She rises in the middle of the night to provide food for her family… She plants a vineyard from her earnings… She girds her loins with strength and energizes her arms… Her children rise and commend her; her husband praises her, “Many daughters have performed valiantly, but you surpass them all!” (Mishlei 31)
Whenever Shoshana* hears her husband sing Eishes Chayil, the Woman of Valor, on Friday night before Kiddush, she fervently hopes that he will not think about the English translation of Shlomo Hamelech’s vivid words. That is because Shoshana rarely feels “energy in her arms” or “strength in her loins.” Shoshana has ADHD, and perhaps her story (a composite of several true stories) can shed some light on this often misunderstood condition.
Shoshana is a woman in her mid-30s who tends to misplace her belongings. When facing a deadline at work, she waits until the last minute. She is often late for appointments. Shoshana’s behaviors did not begin as an adult. As a child and teenager, her locker in school was a mess, her notes were jumbled, and even if she did her homework she would often forget it at home. The one thing she had going for her was that she was extremely bright. She was therefore able to maintain adequate grades in spite of her disorganization. She became accustomed to last-minute cramming, since she could not bring herself to study in an organized manner.