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Dr Hallowell ADHD and mental and cognitive health

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A Note from Ned

I recently began a correspondence with a smart, sophisticated New Yorker who happens to have ADD who told me she senses since Newtown more of a tone of forgiveness and a desire to understand, rather than the tone of anger and blame we’re grown accustomed to.  I wonder how many of you who receive this newsletter agree.  I’d love to hear from you.  My email is drhallowell@gmail.com.

One of the reasons I collect email addresses at my talks and send out this newsletter is to connect with you all.  We live in what I call “the modern paradox,” namely, we are more connected electronically than ever before in human history, but we are disconnecting inter-personally.  This newsletter is part of my small effort to combat disconnection and promote connection.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on that, as well.

As I get older–I’m now 65–and approach 26 years of marriage–anniversary Sept. 18–and see my children growing up–Lucy is 24, Jack is 21, and Tucker is 18–it becomes ever more clear to me how much we need each other, that all our strivings are earnest and good, but what’s most good in this world that bursts, as Samuel Johnson put it, with sin and sorrow is the force of love, the power of connection, the comfort of each other in our lives.

Of course, we have to work to earn a living, and we can’t all just sit around loving each other all day long. But I don’t think anyone’s in danger of doing that.  What many of us are in danger of doing, however, is missing what matters most in life because we are too busy to relish it.  As Valerie Harper, who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, said “Don’t miss your life.”  She’s spending her last months trying to spread that message.

I would add to it, don’t hold back on life out of fear.  My daughter, Lucy, said that when she was 13, just after 9/11, giving me advice as to what I should offer as advice to parents when I went on TV.  That line has stayed with me ever since.  It’s so important because too many times, out of fear, we hold back, we walk by, we look away, or we feel embarrassed to say how much the other person means to us.

The day will come for each of us when we can’t speak up any longer.  I say to myself, speak up today.  Which is why I’m writing to you.

Thank you for letting me into your life via this newsletter.  You mean a lot to me.  Write back and tell me what you’d like to see in future newsletters, or just tell me what you had for breakfast.  I’m interested in it all.

With warm wishes,

Ned Hallowell

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