I can’t begin to tell you how many blogs I’ve started this year and just hadn’t finished. I suppose we can add all the things I quickly took interest just as quickly as I’d gained it to that list.
And it’s finally all coming together and making so much sense. So much is making sense.
Over the summer, one of the things that I added to my TikTok FYP were different therapists. I enjoyed getting the mental health advice. And I began noticing more things coming up in the feed regarding ADHD.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about ADHD at all before this summer. I had my assumptions in my head, and that it was something that impacted chidlren but wasn’t so much in adults.
But I quickly realized how wrong I was, and how many adults not only live with this, but often go undiagnosed.
Some of the struggles or quirks that you don’t think any different of aren’t normal. And the more these people came onto my feed, the more I realized this is something that explains so much about me – and the things I struggle with that I assumed was my fault.
The biggest is my inability to stop. I don’t quite understand wha tit means to completely relax or say no. Sometimes when someone starts talking to me, I say “what,” even though I heard them, but there’s a delay in my head and it takes a second for me to comprehend what’s been said. Other times, I feel incredibly overwhelmed when I have a full plate, which is a pretty regular occurrence.
Then there is the completely drained feeling I get after I’m in meetings or go to a social function. Or the impending dread I feel when I have plans. I want to see people. I love the people around me. And yet at times (not currently thanks to COVID), having plans or commitments often put a damper on my day, week, etc.
I’m also impulsive, which probably comes to a surprise to some, because I’m often praised for the level of patience I have. Although I’ve learned what I’m doing is “masking” how I really feel. I’m impulsive in a variety of ways. Like if I get an idea, I jump all in. If I want to go somewhere, if I don’t have any commitments, I’m out the door. If I want something, I buy it. And when it can’t happen, even if I can look okay on the outside, on the inside, it feels like I’m on fire. I often struggle with mundane tasks or following instructions. For things like like building IKEA furniture, cooking, standing in line… it’s a struggle. For the most part, I bottle it in, but it is a struggle.
And then there are other things I’ve struggled with my entire life. Like math. Oh my God, my entire life it’s been such a struggle with math. In grade school, I would take my math tests twice – once with the class and then the other after school, and spent more time with my teacher to try to learn the lesson plans. In college, I had to fail every math class to pass it. And passing it with a C+ was major for me. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s like everything goes blank. I have to use a calculator for even basic math. Having to do things off the top of my head, or to give change, is a struggle. I always thought I just wasn’t smart enough. But I mean, I excelled in everything else – making the Dean’s list several times in college.
All of these things and so much more I’ve realized aren’t failures on my part. It’s not that I’m not smart. It’s not that I’m a bad person.
I’m just an adult living with ADHD.
The issue with the delayed comprehension when people talk to me is auditory processing disorder.
The overwhelming feeling I get when I don’t know where to begin is executive dysfunction.
My struggles with math are from dyscalculia.
When I get serious and drilled in on something, losing time without realizing it, is being hyperfocused.
All of these things and more are all symptoms of ADHD. And when I spoke with a doctor recently, she confirmed it. I think this was just the first step of something that might be life altering. I don’t quite understand what I’m in for. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that what I experience on a normal basis isn’t normal at all. And the fact that there are things that can help me in my day to day is something I’m pretty excited about.
More to come…