I was born within fifteen minutes after my twin brother. And I grew up like any normal child in those late sixties, early seventies.
At first nothing seemed wrong but soon problems started to appear, I couldn’t sit still (read my Blog ‘I CAN’T SIT STILL!‘). And if that wasn’t all, my behaviour as a child became worse over the years. Little was known about ADHD in those days and it didn’t even have a name (except ‘Disobedient’), let alone the abbreviation ADHD nor the description ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’ was invented. In those days I was just a ‘difficult child’ as opposed to my twin brother, who seemed to have it all.
What’s on your mind, Leendert? Facebook asks me. To be honest, my head is like a Discotheque right now. Trumpets on the left, drummer on the right.
Just one fabulous party with a band on stage, playing upbeat songs and high speed guitar strings.
Why? Because I feel like it. Like a party. But only in my head, I do not want anyone to think I’m mad or something. Just happy. The only thing they’ll be seeing is my foot wiggling at the rhythm of the music they can’t hear.
When you keep up with the professional literature, medical and/or psychiatrical magazines you will be familiar with terms such as ADHD, OCD, PDD-NOS. All abbreviations we could do without it if we were able to change it.
They say that some things are impossible to live without but also impossible to live with. Today I had a choice to make that was just about that: stop taking Ritalin. As you all know I have ADHD for which I take prescription medication, Ritalin.
I wasn’t what they called an easy child in the seventies. When I was a child I often blew my top in a fit when ever I got mad about something. And when that happened, my dad usually sent me off to the shed: “You go in there son to cool off! And you better not break any of those Terracotta flower pots in the back like you did last time!” And of course, speeding in there with a red mist in my eyes I went straight for the pots and smashed them at the wall, stamping my clogs on the pieces on the shed floor.
In most cases that did the trick, I calmed down almost instantly after that and was allowed to come back but only to hear my dad outside in a quasi-angry tone saying: “Thought I told you not to break any pots, didn’t I?” He could hardly contain himself and start laughing.
In 1998, a colleague said to me: “You have ADHD, you just don’t know it yet. You can’t sit still!”
He had been working with me for a while, he knew perfectly well how to work together with me and we had a good time, but he had absolutely no idea what he just did to me. From then on it gnawed on me, if I weren’t restless yet, making me think back on my childhood years did. He gave a name to what I always knew, but never learned to give it a name myself, let alone to cope with it.
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