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What’s Love Got to Do With It?



How do these go together? Is it possible to love and have ADHD?What does it look like?

Valentine’s Day.

Wow, now we are really building a theme here. I sit here with this blank page and ponder, why is it that every year we only have one day to celebrate the risk of love? Yes, I said risk. But don’t you agree? Every second of everyday people show love. People send cards, flowers, blow kisses, give hugs, phone a friend, visit a family member, hold hands, I could keep going. Every day. So then what’s the purpose of flooding our lives with red, pink, hearts, chocolates, and stuffed animals one day every year?

Oh right!! It’s that human need to prove we care, that need to connect. It’s not just connections to our wife or husband, fiancé, boyfriend or girlfriend; it’s the expressed connection to Mom, Dad, brother, sister, coworker, teacher, best friend, acquaintance, and neighbor.

But what does this look like in the world of ADHD?   

As I explored that very question, I started with the brain of all brains….Google. As you could have guessed, I only went as far as to look at the links on the first page of results. What I read, while it was meant to be supportive, left me with a powerless take on ADHD and LOVE. We know that our friends and family and loved ones with ADHD have impulsive behaviors, some can’t keep promises, we are constantly distracted, misinterpreting social queues, but NO we are not POWERLESS. Brian Hutchison’s blog post on love and ADHD was the third one down and as I started I had little faith in his thoughts, but something told me to keep reading. It started out negative and just as he stated a Bittersweet Reality. Then his words, like poetry put it into perspective, “Love is as precious as the world, without it we are empty and wanting, needing, and so lonely, so, so lonely.” It doesn’t matter if you have found your life partner, what matters is that you love and find your connections.

Love is what makes the world go round.

Love is what makes SOAR.

Love, passion, and uniqueness allow SOAR to support those with ADHD, to provide the opportunity to connect. Not just for kicks and giggles, but for real, true, unconditional connection through struggle and need to get out of the loneliness and off the ADHD Island.

So I kicked Google out of the picture and off my screen and started listening. I listened to John Willson, SOAR’s Executive Director, tell his love story with his wife; a story that started with a gift of news.

John approached Dorothie when they first started dating and said he had some news. Good news and bad news. As most would react, Dorothie was fearful of what he would be sharing. John continued, “The bad news is I have ADHD. The good news is I come with a manual.” He then handed her the book Driven to Distraction. He had provided her a tool, a tool to educate herself on the journey to come. Dorothie embraced this journey and they are happily married with two delightful children.

I listen to Richard and Kylie Peters everyday, who have been working at Balsam Base for their entire relationship to date! Richard and Kylie met at SOAR about 5 years ago and married in September. I love their success and their overwhelming connection and support for each other, one with and one without ADHD.

Over the course of SOAR’s 35 year existence there have been dozens, yes DOZENS of SOAR weddings, a fact that excites our Founders, Jonathan and Wanda Jean Jones. These two are a true example of the labor of love: married, raising a child, and building a blossoming and truly life changing business.

As I sit here smiling over the abundance of love that comes from SOAR, I turn off my music pumping through my speakers. And you know what replaces it, the sound of our Academy students causing a ruckus in the basement. Not a bad ruckus, no not at all. There are sounds of cheer, sounds of instructors assisting the students, the sound of cohesion as the group unpacks from a tremendously exciting expedition to the Everglades. This is the sound of connection.



Every Day.

Whether you are a Mom, Dad, brother, sister, coworker, teacher, best friend, acquaintance, or neighbor, educate yourself and support those around you. Learn to recognize symptoms to eliminate misinterpretation. Care and live with those who are constantly distracted and create ways to learn about ADHD together. Connect.

Then while you are at it, fill their hearts with red and pink hugs and affection. It’s Valentine’s Day after all. Now I need you prepare yourself for what I’m about to say next. Yes, you may need to continue sitting down.


SOAR LOVES YOU!! Happy Valentine’s Day.

Also suggested read, 14 Ways to Show Love for Your Child this Valentine’s Day: http://add.about.com/od/childrenandteens/a/aapvalentips.htm