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Keath Low

Reader's Poem

By February 15, 2008

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One of our regular readers sent in a heartfelt poem that I would like to share with you all. "If there was ever a huge 'gene pool' of ADDers, I'm sure my family has by far the most," writes Elna. She lists more than 13 family members, including extended family, with diagnosed ADHD or in the case of older family members (such as grandfathers) suspected ADHD.

Elna describes her family as creative, artistic, intelligent, caring and hard working. They are also rather disorganized and unfortunately have been viewed as "dysfunctional" by others, according to Elna. Though this perception bothered Elna when she was younger, her family has always been an incredible source of support and she feels great pride in their magnificent gifts.

Elna's poem is entitled The I That Is Me.

The I That Is Me

When I think of the things that I wanted to be
A fireman, truck driver, or sail on the sea.
A farmer, a rancher, a lawyer and more
I became none of these, for a reason I'm sure.

Life is a gift, but how do you know
Which dreams to follow, which way to go?
For me there were so many things I could be
But the dream I held onto was just to be me.

That dream had eluded me all through my life
Though I thought I was me as a mother and wife.
But that didn't last, for I longed to be free
And I was left wondering, what happened to me?

I'd had so many dreams and each one had failed
As my mind, ever busy, took off and sailed.
Away to find someplace where I would fit in
But that never happened, so again I'd begin.
To look for that place I was destined to be
A place I'd be happy and I could be me.

I don't think I'm a failure, I've accomplished a lot
And I'm ever grateful for the memories I've got.
Of the people I've cared for and the friends I have made
But no one will know of the price I have paid.

For I was born "different," I'm not what you see.
I take meds to control my ADHD.
But I'm not complaining and it's for the best
That the I that is me was at last laid to rest.

No, I'm not perfect - no pill is a cure
But meds help me to focus and I'm better for sure.
I don't get distracted. I complete what I start.
I used to feel stupid, but now I know that I'm smart.

I still dream of the things I wanted to be
But I no longer run when I want to be free
With all that I've been through, I finally see
To succeed in this world I can't be totally me.

Scatterbrained, restless, I never stayed in one place
Always seeking adventure and needing my space.
In my search for new challenges I left family behind
Though I never meant to be cruel or unkind.

A failure at home, I found success in my work
So I'd work double shifts and my family I'd shirk.
I missed family reunions and birthdays and more.
I took life for granted 'til Mom passed thru death's door.

Though I never can get back the time that I lost
I'm glad I got help but I regret what it cost.
With meds and hard work - family ties to restore
I feel blessed that at last we are family once more.

Now, with my restlessness finally confined
I think more clearly and that I don't mind.
And I don't look back for now I can see
That I've changed for the better, and I'm proud to be me!

I wrote this for all of the ADDults like me
Who struggle each day with ADHD.
NEVER consider yourself less than the others
We work. We get married. We are fathers and mothers.

We see the big picture when others seem blind
And we can spot problems that others can't find.
We have so much to offer and there's room for us all
Know your limits, use your strengths, and you will not fall.

Life's not always easy and at times it's so tough
That we may well be tempted to say, "nuffs enough!"
We might even envy the people we feel
Have it all - they don't struggle -
But is that thought for real?

Everyone struggles, each in their own way
And it's our strength that gets us all through each day.
Keep your faith and stand tall, call on God when in need
And take pride that despite ADD you succeed.

- Elna Hughes

Photo © Microsoft

Comments
February 20, 2008 at 1:45 pm
(1) Joan Kubczak says:

I could never had said it better. You speak from the heart and we can all relate to this. Thanks from another ADHD person.
Joan

February 20, 2008 at 4:35 pm
(2) Elle ( Elna) says:

Thank YOU Joan for taking the time to post your very kind comment. We as ADDults understand each other — my wish, my hope, is that someday those who DON’T have ADHD will someday understand us as well as we understand each other. Never give up hope that this will happen and have a great day !

Elna

February 20, 2008 at 9:45 pm
(3) Sarah says:

Dear Elna,
Thank you so much for sharing this. There is so much I recognize.
May you have many more blessings in your life.
Sarah

February 20, 2008 at 10:21 pm
(4) Elle says:

Thank you Sarah — and I wish the same for you and yours :-)

When things get tough in our ADDult lives it’s often hard to think about the blessings we have – yet that’s exactly the time we need to step back from our problems and make a list of all our blessings . I do that often and my blessings outweigh my burdens 100% of the time – it helps me get through whatever is troubling or overwhelming me at the moment.

We as ADDults are amazing and resilient people — remember that when things get tough — it works wonders. :-)

Take care and be well.

Elle ) Elna)

February 21, 2008 at 6:21 am
(5) Mayin says:

Dear Elna,

Thank you for sharing you insights on your journey in life. I empathize with you in you struggle with socialization. As mom, I realized that my son may also be in the same journey and yet, though I try to walk along with him to give him company in life, I really do not understand the sorrows people, including myself have unconsciously inflicted on him. Thanks so much for sharing you life with us. Mayin

February 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm
(6) Lisa says:

Dear Elna,
I will share your poem with my 13 yr old son. He is being diagnosed with ADHD now and thinks it is something bad. We tell him it is not bad and not his fault but he can’t seem to grasp that yet. I am interested in some strategies that might help him, can you give me the name of a good book to read? We are desparate to help him.

February 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm
(7) MARIE says:

YOUR POEM TOUCHED MY HEART, I STARTED TO CRY, BUT I HONESTLY DON’T REALLY KNOW WHY, DO I HAVE IT,I AM NOT SURE, BUT IF I DO, WHAT IS THERE CURE? YOU SOUND SO LOVING, CARING AND SWEET, ONE THING MAY I ASK ARE YOU NEAT? I TRY SO HARD, DAY IN AND DAY OUT, BUT EVEN TODAY I JUST WANT TO SHOUT, WHAT IS THIS ADD AND WHAT IS IT ABOUT, YES MY MIND DOES RACE, I MOVE AT A DIFFERENT PACE, MY WHOLE LIFE I HAVE BEEN IN A SPECIAL PLACE, I NEVER KNEW MY STRUGGLE HAD A REASON BEHIND IT, I SEARCHED FOR AN ANSWER BUT NEVER COULD FIND IT….I WANT TO FIND PEACE IN MY MIND AND IN MY HOME, I’M VERY DEVOTED TO FAMILY SO I DO NOT ROME….I AM NOT HAPPY BUT I PUT ON A GOOD FRONT, BUT MY HEART IS HURT ALOT, I TAKE ON THE BRUNT, OF BEING A DOORMAT, IS IT STAMPED ON MY HEAD? I FEAR IF IT HAS A LABEL, MY LIFE I WILL DREAD, OR CAN IT BE HELPFUL AND I WILL GET AHEAD? AS YOU SEE YOUR POEM INSPIRED ME, SO I DON’T THINK ITS SO BAD TO HAVE ADHD…HELP ME – MARIE

February 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm
(8) add says:

Hi,
Just wanted to add to your posts. I am so thankful to Elna for sharing her poem and I am thankful to you all for letting Elna know how much her words mean to you.

Positive connections are so important. Sharing and connecting is also a great way to reach out to others and let others know they are not alone. I hope that you all take a look at the Forum here, as well. It can be a wonderful community of support. Here is the link: http://add.about.com/mpboards.htm

Marie – Thank you for sharing your words, as well. Your words are creative and fun and touch upon so many different emotions that are shared.

Lisa – Here are some great books to understanding more about ADHD. You and your son may enjoy reading them together or he can look through them and come to you with questions or clarification.

Putting on the Brakes: Young People’s Guide to Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Patricia O. Quinn and Judith M. Stern

Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention: A Book for Kids About ADHD Kathleen G. Nadeau, Ellen B. Dixon, and Charles Beyl

Adolescents and Add: Gaining the Advantage by Patricia Quinn

February 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm
(9) Lynn Wade says:

Dear Lisa, (comment #6) My son is 25 years old and diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 8. We have done many things to help him. The first was to take him to a Naturopathic doctor (at the age of 4, before diagnosis) who identified his food sensitivities. These are not allergies but they can and do make ADHD symptoms worse. Just taking these out of his diet made a HUGE difference.I could tell in an instant when he came home from school if he’d eaten something he shouldn’t have.
We tried Ritalin and dexadrine, without much success. Had vitamins compounded for him and his specific needs.
The thing he swears makes the most difference is taking Effalex. It is a capsule made by Effamol specifically for ADD with 4 different types of oils needed by the brain. (tuna, thyme, vitamin E and evening primrose oils)
there are new drugs on the market today which he is looking into as he’s seen great things with friends who take them. Hope this helps.
Lynn

February 23, 2008 at 1:21 am
(10) Elle says:

Dear Marie — You express yourself so well that I feel your pain. You too speak from your heart. You have suffered long enough and the best advice I can give you is to take care of YOU now. If you have ADHD it isn’t a terrible thing to have –there are so many gifts that come along with having ADHD. You are obviously loving and caring and no, “doormat” is NOT stamped on your forehead but your loving and caring for everyone is quite obvious to many and I feel that you , just as I had, have trouble saying “no” and will drop everything to help someone who comes to you for help. You speak of your mind racing and I can relate to that too. Now is the time for you to go to your doctor or psychologist well versed and knowledeable about ADHD and get tested. If you have ADHD and get treatment you have no idea how dramatic and great it feels to have your mind “slow down” allowing you to think clearly and focus so well that you can deal with issues without feeling overwhelmed . As I said, no pill is a cure BUT it helps make your life much easier . Making decisions become easier when you can focus on one thing at a time. You don’t lose your God given gifts of love and compassion but you can take time for yourself and will be able to say “no” when you know it’s the thing you have to say with good reason.

Please go get tested by someone who KNOWS about ADHD – it will be the best thing you can do for yourself. Post as often as you want and I’ll be here to answer any questions that you may have – I care – really.

I have been where you are now and I can tell you that life will be so much better, happier and less stressful if you get tested and find you do have ADHD and get treatment for it.

You are a wonderful person and right now you need to take care of you for once – please do that – you won’t regret it.

Hugs, Elle

February 23, 2008 at 1:41 am
(11) Elle says:

Hi Lisa — being 13 is hard enough for any young person and your son is poised between childhood and adulthood – put ADHD in ther mix and it CAN be difficult for him to adjust to “tweenhood” and ADHD.

My first book I read was “You mean I’m NOT lazy, crazy or stupid?” by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo. It’s aimed towards adults but I feel it would be a good book for you to read and then encourage your son to look through the book to see where he can identify himself. You can learn a lot of ways to help your son by reading that book. Amazon.com has a lot of books on ADD/ADHD and there are books that can help your son that are written for teens. One thing I will stress — if your son has a “passion” for something be it music, writing, fixing cars –whatever he loves to do, encourage him to follow his passions — As an ADDult I liked a lot of things but my passion was caring for people and animals – so I became a nurse and an animal rescuer. My life’s work and I excel in those careers and I’m happy. All people have favorite things and usually choose a vocation that makes them happy, ADHD or not. However, ADDults have fragile self esteems because we tend to make a lot of mistakes if untreated so it’s even more important that your son does something he can succeed in and feel great about himself. Your son will do well in life — he has parents who are obviously supportive and care deeply for him to accept himself as being a great person with a lot of gifts. Keep the faith and keep on doing what you are doing – things will work out, believe it.

Take care and be well — Elle

March 3, 2008 at 12:11 am
(12) Peggy says:

I thank you for sharing this wonderful poem. I am printing it to read often to remind me, I am not alone in this ADHD world. The words have touched so many tender feelings that have made me feel odd in a positive world. After meds, learning to understand ADHD, and persevering to succeed where never before possible, I truly relate to every word shared in these poignant and very truthful words of prose.

November 23, 2008 at 8:34 pm
(13) robin says:

I left work this evening utterly depressed after yet another “review” about my lack of focus and common sense at work. This is the 4th job/boss in 3 years where I hear this. When I try and explain ADHD no one gets it until I read your poem. . . for the first time I feel as if someone understands me. . .

April 28, 2010 at 11:38 am
(14) D. Arthur Wilson says:

It’s not easy, but a sense of humor can help. Here’s my ADD Poem.

What a pain-
To have a brain-
That won’t do what you want.

So take a pill-
And then you will-
Remember whatever that thing was you originally set out to do before you got sidetracked.

D. Arthur Wilson

September 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm
(15) Dave says:

Thanks for that. After having been diagnosed at age 40 with ADHD, I’m so sad at all the time that has been wasted and all that I could have done. It heartens me to know that I’m not alone. Much love to you.

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