Adult ADHD and "Living in the Gray"

September 23, 2013 Elizabeth Prager

I've been doing some soul-searching this weekend. Not so much about my Adult ADHD, but it definitely involves how to best "live in the gray." I turned 30 last month and this month started my first physical therapy internship. I'm trying to figure out the professional I want to be and how open about my life that allows me to be.

When I accepted my first job as a teacher, it came with a stipulation or two. The biggest one: I couldn't talk about my sexuality with my students. Okay, sure, not discussing your personal life with kiddos with Autism made total sense to me. And, then, my colleagues would talk about their spouses and significant others like it was nothing. I found it so strange that my discussing my then long-term partner meant discussing my sexuality, while a fellow teacher mentioning their spouse was simply chit-chat. Okay, okay, how does this relate to ADHD?

We are, by in large, black and white thinkers. I know that I struggle to live within the gray all the time - especially when someone I view as an "authority" has an opinion that falls on the complete opposite end of the spectrum as mine. What do we do with the information we get from peers and authorities that contradicts our own?

I believe strongly in speaking out about my Adult ADHD. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I feel it's important for other people to know that you can be successful and have Adult ADHD. Even beyond that, you can be successful AND be open about having Adult ADHD.

I had a recent conversation with a person I respect very much - and who I view as sort of an "authority" - and their opinion couldn't have been further from my "be happy, share!" view on life. My brain felt frozen for quite some time - how could I hear that this person doesn't go around sharing personal info freely while knowing that they are excellent at what they do and then fit it into my view that I will be someone who goes around sharing information about myself while being successful?

This post is word, I know, because I'm still having a bit of trouble wrapping my mind around how I feel. I am committed to sharing my ADHD journey through this blog and I am also committed to being a very capable future physical therapist. The best outcome for me would be to continue respecting someone with an opposite opinion of mine - and to accept that their strategy works for them. That being said, I don't need to change me. I just have to be okay to live in this gray area where two different opinions can result in successful professionals. That's hard.

APA Reference
Prager, E. (2013, September 23). Adult ADHD and "Living in the Gray", HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: Elizabeth Prager

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