My boyfriend has ADHD. Before we met for our first Tinder date he said that there was something I should know. He said that he had ADD (a milder form of ADHD) and when I asked him what that meant, he said, he wouldn’t really be able to focus on my eyes. That he would probably look away because he got distracted easily. I got a little scared but we met up anyway and I fell in love.
My boyfriend would probably not like the subject of the article. He says that he never really thinks about his ADD. He doesn’t usually mention it to people because he does not want to be defined by it. His parents decided all the way back when he was diagnosed at the age of five not to give him medication. And he himself is aware that he can get addicted easily thus he doesn’t smoke or takes drugs. His dad doesn’t even believe that ADHD is an actual neurological condition. According to him, my boyfriend just has ‘motivation issues’. But I want to write this article because, even though he doesn’t want to admit it, my boyfriend’s mind works different than the mind of other people. And sometimes it is noticeable.
When I started looking more into the subject I stumbled across a beautiful TedTalk by Jessica McCabe, who started the YouTube Channel “How to ADHD” where she talks about her experience with the condition. In there she says something very beautiful: Considering that 5-8% of the global population are affected by ADHD, it is very likely that, at some point, each one of us will meet someone who has it.
“Work with them, give birth to them, or fall in love with them. Chances are you already have. And at some point, you’re going to ask yourself: What is going on in their brain?”
Exactly. It was important for me to understand, that he is not a bad listener. His mind is just constantly in motion. Unlike mine, it can’t always hold on to a person’s words but it jumps from my face, to the chairs we are sitting on, to the fabric of his sweater and then out of the window. I had to understand that he wasn’t full of himself but that, if he found a topic he had on his mind, he had to tell me everything about it right away. And I mean everything. Like, monologue-everything. His mind would jump quickly from one detail to another, trying to pull every little bit together into a story. And sometimes that takes time. I had to learn that he isn’t careless but forgetful. That planning is hard sometimes. I had to learn that it’s not about me. And there is still more to learn.
I think it is also important to mention the beauty of ADHD. No one seems to think quite like my boyfriend does. Once we experimented with clay a little bit and while I barely managed to form a bowl, he crafted the most beautiful creative sculpture I had ever seen. When he tries to explain something to me he comes up with the weirdest, out-of-the world examples in order to make a point. He makes the best jokes. His mind just makes associations in a way my mind can not. Thanks to him, I see the world differently. I have become kinder. More aware. When we go for a walk, he can get me excited about the most banal things. Like the way a duck walks or the way a bridge curves over a small river. It’s daunting and wonderful at the same time and I love him very much for it.
(If you ever read this, don’t be mad. Love you xx)