Achieving 2011 New Year’s Goals

ACO EditorLast year I declared 2011 was the year that I’d find a way to create the space in my mind and its parallel psychic energy to begin a master’s program in community counseling.

And I declared it my year of sleep.

Now if there were ever two statements seemingly in opposition, there they are.

I’d been encouraged to seek more education for many years, my achievements in coaching being the doorway to my present, good emotional health and to my present state of professional development. My mentors, children and friends in and out of the coaching world continued to keep me honest and in alignment with my life’s mission – to heal the world of the damages of undiagnosed ADHD.

But, it was the brave title of the 2012 ACO conference, The Social Injustice of Undiagnosed ADHD that became the final catalyst to move me into my master’s program. Through this new master’s level education and training I plan to learn research methodology and to learn about community planning to effect a healing change in how lives and dreams are lost due to undiagnosed ADHD. I also plan to be employed at the university level which requires a master’s education.

Since I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 45, I have also dreamed of other ADHD-related markers and I ask each of you to take up one of the following as part of your ADHD visioning:

  • regularly scheduled attention assessments in the schools similar to vision and hearing assessments
  • questions being included on health intake forms about status of attention, similar to status of depression
  • attention assessments in the curriculum as precursors to math and language assessments
  • attention assessments taken before every academic test
  • attention assessments on every emergency medical assessment form
  • attention being taken seriously instead of taken for granted.

Conversations with a Visionary

If you have a chance to drive for six hours with the conference chair Judith Champion, I encourage you to take the opportunity. That chance came my way in early October, 2011 when she and I traveled together from Florida to Atlanta after the ACO Board Retreat. During those six hours of non-stop conversation, I came to understand that I had been socially disadvantaged because of my undiagnosed ADHD, the biggest light bulb moment being the shocking realization that my marriage and divorce, ensuing loss of family life and its parallel insidious social life disruption was directly due to both he and I not being diagnosed.

He (being the former husband) is an addict, was an addict when I married him: but it was only when I asked for a divorce that I discovered it. That divorce was a social injustice of the greatest order. Not just for me but for my children and for him. What I understood in that lightbulb moment with Judith was that my children were at least the third generation in my family undermined by undiagnosed ADHD.

My Family Inheritance

You see, my father was an alcoholic and my mother was physically sick and depressed and may have misused medications. My sister was chronically depressed such that I thought everyone’s siblings cried all the time. So I was a train wreck waiting for the driving engine that became my husband. It was a marriage of social injustice disguised in pretty clothes, a smile and my trance-like innocence.

Starting in childhood, I have been bullied, abused, ignored, undermined, misunderstood and berated both within and without the family, just by being little ‘ole me, a child with undiagnosed ADHD. Mama used to call it benign neglect.

I roar to the universe here and now that the social injustice stops with me. I am accountable for all my life decisions in my family addiction trance but I am now consciously proactive in my decisions living outside of the addiction trance. Can you hear me? Stop and roar with me! Injustice stops now. And I call on all of you to take your next step toward healing the impact of undiagnosed ADHD.

About that Sleep

I purposely slept a lot last year, seeking that healing sleep craved by the sleep apniac. If you live with sleep apnea, you know what I mean.

  • I slept long, hard, intermittently, lightly, occasionally and often I overslept.
  • I read about sleep and talked about it.
  • I bought a magnetic sleep system which I love.
  • I bought a sleep machine which I hate and don’t use.
  • I wrote about sleep and practiced different types of sleep – naps, catnaps and something I learned to call visionary sleep.
  • I bought a clock that has a vibrator disc I’ve put between my mattress and springs to wake me up from my deep, trance-like sleep.
  • I made my bedroom TV- and computer-free. It’s a great place to return to sleep.

I didn’t realize that achieving the two goals would feel so great. I feel expansive and complete just as I am.

What is your 2011 story of achievement? Let me publish it in the Circle.

Maureen Nolan
Editor