I Tried to be normal 300x256 ADHD ABC| N is for Normal and O is for OrdinaryHave you ever thought, “Why can’t I just be normal? Why can’t I be like everyone else?”

I know I have.

Definitions for normal in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary include: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern;  of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development

Blah blah blah.  Now let’s see what ordinary really means.

As a noun, it can mean the regular or customary condition or course of things. As an adjective, it can imply routine, usual <an ordinary day> 3 a :  of common quality, rank, or ability <an ordinary teenager>  or :  deficient in quality

Some synonyms and related words for normal and ordinary include:

average, common, commonplace,  routine,  standard, standard-issue, unexceptional, unremarkable, usual 

why be normal when normal means average poster rd32c4bd872a242b2a6333c3a50fe9fd0 w2j 8byvr 512 150x150 ADHD ABC| N is for Normal and O is for OrdinaryDo you just want to be a normal person? Do you want to live an ordinary life?

Listen up. Now that you really know what normal means…do you really want to be average? Or worse…unremarkable or unexceptional?

The truth is–normal is a setting on a wash machine. Your ADHD is a divine present–you were designed to stand out, create, and infuse life into the world. Accept the gift.

P.S. I’ve found that posting inspirational quotes and spiritual wisdom in random places, like my purse, the car, my journal, etc. are powerful pick-me-ups. The two quotes below are rad reminders (even for agnostic ADHDers). icon smile ADHD ABC| N is for Normal and O is for Ordinary

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-9 (NIV)


quack doctor 150x150 ADHD ABC| Myths and Facts about ADHD MedsMyths and Meds

Ya’lls know that I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I’m not necessarily pro-meds, or against them. You and your doctor will have to decide.  As for me, I am on non-stimulant medication to treat my severe ADHD. Kevin and I decided NOT to put our daughter on medication. She tried Ritalin when she was in second grade, did not like it, and it made her weepy.

Instead, we opted for teaching her strategies for success, self-advocacy, and awareness of her symptoms, as well as the gifts of ADD!

Myth: Teachers can diagnose ADD. My son’s third grade teacher said that he had it.

ADHD/ADD is a medical diagnosis. Only psychiatrists, psychologists, family doctors, a nurse practitioner, a neurologist, and certain master level. A teacher can describe behaviors of what he sees in the classroom. However, is NOT AUTHORIZED to diagnose it at all.

Myth: Teachers prescribe ADHD medicine.

Last I checked, teachers are not allowed to write prescriptions nor pass out Ritalin like a Pez dispenser.  It is a felony to forge a prescription.

Myth: Consuming caffeine with your stimulant medication is OK.

Wrong! Too much caffeine combined with your stimulant medication can create wacko synergy and decrease the effects of the medication. Bad plan.

article 1058391 02BA045800000578 673 468x127 ADHD ABC| Myths and Facts about ADHD MedsMyth: ADHD stimulant medication has few side effects.

Wrong again! (And the man doesn’t want to tell you this!). I know from personal experience that stimulant medication has a horrible rebound effect after it wears off, creating worse symptoms than if I had never taken it. It also stopped working as effectively. I developed a tolerance for it, so much so that I went from taking 10 mg of it daily to 60 mg.  (My husband called me an Adderall toilet because it started wearing off so quickly).  The only side effect I loved was that I lost a bunch of weight on it because I wasn’t as hungry!

Children and adults sometimes have trouble sleeping when they’re on stimulant medication, so then they end up needing sleeping pills to fall asleep at night.  Hmmmm…

Other rare effects of stimulant medication is cardiac arrest, increased risk for stroke, increased blood pressure, and DEATH.

Are you willing to put your or your child’s life on the line just so they can focus better in class and homework time is less painful?   How about looking at different factors, like sleep, sugar intake, allergies (like gluten or celiac disease)? Vitamin deficiencies? Are you getting enough exercise, etc.? Look at the WHOLE PICTURE, rather than putting all your trust in a little pill.

What the classroom is set up like? Your workplace? Is your house cluttered? Get help from a friend with OCD to re-organize and declutter! That can help your mind get clear.

If the classroom has all kinds of mobiles, crazy bulletin boards, distracting posters, and flickering fluorescent lights, that can exacerbate ADHD symptoms, as well. (I actually asked a coworker to take down and stop making posters because it was too distracting for me).

What’s your take on stimulant medication for ADHD? 


download ADHD ABC| L is for Like! You Cant Please Everyone...You can’t please everyone, and you can’t make everyone like you. Katie Couric

Deep down in the core of every man, woman, and child–is an innate desire to be liked.   Of course ADHDers want to be liked by other people, and it’s often a more extreme need for us than our neurotypical brothers and sisters.

1. We want people to like us, even if we don’t like them.  Think of all the stupid stuff you did in high school to get attention.  One time girl with Janet Jackson hair in my ninth grade ancient civ class told said, “Some girl came up to me and said you were a bitch….”  I was devastated. I had worked so hard to make sure everyone liked me. I couldn’t believe that this nameless hater actually disliked me!

2. ADHDers only want to start and complete that we like. Do you live by the mantra, if it’s not fun, it won’t get done!  As a grown-up now, I’ve found ways to deal with that. I make myself finish a boring task by rewarding myself with something fun at the end, talking on the phone while working on a mundane chore, watching a movie while folding laundry, or enlisting a friend to come hang out while you work on them.

3. We like to work where we’re liked and appreciated.  A long time ago, in a septic school I worked at far, far away, the principal thought I was too creative, and I didn’t fit in with the cookie cutter staff.  Soon after starting the school year, I wilted and shut down. I would avoid the toxic teachers by eating lunch in my classroom.

If you’re imprisoned in an unhealthy work environment that’s draining the life out of you, here are a few strategies that can help:

a). Pray and journal

b). make sure your side of the street is clean, do a spot-check inventory on your behavior. If you’re being an obnoxious jerk, stop it already.

c). spot your workplace allies fast, and stick with them. If there are none, then so be it!

d). keep your mouth shut and document on

d). do your best every day, hold your head high, get lots of support outside of work, and smile.

e). look for a new job where your skills and talents will be appreciated. If you get a weird gut feeling about the place where you’re interviewing, do NOT take the job!

f). Do not cower before anyone, no matter how low you feel.

And remember what the ADHD Dr. Superhero tweeted…

by Lynn Heinzerling Stinson reasonably small ADHD ABC| L is for Like! You Cant Please Everyone...
#ADHD: Don’t stay too long where you aren’t understood or appreciated.
10:36 PM – 13 Mar 14

If you try to please everybody, you will please nobody and get nothing done. You will be like President Obama running around appealing to every special interest group and lobbyist that drives to D.C. If you please yourself, then you will end up making a few friends along the way.

Since working harder on my personal growth than anything else, I’ve shed much of an unhealthy, extreme need for approval. I’m selective about the people I spend time with and the environments I’m in. I’m a much happier, more confident, and productive ADHD chica.

How about you?


ADHD ABC| Sitting is Killing You: K is for Kinesthetic

by Nancy Carroll

How to Survive a Boring Meeting Traditional learning in high school and beyond is set up for auditory learners. Workplace meetings are also pain-free for auditory neurotypicals. However, those meetings can be hell for the kinesthetic ADHD kind, yours truly included. I detest prolonged meetings where people talk and talk and talk, sitting in one spot […]

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ADHD ABC| J is for Jesus..Is God Mad at You?

by Nancy Carroll

I thought God hated me. Really. I thought He loved everybody except me.  He was mad at me. He wanted to punish me. I believed that Jesus was for the homeschooling minivan mafia and people who had cows and ducks decor in their cutesy country kitchens. Wrong. Jesus hung out with losers. Look whom Jesus hung out […]

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ADHD ABC|I is for Intuition…and the Terrible Tale of My Twenties

by Nancy Carroll

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.-Albert Einstein For much of my twenties, I sped on a hell-bent mission to drown out my intuition. Almost whenever the still small voice inside me whispered […]

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ADHD ABC| H is for Hyperfocus

by Nancy Carroll
Thumbnail image for ADHD ABC| H is for Hyperfocus

God is in the details.- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, German-American Architect Mies was on the right track. Yet I say that God is in the hyperfocus.  When Mies said it, he meant whatever you do, you should do it well and thoroughly. That doesn’t happen without hyperfocus. What is Hyperfocus? …is a mega intense […]

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ADHD ABC| F is for Friendship

by Nancy Carroll

ADHD Friendship FAQ Since I’m on an FAQ kick now, I thought I’d whip one up about ADHD friendship. Q: What’s the big deal with friendship and ADHD? It’s full of oxymorons and paradoxes. Many ADHD adults have a tough time maintaining friendships. Even though ADHDers tend to be friendly folk, some forget to maintain consistent […]

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ADHD| E is for Entropy

by Nancy Carroll

E is for Entropy! Yess, that’s right. What’s entropy? Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it as “a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder.”  There’s another fancy scientific definition that has to do with thermodynamics, chaos, and states of matter. We won’t go there. You would get totally bored reading about it, and […]

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ADHD ABC| D is for Distraction and Death by PowerPoint

by Nancy Carroll
Thumbnail image for ADHD ABC| D is for Distraction and Death by PowerPoint

Distraction Everybody knows that a hallmark of ADHD is distraction.   I like to think of my distractibility with a lemon twist– there are so many things in the world that are fascinating to me except the boring task at hand. For example, right now I know that I need to put together all the […]

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