Many people with ADD/ADHD will feel at times like saying “I just want to be normal.”
They see things in life that work for other people, and wish that they could be – or at least appear to be – so put together.
Social media only fuels the feelings of inadequacy.
We see nothing but the best of people’s lives, which perpetuates a glossy, picturesque image of a perfect life.
Social media has created a false reality with which we may measure ourselves and our value. So much so, in fact, that perpetual use of many social media accounts is linked to increased depression and anxiety.
So, what IS “normal”? How can you come to a place where you are at peace with your meaning of “normal” with ADD/ADHD?
Carefully edited images of people’s instagram profiles?
Facebook posts declaring what a wonderful life someone’s having?
“Better Homes and Gardens” image of people’s perfectly organized homes?
The facade of perfection in relationships, career, family, and life?
How does it make you feel if you see these images when you feel like you can’t meet those “standards”?
Who sets the “standards” anyways?
Furthermore, do you believe that people actually and truly live perfect lives?
Is perfection achievable?
The “perfect life” images people see in social media effectively reinforce the negative self-image that some with ADD/ADHD struggle with.
They default to self-shaming when they feel that they don’t “measure up.”
All the while, there are a lot of forgotten aspects that they are doing RIGHT in their world and those things have value.
Those are all things that contribute to their “normal,” and that’s ok.
So, what is normal?
I love the phrase that says, “Normal is nothing more than a setting on the dryer.”
Who are YOU?
You are not defined by your ADD/ADHD – you are so much more than that!
What are your core values, likes and dislikes, beliefs, talents, weaknesses, and contributions?
There is only one you. Comparing yourself to others is senseless because “they” – with THEIR strengths and weaknesses – do “normal” their way!
They are completely different from you, with or without ADD/ADHD!
Somebody else’s “normal” works for them, but that doesn’t mean that it will work for you. And that’s ok because you are each unique.
What are your Strengths?
ADD/ADHD comes with some serious strengths. What are yours? Identify them, own them, and hone them. They create your version of “normal.”
I once heard a business trainer teach that you should “…do what you are good at – and absolutely do NOT do what you aren’t good at!”
This seems so fundamentally simple. Yet we still tend to think we should be able to do it all.
The truth is, we will all be better off if we stick to our strengths and outsource – or get help – with our areas of weakness.
This is true for anyone, whether or not they have ADD/ADHD!
How do you validate your “normal”?
To make peace with YOUR “normal,” some habits need to change.
If your current thought habit feeds a destructive internal dialogue, that needs to change to a positive one.
The destructive thoughts you communicate to yourself do not reflect who you truly ARE. Changing habits takes intention but it can be done.
Using your strengths to formulate your version of a “normal” life helps validate you and what you do.
What’s your system? What’s your “normal”? Does it work for you?
If it does, then it’s perfectly suited to you, so it’s perfect. Keep it, whether or not it matches up with your instagram friend.
If you’re trying to be the definition of someone else’s ADD/ADHD “normal”, you’ll struggle with self-doubt and self-shame.
You’re trying to fit your weaknesses into someone else’s strengths, and your strengths into someone else’s weaknesses.
You’re trying to be THEM.
So stop. Be you. You are enough.