ADHD is my superpower
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There are challenges in having ADHD, but finding ways to cope with the symptoms and maximize your strengths can make all the difference in thriving with ADHD.
ADHD is my superpower; what's yours?
ADHD can fuel sustained concentration for an extended period, which is why, for me, ADHD is my superpower.
For me, ADHD is my superpower. People like me living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) don’t do anything mundane because they can’t focus on what doesn’t interest them. I don’t want to do anything I’m not passionate about, and I refuse to compromise my values.
Individuals with ADHD are easily bored. I refuse to do anything that drains my energy. However, what many people don’t know about ADHD is this; just as it causes us a difficult-to-control lack of focus, it also gives us a superpower on the other side of the spectrum. That superpower is called hyperfocus. And for me, ADHD is my superpower.
ADHD hyperfocus: what is it?
ADHD Hyperfocus is precisely what you imagine it is. When I experience hyperfocus, I zero in on a project and can’t look away. All of the outside stimuli (noises, etc.) around us seem to disappear, and all that we can see or think about is the thing that we’re hyperfocused on doing.
A person (like me) living with ADHD can look at the textbook, and it appears to be in a language we don’t know. I’ve had that experience many times. I find myself spacing out when I’m in a conversation with someone, not because I don’t care, but due to my focusing issues. I miss important information; On the other side of the spectrum, hyperfocus is my superpower, where I’m intensely into what I’m doing.
I’m not ignoring you on purpose
The intense fixation ADHD hyperfocus causes might make it appear that I’m ignoring people or things around me. People with ADHD struggle to listen a lot. It could be I’m having trouble hearing instructions from someone or listening to a professor’s lecture. It might look like I’m ignoring you, but I’m not.
I don’t listen to you because my mind fixates on something else. I realize that this might be frustrating for others. Instead of getting annoyed with me, you’re welcome to interject (even if you have to do it repeatedly) and say, “hey, I see that you’re extremely focused on this right now. Can you do ______ for a second?”
Using my ADHD superpower to my advantage
While ADHD hyperfocus does have a downside, it is something that you can and should use to your advantage if you have ADHD. Your extreme fixation, when it happens, means that you can complete projects in record time. And this one of the reasons ADHD is my superpower!
Whatever you are hyperfocused on, you can do it more quickly and efficiently than someone without ADHD could. People with ADHD can be hugely successful, and hyperfocus is a significant contributor to that success. Use it to your advantage and view it as a gift. Hyperfocus is my superpower.
"I think of my ADHD as my superpower – while I have my own struggles, I know that my ability to focus on things I’m passionate about, be empathetic, and listen intently are incredible strengths that I’m proud of!"
What is ADHD hyperfocus?
I used to feel embarrassed by the things I couldn’t do because of my ADHD, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t serve me. I focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t. Don’t be ashamed of your ADHD. Instead, make it work for you. Remember – ADHD isn’t what the abbreviation suggests, a “deficit” in your attention. Say to yourself, ‘ADHD is my superpower.’
Here’s the reality: ADHD makes it hard to regulate concentration. Hyperfocus happens because either you’re struggling to focus or concentrating hard, and as a result, you drown out the world around you, which isn’t a bad thing; it is a superpower. Use this intense focus to absorb yourself in what you are doing. Wear your superhero cape proudly. You will amaze yourself and everyone around you!
Sarah, the author of "ADHD is my superpower," is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Like six million other Americans, Sarah lives with Bipolar type II, OCD ADHD, and PTSD.