Gripping News

The coming-to-grips part post-diagnosis is a longish, interesting journey. There’s the initial relief (okay, I’m not lazy-stupid-crazy, I just have ADHD): UP!

Then you become aware of the Nomothetic Fallacy, realise that knowing what the issue is and naming it doesn’t resolve it. In some ways, things seem worse because you realise that no amount of “trying harder” will make it go away — it’s a “life sentence”: DOWN!

Then you decide to tackle things head-on, using your newly-found knowledge to circumvent problems and utilise your strengths: UP!

Giddy with all the improvements, you enter the proclaiming phase, now explaining to family and anyone else important — and then you find that there are some people who “don’t believe in it”, some don’t care, some don’t see the improvements, some of them don’t really understand, and a few refuse to change how they relate to you, et cetera: DOWN!

Faced with this realisation that you can’t change other people, and you can’t change your past, you then realise that what you can change is your views of how you relate to people and to your past.

This is the long-and-bumpy stage. It takes a while to sort out a gazillion hidden assumptions piled up over the years, and to re-examine events with the new understanding. This is the great part. You now have a better idea of who and what you are. UP!

Furthermore, you find you’re not alone. Welcome home.


  1. Shell said,

    12 February 2010 at 14:35

    So I have made it through college and even grad school using multiple coping strategies such as an caffeine, sudafed, primatine, a planner, trying to stick to a patter of study, studying alone (in complete and total silence) for hours and hours and hours on end, when it would take my classmates only a couple and now I have my job…… where I cannot control the environment (it is by nature chaotic) and I am making mistakes. LOTS. And its not about me anymore because I am caring for patients…..What should I do? My sister is ADD and is medicated and doing well but working in the healthcare field, there are TONS of skeptics who don’t believe or think you are “stupid.” and this is the reason I have avoided treatment for years. And now I have been able to deal with it fairly well so far I am afraid my doctor will think I am crazy. Help.

  2. Lisa said,

    23 October 2009 at 17:42

    Having just, at 47, come to the realization that I may have had lifelong issues with AD/HD, I came across your website in my search for coping mechanisms. I laughed out loud when I read, at the top of this page “OK, I’m not lazy-stupid-crazy…” because I had JUST SAID almost exactly that to a therapist, in anger no less, because I was trying to explain to her how I was having trouble getting things done at work and she was implying (in my mind) that I should just get off my butt and get things done, dang it. So, I’m in the first stage of the coming-to-grips steps… and I’m currently UP! Hopefully the downs won’t be too bad. Thanks for your site!

  3. qw88nb88 said,

    2 August 2007 at 0:59

    No problem — I only have 15 things currently piled up in my Drafts folder…

  4. abfh said,

    1 August 2007 at 22:25

    No worries, Andrea, my comment was meant as a general rant, not one directed at you. Thanks for adding another topic to my overflowing file of ideas for future posts…

  5. qw88nb88 said,

    1 August 2007 at 17:07

    Hmn, okay, “life sentence” has too many negative connotations. It does seem like a life sentence at first, because all one can see is the problems and “brokenness”.

    It takes a while to understand how doing things differently is NOT the same thing as doing things wrong. As I said, the great part is sorting out the gazillion hidden assumptions piled up over the years, and being able to re-examine events with the new understanding.

  6. abfh said,

    1 August 2007 at 13:52

    Gah, I hate the “life sentence” metaphor. Since when was it supposed to be a hideous ordeal to spend the rest of your life just being who you are? And who decided that we all ought to be “trying harder” to make the socially unaccepted parts of ourselves go away?

  7. Kevathens said,

    1 August 2007 at 7:14

    Yeah, that sounds about right. (Though with AS not ADHD) Damned life sentence. :| This must be the reason I can’t sleep tonight.

  8. Callista said,

    31 July 2007 at 21:10

    Oohhh… I am so familiar with this. I also have ADHD (or AS symptoms that mimic inattentive/impulsive ADHD perfectly), and this seems to be the cycle I’m stuck in right now.

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