It’s been 3 years since I got the rubber stamp on my ADHD diagnosis with Dr Mason via the ADHD Foundation.
And, as it’s ND awareness month this month AND 2 years since I registered CD on Companies House, it seemed fitting to take plenty of time to reflect.
For those of us who have sought out a late diagnosis for ADHD, it means we’ve lived a life of unanswered questions, failed relationships, jobs that didn’t go to plan and so many EH? moments.
We are least likely to be understood and employed.
And yet, we have such strengths and gifts, such different ways of seeing the world, such success in the right environments, that we need to be appreciated for how we are and celebrated for being different.
In the last three years here are some things I have learned …
1. I’m bloody pleased I know.
2. I have different strategies in place to deal with the inevitable ups and downs that my whirlwind brain presents me with. Notably, my ability to be kinder to myself and recognise when I need to step back and not force myself to do things I don’t feel comfortable doing.
3. The concept of masking is still an enigma to me. I mean … is this the real me? Who am I? (Note: I find having a business persona is really helpful because I can switch into it when I need to).
4. What Leads to What? This is my mantra for life. I analyse everything perpetually every day. It’s exhausting but so beneficial when running a business.
5. My need to FIX can often lead to misguided decisions and a lack of perspective (thank God for my team).
6. Launching Celebrate Difference and seeing the impact our collective work has on our ND community is the best thing I have ever done. Back to point 4 – every experience I’ve had as an employed adult or company director has led to this.
And I am grateful.
7. I am filled with extreme self-doubt at the same time as extreme self-belief.
Which is weird.
8. Being surrounded by a team of people who are equal to me in every way gets me out of bed.
They inspire me. They give me such joy.
And our team conversations cannot ever be replicated because they are wild!
9. I would not choose to do anything else. I am fulfilled at work in a way I didn’t think possible.
10. There is so much more to do. BUT knowing my limitations, strengths and weaknesses is key.
ADHD is very real. Nope sorry, everyone is NOT a little bit ADHD. Or a little bit ‘on the spectrum’.
I can’t ever know what it’s like to be neurotypical. And if you’re neurotypical you’re never going to appreciate the effort it takes to fight with your own brain every day and make it through.
We need deeper understanding and knowledge of each other to coexist in a world that truly isn’t set up for those of us with spicy, chaotic, kaleidoscope brains.
Nicola Jayne Little