(It took me awhile to figure out a title for this post. I really wanted to name it “shameless Plug”, but I figured that might sound a bit naughty. I will forewarn you though, that this post is about me bragging on myself and I will ask for a favor at the end of it, if you are so inclined.)
There have been many scientific studies done on people with ADHD that have determined that we are indeed more creative than the non-ADHD person. I found this article in Psychology Today from 2011 that gives several examples of these studies. To put this simply, we are more creative but only if there are no rules on that creativity. We also highly achieve at thinking outside the box.
I find this description of “thinking outside the box” as a good way to help describe what life with ADHD really is.
Imagine a box.
Now, imagine everyone living inside that box. Inside, there is creativity, but it is controlled by the rules of everyone inside that box. On occasion, someone will momentarily escape that box and think for themselves. They will come up with something creative and so imaginative that they will be congratulated upon returning inside the box. That person will be recognized for their greatness, and probably get rewarded in multiple ways. For the school age child, they will get an “A” and probably some sort of public recognition. For the adult, they will be put on a list of those who will quickly move up the ladder in the company, along with possible public recognition. Thinking outside the box is something that most people living inside the box achieve to do at least once in their life. But there is a rule to living inside the box. The rule is a strict one, that must never be compromised. And that rule is: you must return to living and thinking inside the box if you dare to think outside it for a moment.
Now, imagine the ADHD person. That person lives outside the box. Their entire childhood is devoted to finding that box so they can be with everyone else and think like everyone else. The school system is set up for only those who are inside the box, so finding the box is desirable for success. However, it is very difficult to find the box. Once the box is found, it is even more difficult to get inside. Sometimes, people inside the box refuse to open any of the doors or windows leaving the ADHD person stranded, knowing where the box is, but unable to get inside. Some adults with ADHD spend their entire adulthood trying to find a way inside that box. Many find success in never finding that box, but figuring out how to pretend that they are inside. It is easy to fool those inside the box into thinking that we are inside with them. Then there is a select group of other ADHD adults that find success in not only never finding the box, but never pretending to be inside either.
For the ADHD person, we spend most of our lives looking for that stupid box. Sometimes we get in, panic, and leave. Sometimes we get close and then just stare in wonderment as to why people stay in there willingly. Very few of us get inside and never leave the box. It’s a bit stifling in there. And also, no offense to those inside the box, it is boring in there too.
For the person with ADHD, the box becomes our nemesis. We try our entire life to get inside, only to run away the minute we achieve our goal. Then, the cycle begins again.
I hate that box. But yet, I dream to be inside with everyone else sometimes. Then other times, I rejoice at living outside the box and love my solitude.
When I was a stay at home Mom I decided to try my hand at writing. It took me about ten years to complete my work. Not only did I complete writing a book, I was able to do what needed to be done to get it published. I followed the rules and got inside the box for a few short moments to find success! Well, not necessarily success, seeing as how the publisher didn’t fulfil any of their promises, but I was published nonetheless.
And this brings me to my favor I wish to ask of you. I am trying to complete the second book in my series. My hope is that there will be seven in total. The series is called Seven of I. The first book is “Keeper of the Words”. The second book is titled “Thrice Blessed”. If you like Science Fiction/Fantasy that has a true good vs evil concept to it, and have a kindle, would you consider spending $0.99 on the book and then reviewing it? I have 21 reviews right now, but would like more in an attempt to get a better publisher to look at my second book. It is only available right now on the Kindle due to my financial constraints. You can go here to read a description and decide if you would like to read it.
My biggest problem with writing the book is controlling my imagination. There are few times while writing that I have to force myself to think inside the box in order to not scare anyone away with how wild my imagination can get.
I hate that box. And I love that box. It’s an ADHD conundrum.
*Featured imagine is a picture I took last year at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. I highly recommend everyone to visit there at least once. The imagination can get lost in there.