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.
You know when you’ve just wasted an hour and then you look back and suddenly stop and think, wait a second, what the HECK am I actually doing? This happens a lot to me. And, to be honest, losing only an hour of my day isn't actually that bad. It's been worse, particularly in my "pre-Concerta days".
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.
I wanted to create a site that gives me the capability to have frequent guest bloggers on here. This means you!
For a while now, I've been trying to think of ways that I can create a platform where females with ADHD can share their own stories and experiences.
So.... (drumroll, please)
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.
Without consciously focusing on the podcast (everything outside the window was too interesting), I became aware that, in just a few minutes, I was already entirely invested in the story and was desperate to continue listening to hear the story's resolution.
When you read, you need to concentrate. You need to process what you have just read and need to know when to turn the page. You need to re-read the words when you miss something. And you need the willpower to ignore your surroundings.
With a podcast, you don’t.
Sometimes it can be difficult to move forward from a setback. Over the past few weeks, I've had bad anxiety (as I've mentioned here before). This time it was caused by a few changes in my medication. At times I felt so bad, I thought seriously about deleting this site.
Poll: Have you told your boss about your ADHD? Do you think it's important that other people know about it? Vote here and share your thoughts.
It can actually feel relaxing to be engrossed or even obsessed with the act of researching everything I can about this new life decision. It lets me escape from the anxiety and racing thoughts that come with everyday life. I used to actively seek out new opportunities (degrees, jobs, trips) online, just to have something to help me feel better and get super excited about.
The problem is that I can't keep my mouth shut. Before I know it, I've told everyone I meet about my great new life plan! It's just too exciting!
At times, I go to the cinema when I’ve got hyperfocus — my primary ADHD symptom, in which I can’t stop focussing on a single idea for days or weeks (or even months) at a time. Yes, sometimes people with ADHD can focus too much. Go look it up! It's a real thing!
WARNING: Do not go see a movie when you have hyperfocus, especially when that focus is on something like moving to America, or writing a blog about ADHD(!), or something else that really requires hours of scouring the internet for ideas. On these days, the movie is a lost cause. All I can think about is that thing I've got on my mind. I feel like I'm too busy to watch the movie because I'm supposed to be doing that other thing.
The problem with writing about ADHD from a first-hand perspective is that, I actually have to try to write with ADHD. I also have anxiety — something that is slowly improving, but not completely. Yesterday was an “Anxiety Day”.
Someone (online) said something that annoyed me. It wasn’t particularly mean and, to many of you, it will seem so insignificant that you will even question why I bothered writing about it. Strangely, the criticism was about my posts on Google+.
First of all, let me tell you, I am totally new to Google+. When I say I’m new, I don’t mean I’ve been there for a few weeks or even days. We’re talking hours here, people. After signing up, Google+ began to take me on a little tour of how to use it. Of course, having ADHD, I ignored all the instructions. “Get to the point already! I don’t have time for this!”
Although I have only recently been diagnosed with ADHD, I’ve always felt like something has been inhibiting me since I was young. Only now, at the age of 28, has it been recognised as a real-life condition that requires real-life medication and real-life doctors’ appointments.
Knowing that “my crazy personality” has a name has made a huge difference. Bear in mind, I totally understand why some people prefer to steer clear of medication and that’s great too! After all, everyone is different.
Okay, you got me - blogging is not entirely new for me.
Over the last decade, I started a blog about linguistics. A blog about copywriting. A blog about learning corpus linguistics. A blog about learning Arabic. A blog about politics - don't even ask about the last one. I truly don't know. My main problem is that I possessed a certain lack of enthusiasm after day one of each new thing.