Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Books Were My Friends

What inspired me to write was loneliness.

I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as soon as I started school. Since they had no idea how to teach such a child I was labeled a problem. Since I was different, I had no friends. I learned to read very early. I discovered that books were a wonderful way to beat loneliness, while escaping on wondrous adventures with people who never teased or judged me.

I had written my first story by third grade, my teacher called me a prodigy and took me to see the principal. I thought I was in trouble! But that trouble turned into my salvation. Supported by a loving family, I beat the odds set by the school psychologist who said I'd probably end up in an institution.

I just turned 50 this week. I have an education, a husband. a son, and loving friends. I also have the ability to write words that have touched other people in positive ways. My life is a success story with a happy ending, and outside my family, books were the major inspiration that changed my life. Our relationship is still wonderful and unconditional. Thank you to each and every word that helped turn a lonely little girl into a writer.



  1. Debralee,
    What a great story about life after the ADHD diagnosis. Many of my friends struggle with this, either for themselves or for their children. Your story will inspire them. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It is a common problem, and one of the reasons my other life is training to become an educational advocate.

  3. What a wonderful story, Debi!

    My son had ADHD, but thankfully he grew out of it. Nowadays, they know much more about the condition and know how to reach these kids. Most of them tend to be brilliant ( I know my son is)

    I was very shy as a child. I fell in love with reading because, since I didn't have very many friends, I took myself to the library during lunchtime so I wouldn't have to eat alone.

    I didn't start writing 'til I was in my thirties, and that was because I'd read one too many books where I loved the beginning, but hated the ending.


  4. I think lots of kids find that books are their best friends when others are in short supply. I know I did! Thank God I was a reading prodigy (4th grade level at age 4), because I was also incredibly sick. Severe asthma and allergies had me either in bed or in the hospital with great frequency, and books were my treasured escape. Thanks for sharing your story...books never care when you're "different." I kept my favorites from when I was a child, and still consider them old friends:-)

  5. Debralee, YOU are inspiring. Thanks for writing about your experiences.


  6. I didn't have an official diagnosis like that, but I think I was clinically nerdy! I read constantly when I was little. Still do, when I can get away with it. I hope the fact I love to read will rub off on MY little ones!

    Jody W.