Breakthrough Solutions

for Attention Deficit Disorder Adults

Bonnie Mincu

Senior Certified ADHD Coach

Get Training, Strategies and Insights:

Who drives your ADHD brain?

If your brain were a car…

My friend Melanie is the poster child for someone who is clearly NOT ADD.

She has long-term goals and works every day to reach them. Her house is always in perfect order, she keeps a little notebook in her purse with daily checklists, and she spends her weekends doing home improvement.

All this, and she still manages to have fun, travel, and relax.

Melanie’s brain’s natural tendency is to plan ahead and be organized. If her brain were a car, I’m pretty sure a “Steady Eddie” would be at the wheel.

In other words, Steady Eddie is the type of person who consults a map before heading out, fills up the tank, keeps his eyes on the road, gets regular oil changes, and makes sure the car is always clean, inside and out.

As someone with ADD/ADHD, that is not always true for me.

We adults with ADD/ADHD have a unique cast of characters in our brains at any given time. And there will always be times when a more dysfunctional character wants to take the wheel. When that happens, they leave Steady Eddie at the curb!

Car? We need a whole BUS!   

Which character drives YOUR bus?

Do any of these descriptions resonate with you?

  • Disorganized Derek never clears the old candy wrappers off the front seat and forgets to write down the address of where he’s going.
  • Impatient Iggy can’t stand waiting in traffic and has gotten numerous tickets for driving on the shoulder and speeding.
  • Emotional Emma cringes in shame when she remembers the time she accidentally cut someone off and got yelled at in the middle of downtown. In fact, she’s avoided driving on that street ever since.
  • Helpless Hannah feels lost and just drives around in circles for hours, rather than asking for help.
  • Overwhelmed Oscar gets so many directions for how to get to his destination that his brain shuts down. So instead of driving, he pulls over and plays video games.
  • Whiny Winnie never feels like stopping to get gas; it’s just too boring! Winnie has run out of gas on the road more than once.
  • Critical Calvin is a back-seat driver. He criticizes everyone else’s driving, reminds them of every ticket and fender-bender, and announces all the reasons why you shouldn’t go at all.

If a bus were a metaphor for your brain, which of these characters would most often drive YOUR thoughts and behavior?

That’s important to know, because your main characters influence what most likely derails you, time after time. And identifying them is the first step toward developing strategies or solutions that will work for you.

I’m designing more training and resources to help your brain (and life!) run more smoothly, and I’d love your help. I want to create programs and solutions that address your specific needs as an adult with ADD/ADHD. I’ve created a quiz to get your input into what you need most from me.

Click here to take this QUICK QUIZ to find out who YOUR drivers are!

What was the last thing you couldn't get yourself to do? What character was in charge?

Please SHARE!


Author: Bonnie Mincu
Senior Certified ADHD Coach, Founder of "Thrive with ADD," Bonnie has been coaching adults with ADD / ADHD traits since 2001. She has developed numerous training programs to help with the challenges of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.


    I am a plein air painter from Monkton, Maryland who participates in numerous juried competitions in different locations over the spring to fall season. Your “car/driver” analogy cuts a little too close to the bone! I have to pack my SUV usually for a week’s travel–nice clothes, clothes to paint in, sunscreen, bug spray, foul-weather gear, all my outdoor painting supplies and gear, canvases, frames for the final show, framing kit, “journey” food, gifts for my host family, directions and paperwork, my GPS loaded with painting sites information,my phone loaded with event contacts, computer and chargers, etc & etc.

    I do this every couple of weeks starting in April until October. I rarely forget anything important, but usually am missing something. This time it was my “special rock” that I use to keep my plein air rig from blowing away and my hat clip that keeps my hat anchored on my head when the wind blows–really not too bad. the downsides are that I have never learned to pack economically–if I think I might need it, in it goes– and the car is a trash heap by day 2 of my journey.. I have friends who can do the same thing in a Mini-Cooper and I have an SUV! I am always promising myslef I will pre-order lightweight frames, not bring 15 canvases to be stamped when I might only need 6 or 8, and not bring every tube of paint I own. But…

    Ha, Claudia — YOUR comment hits close to the bone for me! I’m a painter as well, and that ADD tendency to take everything I own because “I might need it” is so strong! What’s worked for me on painting trips is to re-read the leader’s guidelines for what to bring and follow it exactly. If there are no guidelines (or it’s up to you to set your own), you could make yourself a PAINTING TRIP CHECK-LIST and follow it every time.

    Did you download the Packing Check-List from my previous post about packing? Create something similar for your painting trips that includes all those little extras that you mentioned. Then just print it out for each trip.

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Bonnie, there are no words to express how deeply I’ve been affected by your blog! I’ve only read a few things, but they have created such a complete mind shift that the tears shed have washed away my struggles forever!

For the first time in my life I feel understood and hopeful that I can put some tools and systems in place to help me overcome!”

—Michelle near Seattle

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Find out what's REALLY stopping you with free "Procrastination Tree" Tool for Adult ADD / ADHD.