ADD & Compassion, by Larkin Oates, MA, Integrative Therapist

This is the season for compassion.  How can someone with ADD find compassion for themselves in a season filled with societal traditions that are difficult in the best of times and monumental during the holidays?  One may really want to send holiday cards and yet never accomplish the task.  Friends who visit may be handed letters left unfinished from the 1990's, or some bizarre craft project instead of the well-respected holiday card or invitation for coffee.  Shame and guilt can pursue you like a storm cloud in a cartoon.

From one standpoint, this life can be the ultimate in living in the moment, like seeing things through a puppy's eyes.  In the greatest of moments, you can move from one interest to another passionately, without ever leaving your pajamas.  There are amazing gifts and types of intelligence within this kind of mind, but truly mailing holiday cards is not one of them.

You see, with the ADD mind, all the things that define graciousness or polite behavior are virtually impossible to accomplish.  Thank you notes are written and calls made, all within the mind, and never sent.  No one ever hears of the love you carry for them.

Unfortunately for friends, the ADD'er, much like a puppy who lives in the moment, out of sight is often out of mind.  Because the ADD'er is always trying navigating the simple tasks of daily life full of inherent logistical problems like Obtaining food, TIME, e-mail, and basic order; loved ones may never experience their love in conventional forms. The ADD friend,  like the puppy, shows their love through their eyes, only they may not jump on you or lick your face.

To all of you that I love, I so hope you know you are in my heart, even though, while chasing my tail during the holidays, I may never tell you.  I will write a blog instead....and  perhaps put my shirt on inside-out and go to work.

I encourage anyone with ADD to forward this to a friend so that friend might know you love them.  Have compassion for yourself for what you feel you should do but might never, and remember the internal gifts you share with others.


Larkin Oates, MA, Integrative Therapist