So, at the tail end of Neurodiversity Awareness Week, and I am just writing this now! Those who know, love or work with ADHDers or are ADHD will be smiling and giggling at the irony of my procrastination and last minute action!
Probably you aren’t aware, and I was diagnosed with Combined ADHD and Dyslexic tendencies last year. Just a bit of a shock, but I had been searching for a “reason” for how I was for a very long time. I don’t think my story is very different from others diagnosed later in life.
Has it changed me? I am still the same person but with knowledge and support for a condition whose symptoms meant that I frustrated colleagues, managers and employees with my lack of organisation and time management (@simon Doster – thanks for the 3-day course on time management – a game changer for me!) and distractability. From school to work, it is seen as a failing, a problem with attitude and behaviour to work, lack of motivation (actually, this one is correct!) and something that I should be able to improve if I focused and “applied myself”. That all was very demoralising, painful and embarrassing. I felt like a failure, and I was in the world of work I was in.
Everyone can identify with the symptoms of ADHD. We all experience them. It is simply that ADHD people have all the symptoms all of the time.
I got medicated! I go to work on Speed every day! I am not speeding; however, I can feel my brain relax when it kicks in. The effect is different for all. It helps me focus and ignore distractions that would pull my attention. Overall, I am not experiencing fatigue, and I can function about 4 hours longer than I used to.
Medication is not the answer. It is supportive – we need to work hard on strategies.
It is a bugger. There is a massive dichotomy in how ADHD affects (me). It is known that we function better with structure and organisation. What does the ADHD Brain reject? Structure and Organisation! Catch 22 every day of our lives.
Anyone who has a late diagnosis actually goes through a grieving period.
I grieved for all the impulsive decisions @colin Cameron – working for “that woman”.
I grieved for my addiction to alcohol (ADHD are highly likely to be addicts)
I grieved for my failed relationships.
I grieved for my University career being cut short because I £forgot” to apply for a particular course.
I grieved for being coerced into situations I didn’t want to be in.
I grieved for my misunderstood poor work performance
I grieved for all the money I wasted, lost or failed to manage.
That is the downside of being the way I am; what is the upside?
Ideas, ideas, ideas, ideas!
Ability to create alternative, original solutions.
F3*k am I excellent in a crisis
I have a very high processing speed in my brain, so I am faster at “getting there” than most. As @Bob collins said about me, “Suzie, you have all the solutions, however you need to take people with you.” That’s tough if you simply don’t know how you got there. You just did.
Hyper Focus – if it is interesting, I am all over it for hours and hours.
The above has made me an entrepreneur, and my experience has led me to hire a team that complimented my skills. So all good.
For me, the diagnosis is Freedom, Knowledge and Peace.