Newfound Clarity of Adult ADHD — One Man’s Poetry

Adult ADHD poetry

The stories of late-diagnosis ADHD can break your heart.  These adults and their loved ones spent years  frustrated, confused and confusing, thwarted, and misunderstood. Perhaps there is no better way than poetry to convey the emotional impact.

If the public understood the suffering caused by unrecognized ADHD throughout the lifespan, maybe we’d see more compassion.

During my decades of work in this field, the stories have come to me non-stop. Yes, many adults with undiagnosed ADHD have coped quite well. We cannot know if they are in the majority or minority. I only know that too many stories involve unconscionable pain and frustration. This is the 21st Century. We must do better.

I am re-posting this collection of poems from 2010, with better graphics this time and a new poem (What’s Your Name). I hope that Rob Wilkom’s poignant words and images create a window to understand the interior struggles of adults prior to their ADHD diagnosis.

Rob Writes to Gina

Hello Gina,

I have been diagnosed with ADHD 8 months ago—kinda tough to accept at 41.

I’ve been under a doctor’s care and on medication, and it has really shown me a world I’ve never known. Shortly after taking medication, I was having an ongoing clarity and understanding of my past so I started writing, and next thing I knew I had written about 15  poems from the view of a person with ADHD.

I really don’t know what to do with them so I thought I would see if maybe you could direct me.  This is all new to me. I’m still learning and figuring me out. Thanks, Rob.

My suggestion to Rob? “Let’s publish a few here.” He agreed, and here they are.

 

Furious Dance poem about Adult ADHD

 

Furious Dance

Critical thoughts are happening
Blood is rising
I’m hyperfocusing
My heart starts to race
I don’t have a chance
As I start my pace
I start my dance
The floor is full
I’m about to go
Step by step
You’ll feel my flow
I don’t like this contagious beat
Somebody help
I can’t stop my feet
How do I change the song that is playing
Look at the actions
That I am displaying
Somebody tell the DJ
Change the tune
Oh my God
I just cleared the room
I lost another moment
I did another dance
Can anybody help me
I want another chance.

— Rob Wilkom

 

Senseless Attacks - poem about adult ADHD 

Senseless Attacks

Up and Down
You go back and forth
You are on defense
You are on the attack
Emotions of love
Emotions of hate
Can’t you see
I just want to relate
You never seem consistent
At what you do
Do you hate me
Or do you hate you
I look up to you
Even envy
All you do
Seems to send me
To a world of dark
With no light
It’s because of you
I cry all night
You’ve got faults
Just like me
Why can’t you accept
What you can’t see
When these years are gone
We won’t get them back
I will always resent
Your senseless attacks

— Rob Wilkom

 

Eye of the hurricane Adult ADHD Poem

My Energy

Oh my God
Look at me
Were there signs you saw
That I didn’t see
Paralyzed thoughts
Transformed by emotions
To a Category Six
Full of destruction
I’ll come on
With fury and fire
As I transform
You’ll begin to expire
I’ll unleash
A world of hurt
You’ve never known
I’ll peel at your skin
Till I see bone
Please don’t torment me
Just let me be
So I don’t become
What you don’t want to see.

— Rob Wilkom

Poems of Late-Diagnosis ADHD—Upon Starting Medication

Check out On Trying to Swim Blind: ADHD and Medication

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published September, 2010

Your comments (and ADHD-themed poetry) welcome.

—Gina Pera

MORE FROM GINA

13 thoughts on “Newfound Clarity of Adult ADHD — One Man’s Poetry”

  1. Amanda Seater

    Wow – those poems have hit home HARD. I feel exposed. So powerful. Thanks for publishing them.

    1. Hi Robert,

      I will be sprucing up the post with an image header — and re-sharing. Soon. (It’s crazy how much work it is.)

      I hope you are well!

      Gina

  2. “My Energy,” amazing poem. I too, write poetry and have ADHD as well. Writing is, for me… a much easier way to express myself. It allows my thoughts to stay in my head long enough, because I’m multi-tasking, (typing) to get them out. I am not on meds for this, I unfortunately sought out self-medication before even knowing ADHD existed. You must be feeling like you’re in the warmth of sunshine
    after living your entire life in gloomy coldness.. Good for u

    1. Hi Angel,

      Thanks for your comment.

      As for medication, it’s never too late to consider it or other supportive health strategies. 🙂

      best,
      gina

  3. i am near your age and just coming to learn that i could be ad/hd. this is all new to me. but don’t feel alone in the “age” thing. i still have tons more to discover, and i am looking forward to doing some writing of my own.

  4. Wow Gina, if the rest of his poetry is this good, he should see about publishing them in a book. Wilma Fellman did and I love that book!

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