ADD/ADHD can wreak havoc in your life, but I am here to tell you that you and your family can not only survive, but thrive. As is with any chronic condition, ADD/ADHD will change you as a person from the inside out. If you want those changes to deepen you as a person, then you must use the Lord to assist you on your journey. God can take you as far as you want to go, but it is only with His help that you will get there because ADD/ADHD shows you point blank how weak the flesh really is. It reminds me of Romans 7:15 when Paul said, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”(NIV) With God’s guidance, adherance to proper nutrition, taking the right medication, establishing a routine and using proper cueing tools, you can acheive many of the goals that you have for your life.
In Romans 8:5 it says that those controlled by the sinful or “flesh” nature think about sinful “fleshly” things, but those controlled by the Holy Spirit about things that please the Spirit. This is important for all Christians, but especially for the ADD/ADHD Christian because of the symptom of impulsivity. If you are under the control of the Holy Spirit, you have certain things in your heart that have literally changed your mind such as the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control). So, when you are faced, let’s say, with a confrontation with an angry neighbor, your impulsive nature without Christ might be to slam the door in their face or yell something despicable at them. But, if you are controlled by the Spirit, your gift of ADHD could catch them off guard and you could randomly ask them to come in for coffee, completely dissapaiting the argument. It’s amazing how God can use our challenges for His glory if we let him.
As it relates to proper nutrition, stay as close to nature as possible. For a guideline, read What the Bible says about Healthy Living. Staying away from processed foods that contain sugar, chemicals, and dyes will alleviate come of the symptoms associated with your condition. Although it’s not a cure all, it certainly can decrease the amount of medication that you have to take, help your memory, and help you get a good night’s rest.
Medication, prescribed by a good doctor, can do amazing things for people. Some of these medications have been around for a long time and hold a proven record although they are sometimes given a bad reputation through stories circulated in the media. Prayer through the medication process is necessary and letting the Holy Spirit guide you is key.
Another facet of ADD/ADHD is remembering things. It is very humbleing to forget to “look at the list” that you made so that you wouldn’t forget the things “on your list”. This is part of it though. And, although the medication helps a lot with focus, it unfortunately does not help so much with memory. An established routine will keep you doing the things on your list, even when you forget the list. Repetition for long periods of time is key. Structure is your friend. As well it’s very important to surround yourself with encouraging people, with a sense of humor, who love you for who you are and understand where you are coming from.
As an ADD/ADHD person, you will need tools. Lists, alarms, and smart phones with calandars are great tools! There are many to choose from. It’s important that you look at tools in relationship to outcome. For example, my contacts. I would love to see 20/20 without contacts, but I can’t. My contacts allow my eyes to see so that I can drive a car and read. I don’t like to put them on, but they work. I get the benifit of the outcome. I don’t question it or feel inadequate because I have to wear contacts. So, a person with ADD/ADHD should not question or feel inadequate because they use cues or tools to help them remember or to initiate a task. The outcome that it provides is what matters! Everyone has something in their life that requires a “tool”. Again, I am reminded of Paul and his “thorn in the flesh”. Although he asked for it to be removed, it never was. It was through this thorn that Paul depended so deeply on Christ as his tool, and it is through this dependance that he accomplished so much!
If you are on the ADD/ADHD journey in your life, I pray that you will allow the Holy Spirit to fill your precious mind that God gave you with the truth of the Word of God so that it spills into the lives of others in a very creative, positive way. I pray that you would not let your condition define you, but what you are able to do with God inspite of your condition.
For some great ADD/ADHD resources click here.