When I tell people that I’m committing my time and energy to learn something new and incredibly challenging, there are generally two types of responses I get back. One group of people says something like, oh wow… That’s a lot… at your age? The other group of people says something along the lines of “of course you are”. Or maybe… if I know anybody that could do it it would be you. It’s crazy to me how much emotional impact those two different types of statements can make on me. One basically saying that they believe in me, that they understand my journey, and that it’s not over. The other group is probably giving me a little bit more of a reflection on how they feel about where they are. Sometimes the negative interactions keep me from sharing what I’m doing and end up making me feel more isolated. I was speaking to a friend and mentor about the relationship between ADHD and the lower levels of dopamine sometimes found in the brain. When we make progress and solve issues our brain produces dopamine, but when we struggle and slog through repeated roadblocks our brain reacts accordingly. This is one of the reasons that people with ADHD seek dopamine-producing activities like scrolling Instagram instead of focusing on their work. I’ve found myself at a place where the struggle is real and the roadblocks are many. I find myself spiraling into negativity and relative hopelessness. At the suggestion of my friend, I’ve been trying to just see the other side of the coin, reminding myself that I’m doing this to make my life better and that the rewards will be bountiful. It’s been especially rewarding how just a little change in my perspective helps me get through the day. Everything feels much easier to swallow if I believe that In a fundamental way I have the ability to learn and expand my life.