I compose text messages in my head, but I forget to actually send them. Unfinished projects scatter all over my house. One task is started and an hour later I’ve forgotten what I was doing. Rolls of 35mm film sit in my closet. They’ve waited over ten years to be developed—they will continue to wait.
I will be late to my own funeral. Which…may not altogether be a bad idea, but being on time is a constant struggle—regardless of how many extra minutes I build in for punctuality.
Sticky-notes and lists fill my days in a fighting effort to stay focused.
I was that kid in class. The annoying kid. The kid who never raised her hand. You know, the one who blurted answers while teachers rolled eyes. I intentionally broke my pencils just so I could get up.
If you see me in the back of the room doodling flowers and swirls with pens on paper, I’m listening. Listening more than if I stared in your direction. Because looking you in the eyes takes so much sheer will, it can be almost painful.
Even as an adult, when I sit, I move, fidget, squirm. Prince Charming just smiles and sometimes moves to the other couch.
I catch myself staring into the distance as I type. Daydreams. Thoughts. To-dos. And my writing bounces all over the place. I grasp into the thin air trying to make sense of thoughts strung together—a loose connection.
A life filled with I can’t believe I forgot to do that. I swear I put my keys in my purse. Did I really give the Court Jester permission to swing the bat inside? Honey, do you think you could I need to dust that cabinet did you pick up the milk I want to take the Princess shopping, and…Yeah.
I am ADHD. I am Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I have been deemed abnormal by science. Different. My brain doesn’t function like yours. It doesn’t work the way neurologists say it should.
And I cry foul.
I cry foul because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Who defines normal anyway?
The Creator of the heavens and the earth has allowed me to see the world through a different pair of eyes. I take in a vast array of colors and details others may miss. And I am grateful. Grateful because I can look in the eyes of students and tell them, I get it. Me too. Because I’m amazed by this world I am able to witness. Because paying attention has been redefined for me.
Blessed by parents who didn’t allow my struggles to be an excuse, I learned ADHD should never be synonymous with the word failure. I will fail. All. The. Time. Everyone does. But we are not failures. Because a failure is someone who never tries again. And giving up? Not a chance.
There is another—A creature with such a determined spirit, it has learned to adapt despite itself. Have you ever watched a honeybee fly? It flits from flower to flower, never staying longer than a few seconds. Bouncing from color to color, petal to petal, the tiny yellow and black bundle of energy may not maintain its course, but it does its job.
In recent years scientists have studied the way bees fly. New photo technology allowed them to capture the wing movements. Their discovery? Astounding. Typically, the larger the insect, the slower the wings move. Not so with my bee. To accommodate his flight patterns, his ability to hover, his sheer force of will, the honeybee’s wing-beat is astonishing.
Yet, his flight muscles are strangely different from other insects—not the most efficient. But He refuses to allow these muscles to stop him. When he’s weighed down? Carrying nectar or pollen? His wings maintain their speed, but the arc of the wing-stroke increases. He adapts. He copes. And he succeeds.
I am the honeybee.
So are you. Because really, every person in this life has awkward flight muscles. Mine have been defined by ADHD. Yours may be depression, chronic illness, disease, tragedy. Whatever our pain. Whatever our struggle. Whatever knocks us off course. We can change our arc.
We can change our arc through the power of the God Who Sees. Our El Roi. And for some of us, our muscles will never change. ADHD is part of who I am. It won’t go away. In fact, I’m not sure I really want it to. Because through my struggles to fly with awkward muscles, I’ve learned to depend on the God who changes my arc.
Only He can carry me flower to flower. Only He can lift me through my days filled with distractions. Only He can direct my paths and straighten my course. Even when I’m just so tired of fighting my own mind, I can trust Him for the next beat of my wing.
Like the honeybee, I never stop flying. And what a honey-sweet life it is.
For more information on the honeybee’s flight visit this site.