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The Journey is More Important Than the Destination...

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

Say the people who don't struggle with ADHD. I get that journeys are well and good and that there is much to be learned on the way, but for those of us who struggle to get to the destination, on time, the journey can be a real nightmare.

I have gotten obsessive about leaving way earlier than typically needed just to make sure I end up there on time, even if that means arriving too early and spending half an hour getting coffee, or an hour browsing for things I don't need at Target (which never ends well for my purse, but that's a tale for another time).

On the other hand, there are ADHDers who are chronically late, and no matter what you tell them, they will still be late. I told a friend of mine (a fellow ADHDer) who was invited to my brother's wedding that the wedding would start at 2:00pm (it started at 3:00pm) and she was still late, missing the entire ceremony. I don't recount this out of anger but from a place of comprehension and compassion.

Those two things, comprehension and compassion, are two of the most important things for neurotypical people to keep in mind when trying to discuss problems with their ADHD loved ones. Comprehending that ADHD brains do have neurological differences from our more neurotypical brethren can help keep frustration from boiling over. Understanding that your ADHD friends or family aren't being deliberately obstinate, obtuse, or just plain difficult is key. The truth of the matter is that your ADHD loved ones are struggling with everything on the inside, and having compassion for them will make all the difference in your relationship.

That got preachy, which was not my intent, though it is still important.

There are also times when the destination gets completely lost on the journey, specifically with trains of thought. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've stopped in the middle of saying something with no idea what was supposed to come next. Literally mid-sentence. I was already halfway there, but where I was going with it is now lost for somewhere between several minutes and eternity.

An example:

Me: Leah at work was really having an issue with her brother falling off the wagon so I was telling her that-

Spouse: (Cooking) Can you pass the salt?

Me: Sure!

(I spend several seconds looking around, spinning in a circle trying to find the salt. Does he mean the empty shaker on the table? Unlikely. The grinder that's supposed to be on the shelf in the kitchen but isn't? I spin again. Where is the salt!? Oh, it's on top of the coffee pot.)

Me: Wait. The coffee pot? Why is the salt on the coffee pot?

Spouse: I have no idea. You probably set it there when you were using the toaster.

Me: Oh... okay. (Beat.) What was I saying?

Spouse: About Leah.

Me: What about Leah?

Spouse: Her brother?

Me: ...

Thought gone, vanished without a trace.

So that's having the destination taken right out from under you. But we ADHDers are resourceful, and as long as there is a ground to walk upon, even if there's no path, and a sort-of sense of direction, we can forge our own paths. And we'll get there when we get there.

The Journey


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