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  • Writer's pictureDonavan Robinson

Embracing the Present: My Journey with ADHD

Living in the present moment is a gift many of us take for granted. For years, I found myself trapped in a never-ending cycle of anticipation, always yearning for the next phase of life. Little did I know, this perpetual longing was a symptom of a condition I had yet to discover: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It wasn't until after my diagnosis that I learned to appreciate the power of the now and cherish every single moment.

Prior to understanding my ADHD, my days seemed like a blur of constant motion. Each morning, I would awaken with an innate desire to fast-forward time, eagerly anticipating the evening when I could finally rest. But even then, my mind would race ahead to the next day, eager to start a new day. It became a never-ending cycle of chasing after an elusive future, constantly craving for something more. Sadly, I was missing the most important moments in my life, time with my kids and my wife.

My fixation on the future was not limited to daily routines; it extended to the bigger picture as well. Mondays were spent dreaming of Fridays, and the workweek was endured merely for the promise of weekends. I was caught in a perpetual state of wishing my life away, believing that happiness and contentment were reserved for some distant point in time.

It was only when I received my ADHD diagnosis and began to learn about the intricacies of the condition that my perspective shifted. I discovered that the very nature of my brain made it difficult to stay grounded in the present moment. ADHD affects attention, impulse control, and the regulation of emotions, often causing individuals to become easily distracted or absorbed in their thoughts.

Armed with this newfound knowledge, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance. I realized that constantly striving for the future was preventing me from experiencing the beauty of the present. It was time to break free from the cycle and embrace the now.

Living in the present doesn't mean disregarding the past or ignoring the future. Rather, it means being fully present in each moment, acknowledging the past for what it is and approaching the future with a sense of curiosity and openness. With practice, I learned to quiet the restlessness within me and appreciate the beauty of the present moment.

One of the most profound changes occurred in my relationship with my children. Previously, I had been physically present but mentally absent, always preoccupied with what was to come. Now, I savor every interaction, cherishing the laughter, the conversations, and even the quieter moments. I am fully present when I am with them, embracing the precious gift of being a part of their lives.

The transformation from constantly yearning for the future to embracing the present didn't happen overnight and I wouldn't say this is me 100% of the time. It required, and still requires patience, self-compassion, and a willingness to reframe my mindset. I learned to find joy in the small things, whether it's the funny faces I make with food for my kids breakfast, or the laugh of my kids when they are having fun. I discovered that happiness doesn't reside solely in the future; it is woven into the fabric of every passing moment.

If you find yourself constantly racing towards the next chapter of your life, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect. Consider whether the pursuit of the future is preventing you from fully experiencing the present. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination.

Living with ADHD has taught me the value of embracing each moment for what it is. It has given me the ability to be present, to fully engage in life's experiences, and to find contentment in the now. May we all learn to appreciate the present, for it is within its grasp that true happiness resides.

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