Last time, I touched upon the “Gets me” vs the “Gets me not” in the ADHD Tribe. It seemed to touch a nerve because I heard back from many a person that this is spot on in how they feel in day to day life; they feel like sometimes no one ever quite “gets them” but agreed with me that there are individuals that indeed embrace their unique traits and character unconditionally and feel fortunate to have a “Gets me” group of people.
Following up on that topic, I wanted to talk about another sub-set inside the ADHD Tribe that often gets a particularly bum rap and seems to have a tougher time trying to live up to others’ expectations and expectations that they place on themselves. These people often have siblings that seem to outperform them academically or career-wise, and overall they don’t seem to catch up quite as fast or at the same pace as those around them. I call these the “ADHD Late Bloomers”.
For these “ADHD Late Bloomers”, life can be particularly miserable because in the case of having brothers or sisters that are “doing better” than them at the moment, it can foment resentment and needless sibling rivalry. These people are very often nagged or berated by loved ones or those in a position of authority and asked “Why can’t you be more like so and so?”, “Why is your brother/sister in a management position while you’re just where you are”, or other similar questions. Situations like these can cause such a person to cast a large shadow of doubt on their self-esteem and whether they’re really going about it the “right way” in life? After hearing such criticisms from peers and loved ones, they can start to sulk, and worse, begin to brood about an endless array of things they maybe could have done differently or better. Some of these people can even enter into a cycle of endless self-despair, where they feel they have no place in the world, and that’s such a shame because the truth of the matter is that being pointed in the right direction, given enough time, and most importantly, having a healthy support structure around them, these late bloomers almost always catch up to their siblings or peers and do just as well if not better.
Phrased another way, “Slow and Steady Wins The Race”.
To highlight just how much potential and special this sub-set of our ADHD family is, I point to the imminently brilliant and qualified Amy Poehler. As she herself notes in her interview on Today, Amy says she herself was a late bloomer and further goes on to agree with Savannah Guthrie in being glad she didn’t “peak” in high school as it’s tough to follow that at an early age.
So what gifts and potential did this amazing late bloomer showcase to the entire world? Aside from her absolutely hilarious comedies, such as “Bridesmaids”, “Baby Mama”, “Mean Girls” and many others, Amy’s tenure on Saturday Night Live alone is the stuff of legend; her time there alongside Tina Fey, in mine and many others’ opinion was SNL’s “Golden Years”. Just on SNL, I’m hard pressed to think of one sketch where Amy fell flat. She is sheer comedic genius, defines what talent and drive is, and as the above interview shows, is an incredibly magnanimous, warm, humble, inviting, and completely down-to-Earth person; someone you’d love to have a drink with and just talk about anything because you know it’s gonna be a great time.
So what if Amy hadn’t been allowed to go through her late bloomer period and instead, held back by being wrongly perceived by others as lacking talent, or drive, or of being lazy, or a host of any other things that the late bloomers in life are told? Just imagine the treasure trove of immense talent that wouldn’t have been known to the world if this late blooming flower hadn’t been given her proper time to shine. This is why I tell the late bloomers of the ADHD Tribe, do NOT give up, do NOT let others, even family and loved ones deter you or get you down; often the criticism and comparisons to others comes from a genuine place of concern and care from our loved ones, but this still doesn’t lessen the sting.
Always persevere, always know that your time WILL come; it’s not a matter of if, but WHEN, and I can promise you my dear ADHD late bloomers that you will leave your respective marks in your lives and with those around you. Never allow anyone or anything to block you from achieving your full, 100% potential…….just ask Amy.
Much love to all of you and talk to you soon!
(Source: Today Show, NBC Universal)