What if everything you always thought about yourself was wrong? So many of us create a narrative for ourselves based on how we are seen through other people’s eyes or how we fit into society. What if one day you were finally liberated from these old beliefs and you were free to see yourself as the person you truly are. It is life-changing to be able to give yourself grace and accept who you are, faults and all. It took 38 years, but that is what happened to me when I finally received an ADHD diagnosis later in life.
My ADHD Diagnosis
Being diagnosed with ADHD comes with a lot of emotions. Shock, disappointment, and the most surprising of them all -relief. It is still common to misdiagnose ADHD as depression or anxiety. My story, like many others, played out this way. When you spend years believing your emotional turmoil is depression but for some reason that diagnosis just doesn’t fit, you begin to think you are just crazy. Something feels wrong, but what? It is like wearing someone else’s clothes that just don’t fit right. Underachieving and struggling to keep up leads many women to give up or take on the persona of Whatever, I don’t give a shit. Our self-esteem plummets and we spend our days just trying to stay above water.
When I stumbled upon an article about how ADHD typically presents in women, I was shocked. It was the missing piece to my puzzle. I was eager to learn more and it led me to Sari Soden’s book, Women with Attention Deficit Disorder. As I read the book, I felt like I was seen for the first time. This book was a description of my life, It mapped out how my brain worked and the feelings I could never put into words. Finally, it was validation that I am not stupid or lazy but just misunderstood. Unfortunately, many women have similar experiences and spend most of their lives living with undiagnosed ADHD.
Looking to the Future
In my eyes, Attention Deficit Disorder is not a deficit but a gift. Some things are harder for me to do and I certainly don’t fit into what passes as normal, but I can accept that. I am learning to use my strengths to compensate for my weaknesses. Also, working with an ADHD coach has done wonders for my self-esteem, productivity, and has led me to strive for things I never thought could be possible.
What To Do if You Think You Might Have ADHD
- Read some books about ADHD and learn more about it. Here are some of the books that I recommend.
- Head over to ADDitudemag.com. They have so many amazing resources.
- Take a self-assessment. This is a great way to start and gives you an idea of what to say to your doctor.
- Schedule an evaluation. An psychiatrist, physician, or liscensed social worker can diagnose your ADHD, but make sure you find someone that specializes in diagnosing adult ADHD
- Watch videos or listen to podcasts. Here are some of my favorites
- Find an ADHD coach to work with. If you think you might have ADHD and you think you would benefit from coaching, don’t hesitate to reach out. I work with all individuals, no ADHD diagnosis required! You can schedule your free 15-minute consultation with me to learn more aobut how coaching can help you!