… and saved my life in the process.
I have been an outcast my whole life. Like my friends’ parents used to call me, I was the troublemaker in town. I was the kind of kid parents didn’t want their kids hanging around.
I never really questioned why I was such a rebel. I hated school. I was sick of my monotonous routine where I had to wake up at 5:30am every day to do the exact same thing I did the day before.
I could never just sit down and study. Somehow, I just knew how outrageously silly it was to think that my life depended on the grade I got in my 8th grade algebra class. Maybe this was in part because my dad was a business owner, who had not finished college. I ended up in a lot of trouble because of this attitude. My parents were constantly called in by the principal, which eventually led to weekly visits to psychologists and psychiatrists alike.
Before I knew it, I was hooked on Adderall since it was prescribed to me since the third grade. By the time I was in 9th grade, I had turned into a complete zombie… my life controlled by a pill. Whenever I felt like stirring trouble, I would just not take the pill, and the day would end either with a bad report or my parents would be called in.
It wasn’t until I researched “ADHD” that things started to make some sense.
Despite reading how hard it is to control ADHD, I thought it was plain stupid that I needed a pill for the rest of my life. Knowledge literally is power and after learning about all the side effects of the drug, I decided to quit it cold. As unbelievable as it is, not only did I go from being one of the shortest kids in class to one of the tallest in a year, but I was kicked out from every school I attended. This ultimately left me with no other option than graduating from a vocational school.
With college, I started to see things differently. I became mature enough to control myself in a classroom without a pill. However, I needed a lot more than just self-control to graduate from college. My attention span was shorter than 1 minute and my head was never in the classroom. I often spaced out, could never focus on what was happening in the classroom and lost all interest. This led to other issues such as not caring about classes, ditching them, and the worst of it all – not liking any major.
I struggled with this so heavily that when I couldn’t pass any class related to numbers, I fell into a terrible depression. I starting thinking that without a degree, I would have no identity and I would just be a nobody. But even then, I tried again and again to pass these classes and studied for ridiculously long hours.
Yet, I failed over and over again.
It was at this point that I decided I had had enough. In my last semester of college, I heard John Lee Dumas mention that “our survival instincts kick in when we put our backs against the wall“, and that’s exactly what I did.
I dropped out of college. Not because I gave up, but because I wanted to go all in. I was 100 percent committed to prove everyone wrong. That was my fuel, my motivation for everything I did afterwards.
As a result of this one decision, everything about my life changed within the span of a year.
I developed a different circle of friends. I started three companies (one of which failed terribly and taught me some incredibly valuable lessons). I taught myself everything about marketing and what I learned in a year was incomparable to those stretched long years in college at The University of Tampa.
But I didn’t write this article to tell my story or talk about myself, rather my purpose is to help those who are going through the same ordeal that I did.
I know there are many people out there struggling because they are being labeled with ADHD or ADD. What I want to say to you is, don’t see it as an impediment, but embrace it and cherish it. God you made you different for a reason – this is your competitive advantage.
I want to give a shout out to Drama from Young and Reckless for recommending me to read David and Goliath. If you have been labeled with ADHD or ADD and have not read this book, then you must. It helps you turn, what other consider “flaws”, into your superhero power. After I mastered this mentality from David, the best part of my life began. I gained so much confidence in myself that I haven’t stopped or looked back even once at my decision of leaving college in my senior year. The book has even helped me get through other negative situations, such as losing partnerships and companies. At that moment thought these adversities to be debilitating, but with the right mindset they actually improved my life.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling in any area of life because of ADD or ADHD, a pill is not the solution. Remember, you can’t change what happens to you but you can change how you react to it.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or help you need. I will do my best to help you out in every way possible.