What ADHDers Can Learn from The Lord of the Rings
I love JRR Tolkien’s tales of Middle Earth. The Hobbit is my favorite book. While I find the Hobbit movies terrible, I do like both the books and the movies for the LOTR trilogy. I also think there are a few things we ADHDers can learn from this epic saga.
(Side note: If you have not read the books, there is at least one spoiler in here.)
The Importance of Eating
The hobbits do not want to start their journey one day until they have had their breakfast. When Aragorn reminds them that they have already eaten, Pippin reminds him that they have only had one breakfast. That is an important lesson.
Now, I am not saying you want to pig out all the time, but maintaining a healthy diet is important. It give you the energy you need to get stuff done. If you find yourself hyperfocused on something, take the time to eat when meal time rolls around. Yes, you might lose that hyperfocus, but it is healthier to eat your regularly scheduled meal. In the long run, it will be better for you.
Yes, You Can Make a Difference
The challenges that come from having ADHD can cloud our judgement. Our struggles can sometimes paint a pessimistic position about ourselves. We see only our struggles and not our strengths. Yet, we do have strengths. Who is the hero of The Lord of the Rings? It is Frodo, a hobbit. The hobbits are the tiniest race in Middle Earth, yet it was a hobbit who brought an end to Sauron’s power. If you think you cannot make a difference in the world, you are wrong. You can. Use your strengths, be the person you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.
“All We Have to Decide Is What to Do with the Time That Is Given to Us.”
Gandalf is full of wisdom, and his advice to Frodo is something we ADHDers should remember. “All We Have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” There are so many things we cannot control, and while we ADHDers can get excited about a lot of things, we need to remember that our time is limited. We need to focus on what we can control in the time we have. Note: I said the things we can control. There are many things we simply cannot control, and we waste energy trying to control those things. There, we need to practice acceptance.
There Is Good in the World
When you struggle as much as a person with ADHD does, it is easy to develop a pessimistic attitude. Our struggles can paint our world gray. We need frequent reminders of color, and by color, I mean truth, beauty, and goodness. Samwise Gamgee eloquently sums this up when he says, “[T]here's some good left in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for." He reminds us that, no matter how dark things can seem, good still exists. We can and must do our part to remind people of that and to produce good where we are.
The Importance of Friendship
It can be hard to make friends when you have ADHD, but that does not mean we should give up on trying to find and maintain friendship. We need friends. Humans are hard-wired for connection. There is strength in numbers, as the old adage says. Our friends can help us with our burdens, just like Samwise did with Frodo. Let’s be real. Samwise is the true hero of LOTR. Without him, there is no way the ring gets destroyed. When we get down about our struggles with ADHD (or other struggles), we need to find our own fellowship (Fellowship of ADHD, if you will) to help us climb our “Mount Doom.”
Our Adventures and Trials Help Us Grow
In the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring, the hobbits are wimpy and scared. They are hardly able to defend themselves (or at all). However, by the end of The Return of the King, they are able to free the Shire from Saruman who has taken over the Shire. If this sounds unfamiliar to you, you probably have not read the book. The penultimate chapter of The Return of the King is called “The Scouring the Shire,” and it tells the tale of the hobbits retiring to the Shire and leading a rebellion. I get extremely angry when I think about how this was not included in the movie. This shows the growth of the hobbits and how their trials have made them stronger. They are the leaders and protectors they needed when they first left the Shire.
We can learn from this that, yes, times can be tough, but those hard times will strengthen us. Our challenges can help us grow if we accept them. If we do not accept our challenges or if we run from our challenges, we will not experience growth. In fact, quite the opposite will occur.