Smith comes to terms with ADHD

Published 1:41 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2017

From working at Lunenburg Correctional Center to publishing his third book at age 28, Ryan Smith is no stranger to overcoming challenges.

The Prince Edward native has succeeded despite struggling for 23 years with undiagnosed attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

One day, he said, he was reading about ADHD and decided it may apply to him.

He went to the doctor, who confirmed his suspicions and “it made perfectly good sense to me,” Smith said.

Beginning in his high school years, Smith used writing to cope with his ADHD, and over time, it became a form of therapy for him.

Though he will never truly be “cured” of ADHD, Smith is better able to handle the effects of his disorder than when he was as a child.

“Born a Fighter: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man,” his latest book, details Smith’s coming to terms with his ADHD, specifically focusing on his years in school.

“The book is about overcoming obstacles that life may throw at you,” said Smith. “Everyone has experienced the good, the bad and the ugly in life. The most important (thing) about life is that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.”

Smith first began working at Lunenburg Correctional Center in 2015 after being employed by Powhatan Correctional Center and Piedmont Regional Jail in Farmville.

His work at these places relates directly back to the message of his book, he said.

Learning different duties in his positions was difficult to grasp at first, Smith said. “Many times I’ve learned something as it pertains to the job, then in a few minutes, I may forget. Things, like, can be tough at times.”

Though many people told Smith he wouldn’t be able to succeed in his position, he has proven them wrong.

“Always accept challenges,” Smith said, noting there will always be “naysayers and doubters.”

Smith said he gained this perspective from his father who told him “to always think positive before any challenge or situation.”

Smith said he has found support for his books in the Lunenburg community. He said co-workers have purchased his books in an effort to try new things and take some time to “live life.”

“I’ve been thinking on and off about possibly branching out (and) becoming a motivational speaker,” he said.

“Born a Fighter” is part autobiography, part poetry collection. His other two books, both published in 2013, are “Poetic Man” and “Motives and Thoughts of a Battered Soul.”

Smith uses Xlibris to self-publish his books. They are available on its website, as well as through Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s websites.