Well, I’m a guy with a blog. That entitles me to a certain amount of rambling and professing, I suppose. But I should tell you a bit about myself and why I’m writing this blog.
I’m a 38-year-old man with Adult ADHD. I was diagnosed when I was 30. I’d had one too many meltdowns, slip-ups, embarrassing moments, bad decisions and public criticisms, and I just couldn’t bear it anymore. How long does it take for someone to go from thinking, ‘Why can’t I understand this basic concept, when all these other people around me can?’ to ‘Okay, there is definitely something not working right if I can’t understand this basic concept when everybody else can.’ I don’t know – but I spent more than ten years in this zone. It got worse and worse and worse until one day, after forgetting about a meeting at work and being admonished for missing it, I just kind of gave up. I left my office and rang up my friend. I was very sad and I needed someone to talk to.
Good friends are like first aid kits. They can go neglected for a long time, but when you really need them, they’re there – and you’re glad you’ve kept them in your life. My friend listened to me, and reassured me, and consoled me. But later, after we parted, she did the one thing that I hadn’t had the clarity and good sense to do in over ten years. She Googled it. And then she came to me with a printed list of signs and symptoms, and told me that I may have Adult ADHD. My world changed.
She’s not in my life anymore but I owe her a massive debt. When I was diagnosed, I began to see a counsellor, and started on meds, suddenly I could turn down the self-hate. I could stop beating myself up and cut myself some slack. I found a lot of helpful resources (namely Taking Charge of ADHD by Russell A. Barkley), and opened up to those closest to me. And I was thriving at work. I was making my own accommodations and enabling my own success.
In broad strokes, this is pretty typical for adults with ADHD. But the smaller battles lost and won, the hardships in trying to connect with or disconnect from those we love, and the internal storms are unique in every sufferer. I feel that in my unique situation, with the unique challenges I’ve faced, I’ve gained some insight that can help others.
Despite the destructive behaviour and poor decisions I may have made as a result of my condition over the years, I’ve managed to have a family of a spouse and two kids, get and hold a secure job, and maintain overall good health. But of course, as an ADHDer, that’s never enough! Like Ariel under the sea, I want more. And so I make oil paintings. I’m writing a novel. I’m fixing up a vintage motorbike. I renovate parts of our house. I play video games. I go camping, and fishing, and canoeing, and hiking, and skiing… But, also as an ADHDer, my dreams and ambitions far outpace my ability to do. But I digress. My point here is that success with ADHD is possible. It’s always possible. But it takes work, time and patience. And it takes help.
And in all my misadventures and continuing struggles, I believe I have come up with some solid ways to survive and thrive with Adult ADHD. And I’m going to share these ways with you.
So I hope that these posts are helpful to you. And I hope that you’ll see yourself reflected in some of the ideas I’ll be exploring and the stories I’ll be telling.
Thanks for reading.