Updated: Jul 20, 2022
I was diagnosed at 40 after I googled the term ‘Why am I procrastinating myself to death’.
Not a widely searched term, but, I not only found an answer to my question ... I found a start to my new life. And so, during ADHD awareness month, I decided to share my story on my social media and it was a bit like this....
Right, back to my Google search……
I found lost of posts and articles about women with ADHD. Actual grown ups with families not naughty little boys running around classrooms (come on that’s what everyone without any understanding of this condition thinks of at first but it’s a MASSIVE stereotype!)
I couldn’t stop reading the information I found about how ADHD presents in different ways, particularly in females, it was incredibly surprising and eye opening on one hand, whilst being extremely comforting and familiar on the other.
The information alluded to the fact that I could have an 'interest based nervous system', explained for the first time why I was able to fixate on one project or subject, for hours at a time, spotting and recalling every detail, whilst not being able to recall the details of a conversation I'd had that morning.
If someone is in hyperfocus they may appear distracted and disinterested in anything else going on. And often need time to TRANSITION back into their environment afterwards.
(but in true ADHD style, I’ve digressed! )
For the first time in my lonely world I was reading account after account from people who sounded just like me. Forgetful, impulsive, hyper sensitive, anxious women who’s over active minds created a world of scattered focus and a crippling inability to fulfil their potential, (or even to finish a task) whilst all drowning in clutter and despair. The tears started to flow as I read the list of ‘probable history of...’ eating disorders, addiction issues, chronic fatigue, bi-polar. I ticked every box. How could all of these things be linked to one condition? Was I not broken after all?!
Not knowing WHY you are different, but being certain you are…. And ‘failing at normal’ on a daily basis, is a really painful existence. I’d spent years feeling like I was watching the world from behind a glass screen. Enduring my existence and trying to numb my loneliness, masking my condition hoping no one would notice how shit I was!
Each time my best intentions had gone out the window, yet again, or my impulsivity had meant I’d let those I care about down in some way... my sense of self depleted that little bit more. Years of constantly being told I wasn’t trying hard enough or words to that effect meant by the time I found my answer I was on the brink of giving up trying completely.
Whilst my diagnosis hasn’t changed my past, simply understanding all the impacts that my undiagnosed ADHD has had on my existence to date has given me a new take on life. I could finally approach the world with the self acceptance and forgiveness that we ALL really need for any kind of personal growth.
The effects and symptoms of this condition are so wide reaching and diverse that we need to raise awareness to help people get correctly diagnosed sooner, end the isolation and feeling of failure that so many undiagnosed adults are facing on a daily basis.
I’m going to share more information about my ADHD and the impact it’s had on my life in the hope someone can recognise the struggle and get their own peace as a result. So if you have any questions I am happy to answer them.