I always knew I was different. When I was a child, I knew the answers before the other kids did, but I wasn’t confident enough to raise my hand. I was two steps ahead of the lesson. I stared out the classroom window and got lost in the trees, but I always came back and didn’t miss a beat. But, I couldn’t concentrate on the homework or the teacher’s monotonous voice long enough to hear what she was saying. Boring was painful.
I never ever wanted to have a stamp on my forehead (or in my mind), that something in my brain was not wired the same as most other people. I’d go back and forth between confidence (I knew that answer) and insecurity (why can’t I comprehend what I’m reading?).
Up until two years ago when my article went viral, and I became an ADHD Coach; I went back and forth between accepting the label of ADHD and denying its existence. Since then, I’ve owned my ADHD, the difficulties it brings and also the blessings. It’s a balance between two forces that I’ve learned to accept.
I also know that as long as I manage my ADHD, I can succeed. Yes, it’s still hard (on some days, it’s impossible) to finish a writing assignment if my emotions are intense, or if negative thoughts are cycling through my mind. But, I know myself, and I know what works for me. I know to respect my brain wiring and to work with it, not against it.
But now looking back, I wonder how much more I could have achieved had I known how to manage my ADHD earlier than I did. I love all my different careers that I jumped into without knowing what I was doing. I love all the adventures it brought me. No regrets, just wonder and gratitude for all I continue to achieve.
Tell me in the comments, how do you manage your ADHD? What would you like to achieve that you’re not going after? What stops you from chasing your dream?
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June, you continue to floor me with your descriptions of how I feel!
My current career is demanding. It requires diagnostics, which I do very well. It requires planning which I do well initially, but it gets difficult as new items enter the spectrum.
The tool I use most is what I affectionately call “breadcrumbs.”. I leave myself hints an reminders, of all sorts, everywhere I can. It may be the way I place something an item on my desk, or simply marking an email as unread. Some from the outside, looking at my organization, think it’s a mess or nonsensical, but it is how I manage.
Hey Matt! Thank you so much for this awesome comment. This is why I love writing about ADHD Thanks for sharing your cool reminder system. I’m going to try it. I love the “breadcrumbs” concept. It’s also nice to know that ADHDers can have important jobs. I really appreciate that you took the time to let me know. ps… your dog is gorgeous and adorable. I love seeing his pics. Can I post this comment? Thanks again!