I promise you, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.
Over the past few years, my life has gone so far off the beaten path that I might as well found a new continent or the City of Gold. If things would have ended up how I originally planned, I would be a doctor by now, going into practice and looking for a tall, statuesque, multi-racial, rocket-scientist model wife by now. Yet, it is in those delays and the immense amount of obstacles I have faced that have made me the man I am today.
Recently, I’ve been changed by a diagnosis that is a gift and a curse. I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD. As it turns out, ADHD isn’t as negative as what so many think it to be. Also, it does not always mean that you need to have a straitjacket so you don’t hurt yourself from bouncing off the walls like we assume those annoying little kids that seem to run off a motor outside of the kindergarten rooms at your old school.
There are three basic forms of ADHD. A form that includes hyper-activity, another that causes inattentiveness and one that is a combination of both. I fall into the inattentive category. That means instead of me creating outside stimulation from physical activity, I tend to zone out, daydream and think a lot. My mind is always going faster than my mouth or form of expression can keep up with. I struggle immensely during times of change, have difficulty learning from my lessons, am easily sidetracked or distracted, am impulsive, emotionally reactive, seen as an underachiever for long periods of time with streaks of high success and hate doing tasks that require fine focus or a lot of patience/time. People like myself also seem to be anxious, depressed, have a horrible self-worth or self-image and a myriad of other secondary, more serious problems. Most of which I share. Yet, we generally are extremely creative, fun-loving, tenacious, intuitive, empathetic, hard-working and have the strangest ability to hyper-focus at times. Sounds like you huh? Well, everyone has moments of these traits but people with ADHD are often immobilized or have an extremely difficult time dealing with these issues which last for a long time with high severity. In other words, you may night be able to focus or get some your work done for a week. While people with ADHD can’t get ANY work done for months, even years.
To many people, they would say, “That just sounds like laziness to me.” “You need more drive.” “I feel like that and I am just fine. You can be too.” But, that’s not the case. It’s the feeling of never being able to do things you know you have the ability to do. It means that you always fear and blame yourself for whenever things fall apart, blaming it on you inability to get your act together.
Well, since a couple weeks ago, I find myself more hopeful and less hard on myself. It was like, at one point in time, I was dropped into a war-zone, with a bow & arrow and rusty knife. I was being attacked from all sides and my chopper just flew off. I was alone, ill-equiped, and after trying to fight back with no success, took cover and was just waiting for my capture. Now, I that I have my diagnosis, its like I made it to higher ground, can spot my enemies camouflage, was just air dropped a box of weapons and now all I need to do is fight back and win.
So, I’ve been reading, researching and inspiring myself to find solutions. I’ve been dealing with my fears, shortcomings and even slowly building relationships with my family. I’ve been working with myself to accept who I am and learn my strengths. I am being selfish and starting to put myself first over all of the people that have come to use me over the years. I’ve come a long way and now I feel my detour is finally getting me back to my original path.
I am learning how to write again. I have started once more keeping a journal and I have more entries in it than I have had in any journal to date. I am planning more and trying to create a healthy lifestyle for myself. Exercise, sleep, good nutrition and structure are ESSENTIAL to a person with ADHD. Without all these being incorporated in an ADHD person’s life,(Let alone anyone’s life) internal and external distractions become numerous and they panic, shut-down and fall deep into a defeatist mentality which starts off a repetitious cycle. So, I’ve been looking up diets, planning workout times, planning to plan (The irony, I know.), developing tools and inspiring myself in new ways that I always said I would get to years ago. I created a quote wall of overcoming struggle, triumph and hope. I finally put some of my favorite scriptures up on my wall. I am reading more inspirational works and talking to people more. I’ve asked for help and have been overcoming my fear of addressing issues, difficulties and failures. Most people would see all the struggles I have went through as a negative. I am starting to see it as a positive. A chance for me to become more efficient and develop a better life for myself. It still does not make me a doctor yet, but Paula Patton is married already. Plus, I don’t think she is that good at Physics.
I’ve went through more difficulties in the past few years than most people deal with in a lifetime. I’ve struggled, lied, cheated, stolen, repented, given, forgave, loved, lost, loved again, lost again, cried, laughed, planned, re-planned, mourned, celebrated, believed and I am still, just now, getting to where I feel I need to be. I wonder if I would have been the same Miles I am today if I would have taken that left turn at Albuquerque and graduated in 09. Would I have still had the strength to look opposition in the eye and laugh? Probably not. I would probably been nothing more than another person floating his way pass. I possibly would have hated my job, been bored with my life and always questioned myself and what’s missing.
These crazy turn of events, an extended detour and my propensity for stumbling through some of the most unheard of scenes that would make the writing of Toni Morrison look like a picture book, I have found something I would never have found before. I found myself. I found the strength to make the hard decisions, be honest, make mistakes, ask for help and still never lose sight on what I really want in life. I started walking with only my heart and that little voice inside to guide me. I found that it may not be easy, but it is so much more rewarding to pave your own road than look at someone’s back as the pavement hurts your feet.
Booker T. Washington said, “You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goals.” So, sometimes you stumble through the forest thinking it was a shortcut but it takes you longer than expected. You are bruised and battered. You are lost, but you learn how to survive. You learn patience, faith, courage and ingenuity. Then, by the time you make it out, you have used and developed all the skills you didn’t know you had. You look out over your destination and release a sigh of relief. You made it. The wounds will heal. The dirt can be washed away and now you have a story to tell along with the confidence of knowing you can do more.
I am not saying I am there yet. Frankly, I don’t think I want to be completely done with everything yet. I might make it out of here and find a new path to make, another challenge to take. But, I have grown so much and unlocked so many questions in my heart that I hunger for the next path laid out for me. I want great things and now all it takes is putting as much as I can to use.
Keep On Dreaming,
P.S. Sorry It’s So Long