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From failure to success, how did I do it? (ADHD)

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

by Thomas Etienne

My school journey and my ADHD condition are the most significant elements of my young life. I was familiar with overwhelmingly bad academic reports; my grades were close to 30% (-F). This reality brought discouragement, despair and the feeling of being a horrible student. My school had become a place of humiliation, and I could not wait to get out at the end of the day because I often felt like I was not understood and accepted. From the beginning of my school life with ADHD and opposition disorder, I have always encountered difficulties.

As you know, the symptoms of ADHD often come together with dyslexia. My mother, who has the same profile as me, was the first to notice that I was tripping on every word of a text she was trying to make me read. I had this feeling of being a dunce, of not living up to my parents’ aspirations. This feeling turned me into a withdrawn, deeply lonely child. Despite the school supervision and medication, I still could not entirely focus in class. I did not see the point of sitting for hours in a chair hearing notions that seemed utterly useless to me, such as math or English. I remember when my mom and dad came back desperate and helpless after a parent-teacher meeting. From that moment on, I felt that school was no longer for me. In addition to academic difficulties, there were also altercations between other students and me. My impulsivity was detrimental to my social life. I would visit the principal office almost every month. So, when I found myself in such a situation, how could I not try to remedy it. In the last post, I mentioned that I had to do schoolwork and study year-round, even during the summer.

Several people then expressed concern claiming my mother was too strict and that I should be allowed to relax during summer. In my case, success only comes through hard work, like my father used to say. I went from failing almost every subject to being top of the class. I indeed had to give up some pleasure; school is always present in my life. Compared to other boys my age, I have a strong work ethic; I devote 45 minutes to an hour per day to my schoolwork. I am aware that this requires a lot of time from my parents, who supervise my study sessions. I learned to write well and to love reading. This blog also allows me to enjoy and practice writing. Do I always feel motivated to sit down and write? Of course not, but this sacrifice and the reward that I get from it today are worth every holiday in the world.

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