that others who are different from you should experience acceptance too, embrace them and their differences.
I remember when my friend Mike Himelstein was writing his hit song God’s Gift to the World more than two decades ago, before my ADHD diagnosis. He was kind enough to show me the completed lyric, and I felt compelled to tell him that one word seemed a little hard for a song lyric. I had never heard “extra” in a song. The song’s success humbled me! That word proved to be central, and one of the reasons the song was a hit.
Mike, my friend, this is my public apology! Today, I celebrate your song and those five words that hook everyone who hears them—the first line in verse one:
“There are no extra people.”