I don’t want to write this. I don’t like being personal, particularly when the subject matter touches me so deeply, but I feel that it’s time, and I hope that the message reaches the right person.
So, let us go back to 2007.
I am sitting on the bus stop after my first shift at the neuropsychiatric children’s unit. I’m in pink scrubs, I have curly blond hair, I look nothing like myself and I feel nothing like myself that day. My make up is smudged, because for the past 30 minutes, I’ve been crying.
I had realized that I knew nothing of the word suffering, nor the word joy. That the only disability the children I had met had, was my prejudice and ignorance of what they were going through, and what wonders they were capable of.
My heart ached, because I knew that I had come to that realization, but so many of the people they meet never will. And even worse, that I would have been one of those if it hadn’t been for that day. I realized that each day, their fight would not be with the physical challenges they learned to overcome, but the constant judgment, discrimination and a feeling of being left out of society, as equal citizens, as autonomous intellectuals.
Flash forward to 2008, I’ve read all the textbooks, I have a degree in Cognitive Science, yet I don’t really grasp the concept ADHD. I, foolishly assume that it is over diagnosed, and that it might not even exist.
You’d think I had learned not to be such a foolish knowitall, but no. So when I started working as a councilor for teens with neuropsychiatric diagnosis a year later that illusion was once again crushed. And one day I hear something that once again brings me back to crying on yet another bus stop.
A teacher had told one of the children that the child has to take his medicine or never become healthy like other children. With those exact words. The child asked me if there ever would be a cure for ADHD. I froze. All I could utter was “You’re not sick, you are you”. I was young, I was ignorant, and for years my lack of a better explanation and more sustainable words of comfort have haunted me.
Now that my scrubs are on a shelf, and I am much more educated through the wisdom of the children I have had the privilege to spend time with. I wish, from the bottom of my heart that I had said this instead. Even more so, I wish that the teacher who had told the child it was sick would have done so.
In life, there are different people. Some are circles, some are triangles and some squares. There are many shapes and colors and sizes and none is better or worse than the other.
Some shapes are in a majority, like, lets say the circle. A lot more people are circles. And thus, the world is more adapted to people who are circles.
And at times, the way you are, think and feel. The things you say and do, may make you feel like you have a hard time fitting in, or catching up.
But just because they have it easier in some aspects, doesn’t mean that they are better or worse than you. They are just like you. They too are a shape, and you might even find it so, that you, your unique shape and your amazing mind can do things they have a harder time achieving.
And sometimes, to benefit from school, work and the world at large with your shape; you might need therapy. What that therapy is? That is up to you and your parents. They love you, and they want the best for you.
And one day, perhaps you and all the shapes will break down barriers and build your own doors so that the world will be more adapted to you and your wonderful mind. Until that day, love every little bit of yourself.