Gratitude for Discomfort

May 9th, 2016

I have been incredibly lucky in my life. I am surrounded by very smart, kind, caring people, all of whom want to see me succeed and rejoice in my achievements, just as I rejoice in theirs. From birth I have received support and assistance that allowed me to live the way I chose, in the manner that best fit me.

I was spared some experiences that most ADHD individuals struggle with and suffer throughout their lives, before becoming diagnosed and treated. As a result however, at times I have doubted my diagnosis because I see those struggles in the lives of others and not in my own.

Recently, however, I was lucky enough to have experiences that proved to me that, in fact, my diagnosis is correct. I struggled with tasks that most people find simple and easy. The experiences ranged from uncomfortable to downright painful. I don't believe many people would understand crying over a business plan. People with ADHD would.

In the moment of suffering, it's hard to discover any kernel of truth or knowledge among the pain. Thinking back on it, however, I have realized how valuable these experiences have been. If I barely survived a 5 1/2 hour workshop by knitting throughout (it would take about 6 more workshops to finish my sweater) what must people like me have gone through in school 5 days a week for 12 years?

Empathy is a very powerful tool for connecting to people and gaining their trust, two essential skills for a coach. I have gained real-world knowledge that adds to my ability to empathize. For that I am grateful.

I wonder what other uncomfortable events and experiences could reveal knowledge and learning, if only I looked?