It’s easy to say that I’m often happiest living out of some sort of bag. I’ve written on my blog that I am happiest in movement, in flight, in some degree of chaos—traits probably true of many with ADHD. I do weekend trips to the cabin from May through early October without much thought to packing—my asthma (and ADHD!) meds, some clothes, pens and notebooks, iPad and colouring books, the usual stuff. I do that all without much thought, throwing everything into a duffel bag or hiking backpack in a matter of minutes. It’s practically habit.
Talking about impostor syndrome and the feelings you are experiencing is one way to bring it to the surface. Without sharing, the feelings of failure can lead to isolation, anxiety and low self-confidence, shame and self-doubt.
Seek out a support network of people online or in your community – it only takes one person to have the courage to start the conversation. The more we share our inner vulnerabilities, the more we discover that we’re not alone and can talk through situations and solutions.
What is it about navigating the airport that is such a struggle for us Smart Girls? Planning and executing your trip takes coordination, organization, time management, and blocking out distractions, all of which are a challenge for us with brains that have ADHD characteristics.
I am a clutterer. I hate clutter. It is distracting. But it seems to follow me everywhere I go. Clutter is delayed decision-making. Clutter is piles of potential projects and schemes. Clutter is a physical representation of procrastinating undesirable activities.
I got to a point in my life that my clutter was paralyzing me. My house was becoming non-functional as a result: boxes of papers that I needed to "go through and file", but that I never would; dozens of failed organizational systems that, in the moment, I was sure would solve all my problems; half-finished projects; newsletter clippings; magazines that I would recycle as soon as I finished reading them; pictures, notes, recipes, and important legal documents all mushed together.
I finally had an epiphany that stuck.
I cannot manage the volume of paper in my life.
When I was growing up, girls didn’t really get diagnosed with ADHD. Everyone just thought I was talkative and liked to be the center of attention. Which wasn’t not true. Later, though, I learned from a brain scan, that talking appeared to be how my brain activated my prefrontal cortex. In normal people terms, that means talking helped me focus.
Looking back, I think I was the girl who talked a little (or a lot) too much, a little too loudly.
Yes, I have ADHD. Writing it down gives me shivers. I've known this for about two years now and I still haven't come to terms with it. Why? Because doctors don't get ill. We keep working when we are physically or mentally sick. Doctors don't go see doctors and certainly not psychiatrists. It is the irony itself. Amongst the people that treat all kinds of illnesses in the rest of the population illness itself is not accepted. Especially when it comes down to psychiatric conditions. You are weak when you admit you have a burn-out or suffer from depression. You are crazy when you tell you have autism or ADHD. It is just not accepted.