Living with ADHD

I can’t concentrate 

My mind hanging on by a thread  

I can’t even think straight 

 

My thoughts won’t cooperate 

Like racing wildfires, they’re so widespread 

I can’t concentrate  

 

Am I gaining weight again? 

Another diet has been misled  

I can’t even think straight  

 

Wait — What was I thinking about again? 

I just want to go back to bed  

Oh boy, I can’t concentrate  

 

I want to open the gate to my mind 

Since the thoughts in my head I dread 

I can’t even think straight  

 

I am an inmate  

To the thoughts in my head 

I can’t concentrate  

I can’t even think straight  

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A person with ADHD has differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. When someone has difficulty staying attentive, sitting still, or even being impulsive they might suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder… and that’s when I knew. I was only diagnosed with ADHD September of 2018 and have been struggling with this for so long. For years, I just thought I was hyper for no reason; for years teachers just thought I was a “bad kid,” for years my parents thought I just didn’t like paying attention. Although, that last one may have been true, I always knew there was something wrong with the way I learned and how long it took me to finish anything. It just did not connect as to why this was happening to me — so I believed that I was just a “bad kid.” Lacking the knowledge of the actual disorder, I believed that I was “stupid” and sadly had been a part of the jokes being thrown at people with ADHD.
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Last year, I struggled so much with juggling the responsibilities of college level academics and the expectations I needed to uphold playing basketball at the collegiate level. I was able to get tested by the Office of Disability Services (ODS) and then put through numerous tests in order to confirm my diagnosis. Balancing both my academics and basketball has been by far the most challenging elements of my life. This act of balancing has caused other issues for my mental health. Actively keeping up with grades, assignments, and office hours on a tight schedule of a student athlete is a full-time job! On top of that, making sure I was sleeping, eating the “right” nutrients and staying hydrated to be able to perform at a high level still needed to be at the top of my priority list. Like any other college student, I became exhausted and anxious trying to stay on top of the next assignment. Having to deal with both school and basketball caused me to be diagnosed with anxiety, along with ADHD. 

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Sitting still in class, being attentive, or even being able to listen for long periods of time have been the hardest parts of dealing with ADHD. I have literally been in full conversation with teammates about school assignments and my mind drifts into a place that has nothing to do with conversation, resulting in me missing the conversation that I was a part of. It is not only frustrating, but also embarrassing as well because I am consistently that one friend in the conversation that says “what” halfway through because my mind is wandering. It causes me to miss stories told by my friends, which makes me look insensitive and it causes me to miss lectures which makes me look like I just don’t give a shit about the class I am in at the time. When in reality, I am just trying to wrap my head around everything that happens around me. 

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The key to keeping up with my own life is learning to separate school and basketball, while identifying that I am a student-athlete and the ball does not bounce forever. Staying organized and having a daily planner that includes *EVERYTHING* I do in a day controls my anxiety and allows my mind to be focused in the present. Living with ADHD is still a learning process for me but is something that allows me to open my mind to other disabilities, especially disabilities you can not necessarily see.  

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