“Please sit down. I have something to tell you.”
If someone you loved said those words, what would you think? Would your mind leap ahead to your most imaginable worst fear?
Do they have cancer? Have they been unfaithful? Has someone died?
Have you said those words, or words very close to them, to someone you love? How scared were you to say your secret out loud? Did your heart thunder in your chest? Did your forehead bead with perspiration?
I write for children. I strive to write literature that kids will love. Hopefully my words will make a positive impact in their lives. I even like to think of myself as an advocate for children, especially those who are different. Kids who are struggling to fit in. To be accepted for whom they are, without apology.
“Different,” I often say, “is not good or bad. It isn’t a qualifier, it just is.”
So, how is it that I am hiding my own truth? Scared into silence; afraid if others find out I’ll be judged; fearful of what others may think or say.
Will I be teased? Will my secret be used against me? Will it bar me from future jobs?
Not long ago I blogged about this secret of mine. I was brave for three minutes. Blogger’s remorse set in swiftly and overcome with fear, I removed the post from my site.
Since the moment Rana DiOrio asked me to write about fear, I knew exactly what I had to do. If I wanted children to face their own fears, I had to face my own.
So please, sit down. I have something to tell you.
I have ADHD.
No, it’s not cancer. I haven’t been unfaithful and no one is dead.
Typing those words feels freeing and a little scary.
Free to shout to the world, “This is who I really am!”
But still, I am a bit fearful of the consequences of my big reveal. Will those who know me, be surprised? Not likely. My friends and family have seen beyond the disorganized, speed talking, and daydreaming woman that strangers may criticize.
Will those beyond my immediate circle be judgmental and discount me? Or will they take the time to see my creative, fun loving, loyal, and open-minded side? I hope so, but there are no guarantees and I am finally ok with that. ADHD is part of who I am, just like my goofy sense of humor, grey eyes, and snort laugh.
And as I like to say, “Being different isn’t good or bad. It isn’t a qualifier. It just is.” And there’s nothing scary about that.
Jodi is a strong advocate for Asperger’s Syndrome which led to Connor and his adventures in the soon-to-be-published Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food and Other Life Lessons, illustrated by Sarah Ackerley. It is Jodi's belief that understanding brings tolerance, acceptance, and compassion for others.
You can follow Jodi on her blog at http://www.writingandotherlifelessons.blogspot.ca