A piece of who I am…

As an adult I have always been an observer of others.  I watch and I learn how others live their lives.  Always feeling different or on the outside of the inner circle is one of the “attributes” of being the middle child of a family.  But for me, it was always more than this.  As a child I struggled in school academically and socially.  I found it hard to sit still and focus and was very active with activities such as roller skating, biking or jumping thousands of times on my pogo stick.  Because I only know myself I considered this “normal.”  As an adult I went off to college, got a teaching degree and then pursued a career of working with children with Learning Disabilities.  As a part of our training we all were tested on a number of areas.  What surprised me was out of the group of around 20 educators I was diagnosed as having adult ADD.  I had no idea even what it was all about.  I went to visit with my primary care physician and got educated and even for several years my doctor gave me a prescription to ease my symptoms.  What I had been living with I found was not what is “normal.”  Although no I choose not to be medicated but to deal with my symptoms in a healthy way, at least healthy for me.

For those of you who are not familiar with ADD in adults this is what research says:

Individuals with ADD have deficiencies with self-regulation and self-motivation, that cause problems with distractability, procrastination, organization, and prioritization. The learning potential and overall intelligence of an adult with ADD, however, are no different from the potential and intelligence of adults who do not have the disorder. ADD is a chronic condition, beginning in early childhood and persisting throughout a person’s lifetime. It is estimated that up to 60% of children with ADD will continue to have significant ADD-related symptoms persisting into adulthood resulting in a significant impact on education, employment, and interpersonal relationships.  Adults with ADD are often perceived by others as chaotic and disorganized with a tendency to need high stimulation to be less distracted and function effectively.


So, there you have it.  Me in a nutshell.  As an adult I have learned to function in society, but it takes a lot to get my energy level down to a bearable level.  Maybe that is why I love to run or bike or hike.  It helps me in a natural healthy way function with “me.”  I used to tell no one as though it were a shame, but I am finding more and more that I need to embrace all of me. 

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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