Today, I had a really great experience. I went to the pharmacy to pick up some medications, and in front of me was a woman asking for advice on sleeping aids. She was full of energy, and talked quite quickly. She said she’d had sleeping problems since she was a child. From the way she was talking and the description she gave about how she only ever seemed to get 1 hour’s sleep a night got me wondering if she might have ADHD… (you know when you get that gut feeling?) But I decided to keep quiet, after all, when you learn about a psychological condition you start seeing it everywhere. Next thing that comes out of her mouth is that she’s being investigated for ADHD! Well I couldn’t keep quiet any longer! Next thing we’re gabbering away spilling our life stories to each other, swapping numbers (“For God’s sake woman make sure you put that sticky somewhere you won’t loose it!” “Oh crikey yeah!!”) and hugging as she rushes off after realising she has 4 minutes to get to her child’s school to pick him/her up!
What it must have looked like to the other people waiting for their prescriptions! The whole event must have only been just over 5 minutes tops, and I never learnt her name.
The great thing about meeting with other people with the same condition, such as in support groups, is that you can just totally be yourself without having to explain yourself all the time. It’s such a relief and a release to be able to talk over one another, be abrupt (what other people think of as rude), hug perfect strangers and for the other(s) to not only just be not offended by or accept the quirks, but to actually love you for it. The laughs you share at the tiniest stupidest and craziest things aren’t because they’re shocked or surprised, but because they recognise it in themselves.
I have been questioned before “What do you get out of having the label?”, to that I have a few answers but after today’s experience I would have to tell them “It opens the door to others like yourself”.