Bare with me as I try to put my thoughts down in this post. And I think this might be a little long. Yesterday morning I had an evaluation that verified something I have suspected recently. And while I knew deep down it was true, having it vocalized and made official was a bit overwhelming. I needed a day to process and to grieve. My first thoughts were shame and I immediately wanted to hide this information … but I did share it with a few close friends who knew about my evaluation. Their love and support have given me the strength to share with you what I now know. I have ADHD.
A few weeks ago some things happened at work that bothered me. For not the first time, I was told that I monopolized discussions, I was overly detailed, I talked too much, etc, etc. My first instinct was anger but quickly those feelings turned to discouragement, depression, etc. Once again I was reminded that something was wrong with me, that I was bad, that I didn’t “fit” the mold. Two days later I was in an ADHD support group here on Facebook that I joined to get understanding to help my Caroline with her diagnosis of ADHD and as I read the list of “weaknesses of ADHD” I realized that I possessed more than half of the list. I googled “Adult ADHD” and after reading one list of “symptoms” I decided to call my primary care physician and discuss it. It was recommended to me that I should contact the Attention Disorders Clinic and make an appointment. That call was not easy, but I did it and made an appointment. After filling out paperwork for an hour and a half prior to the appointment and then going to an hour evaluation it was verified that yes I did indeed have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Not ready to go back to reality after the appointment I went to Walmart and wandered the store trying to let my brain take in all I was feeling and thinking. I kept thinking, “Why did it take so long to figure this out?” I questioned how my life would be different, etc, etc. About 10 minutes into my shopping, I ran into an acquaintance who reached out and said hello. We started to talk. She asked about my children and told me how much she loves seeing their pictures on Facebook and how she is amazed at all I do. It was a nice chat and I am glad that she topped me. When we finished I paid for my purchase and decided to head back to work. As I sat in my car, I realized that even without knowing that I had this “disorder” I had still done some amazing things.
This diagnosis doesn’t change who I am, it will just change how I deal with it. This knowledge has given me a toolbox of resources and access to understanding so that I can find peace with myself. I now know why I talk so fast, why my mind wanders, why I bring the conversation to something that popped in my mind and don’t always hear what you are saying, why I always struggled in high school because I would do my homework but leave it at home, why I struggle with housework and can’t seem to complete any projects I start in a timely manner. I know can stop hating myself and beating myself up for things I have never been able to control, no matter how hard I have tried.
I shared my news with oldest daughter and she smiled at me and said, “You are like me!” Yes, my sweet girl, you and I are more alike than we thought.
To my friends and family who have stood by me even when it appeared I didn’t care as much as I should have or didn’t judge me for my chaos because they knew I was trying every day to do the best I could. THANK YOU!
Now on to a journey of self-discovery, awareness, and a whole lot of growing and working to be better and happier with myself.
P.S. I asked for advice in a group for women with ADHD and one woman shared this as part of her advice and it just hit home.