It wasn’t the first time that I heard the word; still, it stung. Of course, they didn’t voice that harsh term-fired. Instead, they dressed it up in niceties like, “We need to move in another direction. We love you, Maina, and we think you’re a great guy.” Deep down, in a place I try to ignore, I knew that my short attention span had something do with this sudden need for a new direction.
My lack of focus had been an issue for as long as I could remember. No matter how hard I strained to focus my mind and my activities, nothing seemed to help. I recognized that to move forward, I was going to need assistance. My wife had been encouraging me for years to seek help. A brave move by my wife enabled me to see the light. As my last church was letting me go, my wife had the insight to ask them if they would cover the cost for my ADHD testing. Amazingly they agreed. Her one question, in the midst of turmoil, set into motion the path of healing that I walk today.
THE FIRST STEP: ADMITTANCE
My hard reality is that I have adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. ADHD is a form of mental illness, characterized by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain which causes the lack of focus. I recall sitting nervously in my counselor’s office, feeling hopeless. I had come to the end of myself, yet, ironically, it was also a new beginning. As she began to explain adult ADHD, I felt like a huge burden was lifting. I truly felt like I was becoming a new man.
When we finished the two-hour testing, I walking out of the office fully committed to my healing. That commitment was immediately tested. I hate to admit it, but I was rather prideful in dealing with the reality of adult ADHD. Although I accepted help, I believed that because of my education and tenure in ministry, I didn’t need people to know that I had ADHD. I rationalize it by saying that people who have adult ADHD have a very hard time finishing stuff and that wasn’t me. So I must be okay; which couldn’t be further from the truth. At the second appointment, my counselor reviewed the results with me. Of course, the test came back positive, that I did have adult ADHD. She explained that on a scale of 0 to 100, I scored a 72.
It dawned on me in that moment, that just employing coping skills and reorganization wasn’t going to be enough. In that moment I faced the hard reality that I needing medication. I was hesitant at first. Although everyone who has ADHD doesn’t need medication, my counselor recommended it to me based on my high score. Prescription in hand, I left the counselor’s office.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND SUPPORT
I sat in the parking lot of the drugstore reluctant. “Do I really need this? Can I go on without?” I even rationalized my situation by thinking it wasn’t as bad as people are making it out to be. Admittance is the first step to being on the road of healing. I am so thankful that a couple of my accountability partners encouraged me, well maybe pushed me, to go in and have that prescription filled. Again, I would need them the next day to keep me accountable when it was time to again take the medication. I would highly recommend to anyone to find a group of people to hold you accountable in walking through the journey if they discover that they have ADHD.
“Yes, the medication helped, but the most powerful transformation was gained through my admittance that I had problem. Now, I can fully admit that I have ADHD. I can boast that in my weakness God is strong. As long as I am attentive in Him, it’s all I need.”
Later that week, I tried to talk myself out of taking the medicine again, playing the same tape in my head. “I am okay. I don’t need help.” Thankfully, as I was contemplating this, one of my trusted accountability partners called and threaten to come make me take it if I didn’t. After all of the missteps and impulse issues with job losses, you would think that it would be a no-brainer. I needed help. So I put the pill in my mouth and everything changed, and changed for the better. Yes, the medication helped, but the most powerful transformation was gained through my admittance that I had problem. Now, I can fully admit that I have ADHD. I can boast that in my weakness God is strong. As long as I am attentive in Him, it’s all I need.
MAINA MWAURA loves to guide student leaders. He is the husband of Tiffiney and has a two-year-old daughter name Zyan. Maina, lives in the Atlanta area and is the mobilization pastor at West Ridge Church. Check out more info at MAINASPEAKS.COM