Monday, October 18, 2010

I am different, therefore I think different

Diversity goes beyond race, religion, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and so forth. Diversity also includes people with various challenges. To say nothing good can come from people because of there challenges, doesn't seem to make sense to me. To say this sounds like pure bigotry, it's like saying nothing good comes from being black, gay, or Muslim, and so forth. How is being white, straight, or Christian any better than being black, gay orMuslim? Blacks have often have great music, fascinating hair, and I find black men attractive, I love the soul, the sense of history the carry. My psychiatrist is gay, Jewish, and ADHD. He is a great psychiatrist, great listener, good with his pharmacology, is capable of doing psychotherapy as well. He's smart, well educated, always trying to learn. He has continued to treat me even though I can't pay him.

How can ADD/ADHD not create a difference in perspective? How can it not come with it's gifts? Yes there are "negatives" with ADD/ADHD and yes untreated ADD/ADHD have serious risks and possible consequences. That being said any trait can be transformed from "negative" to "positive". For example, Stubbornness and perseverance come from the same trait. Stubbornness is often seen as a negative thing because it can get in the way of one's progress. Perseverance is usually seen as a positive trait. It is the trait many strong people aspire to have and gets used a lot more by people with challenges. Sometimes these two manifestations of this trait as Stubborn perseverance, which confuses a lot of people. They sometimes confuse it with pride. Sometimes people with challenges, especially severe challenges need to be stubbornly perseverant in order to attain and maintain there independence. This has nothing to do with pride, it has to do with wanting to be equal and to be able to do things for themselves.

Notice that I use the word Challenges rather than disability(ies) or handicapped. To me the word "handicapped' is akin to a racial slur and equally offensive. At least the word disAbility does have ability, so it's better and more palatable. Challenge has a very positive connotation to me. It still acknowledges the reality of the challenges that are present, while encouraging a overcoming, independent mindset.

Yes ADHD does come with it's challenges, most of us acknowledge this and often are painfully aware of our stuff. Telling me that my ADD/ADHD is not a gift, saying I am "time-blind", and assuming I need behavioral modification for the rest of my life is offensive to me. Who says I am not aware of time, who says I don't remember my past, who says I can't take control of my own behavior, or that I can't see the future. Who says I can't learn from my mistakes? Why is the non-ADDers' sense of time superior to mine? There are different aspects to time than most non-ADDers think. Heck, time isn't even a constant. It can expand and contract, it is relative.

I don't like it when 'professionals' and 'experts' use the non-ADDer as the measuring stick of success of an ADDer. We ADDers need to get away from comparing ourselves up against other people and especially non-ADDers. A lot of us have had to dismantle that automatic comparison function in our minds in order to not feel like complete failures. Most of us will never be "normal" and that shouldn't be put down.

If I continued using how non-ADD I am as my measuring stick, I would never had achieved what I have achieved. My ADD/ADHD doesn't make me lesser of a human being, it doesn't make me less competent, it doesn't necessarily make me less mature and it most certainly doesn't make me an 'inferior'. It doesn't make me less of an adult than the non-ADDer. I am not inferior to ANYONE. I want to be treated as an equal, with respect and dignity even if I don't have emaculant home, or perfectly organized.

My right hand has 4 fingers and has no radius bone. I had a thumb made when I was 3 or 4 years old and repostitioned at 11 years old. I am happy with my thumb and capable of using my rotator cup if needed to turn my arm. I am not 1 handed, I am not one armed. To be called 'one handed' or 'one armed' is offensive to me because it doesn't give value to what I do have. This right hand allowed me to become an EMT, pass venipuncture (aka phlebotomy) class with flying colors. Actually, my right hand became an advantage when I was practicing my human blood draws because it happened to be at the perfect angle and incredibly stable. I never ever missed a vein, even on friends with rolling veins, cerebral palsy, and really dark friends. If you try to tell me my right hand is inferior to a 'regular hand' because it is different, you will be showing the entire world what kind of character you have or don't have.

This principle also applies to my ADD/ADHD, it applies to all my other challenges and it applies to others' challenges. I maybe different, I may have challenges, they may make me hard to live with sometimes; however, that doesn't mean I don't deserve the same respect as everyone else. If you can accept other people groups, why can't you accept my people group?

No comments:

Post a Comment