I have ADHD
It’s been almost a year since my ADHD diagnosis.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on ADHD. I try to read a couple of articles a day on the topic to learn more about myself, the functionality of my brain, and a couple of my children. In fact, I was reading an article the other day that I didn’t relate to at all. As I was sharing this with my therapist, I chuckled, “Maybe I don’t actually have ADHD.”
Looking at me warmly and seriously, she dimpled and rebutted, “No. You definitely do.”
It’s been an interesting journey, being diagnosed in my 40s. I used to be one of those people who erroneously believed ADHD was one of those catch all diagnoses used to medicate little boys who shouldn’t be sitting still all day long in a classroom anyway. I still do think that it’s overdiagnosed and overmedicated, but studies back up my belief that ADHD veritably is a real thing. I’m learning to accept that my brain really does work differently than the other 96% of the population.
Unquestionably, being diagnosed with ADHD has given me a lot of freedom, and the ability to give myself more grace. I used to wonder why I couldn’t seem to get my act together or manage life in a way that other people seemed to be able to, or why this way of working appeared impossible for me, when it came so easily to others. I used to berate myself for these perceived lacks. Now I can say to myself, “My brain doesn’t work that way, but I can think of ways to succeed in the ways my brain does work.”
It helps me understand why I approach life the way I do.
Knowing I have ADHD lets me accept how I am, to know that I might do it differently, and to feel positive that my way works too.
It’s harder, because we don’t live in a world that is designed for my way of thinking, but I now can realize that, and accommodate myself.
I can look at all the gifts that come with having ADHD, and be thankful that I know now why I function the way I do.
This is part of a series Jessica is writing for October, ADHD Awareness Month. What questions would you like to have her answer?
photo by Giraffe Photography