“After living with ADD for many years I started believing that I was lazy, stupid, and crazy.”
Before being diagnosed with ADHD you may have believed, like my former client quoted above, that there was something wrong with you and maybe even that there was nothing you could do about it.
While it will likely take you time to adjust to your ADHD diagnosis, as you go through the stages of coping , it can be the beginning of a journey that can turn your life around.
And you can start to create a life you enjoy and where you are able to thrive.
Oh, That’s Why!
Many, if not most of the people I work with individually and in groups already have an ADHD diagnosis.
But some decide to work with me because they have “similar symptoms” to Adult ADHD, but choose not to pursue any testing. The reason for most who make this choice is that they think it would just not make a difference for them…
I respect this choice, and never push a particular agenda, as my only objective is to help people who can benefit from my services.
But knowledge is power, right? (You knew there was a “but” coming.) And having an ADHD diagnosis can be incredibly empowering.
Because, once you have the diagnosis, you can choose to access the plethora of excellent resources, including those that will explain some of the reasons you operate in the way you do or have in the past.
Then with this information in hand you might say, “Oh, that’s why I do…”
And then not only will you come to realize you are definitely not lazy, stupid or crazy, but you also have more options open to you about what to do with this information.
Finding Your People
When you are ready you might choose to find out about and eventually connect with other people like you. You know, adults who have had some of the same experiences as you because they also have ADHD.
Like you, they do not want to let their ADHD hold them back. They are also, like you, on the path to embracing those aspects of their ADHD that enhance their life and addressing the challenges that may get on their way.
How do you find these people?!
You could start by reading one of the many excellent books, like:
- Smart but Stuck – Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD by Thomas Brown’s
- Women with Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace Your Differences and Transform Your Life by Sari Solden
- ADD In The Workplace: Choices, Changes, And Challenges by Kathleen G. Nadeau
Of course, you can also find plenty of blogs where people share their experience of living with ADHD. I’m sure you can find one that will resonate with you.
Reading about others who chronicle their success with living with ADHD, as well their challenges and how they addressed them, can be both inspiring and validating.
It is just a matter of finding the words that speak to you.
You might also be ready to connect with other Adults with ADHD who speak the same language.
If you are Interested in interacting and learning from other adults with ADHD, here a few options:
- My Adult ADHD Coaching Group. If you want to learn and get support from me, as well as your peers, this could be a great choice for you.
- Looking for an in-person group? Check out the CHADD Resource Directory. (If you don’t find exactly what you are looking for, reach out to one of the local CHADD chapters and ask if they know of any local resources.)
- You could also check out Meetup groups in your local community for in-person groups.
- ADDConnect is a good place to find online support groups, if that is the kind of support you are seeking.
If you are looking to connect with other adults with ADHD, I hope you find an option that will work for you.
Leveraging Your ADHD Symptoms
When you are aware of how your ADHD symptoms are manifested in your life, you will have the opportunity to see how your ADHD can work to your advantage.
If you already know you have ADHD, you may often focus on the challenges related to your symptoms.
What if you looked at your symptoms differently?
It’s all about the various contexts in your life!
If you have not already, take a moment now to articulate the potential you have to use the gifts your ADHD can provide.
- Your impulsiveness can allow you to take a jump when others are still surveying the landscape, wondering if it is a “good idea.” They may stay on the edge where you jump on opportunities.
- You can use your incredible energy to light up a room and inspire people whether you are teaching, promoting a cause, running a meeting, selling a service or product and much more.
- If you tend to be talkative, your ability to talk to anyone may help others feel connected and noticed. In a world where so many people feel disconnected, that really is a wonderful thing!
- Being able to come up with ideas at lightning speed and make unusual connections between those ideas can be helpful in coming up with solutions where others may be stumped.
- You notice the details that other miss. Yes, like the sparkly thingy. 🙂 It can be a good thing to notice the details in life.
What are challenges you have related to your ADHD that you can reframe as a positive in the right context?
Take a minute. Come up with your own list.
Of course, I’m not one to sugarcoat the realities of having ADHD. There are challenges for all of us who deal with this. For sure.
But these challenges don’t have to be roadblocks.
They may seem insurmountable now.
They don’t have to be.
As you dig in and learn how and where your ADHD symptoms show up in the different areas of your life you can choose how to address them.
One of the ways to address them is to create workarounds so you can still accomplish your goals. I have written extensively about strategies that can help you work with your ADHD.
How can you use your ADHD diagnosis to your advantage?