Smart Girls with ADHD

ADHD isn't one-size-fits-all

ADHD and Me

ADHDBeth Harvey2 Comments
ADHD AND ME Being diagnosed aged 28

Hello to you, dear reader. It seems as though you have found a blog post. Not just any blog post. My first blog post.

How you found this, I do not know.

Why you are reading this, I also do not know.

I do know, however, that reading my blog is (most likely) a brand new experience, for you and for me. It is definitely that for me. Whether it is new for you really depends on your ability to time-travel or re-read what I write. If it’s the prior, please meet me yesterday at 5.30pm and warn me not to make that grilled cheese sandwich I had been thinking about all day. It does not end well.

If it’s the latter, then thank you. That’s very lovely of you.

Now make a cup of tea, sit down and relax while I talk about myself.

In March 2015, I was (finally) diagnosed with having ADHD. The diagnosis took a while because, well, I’m smart. I have two linguistics degrees and a postgraduate diploma in software development. I work as a consultant. I travel a lot. I’ve lived in four countries. I read a lot of books – mostly non-fiction, and I listen to a lot of podcasts – mostly This American Life,Radiolab, and Meet The Composer. As a kid, I would invent my own languages and use these to write my diary in code. I’m a geek.

The problem was, I never thought I was smart. In fact, I saw myself as being quite stupid. My dad repeatedly told me “everyone is good at different things” and that “there will always be someone better than you at a particular thing” (my dad is pretty wise, by the way). He would always focus on my positives, telling me how proud he was – I was great at writing and spelling, could play the piano by ear, and could make friends easily.

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On the inside though, (and, in all honesty, the outside too) I was a mess: anxiety-ridden, forgetful, disorganised. I didn’t hand in homework on time for almost four years at school, but felt so bad about it that I used the puppy-dog-eyes/crying-in-front-of-my-entire-class technique to make the teacher give me extra time (how the heck did I get into university again?) I needed extra in-school tutoring in maths and was in the bottom class for almost all of my subjects. In hindsight, my quiet “good girl” persona and my (eventual) hard-work by my last year in school somehow got me through.

Later, I was terrible at almost every job I had – with absolutely no attention to detail, terrible listening skills, and the inability to concentrate on what I was doing for more than three minutes at a time (awesome qualities for a data analyst, I know!)

Now that I’ve been diagnosed and on the right medication (Concerta XL), my anxiety is slowly disappearing, my constant boredom and need for change is fading. I’m feeling more confident in what I do and I’ve gained a whole new quality: perseverance.

I’ve created this site for misunderstood ADHD-sufferers like me. The ones who get told they couldn’t possibly have ADHD because they have managed to get by. Smart girls who didn’t know they were smart (maybe they still don’t). The anxious. The messy. The overachievers. Girls who have had ADHD since they were young, the recently diagnosed, and those who think they may have ADHD but are struggling to find the right diagnosis.

Together, we shall be more awesome. Fact.

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