I am a very overwhelming individual.
I always have been, and I suspect I always will be.
Becuase of my ADHD, I often do things subconsciously. I often don’t notice I am singing, humming, bouncing my knee, tapping, etc.
I often do not realize how loud I am being in the moment until someone points it out.
I also struggle to pick up on social cues. I talk frequently and loudly, and I might not realize that someone isn’t interested until I’m halfway through.
Thanks to my ADHD, there are some days that I have so much energy. Not just energy — I have ENERGY. Though I have figured out ways to handle this in my adult years, it still is a big part of who I am.
I respond to emotions differently than most people. Most people are able to process their emotions before they respond. However, I struggle with understanding my emotions and thus react to my feelings immediately. This comes across as impulsivity or sensitivity.
I am extroverted and I have a big personality. I am a positive person who wakes up with so much energy that she has no idea what to do with it.
I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 5, but at the time it wasn’t affecting my school performance, so the doctors saw no need for medication.
Even now, at age 22, I am still unmedicated. I have learned many coping techniques in my adult years and have a good handle on my ADHD.
But even when I am handling it the best I can, sometimes these coping techniques came across as rude to others. One way I handle my energy is to make noises, hum, or sing. This keeps me from acting out physically in a way that may harm others, i.e. wide arm gestures or sudden movements (I have hit many a person thanks to this).
However, because those around me cannot see in my mind, they may assume that I am intentionally being rude or annoying. And, like I mentioned before, I often do not recognize my own volume level, which does not help.
I got in trouble several times in college for breaking quiet hours. In elementary school I got in trouble for being too talkative in class. I got in trouble in church for not being able to sit still.
I have always been a lot.
Too much. Too sensitive, too loud, too energetic, too emotional, too overwhelming.
I struggled for so long with who I was. I didn’t like these things about myself, but I also didn’t know how to fix them. I didn’t even realize they were connected to my ADHD until my freshman year of college.
But about a year ago, I realized something:
It’s okay to be a lot.
The problem was never who I was or how much I was. The problem was how I handled myself.
I’ve learned in the past few years that the key thing I had been missing for so long was timing.
You yourself are not too much. However, you may be giving too much in that situation. It’s a blessing to be loud. My volume makes me very good at things like theatre, but it’s not the best thing for classroom situations.
It’s a gift to be able to feel things so deeply. However, we need to practice what is important to feel deeply and what is not. A breakup? A conversation with a friend? Yes, feel these things deeply. A two-second encounter at the grocery store in which someone snaps at you? That does not need to be felt deeply.
These little tweaks in my perspective have helped me develop a deeper understanding of myself and love for myself.
I am proud to be a lot. I am proud to be loud and energetic and emotional. I am too much so I can give to those who feel like they are not enough.
What I needed growing up was someone like me. Someone who was too much, so I knew it was okay to be so. That it was okay to be loud. To sing 24/7. To cry after conversations. To get upset at clothing. To laugh at everything. To be genuinely excited for each day.
I am going to be that person now,
because being “too much” is the best thing you can be.
Have you ever been told that you were too sensitive or emotional?
How might being so actually benefit you?
If you have questions about my ADHD and want to learn more, feel free to reach out to me. I enjoy talking about it.
Also, I very much recommend ADHD Alien. Their art has taught me so much about who I am and has helped me through several rough days.