Saturday, March 2, 2013

ADHD: Equating Easier With Better

 spring 2012

some names have been omitted from this post


My friend sat beside me on the wide concrete edge of an elevated flower bed trimmed in manicured evergreen ground cover. Dressed in light gray dress slacks for work, a soft pale pink blouse and neutral heels she listened to what I had to say. Between us was a quick lunch of turkey sandwiches, potato chips and bottled waters. Sitting under the trees that swayed with the light breeze, streams of dappled sunlight slipped through the branches overhead catching her blonde brown highlights.

Catching up and telling her how I'd just been diagnosed with ADHD, I was definitely relieved to find out, as it certainly gave me the reasons and validation I'd needed for years struggling with the symptoms. Yet.... I paused. I was also a little frustrated.

I felt cheated.

If I'd been diagnosed in grade school think how much easier life would have been! There wouldn't have been the teachers notes, tutoring, headaches, lack of focus and procrastination. There wouldn't have been as many limitations socially because I felt so different and didn't understand why. Maybe I would have been better able to handle the circumstances at home and with an early diagnosis perhaps my father would have been diagnosed as well. Perhaps we both would have received the help we needed and certainly my entire family would have benefited from that. Likely I wouldn't have made the choice to leave, get involved in what I did and have my education interrupted.

I realized one erroneous decision made by someone not diagnosing a child or adult properly is capable of contributing to choices later made by them. These choices lead to problems down the road. Bigger problems that lead to huge ramifications not just for themselves but that affect others as well.

I bit my lip and spoke "Life would have just been EASIER if I'd gotten the diagnosis as a child!"

My friend contemplated what I was saying. She gently shook the potato chip bag and reached in searching for the one she wanted and spoke...

"Yes, it would have been easier, Jennifer. Of course it would have. " She affirmed. "I know you wish it had been. It's not right. But... " She trailed off and I listened waiting patiently for her to share her thoughts. Half my sandwich waited for me on the brown paper wrapper between us and I pushed my thin gray cardigan sleeves worn over a white button down top back slightly to the elbow, the heat from the sunshine stronger now.

She shook her head and looked at me her brown eyes catching mine "It WOULD have been easier for sure. But struggling and leaving like you did....what you went through is what has made you who you are. It would have been easier but just because it was easier doesn't equal BETTER." she stressed. "You are equating easier with better. You don't know who you would have been if it had been easier. Maybe you would have been some stuck up snob! We wouldn't be friends! That's what's wonderful about are a good person. You are so strong and most definitely a better person because of what you've been through!"

I sat in awe of her and her insight. What a blessing she was. This was one of many examples of why she was such an amazing person. I had been wrong. She was right. I had erroneously believed that just because life could have been easier it automatically translated to myself being better. However I knew that our challenges in life serve us in ways we may not realize until much later... they shape and mold us...for the better.

God can use any set of challenges to shape us. 

He has infinite abilities to work in us for the better.

For our definition of "better" is different than God's.

Getting to "better" is not always reached along the path of easy. 

Better is often accomplished with challenges met along the path to holy.

"I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things” ~ John 8:28

Holy: to dedicate one's ways to God.

dedicate, faithful, devout, purposeful

© ~ 2013

Thank you for reading! 

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