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
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