A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of presenting my talk on “You, Me, and A.D.D” to the Santa Rosa Chapter of CHADD.
What a fun crowd! About 60 adults with ADHD and/or their partners turned out. That’s a lot of people for a small town! Coordinator Pauline Laurent is doing a great job creating awareness in Sonoma County.
As I made motored up Highway 101, anxiety swelled. A public speaker I’m not — or at least I thought I wasn’t. Being the much-youngest of seven in a very verbal Italian family, it was hard to get a word in edgewise. And my journalism career has mostly been spent behind a desk and on the phone. Asking the questions.
Would I lose my train of thought and start jabbering?
Would they like the cartoons or my sense of humor?
Would the adults with ADHD be defensive that my talk focused more on the challenges posed by ADHD — and what to do about those?
All That Worry For Nothing
I needn’t have worried. This group was so generously attentive and receptive. They laughed at all the right points and asked very insightful questions. Thank you, Santa Rosa CHADD folks!
Afterwards, a lady who was perhaps in her 60s approached me, shook my hand, and said, misty-eyed, “I’ve already read your book, and I must tell you, Gina Pera, you have explained my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The truth is, writing, editing, producing, and promoting this book as a self-funded advocate and now expert, has been no picnic. But comments like this keep me going — knowing that the book is making a profound difference in people’s lives.
What’s funny is that I don’t know if she has ADHD or if her partner (past or current) has ADHD. But it didn’t matter. Whether you live with unrecognized ADHD in yourself or someone else, it takes a similar toll. We’re all in this together.
For more information on my work (books, training, support groups, and more), please visit the About Gina Pera page.About Gina Pera page.