Steve Revland and Writing it Down

Write everything down to remember the things that bring value, construction, and achievements so the walls that you so wildly bounce off of don’t imprison you. That was the advice that Steve Revland received from his therapist early on in life as a way to cope with his ADHD. And decades later Steve, now a 70-year-old artist and musician, still keeps that advice close.

Tune in to hear Steve talk about his life and work, how Dyslexia and Tourettes affect his ADHD, and how woodworking not only earned him awards and appearances on HGTV but also provide him focus. 

Refocused, Together is a collection of 31 stories told throughout the 31 days of October, a part of our commitment to ADHD Awareness Month. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss a single story this month! 

READ: Simply Revland: How To Succeed in Life Despite Yourself

Learn more about Steve Revland, his life and his work here

More on the Connection between ADHD & Addiction

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orange diamond ADHD, Substance Abuse, and Addiction: When the Solution Becomes a Problem by Ari Tuckman

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Steve Revland (00:00):

I’d like to thank a specific therapist who told me very early on in life, “You may find it advantageous to record and write things down, for if you don’t you might forget those very things that bring you value.”

Lindsay Guentzel (00:18):

You are listening to Refocused, Together, and this is episode four, Steve Revland and Writing It Down. Welcome back to Refocused, a podcast all about ADHD. I’m your host, Lindsay Guentzel. If you’ve been listening to Refocused for any length of time, you know that ADHD is complex and it shows up in each person’s life in a different way. That’s why we created Refocused, Together, our October series in which we share 31 stories in 31 days as a part of our commitment to ADHD Awareness month. Today we’re sharing the story of Steve Revland, a 70-year-old artist, a musician from Fargo, North Dakota, who credits a specific therapist who told him very early on in life a way to deal with his ADHD. Write everything down to remember the things that bring value, construction and achievements, so the walls that he so wildly bounced off of wouldn’t imprison him.


In the 1970s Steve had little support in school, no medication to take, and his classmates bullied him mercilessly because of his Tourette’s syndrome. Dyslexia made the words on the pages of his books not make sense. He couldn’t absorb what he read, so he just stopped trying to read altogether. Steve’s mom would threaten him with the Vietnam draft if he didn’t pass his classes. She pressured him to bring his books home, which he always did, but he never opened them. He was a loner who would play hooky whenever he could. Still, he got his diploma and the woodshop classes he’d taken in his junior and senior years influenced his career.


A furniture maker for the past 52 years, Steve’s work has earned him many awards and appearances on HGTV. Despite his inability to read he’s authored a book and is a sought-after lecturer at universities, proving that success is possible even in the face of adversity. I’m so excited to welcome Steve to Refocused, Together to learn more about his life, his work, and how his workshop provides focus and serves as a metaphor for life with ADHD. Steve, what’s great about Refocused, Together is that we start with the same set of questions for everyone, and that is, when were you diagnosed with ADHD, and what was that process like? And what initially sparked the conversation?

Steve Revland (03:07):

Well, I really never was diagnosed with ADHD because 60 years ago we didn’t know what that was. So basically in grade school I couldn’t pass any classes because I couldn’t read. I couldn’t absorb what I read, and hence I just didn’t have the ability to pass any classes. And even then, I don’t believe there was any medication to take for me. So it was kind of a self-diagnosis, and if there was any diagnosis, it would’ve come in my 20s and 30s.

Lindsay Guentzel (03:48):

Tell me a little bit more about school and what that was like, knowing something was not right, but not knowing what was going on and not getting the help you needed.

Steve Revland (03:59):

Well, I also had dyslexia and I had Tourette’s syndrome, and my classmates bullied me unmercifully. So normally when I picked out a seat in the class, I would pick out a window seat because the students who would achieve usually sat in the front, close to the teacher, and I usually sat near the window where I could look out and dream about the possibilities in life when I get out of this school situation because I hated it. I absolutely hated it.

Lindsay Guentzel (04:39):

What were those first steps out of school like for you?

Steve Revland (04:42):

Well, it was 1971 and my senior year I had a 0.04 GPA. I was four credits short of graduating because I never passed anything. But in ’71, if you were a good kid and they knew you were smart, they would sign your diploma and let you go. So that time for the graduation ceremony, I didn’t go to the rehearsal because, well, I figured I was going back to summer school. And my counselor called my mom and said, “Mrs. Revland, Steve wasn’t at rehearsal. Why is that?” And she said, “Well, we just got his report card. We kind of know what’s going on.”


And he said, “Edna, do you really think we want him back here next year? You make sure he shows up, we’ll fit him up with a gown,” and which they did. And Mom and Dad and my brother were up in the nosebleed section in the top row waiting for the results when I sat down to open my diploma. So I went down the aisle with all my other classmates who were oblivious to how much of a derelict I was, got my diploma, sat down, opened it up, and it was signed. So from that day forward, I was able to plan my life and whatever career I decided to choose.

Lindsay Guentzel (06:18):

You mentioned that they would sign diplomas for the good kids. So does that mean you were going to class and you were there and you were participating, but it just wasn’t connecting?

Steve Revland (06:30):

Usually I went bowling. So Tuesdays and Thursdays were a bowling day for me. The other days I just rarely showed up. I would just play hooky. If there was a class called a hooky, I would’ve aced that lying down. So it got to the point where… I’ve never read a book in my life. I’ve written a book, I published a book, and I haven’t even read that book. So I have a book deal with my publisher to write another book, but I have yet to read one. So the classroom, if I ever did show up, I would just usually embarrass myself because if I was asked a question, I wouldn’t have an answer for it.

Lindsay Guentzel (07:19):

Were there any classes in school that caught your attention?

Steve Revland (07:24):

The reason I had a 0.04, and the reason it was so high, was that I took woodshop in my junior and senior year, and I’m a furniture maker and I have been for 52 years, so I passed that… Well, I think I got a C, but at least it raised my grade point from the 0.00 range to at least something unacceptable.

Lindsay Guentzel (07:53):

I’m wondering how your grades and your struggles in school affected life at home.

Steve Revland (08:01):

Well, yeah, it certainly did. And back then I also had Vietnam hanging over my head, so a lot of us kids were scared. I had three older siblings, all ended up with PhDs and master’s degrees, and so I was the proverbial black sheep of the family. And so I would be pressured by my mother to bring my books home, which I always did, but I never opened them. And she’s no longer with us, but she would threaten me with Vietnam if I did not pass my classes, and it just was not possible for me. I just could not absorb what I read, and whatever I read, kind of read backwards. So it was painful. And I think I developed the Tourette’s from that, the ticks and the shaking my head and squeaking noises and stretching my neck, and I was a freak. And I was a loner.

Lindsay Guentzel (09:10):

Do you remember the first time you learned about ADD, what we now call ADHD?

Steve Revland (09:17):

Probably when I was 23 and I was seeing a therapist. Would it be okay if I just… It’d take 15 seconds to read one chapter from my book? It’s from the introduction.

Lindsay Guentzel (09:30):

Oh, my gosh. Yeah, please.

Steve Revland (09:33):

I’d like to thank a specific therapist who told me very early on in life, “As I’ve gotten to know and understand you, you may find it advantageous to record and write things down, for if you don’t, you might forget those very things that bring you value. You may also want to schedule your day on paper and cross out tasks as you achieve them, otherwise the walls that you continue to bounce off of might just imprison you.” Very wise advice given to an ADHD afflicted man-child in his early 20s trying to find his way in a highly competitive baby boomer world with barely a high school diploma in his back pocket.

Lindsay Guentzel (10:18):

What year was that?

Steve Revland (10:22):

That would’ve been 1980. Let’s see, 1980, or, I’m sorry, 1976. Yeah, I was 23.

Lindsay Guentzel (10:31):

  1. Wow.

Steve Revland (10:35):

The disco years.

Lindsay Guentzel (10:38):

I think it’s really interesting to hear this kind of pre-technology boom of how to live with ADHD.

Steve Revland (10:49):

And he really gave me the best advice. I’ve got hundreds of notebooks of notes that I’ve taken all these years since then, and that’s how I get through each day, is planning my day on paper, scratching off my tasks and getting things done. It’s been an obstacle, it’s been a handicap and I’ve had to learn many workarounds for over 60 years. I’m 70 and I’ve had great success as an artist, a musician, and now an author. Yeah, I’ve sold over 20,000 books worldwide. It’s a self-help book. It’s called Simply Revland: How to Succeed in Life Despite Yourself. Yeah, despite myself. And so I’ve had to learn many different little tools to find my way and weave my way around each day that is thrown at me.

Lindsay Guentzel (11:52):

Could you share some of them?

Steve Revland (11:54):

Some of my tools?

Lindsay Guentzel (11:55):


Steve Revland (11:57):

Well, every night before I go to bed, I make my list for the next day, and I try not to get too many tasks down because I don’t want to overwhelm myself. So as I complete those tasks, and I might say, “Okay, I’ll be doing this from 9:15 to 9:35, and then doing this from 9:35 to 10:10.” So it’s all done with the clock. And then I can tell if I’m getting ahead of myself because I am, and if I’m done with my tasks by four o’clock, then I’m done for the day and I can go golfing or something like that, or spend time in the garden or my grandkids.

Lindsay Guentzel (12:43):

So what happens if you miss a day? If you don’t do that list the night before?

Steve Revland (12:47):

Yeah. I don’t sweat it because I’ve led a charmed life. I’ve had numerous appearances on HGTV, and there’s just so many honors and awards that I’ve won through my work. So I’m at that age where most of my friends retired four years ago and they’re wondering what to do with themselves. And for me, I’ve got my studio in my backyard, so it takes me three seconds to get to work. Some days it takes me two, if it’s cold out. I’ll just kind of run to my shop door.


We have no mortgage. All the kids are gone and doing great things, and I have the opportunity to go in my shop every day and turn the music on and do a little dance and get at it for maybe five hours a day, and that’s about all I do. I have an art gallery in Downtown Fargo where I sell my work. I also sell my work on social media, which has been a boon for me.

Lindsay Guentzel (13:49):

I want to go back to that moment in the high school gymnasium. You open your diploma and you see it signed and you know that there is potential out there. There is something for you to achieve, to seek out. What happened next?

Steve Revland (14:07):

Well, at that time, I was a performing musician. So back in 1962, I was nine-years-old. I was playing guitar and singing Norwegian folk songs on a local variety TV show called Party Line. So at an early age my head got quite large through that, dealing with other adults as I’d enter their studio. And then they kept asking me back through the ’60s until my sophomore year in high school. So by that point I was going to be an entertainer. That’s what I wanted to do. And so in the early ’70s I would play the local college coffee houses and pubs, and I cut a record in 1974. That was my future.


And at that time, in 1974, I was kind of nurturing this woodworking idea. So eventually I had to decide, entertainer or furniture maker? Which is going to be best for me? And I’m glad I chose the furniture maker route because I’ve made thousands of pieces in the last 52 years and I still get to perform. So I perform once a year at my art gallery, and so I can still resurrect that old act from the ’70s, James Taylor and Neil Young and Bob Dylan, and fulfill that void in my life.

Lindsay Guentzel (15:40):

I love talking with you because you are the perfect example of what you think about when you think of the creative ADHDer, somebody who loves to perform, loves to be in front of a crowd, loves to make beautiful things. I’m wondering what it is about woodworking and furniture making that drew you in so early?

Steve Revland (16:04):

Probably the fact that it was the one class that I passed in high school. But I think too, in the mid-60s, my parents unwittingly allowed me to build a wood lathe in the basement using an old Maytag washing machine motor and some of Grandpa’s hand tools. I think it was 1966. I was 13. I was twirling spindles in the basement of Mom and Dad’s home, unbeknownst to them as they’re upstairs watching TV.


I think if they knew how dangerous that tool was, they would’ve put a stop to that immediately. But that is when I started to smell because the wood lathe, the spindle is spitting up the sawdust into your face and your nose and you’re smelling it and you’re tasting it. And so that’s when I had the first taste of woodworking. So that kind of stuck with me, once I got through this concept or this idea of being an entertainer, which is ridiculous. It’s a one in 20 million odds.

Lindsay Guentzel (17:09):

I’m wondering, when you look at your life and the ADHD, what have been some of the biggest struggles that stand out? And obviously you have numerous comorbidities that come alongside your ADHD, the Tourette’s, dyslexia, but what stands out for you specifically about how your brain works and how you have lived life with that?

Steve Revland (17:38):

Well, I always tell people that the right side of my brain is very active and the left side is kind of null and void. I wouldn’t trade my situation for anything because that right side of my brain is very active. The things that I do come so easily. I’m not good at cleaning my shop or organizing because of that lack of skill set that I have on the left side of my brain. But they’re also… Along with it, and it’s typical of a lot of us ADDers is drug addiction, alcoholism.


So I’m a recovering drug-addicted alcoholic, 32 years sober. So in 1988, I’m sorry, 1991, I went in for treatment and it’s been 32 years, but I had no intention of seeing 40 because life was hell. So since then is really when I’ve seen my success and continued my list-making in my notebooks, and I’ve got hundreds of them in my office bookshelf. I don’t have any books there. Well, I take that back. I have some books and it’s just all for show.

Lindsay Guentzel (19:00):

First off, congratulations. Sobriety of any kind for any amount of time is an incredible accomplishment. I’m wondering what it was about going into treatment at that moment that made it something you could actually stick with.

Steve Revland (19:19):

Well, how I got into treatment in the first place was, my phone rang. It was March 6th, on a Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock, and I was smoking a joint and having a beer. That’s what I did every day, all day. And the phone rang, and it was my 10-year-old son who I’d forgotten I actually had. His mother took him and moved to Wichita to get away from me when he was nine-months-old, but told me, “If you give him up for adoption to my husband, when he’s old enough I’ll let him call you.” And I said, “Well, when will that be?” She said, “Well, probably when he’s around 10.” So I got that phone call that morning, and he said, “Dad?” I said, “Ryan.” I’m just going, “Ryan, what the heck?” And then I knew. “Well, mom says I can come and see you this summer. Do you think that’s possible?” And I said, “Well, sure it is.”


So I hung up the phone and I just fell to my knees and I just totally lost it. Had a total breakdown, cried like a baby. Called my brother who was a psychologist in New York City, and I said, “Paul, I’m ready. What are you going to do for me?” So he made some phone calls, called up a TNI here in Fargo, and he said, “You’ve got an appointment in an hour.” So I drove there, drove around the block about five times before I had the nerve to go in, and went up there and sat down with Elaine and she said, “Well, inpatient, outpatient? What do you think you want to do?” And I said, “Well, if I can make it just a week without any withdrawals or DTs or anything like that, I’ll do outpatient because if I can make it a week, I’m home free.”


So she took me across the hallway to an AA meeting, and that’s where I started the process. But I got a sponsor that day, and he had been involved in AA for 16 years and never got his one-year medallion. So he relapsed every year, and I ended up being his sponsor because we did a flip-flop on that. But I learned soon that the odds of you relapsing are great if you can’t create enough contrast between your present life and your past life. So as I proceeded my contrast got wider and broader, and the idea of ever going back, I’d have to be a fool to do that. It took a week and I just said, “Wow, I’m home free.” You know, I had to shake the cobwebs. It took probably a year to get the cobwebs out and get my mojo back to create, but once I did, it was uphill with the wind.

Lindsay Guentzel (22:34):

It’s an incredible story. Thank you for sharing that. I’m curious, how many times had you and your brother Paul had the conversation about you seeking out sobriety?

Steve Revland (22:49):

Yeah, because he’s got five years on me. So there’s four siblings and we’ve got about 135 years of sobriety between the four of us. So that does run along blood lines in my family. But, yes, numerous times I went to visit him in New York and I remember going into his apartment and I lit up a joint and he said, “What the heck do you think you’re doing?” And I said, “Is this not okay?” And he said, “Of course not. I’m five years sober for God’s sake. What are you doing?” So he is still involved in AA, and after five years of me being involved, I just kind of got on with my life now. And occasionally I would go back to open meetings at the end of the month and tell my story for those newbies that are showing up, but the contrast had gotten so wide that I just didn’t need it anymore.

Lindsay Guentzel (23:47):

I’m wondering, in those moments following your sobriety, what were the most eye-opening moments for you?

Steve Revland (23:57):

Well, the ADHD and the dyslexia stuck around, so that’s something that I’ve always had to deal with. Like my dad always told me, he said, “Two things. Tell the truth because it’s much easier to keep track of.” There was so many lies and so many deceits during my years of drinking and drugging that the stories that came out of my mouth had a tendency to change because the truth wasn’t locked into my head. So, that became a joy knowing that what I spoke was the truth.


And then he also said, “Create a legacy for yourself, because if everyone lived that way, to create a legacy, the world would be a better place.” So since I got sober, that’s been my goal, is to create a legacy. And right now I feel like I’ve done that and I’ve written this book and I’ve had more emails and phone calls from mothers who have given this book to their kids. It’s also a book about sobriety, so I’ve had people share it with their family members who struggle, and I hope it’s helped a number of people.

Lindsay Guentzel (25:19):

In the day-to-day life that you’ve created for yourself and all of the things that you get to do that you love, when you look at it, where do you see yourself thriving? What is going exactly the way that you want it to?

Steve Revland (25:33):

I guess I look at it as, 31 years ago I put together a little snowball and rolled it down the hill, and by the time it got to the bottom of the hill, it had picked up enough snow to create a large snowman ball. And it’s been just a gradual progression of success. But I’ve just been obsessed with success, and I think right now I’m more obsessed with giving back to the community that raised me and tolerated me. I’m glad both my mom and dad lived into their late 90s and they were able to see, because I put them through hell, but they were able to see the success and the fruits of my labor. But I worked really hard. If I couldn’t pick up a book on woodworking and learn how to be a woodworker, I had to, just through trial and error.


I continued to learn every day. I plan on doing this until I tip over, and I could be doing this for another 20 years. I’ll be 90, but my wife says, “You’re 70 going on 18.” And that’s the beauty of being an artist, is we age chronologically, but we remain children all of our lives. The only time I act like an adult is when I’m either communicating with one like you, Lindsay, or anyone else at my art gallery. If folks come in, I’ll have to act like an adult. But normally during the day when I’m alone in my shop, I’m a child. It’s a blessing.

Lindsay Guentzel (27:19):

Let’s talk about your woodworking and furniture making.

Steve Revland (27:23):


Lindsay Guentzel (27:24):

Tell me about it. Describe it to me.

Steve Revland (27:26):

Well, in the early to mid-’70s, I was just flying by the seat of my pants, just making a lot of mistakes, and my design work was hard. So I had learned the art of woodworking first, the joinery techniques and things like that. And then design came second. Design didn’t really come until the ’80s. That’s when I spent a month in Greenwich Village in SoHo where my sister Kathy lives, and I visited the art deco furniture stores and furniture shops and art galleries. And I came back to Fargo just lit, lit on fire about art deco, that art deco movement. So for about five or six years, that’s about all I did, was art deco tables and then started making chairs. And I have a signature chair that I was blessed to feature on HGTV back in 1999, and had a limited edition of that piece of 75.


And so I’ve made 75 of those, and they’re all gone. Jumping forward to today, I make on average about 60 pieces a year, a little more than one per week, and I’ll probably continue that pace as long as I have my health and I still have all my fingers and my thumbs. The table’s always been my friend because it can quickly end that friendship in the click of a button. So it’s been a long process, but it gets easier every year that goes by because these pictures of tables show up in my head. I can maybe make some scribbles on a napkin or in my notebook, and then I just go out in my shop and away we go.

Lindsay Guentzel (29:30):

I love it, and I love that you still have all of your fingers because one thing we know with ADHD is that some of us can be accident-prone. So how do you manage that in a shop where your brain is all over the place and you’re so excited to be there, but there’s a lot of really dangerous stuff that can cause a lot of damage?

Steve Revland (29:54):

Right. I have a deep respect for two tools in particular. That’s my table saw and my jointer planer. So before I turn that button on on that tool, I take a deep breath and I know the danger. And when you consider how many cuts I’ve made on that table saw, it’s thousands and thousands in the last 52 years. And many times I’ve felt the breeze of that blade next to my thumb as it creeps by the blade within an eighth of an inch because I trust that tool and it trusts me. It’s become one of my best friends. But, yes, I do feel the breeze many times as I know that I’m making a narrow cut and my fingers are finding their way past that 20,000 RPM blade twirling around, making lots of noise.

Lindsay Guentzel (31:03):

Well bless you, man.

Steve Revland (31:05):

I’ve got a streak going as well, so I want to keep that alive. It’s like I’ve got a streak of not drinking. I want to keep that alive. So my intention is another 20 years of crafting art furniture, so I’d like to make it 20 years and then write another book about my 70-year career as a furniture maker, still having 10 fingers intact attached to my wrists. Oh, my. What a life.

Lindsay Guentzel (31:44):

Be a great way to go out.

Steve Revland (31:45):

Yeah, it would.

Lindsay Guentzel (31:48):

So speaking of these next 20 years, but we don’t have to go that far, I’m wondering what’s giving you hope right now? What is something in life that’s pushing you forward?

Steve Revland (31:59):

Well, I don’t need the money. I’m on social security and Medicare, so I’m taken care of. I’ve made it this far. So what’s pushing me forward now is mentoring other young artists. Doesn’t have to be a woodworker because there’s not many of us out there in the community, but there’s lots of painters and lots of potters, and I’ve gotten to know all of them. I’ve been in the gallery business for over four years, so that brings me probably more joy right now than the actual woodworking aspect of my life.


In fact, I lecture at the universities on entrepreneurism, and none of the universities have ever asked me for my scholastic credentials, thank goodness. But when I tell people this, and it’s in the book, that we have to laugh at that. Here’s this totally uneducated man, never read a book in his life, and here he’s lecturing at the universities. So my wife and I, every time I get in the car and go there, we have a good laugh. And she says, “If they only knew. If they only knew.”

Lindsay Guentzel (33:20):

You bring such an interesting dynamic to this conversation because ADHD wasn’t a thing when you were a boy, and I’m wondering what is something that you wish people knew or understood better about it and how it shows up in your life?

Steve Revland (33:39):

For me, it was just 12 years of scholastic hell, of being bullied and skipping school and just rebelling. Drugs and alcohol didn’t come into play until after high school, but it was, I would just say, for anyone who has been diagnosed that there are ways around it. And the way I’ve done it is through my note-taking. And the notes really helped me when I wrote my book because I had all of these years full of notes, scribbles that no one else could understand, because I never learned cursive.


I never learned cursives in school, and they let me print. I think I was one of the only students that they let me print. So I have printed all of my life. The only cursive is my name when I sign my checks, and so my notes are all handwritten printing and no one could understand it but me, because it’s like shorthand. It’s like my shorthand and only I can understand it.

Lindsay Guentzel (35:01):

You read that portion from the chapter in your book about seeing the therapist in 1976.

Steve Revland (35:09):


Lindsay Guentzel (35:09):

What do you remember from that conversation and what they talked about? Because what they describe in that passage is really kind of the structure needed to survive having ADHD.

Steve Revland (35:28):

Exactly. Right. He was a very smart man, and I remember our visits vividly. Even the words that I wrote. It just popped into my head, and I think this is exactly what he said to me. But I think it was our second visit that he understood my problem, and that’s when he gave me this advice. He said, “I’d like you just to go home today, and tonight make a list of what you want to achieve tomorrow.” Because at the time I was just starting my woodworking career and I had no idea what I was doing. So he said, “I think you could help yourself, just making a list. Start small, start easy on yourself. And if you do this, I’m not going to guarantee it, but it’ll certainly help.” And for 50 some years, this is how I’ve done it, and I wouldn’t change anything.

Lindsay Guentzel (36:41):

Steve, this was such a lovely conversation. I’m so grateful for your time and your vulnerability and sharing your story, and I love your outlook on life and your ability to be honest about really tough stuff that you went through. But on the same page, you are so optimistic and full of life, and I think it’s really nice to see somebody be able to come out on the other end and find that. So thank you for sharing that with us.

Steve Revland (37:18):

Thanks, Lindsay.

Lindsay Guentzel (37:26):

To have written a book but to never have read one is quite the accomplishment in life, and it feels very fitting for someone as spirited as Steve Revland. I love an interview subject who keeps me on my toes, and Steve did just that, adding more credence to one of my favorite sayings, “Age is just a number.” It’s clear that in all of the time in his workshop crafting his beautiful furniture pieces, Steve has logged many, many hours getting to know himself. His self-awareness is incredibly powerful, and his openness about his faults and struggles is clearly something he has great ease carrying through life.


Talking with Steve was also a bit like taking a time machine back into ADHD history. The notebook workaround that his psychologist shared with him in the ’70s to record and write things down so he didn’t forget the very things that brought him value was a tool that clearly did exactly what it was supposed to do, keep him from bouncing off the walls that were starting to close in on him. I love that even with all the technological advances that we have today, he keeps it old school with pen and paper. Hearing the story of that phone call from his son, the call he was waiting for, but likely didn’t expect to happen, that was a moment that I will carry with me forever.


Addiction has taken away a lot of beautiful things in my own life, and to know what Steve went through that day and to overcome something he thought would always control him is really special. It’s full of hope, something that can often be missing when a person is struggling with addiction. It is important that we acknowledge the connection between ADHD and addiction. While there is no direct link, there are studies that show higher rates of addiction issues for people with ADHD, a rate of about 25% more than people without the disorder. So if there is no direct link, why are the rates of addiction higher for people with ADHD?


Researchers believe a couple of things. First, people with ADHD are more likely to self-medicate, especially because they struggle to understand their symptoms. Second, ADHD can cause a person to seek out thrills and mood-altering substances often fall into this category. I’m so grateful to Steve for sharing his story with us here on Refocused, Together. I’ve included links in the show notes to Steve’s book, Simply Revland: How to Succeed in Life Despite Yourself, as well as links to learn more about his furniture and studio in Fargo. We’ve also included a handful of links that dive further into the connection between ADHD and addiction.


Thank you all so much for listening. We have four down and so many to go. To catch all of the 31 stories this month, make sure to subscribe to Refocused wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also learn more about Refocused, Together at adhdonline.com/refocusedtogether. Support for Refocused comes from our partner, ADHD Online, a telemedicine mental healthcare company that provides affordable and accessible ADHD assessments and treatment plans. To learn how they can help you on your journey, head to adhdonline.com and remember to use the promo code Refocused20 to receive $20 off your ADHD online assessment right now.


The biggest thanks go out to our team at ADHD Online, Keith Boswell, Suzanne Spruit, Melanie Mile, Claudia Gotti, and Tricia Merchant Dunny for their constant support in helping make Refocused, Together happen. These 31 episodes were produced thanks to our managing editor Sarah Platanitis, our production coordinator, Phil Roderman, social media specialist and editor Al Chaplin, and me, the host and executive producer of Refocused, Lindsay Guentzel. To connect with the show on social media, you can find us online at Refocused Pod, and you can email a show directly [email protected]. That’s [email protected].

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