When I was diagnosed with ADHD at 50 years of age, I did question if there was any point in knowing? Any point in looking at medication or support?
So, perhaps a little oddly for someone who can tick the stereotypical ADHD box of impulsivity with a big, bold highlighter, I held off on doing anything with the diagnosis for some months.
A few months ago, though, I made the decision to add in some medication and here is what I found.
I found pride in myself.
Not a hashtag or a new group to belong to, just simple “I feel good about myself just as I am” pride.
Sure, my brain is wired a little differently.
One of my longest serving team mates, Melody McNulty, lovingly refers to me as a glitter bomb.
It has drummed up some cracking ideas and launched them at full pace.
It has even created and completed some great work.
More frequently, though, it has created and not completed.
ADHD looked like outward success in career and submitting work right on the deadline as the clock ticks down to the last second.
Or a confident presentation at work, followed by weeks of self-incrimination of all that I should have done better.
A great meeting, followed by leaving the meeting with my handbag hanging on the chair, only to realise hours later, it is missing and many kilometres away.
Every day, my brain would remind me, just in case I overlooked it, of all I was getting wrong in life.
It was noisy in a way that would inevitably impact my behaviour too, and despite appearances, would send my confidence to the bottom of my life’s dirty laundry pile.
Diagnosis & Medication
Receiving the ADHD diagnosis and then adding medication has given me space to understand myself.
It has brought me peace.
Practically, the medication has given me focus that has sent my productivity through the roof. Just like one of our graduates, Glenn Brearey, who describes ADHD as his super power!
And it has quietened my mind in a rewarding way.
I am still capable of launching a glitter bomb but I am much more likely to hit the target.
The self-critical chatter has been sent away too.
Randall has noticed the change in me. You can read his thoughts here.
I explain it simply as this: for the first time in my adult life, I feel good about myself.
It’s ADHD Awareness month in October.
Pre-diagnosis, I didn’t know why I seemed to not ever quite fit, but I worked hard to hide it.
Post-diagnosis, post-treatment, I have flipped towards giving people the opportunity to be aware of what ADHD looks like in practical ways in my day by sharing with them the things that previously I hid.
I am not making excuses or needing anything in return – just explaining how I am going to operate at my best.
Being open with the Churchill Team about the diagnosis and adding in medication has been returned with great acceptance, mischief and encouragement.
My awareness has helped their awareness.
Perhaps by sharing here, it will help your awareness too, with a little extra glitter thrown in for good measure.
Co-Founder & Director