My Creativity is not a Gift!

Through out the ADHD professional world there’s some debate about whether or not creativity is part of ADHD. In my own personal experience I will say that my creativity is definitely associated with my ADHD. However I really don’t think my creativity is a gift. To me a gift is something a person is given or born with. I don’t think I was born more creative than most people but instead because of my ADHD I developed a very strong creative muscle.

When I was in school and couldn’t focus on what the teachers were talking about I was forced to make up some really creative stories in my own mind. As a teen I was sent to my room and told not to come out of it until it was clean. After sitting there for hours upon hours (and sometimes days upon days) not being able to clean it, I came with the creative idea of rearranging the room instead of cleaning it. I think for me my creativity was more of coping mechanism than a gift.

Don’t get me wrong I really like the fact that I’m a very creative person. I can come up with unique solutions to problems that most people would never even think of. Over time I’ve also been able find systems that work for me and improve my self-esteem enough to put some of my creative ideas into action and benefit from them.

Over the past several years working as an ADHD Coach the majority of my clients have also been extremely creative people too. After finding the right types of systems and support many of them have also been able benefit from their creativity too. If you would also like to develop and use your own creative muscle ADHD Coaching may be a great option for you.

If you are creative, do you think your creativity is a coping mechanism, a gift, or something else entirely?

10 Comments

  • Ted

    Reply Reply April 3, 2008

    I think of it as a gift. I my case it is music and I’ve had music going through my head constantly…constantly! Not until the last 5 years have been able to use it. I have 30 years in at large company and now realize that I’ve been fighting this all my life and trying to make in a world (corporate) that I don’t belong. I am now writing and recording music and I love it all the while fighting to keep head above water at work, yet I’m more content than I ever have been. I credit all this including my gift of music to God. Thank you for this web site, it has been extremely helpful. I wish I could tell you the number of times I’ve read something and then thought, “WOW I do that!!”
    thanks again,

    ted

  • Kris

    Reply Reply April 3, 2008

    What is a “gift” anyways? It is something you are given (or born with) without having to work for it. Something acquired without compensation.

    I don’t think you have to work for your creative ideas to pop into your head. They just come naturally without you even having to try.

    Now actually following through with these creative ideas is a whole other story. But your actual creativity I believe is a gift that should be cherished.

  • Deb

    Reply Reply April 3, 2008

    I agree with Kris, ADD’s are born naturally creative, this is a gift. The ideas come naturally to you because of the way your brain is wired. Most ADD’s use this gift to cope with all the mess that comes with a life with ADD, coming up with creative excuses and explanations for: being late, making small mistakes, forgetting things, saying things they didn’t mean to say, interrupting when other people are talking, losing their temper and so on. Lucky are the ones that are able to put their creativity to good use, and profit from it.

  • Marko

    Reply Reply April 3, 2008

    I think that negative symptoms create positive. So, actually its one thing. It only depends on how you look at it. So, if I would like to remove my negative sides I would remove positive sides also. It also depends in which environment you have to perform. Sometimes, being too much organized can diminish your ability to observe and see from different perspectives. To see bigger picture. I call this kind of people Hyperactive Dreamers – I dont like as much that often used term deficit or disorder.

  • Wendee

    Reply Reply April 3, 2008

    I consider my creativity a gift. I have been fighting it all my life. After finding out I have ADHD and reading about it, I realized it was a gift and to deny it was throwing it away. I now feel comfortable with my creativity and love having it around.

  • Holly

    Reply Reply April 3, 2008

    Natural creativity and ADD hyperfocus/energy can be a really great combo, from an artistic viewpoint. Out of several strong creative interests, treating for ADD has only affected the creative impulse in one specific area. Maybe that one has more to do with the ADD wiring, I don’t know. The creative impulse is less prolific, but the results is more satisfactory, so overall it balances out.

    Your comment about developing creative muscle with coping mechanisms is right on:

    “I don’t think I was born more creative than most people but instead because of my ADHD I developed a very strong creative muscle.”

    My respect for my own creativity went way up when I figured out all the coping mechanisms I’d developed over time.

    Thanks for the insightful and intriguing post.

  • Sylvia G. Torres

    Reply Reply April 4, 2008

    I happened to open your e-mail. No, by all means it’s a gift. We all have different talents. I felt the same way. God loves me and he doesn’t see the defects. Keep in mind you have control of your happiness and no one can take that away from you. Happiness is a choice. Treasure it! Thank you for the inspirations…….

  • Thom

    Reply Reply April 4, 2008

    Hello,
    I am 42 and I was diagnosed in my teens as a bi-polar. And I have AADD. I have struggled with them both all my life. I can’t seem to hold a job or get along with others for very long at all. I am a musician as well. I have a Myspace account and I have my music there. I used to think my gift was just that…a gift. You see. I can play EVERY instrument by ear. Many only after a very short time. I sing as well as write all my own songs. I also produce and arrange and record, mix etc, all my own stuff. Over the last several years I have been trying to make my music pay. I have come to realize that it is a curse. It has never left me alone. And I have tried to force it away, but, to no avail. I have always wanted to be the normal guy who was able to go to the same job for a million years and never worry about it. But, I can never get this option to work. I see it as simple slavery. I have had an amazing array of jobs. And I have been very good at all of them. Yet, I can’t find any happiness for very long. Talent is a curse for me. And I would gladly give it all away….just to be normal.

  • Melanie

    Reply Reply April 5, 2008

    Hi! I am 36 years old and it wasn’t until I was 22 years old that I found out I had ADD. This was when I had my “Aaha moment” Of course this was a huge relief for me, there was actually a name to all my ongoing frustrations and turmoils. There was nothing wrong with me personally, it was a chemical imbalance in my brain that I had no control over. However, learning this was a blessing, but I still struggled with a number of issues. The main issue being, my inability to use my creative/artistic talent given to me at birth. I have discovered that my ADD makes it hard to gain access to my gifts and use them successfully in a profession. It is so frustrating to be born with this gift and not be able to enjoy it’s awards.

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