Good Evening TXK

photo by Matt Cornelius
photo by Matt Cornelius

Good Evening TXK

If you knew how long I put off writing this article each month, a project that only takes me 30-ish minutes, then you might fully understand the extent of my ADHD. You would see my panic at just the idea of having to sit still long enough to organize my thoughts. That is exactly why well over half of my stories are written while I am taking a bath. It’s my only safe place in this world, I swear—the only place where the water running in the tub is louder than the thoughts shouting and begging for attention in my brain.

I do not exactly remember the day I was formally diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD), but I can firmly remember being in elementary school wondering if it was the sole reason I was chosen to be in the gifted and talented program. I was one of only seven kids in my class chosen to participate, and it made me feel like a weird freak every week, having to leave school early in front of all my peers every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I would ride across town on a bus with my six classmates to a building where I was supposed to… what? Just sit there and BE gifted and talented?

Anyway, as my mom would say if I were telling you this story in person, “Okay, Bailey! Land your plane, honey, land your plane.” There IS a point, I promise. Stay with me.

The six classmates that joined me every week in this program were straight-A students. I was a straight-B/C student. One of these classmates went on to become valedictorian of my graduating class. I was nowhere close to the top of my class. Every time I opened my mouth around these “friends” (you’re “friends” with everyone in elementary school, right?), I felt like a blubbering idiot. They were so sharp, so intelligent, and able to understand, well… everything! I felt inferior to them because no matter how hard I tried to be like them, I failed miserably. I just could not comprehend things the way they did, and I was never going to.

When my mom finally told me I had ADHD, my feelings began to make more sense, but it only made it that much harder to fit in with my classmates. I was given exercises to strengthen my ability to focus, patches on the side of my stomach that made me nauseous all day, or pills that turned me into a zombie, and they would never help me fit in the way I wanted. And, of course, it didn’t feel worth it to me as a wild ten-year-old boy to sacrifice my personality for good grades in school.

In her memoir, Paris, Paris Hilton calls her diagnosed ADHD her “Superpower.” As badly as 2023 Bailey Gravitt, who has learned and powered through a lot since those elementary school days, wants to agree with her, overwhelming my mind every day, even before starting a work or school task, can be exhausting and so draining. There have been many mornings I did not even want to get out of bed just thinking about everything the day would hold—things that normal, everyday working people without ADHD would just breeze through.

Maybe it’s not something I’d label a superpower, but that does not make my ADHD a weakness either. Overcoming obstacles in life makes you an overcomer. Without the pain, there’s no gain, and insert whatever other motivational speaker line you can think of here. I am not trying to give a motivational speech, though. ADHD makes things slightly more difficult for me, it’s true, but I have never let it stop me. I am grateful to all my teachers who helped me push through, and I’m rooting for all my fellow ADHD students who are embarking on this new school year. Good luck!

Now, my ADHD is telling me it is time to finish writing and go grab a box combo from Raising Cane’s, so… BYE!


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