A Brain Like Mine — A Poem about ADHD

A Brain Like Mine

by Imgi

A brain like mine, it’s not the same
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention deficit? No, not really, more like …
Scattered, smothered, diced and covered
Hyperactive? Almost always, but with my mind or mouth
Disorder? If you say so, developmentally different’s more the deal
Watch that DNA — it’s not neurotypical, but it’s highly genetical

Maybe someday it’ll be cool to have a brain like mine
Not yet though, not today, no way

Staring out the window, twirling my hair, tapping my toe
What ADHD? I didn’t even know you were there
Now I can’t stop seeing everything you do, especially when you chew
Smack – Smack – Smack. The gum goes Pop – Crack – Smack
Pens click and legs wag, I can’t concentrate, I’m going mad
The fumes flow, my brain goes on overload
Picking at my cuticles now — Can’t stand them out of whack

Younger than my age, and as silly as I am self-critical
Inheriting a lifetime of shame for an invisible disability

Thoughtless labels, disorganized hot mess
Clunky, cluttered, awkward, socially askew
Space cadet, scatterbrain, airhead, for a few
Easily frustrated, can’t wait, mentally exhausted
I eat for peace, drinking coffee calms me down
Creative, I can’t even find the box
Clumsy and clever, like a tongue-tied fox.

Combo combination is my ADHD type
Undiagnosed for a million years, unseen

I fade into the background as I shy away
Inattentive symptoms you often miss, dismiss
Fidgeting constantly keeps a brain like mine awake
What — you didn’t know? Because I do it quietly, so it doesn’t show
I hate when you see me distracted, how often I forget
I hide so much of me, as I try to look like you
So you don’t think I’m as broken, as misfit, as I feel

Write it down or lose it forever. Rewind. Replay.
I still have no idea — what the fire did I just read?

Interrupting you and me with my hyper
Bubbling over, talking too fast, too much
Blurting out before I think, before you finish that thought
I try to listen but my mind wanders, interest driven,
A brain like mine can’t stop for just one thing
Jumping around from one thought to the next
Like an ADHD parkour ninja

Until I’m locked in hyperdrive with a thing called hyperfocus
Like there’s no tomorrow and time no longer exists

That’s part of why It takes me longer than you —
To do everything I do
It makes me kind of anxious, and often a little blue
Procrastination and pursuit of perfection are challenges everyday
Worry and overthinking always in the way
Executive dysfunction running things amok
Always running out of time … here I go again.

Black and white image of diver and brain coral used to illustrate poem about ADHD on Finding My Float blog

3 thoughts on “A Brain Like Mine — A Poem about ADHD

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  1. “Inattentive symptoms you often miss, dismiss
    Fidgeting constantly keeps a brain like mine awake
    What — you didn’t know? Because I do it quietly, so it doesn’t show
    I hate when you see me distracted, how often I forget
    I hide so much of me, as I try to look like you
    So you don’t think I’m as broken, as misfit, as I feel”

    Could not have said this better!! “I hide so much of me” is so true, it breaks my heart to see it written in front of me so plain and simple but it’s so so so deep.

    1. And with a teary eye, I thank you for your kind words and sharing with me how you were touched.

      It’s definitely a daily challenge to embrace myself – as I am – in contrast to the neurotypical box I’ve tried to squeeze myself into most of my life. This is where something like Jessica McCabe’s fish song, “Try Different,” makes me fall apart and cry in a big wet mess as I see that it’s totally okay to be me and embrace it happily. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evathYHc1Fg

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