Recent meetings of our Denver-Metro CHADD support groups have revealed to me the need for an ADHD support group for men alone. Men face many challenges with their ADHD unique to themselves that profoundly affect their self esteem, their careers and relationships. The impacts of their ADHD conflicts can cut to the core of their sense of masculinity and foster its own kind of shame, making it hard to reveal and discuss their issues in the company of women.
The Value of Men’s Groups for Any Man
For nearly 40 years now, modern men have found profound value meeting in intentional groups to explore the challenges unique to their own gender. The focus of these groups address the many challenges of men in our time:
- Learning to overcome the competitive conditioning that separate men from deeper connection and trust in each other
- Finding another source of intimacy/communion than depending on women alone for this
- Teaching each other the language of emotions to recover that long- suppressed aspect of our selves
- Fostering the courage to own and live from our feelings and emotions
- Envisioning: Identifying our intentions, purpose and direction so we can make the meaning of our lives
- Holding each other accountable in our commitments to ourselves and others
- Developing and empowering our sense of integrity
- Becoming resolute, consistent and trustworthy
- Encouraging each other along the journey to recover and sustain self-esteem, personal value and self worth
The ADHD Focus
Since the early 1990’s I have worked extensively with these challenges, running several men’s groups and retreats for years. Presently I am leading one and a participant in another. Yet, only upon the diagnosis of my daughter did the discovery of my own ADD reveal yet another, now neurological, challenge behind the struggles of being a man in our time. Ironically, where many people find a late-life diagnosis fraught with grief and shame, for me it was so clarifying of my life’s challenges that it came as a relief. Knowing that so much of what I had taken as a shortage of character was extensively rooted in my neurology allowed me to release much of the shame that haunted my self-esteem.
I would like to help other men with ADHD come to the same relief from chronic anxiety, shame, inhibited potential and emotional wrenching that has characterized much of their lives. At first the prospect of admitting to and facing these demeaning aspects of our selves seems scary and could make them worse. However, there is a safety in the company of men willing to team together and support one another that can’t be known until one stretches to explore the possibility.
As ADHDers here are some of our specific issues we will focus on. The list is long because our challenges are many. Persevering through the list can be a revelation itself. Naming our struggles brings them into the light of awareness, which is the first step in our learning to free ourselves from their unconscious confinement of our greater potentials.
- Facing our histories of under-performance and the secret sense of shame and inadequacy our ADHD has fostered
- Acknowledging our contributions to relational conflicts from lovers to friends to colleagues and our kids
- The dysfunctions in our management of money
- Our checkered academic and professional histories
- Our chronic defensiveness in the face of critical feedback
- Our inclinations to anger and defiance
- Our addictions, from caffeine to porn to substance abuse, gambling etc, no matter how minor or improper
- Our conflicts with responsibility
- The paradox of our gifts and our dysfunctions
- Our fear of setting goals and making commitments to future endeavors
- Our chronic forgetfulness
- The use of sex for motivation and empowerment
Recognize any or all of these traits? Certainly, if we’re going to open ourselves to addressing these issues intentionally with other men, we will need to be able to trust one another to do so effectively. But trust takes time to develop, requiring members to commit to several sessions to make that happen. Each of us must be willing to bring the trust to the group that we want to receive. This will take some courage. We can do this.
The commitment: six sessions. The time: 6:30 to 8:30 PM every other Wednesday, starting whenever you sign up. Location: SE Denver. Cost: sliding scale, starting at $180.00 for the six sessions. Please show your interest by responding here: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. I will call you to arrange the necessary logistical details.