Always look on the bright side of life. A happy song, written for the ending of a famous movie. A happy song with whistling, dancing and singing by a choir of men, waiting for their death on a cross. A song that become I believe even more famous than the movie it was written for, a song that became a saying, a way of living. But I would never be able to do what the men in the song do, I have never been able to keep looking at the bright side of life.
The task of a cheerleader
When things are great, I can feel completely happy. I can enjoy the little things, I can find a feeling of satisfaction in even the smallest good things. But whenever one of these small things turns out to be not as great as I expected, this little not so happy things is able to create a darkness that takes over my entire mind. And not matter how many good things will be surrounding me, I can not make the darkness disappear by myself. It just seems too big, too strong, too overtaking.
This is where the cheerleader comes in. A cheerleader is a person that truly believes in you, a person that can always see the good in you and will always be able to support you. No matter how dark your world has become, no matter how much you have fucked up, your cheerleader will always be there and he or she will always be able to make you feel better.
When a small thing is able to create a complete darkness inside your mind. Or even when the darkness is caused by something very big and very real, it is important to get in contact with your cheerleader. Without this person you will not be able to see some light, some happiness. ADHD brains by themselves are not able to look on the bright side of life when there is even the slightest bit of darkness.
We can not control it, we can not control the many thoughts that appear in our brains, no matter how hard we try to. When one bad thing happens to us, our ADHD devil turns it into many bad things, it transforms every good thing into something dark. Even when we try to focus on the bright side of life, the devil prevents us to see any kind of joy, it turns everything into something bad, everything that surrounds us becomes dark.
Bring some light to the darkness
I can have the most amazing day at work. A day in which I get a million of things done, convince a client or advisor to go for the most beautiful option even though this one is more complicated or expensive. A day in which I help many colleagues, have a great idea design solution, and truly enjoy my social lunch time. A good day, great even, but when I am, on the end of the day, not able to finish the last things on my to-do list, this amazing day will quickly change into a dark one. I will forget all the good that happened before and my entire mind will be filled with darkness.
Emotional control is what I’m missing. Every feeling I experience is a reaction on what is happening only in that precise moment. I never think about the before or after to balance my feelings, I can’t even see these timezones, but fortunately a cheerleader can. My cheerleaders are able to show me past and future and the good feelings that come with these, for me, invisible timezones. A cheerleader is able to transfer the feelings of the before and the after to the current moment, showing me the bright side of life.
My team of cheerleaders
My grandpa has always been my biggest cheerleader, my biggest support. He was always able to show me the good in every situation, in every darkness I ended up in he was able to show me the bright things. But my grandpa wasn’t always close, especially when I got older. The distance between us prevented him from performing his cheerleading magic, he wasn’t great at using a phone and from the moment I started university, he has always been more than 1 hour away from me. This is when I discovered that it is possible to have multiple cheerleaders, multiple people that are able to expel the darkness, multiple supporters, all with their own specialism.
The little ones
In every stage of my life I have been looking for cheerleaders. Some of them supported me in just a small part of my life. Like my aunt I always visited when I wanted to paint, something I was not allowed to do at home. Or the older neighbors that told my parents they could not walk their dog themselves, allowing me to go for a walk whenever I needed to get away from the house. Small things, given by people I mostly won’t even recognize today, but always allowed me to do the little things I needed to do to deal with the rest that was going on in my life.
The one time big ones
I also have some cheerleaders that have only performed their supporting magic once, but on an extremely crucial moment in my life. Like a bartender of a bar I visited regularly during my time at university. After I graduated I was broke and started to work in a bar myself. One Sunday afternoon, the bartender saw me working here and he got angry with me. He told me to stop waisting my time and start a real job, one I studied for. Within a week after this conversation, I had found my current job and I will forever be thankful for this conversation with this bartender, for telling me I deserved more when I really needed to hear this.
The real supporters of me
Besides the temporary and small cheerleaders, I have also always had a network of bigger cheerleaders around me. During my years at university I have found about 6 different people that where able to support me in my various struggles. My main cheerleader was a professor I met in my second year of my studies. He was a little strange and not a great communicator. Other students believed he was weird and where afraid of him, but for me he was the one person at university that understood me, the one professor I trusted. In the six year that followed I visited his office hundreds of times, complaining about other courses, expressing my fear of not being able to finish a project or the difficulties I experienced when it came to my focus. All these times I visited him he was able to help me, show me what a great student I was and support me to keep going and doing the best I could.
When university ended and I moved to a different city for my job, I had to rebuild my network of cheerleaders, and fortunately I was able to find a couple of people that are able to support me in my current life. My boss is able to make my work related darkness disappear. When something is wrong in my personal life I will visit the bar that’s closest to my house, where the owner will always have time to listen to me and make me feel good. The biggest cheerleader I have found in this city, is my boyfriend who, like my grandpa, sees all the good in me and believes I can do everything. In my boyfriend I have found the cheerleader I have lost when my grandpa passed away. He is able to see the same greatness in me, to make me feel loved, safe and perfect. He can make even the darkest darkness disappear within seconds.
Thanks to all of them
I am not sure what would have become of me without all the people that have supported me. Life would have been much harder, much more dark, than it has been. I am afraid that without my cheerleaders I would not have succeeded in many things, not only study and work related but also in the social aspect of my life and my well-being. I would have much more and much longer periods of darkness, much more days on which live would have felt too hard. Much more days I would have wanted to give up. But thanks to all these cheerleaders I have met, I never gave up. I was able to enjoy a lot of bright days.