Book Review: The Gift of Adult ADD
Title: The Gift of Adult ADD
Author: Lara Hono-Webb, PhD
What I Learned from "The Gift of Adult ADD"
As with many informational and self-help books, you read the pages and sift through what is relevant in your life. I have a feeling that all adults, not just those with ADHD would find some useful information in this book. And when, six months or a year later they pick it up once again, there will be a different section that rings true to them. Depending on what is important to you, right now, what you take from this book may be different than what I have taken away from it.
That being said, what stood out most for me was the possibility of redefining who you are and what you think of yourself by changing one simple thing. It is looking at yourself and measuring your achievements by what you are good at rather than what you have "failed" at.
Shortly before reading this book I had been talking with my 14 year old daughter. Now, most definitely, this is an age full of self-doubt. But what had struck me was I saw a beautiful, smart and talented young girl. I saw a daughter with friends, who did well in school, whose teachers could not tell me enough good things about my daughter, whose music instructors told me of her immense talent. I saw each of things and lived each day in awe of my daughter's warm heart and caring ways.
So it amazed me to hear how she saw herself. She judged her academic success, not on the many classes she did well in, but solely by the math class she struggled in. She measured her success in music lessons (she wants to be a music performer), not in how advanced she plays, but in every mistake she made. She judged her "popularity" not by having several good and loyal friends, but by those people she was not friends with. She judged her goodness, not by how good of a friend she was or how much she cared about her family (and friends), but by all that she did not do and all that she did not say.
Isn't this what we do all too often? At the end of the day, especially if some things did not go as planned, don't we look back and say, "What an awful day!" rather than reviewing those things that did go right? Don't we so often look at our "mistakes," our "failures," rather than focusing on all that we have accomplished?
And so, since reading this book, I have consciously made an effort to redefine myself, to begin each day and to end each day, looking at what is right in my life and what I have accomplished. It is not that I ignore those items which need more work. It is that I will no longer allow them to define me.
After my conversation with my daughter, I remind her each day of what she is good at, what she can do, who she is. I remind her each day to "redefine" herself based on what is good and her strengths, rather than to define herself based on her weaknesses. With work, with dedication and with persistence, hopefully I will turn my daughter's thought process around and allow her to see a wonderful human being.
So, thank you, Dr. Lara Honos-Webb, for providing me the insight into myself, into my daughter, and providing me with some tools to change our view of ourselves and our world.
I think six months from now I will revisit this book and see what I can take away from it based on my situation then.