See You in September?

Thank you Phillip Martin, artist/educator

Thank you Phillip Martin, artist/educator

Fish or Cut Bait Time

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

You can’t pour water out of an empty pitcher
~ mgh


I must finally admit “aloud” that, in the glare of events of the past few months, the events of the past few years have finally reached critical mass.

They appear now as the collective “straw” that has been, increasingly, breaking this particular camel’s back.

My heart has been broken for many years beyond that, given how few changes I have seen in the perception of ADD in the past twenty-five years, and the direction I see the ADD Coaching field heading.  Still, I have been unwilling to stop trying to turn the tide threatening to engulf the lives of a community about which I care deeply and have worked tirelessly to inform, motivate and support, despite precious little ROI personally.

It has finally come to the place where I can no longer justify continued efforts expended on behalf of others until and unless the equation can be more equitably balanced.

I CLEARLY need some protracted time OFF to re-aim and re-arm!

And NOW ?

At this moment I feel broken.  I must seriously consider whether my attempts to make a positive difference in the lives of the ADD community have exacted a price it was naive of me to believe I would be able to continue to pay without eventually coming to a sad conclusion.

Entering my sixth decade here on earth, I can’t help but wonder if I have
wasted a quarter of a century of my own precious life tilting at windmills.

Those were the years that most people experience as the BEST of their lives, setting themselves up for the ease of a retirement that I will never experience — the result of my former choice to make a difference at the expense of making a living that might support me as I age. Nor can I rely on a family I did not take the time to create.

I would like to see evidence that it had been worth the sacrifices but,
given current events, it is not currently looking like it was.

I believe you will support me in my belief that the need to take some
time OFF to refocus my efforts has reached critical mass as well.

Carving Out Time for ME

Thank you Phillip Martin, artist/educator

Thank you Phillip Martin, artist/educator

I have made the decision that I need to take a real vacation — my first since before I founded the ADD Coach Training field in the early 90’s with the research, development and launch of the world’s first ADD-specific coach training, brain-based from the onset, which was the only ADD-specific, curriculum-based coach training available for many years.

It was a bumpy ride.

Once this article has been published, I will be taking the remainder of the summer off — a much needed respite from any focus on ADD or the needs of others, making that time available for a focused exploration of an important decision I need to make for my own life: how I choose to spend the remainder of my time here on earth, given the choices now available to me.

I’ve lined up additional articles to be published after this one, automated, but I won’t be available to be “the man behind the curtain” (whether you “Pay No Attention To” or NOT) – until I can sort out a few things and restore my own energy balances.

There’s PLENTY here to keep everybody beyond busy during the remainder of July and until I return the week after Labor Day.

In addition to the weekly content that will continue to post in my absence, I have already researched, written and published over 300 information-dense articles of several thousand words each that I encourage every one of you to take the time to explore between now and September.

As I say at the bottom of almost every post,
“Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.”

It would, no doubt, make a difference in my willingness to return to play a supporting role in some fashion if you would take the time to leave me feedback in the comments section of the articles you read.

  • I would love to know how your lives are going, how you are using the information I provide, and what you have discovered on your own or from other sources – with my gratitude to those of you who have done so already.
  • ALL ADDers do best with feedback, and I believe that the fact that I understand and can explain ADD-affect leads others to falsely assume that I am no longer at the effect of ADD-affect personally.
  • I’ve suddenly run out of self-produced steam.

An homage to the costs of a considerable legacy

Few people are aware that I worked without salary for the entire existence of OFI, for 12 groups of over 2 years of weekly sessions each.

That does NOT reflect the time I spent creating curriculum and website content, holding coaching labs and coaching clinics, marketing, enrollment, participating in the founding and serving on committees for both ICF and IAAC, the no-charge ADD Hours™ I created, sponsored and facilitated weekly for seven years — along with countless “Do you have a minute?” mentoring calls from those who never gave an ADD moment’s thought to hiring me, referring my services, providing testimony to the benefits of the OFI Training they’d received to others looking to become ADD Coaches, or helping me spread the word that an upcoming class was currently enrolling.

I’m sure that few are aware that I personally scholarshipped many of my grads, deeply discounted tuition for many others, and made long-term, low monthly payment agreements – or barter arrangements – with more than a few who have still, as I write this, failed to live up to their end of their agreements with me.

  • Nor do many people know that the proceeds of my once full, currently downsized, practice – my other full-time job – actually paid the lion’s share of the expenses not covered by tuition for the first eight training groups as I built the field — at a time when there were no free bridges and inexpensive telephone plans, adding significantly to the other costs of delivering a virtual training at the dawn of a brand new field.
  • Or that I paid the expenses for several student volunteers who could not otherwise afford to attend ADD conferences during the time when most of the ADD universe was only faintly aware of the existence of a field that is still, after almost twenty years of non-stop ADD and ADD Coaching advocacy,

a) unknown by many of our client’s doctors,
b) discounted by many of my former “vanilla” coaching colleagues, and
c) serving primarily as a sadly competitive marketing environment for many in the ADD Coaching field.

  • Many of my former students currently make a living as professional ADD Coaches and, now that it is economically viable to do so, more than a few of them train coaches themselves, expanding what they learned at OFI and extending the reach of the field.

I’m fairly certain that few of you, even those who are colleagues, are aware of where more than a handful got their training.

As a result of the factors above, and others, I find myself now in the unfortunate position of no longer being able to afford the luxury of continuing to give away what I have empowered my students to be equipped to sell — despite requests, still, that I continue to do so.

Is it any wonder that I’m desperate for a break? This particular goose is exhausted – I cannot continue to fly point another flap right now.

My Legacy

The Coaches I traded my life to train initially are a global Who’s Who in today’s ADD Coaching world.

Only SOME of those I trained through my OFI curriculum, put together without a model to guide the initial development of what are now considered standard training elements for a top-notch ADD Coach Training curriculum, include the following individuals (among others):

David Giwerc, Barbara Luther, Linda Anderson, Glen Hogard, Dana Rayburn, Pat Wood, Peggy Ramundo, Robb Garrett, Sarah Wright, Mary Jane Johnson, Denslow Brown, Cameron Gott, Dave Brattain, Dee Doochin, Holly Hamilton, Joyce Walker, Lupita Volio, Harriet Steinberg, Marilyn Cale, Barbara Edwards, Becca Colao — and that’s just off the top of my head. My apologies to the many I have not listed.

I will continue to leave it to each of you to publicly acknowledge the source of your training on your websites and conference materials, including crediting the original source of many of the materials you use with your clients and students, with my gratitude to the handful of you who have always done so.

Angels among us

Sadly, some of the best and most unfailingly generous of the bunch are no longer with us:
Kate Kelly, Francena Hancock, Sarah Shaffer, Julie Nicoles, and Barbara Durst are the
OFI ADD Coach Graduate angels of whom I am aware.

Sadly too, more than a handful of those I trained have subsequently left the field. No one can be blamed for being unwilling or unable to make the continued sacrifices necessary to offer professional help to a population whose chronic problems with follow-through domino into their own lives, bank accounts and schedules.

Kudos to those who continue to attempt it, no matter the source of your training – and a plea to those of you who work with ADD Coaches to put showing up for your appointments and keeping your agreements with them at the very TOP of your priority lists from this point forward, especially if you are not at the point yet where you are able to extend the same to other important goals in your personal lives.

ADD Coaching is a gratifying, but by no means easy job!

ABOUT the articles to come

There will be a new post weekly. One is a great financial tracking tip from a new Guest Blogger, and the rest are from me, prepared in advance so that I could take this break.

Some are additions to a few of the Series in process, along with some serious advocacy with requests for actions from each of YOU that I hope you will read and take seriously, and one is a new Top Ten for comic relief.

I’m hoping that you will each make it a point to take a brief bit of your time to leave a comment telling me that you have read the upcoming Consensus Statement and investigated the DSM-5 controversy — despite my fear that all too few of you will be willing to dedicate even a few minutes of your lives to attempt to understand the import and implications, both to your own lives and the lives of others.

I’m hoping that I return in September to a ton of comments evaporating those fears.  In any case, I’m sure I will return with a fresh mind and a new gameplan.

Related Articles on

ADD Advocacy Posts: Making a Difference for ADDers & the neurodiverse

A few positive posts, pdfs and videos I’m taking in during this break
(I’ll add to it, so check back – leave YOURS in the comments section below)

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

8 Responses to See You in September?

  1. annieller says:

    My Dear Madelyn!!!!!
    I am so proud of you for taking this time for rest, recreation, RESTORATION, reflection, revelry etc, etc . . . and so sad that it has become so necessary for you to crash land for a while. When I think of all you have done for me and all I have learned and experienced and delighted in because of you – I am so overwhelmed! I am having a hard time putting it into words.

    Your teaching, training, wealth of information, energy, nurturing and support has literally changed my life for the better and I am so, so grateful . . . thank you, thank you, thank you.

    You have such a wonderful way with words and ideas; the sheer volume of your written work just amazes me (and freaks me out!) Beyond all these wonderful things about you and all the things you do for others, there is most importantly YOU . . . . passionate, sassy, devoted, edgy, funny – so funny, bright, warm, relentless, sweet, quirky, ferocious and kind
    – you are an experience girl!!!

    I would love to spend a day wandering around with you – please let me know if you find yourself in the NYC area with extra time to spare. Love you Madelyn


    • Thanks for posting this encouraging comment, Annie. I’m “back” – even though I wasn’t able to travel far on planet earth, I DID go far mentally.

      I was not able to get to NYC during this hiatus, however – Peggy’s situation shortened the time I had to “wander” a bit. It is STILL “on my list” and who knows when I’ll be able to make the trip for SURE, but there’s really nowhere else I’d rather be.

      I will MOST CERTAINLY be there in May to hoot and holler as my good friend picks up a diploma from Columbia – and I’d LOVE to spend some time wandering around NYC with you.

      I’ll let you know more once I know the dates I need to be there and how long I can spend before and afterwards without scuttling the ship here.


  2. jeg700 says:

    Have fun, get a dog, run, play and wallow in the freedom…then come back, restored and with a firm life balance. Wishing you the best 🙂


    • SLEEP – you left out “sleep a bunch in an attempt to stabilize the chronos and turn everything over to your subconscious mind” – which is what I did a GREAT deal of during the time I have been “gone.”

      I DO want to “get a dog” – I REALLY miss living with a Shih Tzu companion (and am NOT used to being “dogless” – nor do I want to become so) — but my current living situation makes that particular goal a bit “iffy” unless I am ready to move immediately upon a possible eviction notice, since the building ownership is cat-friendly, but not particularly welcoming to dogs – and I haven’t decided yet where I want to move (besides BACK to NYC, which is not currently in the budget).

      I DO feel quite a bit more centered, but still have more of this particular journey to travel before I can say with any degree of anything anywhere NEAR certainty what I plan NEXT.

      Thanks for leaving me good wishes on this post — REALLY appreciate it.



  3. Deshawn Wert says:

    We have never met but I’ve learned so much from you already! I’m an aspiring ADD Coach who is waiting on ADD in the spirit class. I have not taken any of the other big programs because I want the course you and Peggy are offering. I want the pioneers of the field. I want the spiritual aspect. I recognize the value of the site and use it for inspiration and deepening understanding. You have a very special way of making the complex brain make sense to me. I have your site listed as a resource on my website.

    I Want you to have a great break and rejuvenate but I also need youn to remember that all of this was developed out of love. You love these people (me) . You shared your vast knowledge because you couldn’t not do it and you can’t not help those who suffered. You came to their aid.

    I hear your suffering now and don’t know how to help. Maybe you are more than tired, but scared. I don’t know how I can come to your aid right now other than support you with love and prayers as you gather your strength! Hugs!


    • You’re a DOLL to spend your time to bolster me. Thank you.

      I am t-totally burnt OUT, actually, but after just ONE day simply having a life again I feel more human than I’ve felt in over two years. I had no IDEA, really, how desperately I needed a break.

      I made the right decision – I clearly needed to STOP and smell a few roses. All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl!!

      See you in September!



  4. John LaCause says:

    Well written Madelyn. At times we all need to recharge our batteries; 60 is the new 50!


    • Thanks, John – spent the day wandering Ludlow, made a friend, went to a wine tasting, then wandered into a street party w/ live musicians — and a woman who makes hula hoops brought a bunch for people to play with (I don’t know about riding a bike, but I was a hula hooping whiz at 10, and picked it right back up! )

      I got her card and plan to have one made for me, and take a class to learn some fancy moves. FUN way to exercise.

      AND I’ve been invited to a dinner party tomorrow nite.

      AMAZING how spectacular it feels to simply do LIFE things again – I can’t tell you how long its been – NYC, I believe. (I remember life – pretty darned cool!)

      My love to Liz et. al.


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