Many ADHD’ers do not do well in large crowds or loud noises. This means the Fourth of July becomes an anxiety fueled nightmare for some of us. For many years I pretended to like fireworks, and the outing to take to see them, because I was usually given the guilt trip if I didn’t go, so I learned that pretending was better.
Only problem was, I would be left for many days afterwards with anxiety ridden nightmares that would leave me unable to be productive. Then, for a few years, I took my kids to see the fireworks because, well, that is what we are supposed to do as parents, right? I learned to stop doing that when I saw the excitement of going turn into sensory overload and glazed over eyes for a few days afterwards. So, avoiding fireworks has become a family tradition now.
Last year, we found ourselves in Pittsburgh and were able to get a hotel room on the 14th floor looking over the water that has a big firework show on the fourth. That was an excellent way to see fireworks! We stayed in the comfort of our hotel room, no large crowds, and were able to see the fireworks with limited sound. It was awesome.
This year, we stayed home in Florida. We were thinking of going to one of the many and wonderful state parks don’t have fireworks, but it was just too hot this year. The heat index was around 110 with humidity levels that made it feel like we should use the adjective of swimming instead of walking. Staying home seemed to be the best option.
Netflix and Hulu binging became are fun for the day. Kit Cat and I watched the entire third season of Stranger Things while Paddy watched Mythbusters. Stu played on his computer – programming probably. It was a great 4th of July day for us! We did have Hamburgers and french fries too.
For families with ADHD children/adults, an alternative activity is usually needed for holidays like the fourth. Never make your families members feel left out because the large crowds and or the loud noises of fireworks are just too much to handle.
Remember, the best way to handle these holidays is to make everyone feel a part of the fun.
**On a side note – please remember that many of our military men and women also have difficulties with this holiday because of the loud noises. I have to admit, I find it difficult to understand why we celebrate our freedom and thank our servicemen in a way that can inflict feelings of war on them.
Rock on, My lovelies. But, just not too loudly.