I never thought I would say this but I am thankful for my ADHD and for my chronic pain. Weird huh! Well here is the thing, prior to knowing I had ADHD and prior to surgery resulting in chronic pain, I didn’t think much of myself. All the things that come with ADHD that I struggled with prior to my diagnosis at 30 felt like moral failings. Maybe I could have gotten started sooner, maybe I could have left earlier, maybe I was lazy – my struggles I thought were a reflection on the type of person I was.

They were, but not in the way I thought. I thought that my lack of success and feelings of overwhelm were because I was a weak person. Once I found out about the ADHD and started getting help, my struggles were still a reflection on the type of person I am but the reflection is a positive one.

I was making it. Meaning I was not just surviving but learning how to flourish. This probably seems strange and not to say there weren’t some hard times but I coped and the fact that I coped and kept going means that I am strong, have grit and perseverance. My difficulties forced me to dig deep inside to find the energy to get up each day no matter how my mind or body was feeling. After awhile you start to realize that you are managing despite obvious difficulties. This causes you to lead to the conclusion that you are not a waste of space.

Once I began to perceive that I was stronger than I thought, I became more confident to try new things, do the tough stuff and simply keep moving forward.

What are you struggling with? Are you ignoring your successes and accomplishments because you are struggling in some areas? Success breeds success. Acknowledge when you stick to something, complete something or understand something. Send a message to yourself reminding you what you have accomplished even if it is a little thing. Little things can accumulate and turn into big things.

Don’t think of your struggles as holding you back so much as calling you to engage, be present. If you keep moving forward despite your difficulties by an inch or a mile you are succeeding regardless.