June 25, 2017

The Mission

The ADHD Dichotomy

Welcome to ADHD Heroes.  If you or someone you love has ADHD, you’ve faced the dichotomy.  ADHD is frustrating… and funny, wearisome… and exciting, exasperating… and as long as you keep your sense of humor, endlessly entertaining!  Some call ADHD a disorder; others feel it’s a gift.  Some people even, in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence, swear it’s made up!  Regardless of your definition of ADHD, there’s no denying it can present challenges.  ADHD heroes face and overcome those challenges daily.

Presenting the ADHD Heroes Project

The ADHD Heroes project is a non-profit effort to recognize greatness where we find it, and to provide hope, inspiration and motivation to other ADHDers and their families.  It’s a celebration of people with ADHD who succeed against the odds.

It’s early days, so for now, ADHD Heroes is a Web site, a growing and evolving Web site that you can contribute to in any number of ways.  You can read the stories you’ll find here and provide feedback, you can share your own story to provide hope, inspiration and motivation for others facing similar challenges or you can volunteer your special skills and time to help create the future of the ADHD Heroes Project.

What will ADHD Heroes become in the future?  It will become whatever you can imagine.  People just like you are creating ADHD Heroes, and it’s a work in progress.  With your help, it’ll keep growing.  Together, we’ll create something bigger than all of us, something “greater than the sum of its parts.”

Why ADHD Heroes?

We’re creating ADHD Heroes to combat the “stratification” of ADHD.  What does that mean?  People’s knowledge of or exposure to ADHD is separating into layers.  When we hear about ADHD on the news, someone’s in trouble and spinning ADHD as an excuse, or a celebrity has “come out” about their ADHD after they’ve become so successful that no ADHD stigma can touch them.

The Creamy Middle!

Yes, people with ADHD do get into trouble; after all, we’re just people.   And people with ADHD become famous.  We also have amazing talents.  But ADHD isn’t a defense for bad behavior, nor is it a free pass to fame and fortune.  So we’re creating ADHD Heroes for all the amazing people in between those two extremes, the ADHD “middle class,” if you will.  Or perhaps more like the “working class,” plugging along day after day, facing setbacks with a smile (Ok, sometimes it’s with gritted teeth, but it looks like a smile!), getting knocked down and always, always being the person who will get back up one more time.  You are the true heroes of ADHD.

A Desperate Search

Most people, following an ADHD diagnosis, their own or a loved one’s, scour books and Web sites, visit support groups and doctors, quiz teachers and ADHD  “coaches, looking for effective treatments, a cure, even, or barring that, advice on how to cope.  Underlying all this scurrying around seeking answers is a desperate quest for hope.

We’ve all seen lists of famous people with ADHD.  Yes, people with ADHD can become famous.  But fame is not the same as success, and hope comes, not from seeing that other people have become famous through some miraculous but hidden process, but from seeing others face the same challenges you do without backing down.  Lasting hope doesn’t come from some magical talent that will allow you to bypass all the struggles and leap to the top of the heap.  True success comes from facing down the demons one at a time and never giving up, and real hope is seeing someone just like you persevering and creating a fulfilling life.

What If ADHD Was Cool?

When I was young, Happy Days was a popular TV show starring Ron Howard, and the Fonz, played by Henry Winkler, was every boy’s hero.   For us kids, it wasn’t cool to wear glasses, and many boys squinted at the chalkboard and struggled to read rather than admit they needed help to see.  All that changed with one Happy Days episode.  The Fonz learned he needed glasses.  Oh the drama!  We all knew glasses were uncool, and the Fonz, the symbol of cool for an entire generation, was faced with a choice; wear glasses and see or stay “cool,” and blind.

Thankfully, the Fonz made the right choice.  Suddenly, glasses were cool!  One hero changed a generation’s opinion… overnight, glasses became, not the subject of taunting, but a status symbol.  If the ADHD Heroes project can provide hope the way the Fonz did for squinting little boys all those years ago, we’ll have achieved our dream.

And What If It Isn’t?

People blame ADHD on genetics, or poor parenting.  They blame it on TV and video games… the fast pace of the modern world.  But to our Heroes, ADHD just is.  Cool or not, it’s not anyone’s fault.  ADHD Heroes refuse to be victims.  It’s not an excuse either.  An ADHD Hero understands ADHD as simply a different way of being, and every moment for you is the same as every moment for everyone else… it’s another opportunity to be the best you that you can be.

People with ADHD don’t choose ADHD.  If it were cool, would they choose it given the chance to start over?  Save that discussion for some lazy afternoon.  Our point is that people with ADHD can do anything they choose, and our ADHD heroes know it.  They’re out there doing it, day after day.  This is a site for people like you, and the ADHD heroes you know, the ones living with ADHD and succeeding.