Loving Yourself and Your ADHD

February 16, 2012 Laurie Dupar, PMHNP, RN, PCC

“The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.” Author unknown

Each year, Valentine’s Day seems to draw attention to the notion that love is indeed a mystery. For some, it is a day looked forward to eagerly as they await their chance to acknowledge or be acknowledged by those they love. However, for many people with adult ADHD, their own inner struggle with poor self-worth, lack of self-acceptance and low self-esteem, limits their full appreciation of the abundant love from those around them and for themselves.

Adult ADHD and Poor Self-Esteem

When you have spent your life not being able to meet other people’s expectations and your mind is full of self-sabotaging thoughts, it is nearly impossible to appreciate your own natural talents and innate value, let alone share and receive this joy with others. People with ADHD are passionate and generous by nature, unfortunately, many hide alone behind feelings of shame, emptiness, disappointment, sadness and self-blame. This Valentine’s Day, I wish people with ADHD to appreciate themselves as much as they deserve and acknowledge themselves for the heart they bring to the world. Hopefully the suggestions below will help us all be a bit more content, delighted and thankful of ourselves!

Let Go of the Past

You deserve to start fresh! Everyone has had something that has made their life hard, even seemingly impossible at times. Don’t close yourself off to the possibility of a bright future because of past disappointments, misunderstandings or another’s fear or ignorance. Acknowledge the feelings and situations that have brought you to where you are today, then put them behind you. Decide, finally, not to take these hurts and regrets into your future.

Forgive Yourself

No doubt you have already punished yourself from what you did in the past. Quit punishing and abusing yourself by holding onto this mistake. Continuing to do so is not serving you or anyone else, and it is preventing you from moving forward in your life. Instead, look for what you have learned from this experience. Sometimes all we can take from past mistakes is the new knowledge we gained and the hope we won’t do it again. Let it go…

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice

Most of us know the life lesson, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” This applies to yourself as well. Many of us continue to belittle ourselves in conversations with others or allow inner negative self-talk to continue. Stop saying “un-nice” things about yourself to others or giving into those pessimistic nagging thoughts that rattle around inside your head. We all have inner critics or “gremlins” that continually challenge our self-confidence with saying things like, “How could you be so stupid?!”…”You can’t do anything right.”…”Who do you think you are?”…”You are never going to get it right.” Instead, be aware that you can minimize these negative thoughts by first becoming aware of them and then remind this inner-critic, that “If you can’t say anything nice…”

Get into Action

Each day be sure to be taking small steps toward your bigger dreams. Even small steps in the right direction will get you further in your journey. Some days this may be simply to write a list of five things you appreciate about yourself. Other days it may mean spending more dedicated time to actually completing those things on your “to do” list or creating a more detailed plan to achieve your specific dream. Taking small purposeful steps allows you to succeed.

Have Fun

Laugh…out loud. Smile, it will make others wonder what you have been up to. Go barefoot. Whatever makes you smile or laugh out loud…do it. You, your life, your relationships, your world are meant to be enjoyed. There is too much beauty and wonder in this life not to appreciate it. Spend time doing those things that bring you joy.

Be Yourself

People with ADHD have amazing, innate gifts that often go untapped and unnoticed. It’s no wonder you don’t appreciate yourself. Too often we have been trying very hard to be someone else. Be who you really are! You have a unique combination of gifts and talents meant to be shared. Make a conscious decision to stop trying to be what others have expected of you your whole life…it’s not working anyway.

So, go ahead, let go of the past, forgive yourself, get into action, have fun, be can start today to create the loving life you deserve. I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s day, full of appreciation for the wonder that you are in the world.

Let me know what you think. I welcome your comments to this post and others.

APA Reference
Dupar, L. (2012, February 16). Loving Yourself and Your ADHD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Laurie Dupar, PMHNP, RN, PCC

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