A Letter from a Student Who Has ADHD

Image: The Huffington Post

Image: The Huffington Post

I’ve always had ADHD. Diagnosed at the age of five,  I recall feeling different than my peers in school. I was never great at school; performed poorly throughout middle school and hardly had any friends. From there, I was always pulled out of class and forced to be in a program for disabilities a.k.a. IEP. No one understood why I felt desolated and pulled away from my classmates. No matter how I put it to someone, they would just assume I was unintelligent and dismissed it. 

In school, I didn’t care what grades I got and followed a routine: went to school, tried to understand what was going on, and went home. It wasn’t until I got to middle school when I started to be more attentive about my grades. I got fairly decent grades all throughout middle school. Yet, I was still in the program in which I dreaded going to every day. While in middle school, I hated how I couldn’t learn like my prosperous peers; I thought negatively about everything, ultimately feeling worthless. I thought I was never going to be successful, be able to graduate high school, or not even go to college plagued my mind. 

At last, I was put on ADHD medication and believed for once, I will be able to focus and pay attention. A sort of triumph and joy arose within me, I felt I was able to complete a task and focus without distractions. It took until 8th grade, my last year of middle school, to get out of the classes, relieved that I didn’t have to deal with the constant burden anymore. 

In spite of getting out of those classes, I was motivated to do my schoolwork. But, medication doesn’t always work, at least for me, the medication stopped working when I got to high school. I couldn’t do much about it, but rather learn in a more unconventional approach. To keep reminding myself, there’s really no salutary way in desiring an unproblematic brain. I was born with a loathed brain, unlike my peers. In fact, enveloping your mind with such negative thinking will ruin you mentally and physically. I believe it is an indefinite obstacle that is utterly inevitable. 

I have begun to learn you have to go through the inevitable obstacle, rather you like it or not to help you succeed. While being in high school, I found several learning styles such as acronyms, keywords, including short phrases to help me remember as well as grasping the concept. Today, almost out of my abyss, I’m an undecided, sometimes imprudent junior in high school who is doing okay. There are times when I do think about what would have happened if I didn’t have ADHD. Would I be the complete opposite of who I am today? 

To be frank, I would be a different person if I hadn’t had obstacles like ADHD coming my way. I wouldn’t be here writing this right now or learn Spanish on my own.

The experiences I have because of ADHD, I wouldn’t change it for the world because they shaped me into the person I am today.

Without those experiences, I would be a close-minded person and be following the things everyone is doing. Yes, ADHD imposes huge learning barriers. However, I’m glad it has given me an opportunity to show the world I can learn despite having the “burden” of ADHD.

I will no longer allow ADHD to define me.

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Kiana Melendez
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Kiana is a 17-year-old intersectional feminist who aspires to have a career in linguistics one day. In her spare time, she likes to ramble on about politics and controversial issues, learn languages, and sometimes write poetry.

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