Here in Orlando FL, there are zombie-like creatures wandering around Disney’s Contemporary Village with badges askew that read “CHADD Conference.” They wear the glazed look of ADHD folks who have been filled too full of information, who have talked to far too many wonderful people and bought far too many ADHD books. They are, in fact, me.
I was an exhibitor at this year’s conference, something I haven’t done since I launched the ADDiva Network at the 2007 CHADD conference in Washington, DC. Then, as now, I wasn’t able to attend as many sessions as I wanted, nor did I chat with colleagues in the hallways. No, I was at Booth 213, right next to the food, and posters and ENERGY!!!
It was amazing to talk to women who discovered their ADHD at age 44, 57 or 69. And it was even better to look into their eyes and know that their light shines brightly because of and in spite of their ADHD. As busy as the conference was for me, as sweaty as I was dismantling that huge display (with the help of Janie, of course — and an angel in disguise named Chris Kelly — ah there is a special place in my heart for the both of YOU), as exhausted as I am at this moment, there is a settled place, almost smug, that is so satisfied, so “fed.”
There is nothing like the energy of other people (1399 of them) who “get” ADHD. We are learning together. We are enchanted with each other. We are profoundly moved and enlightened by each others’ stories. I’ll share what I learned with you during an upcoming webinar. But for now, know that there is good work going on about ADHD. There were 4000 peer reviewed articles published this year alone. That’s a lot of ADHD research! And we’re still making progress, slowly, but with more and more momentum.
So, as I wax nostalgic about an event barely past, the words that come to mind are THANK YOU. Thank you to everyone who stopped at the ADDiva booth to share a laugh or pick up a calendar. Thanks to those of you who bought ADDiva tees and mugs and bumper stickers and books. Thanks to the presenters and organizers who brought the weekend to life. And thanks to all of you, even if you weren’t here, I felt your energy as I tried my best to represent ADHD women. OK, I’m about done here. A nap might be a good idea. A nice dinner and early to bed. Then tomorrow? Harry Potter at Universal Studios!