Inside the mind of an ADHD woman
I have never been diagnosed with ADHD, but after my daughter was diagnosed two years ago, I came to realise that I probably have ADHD too! Every ADHD book I have read feels like it's written for me and I tick every box in the ADHD questionnaires.
For me, it's been like an awakening. Suddenly my haphazard, dreamy, chaotic and at times, manic personality all made sense. For the first time, I can truly embrace myself instead of trying to be like everyone else. Finally, I am enough (well I think I am but I change my mind all the time)!
1. Sometimes I can take on the world. I feel passionate, driven and focused. Other times I could hide in bed.
2. Sometimes I am so happy, that I make happy look sad. Other times I am so sad, and I don't even know why?
3. Sometimes I talk 100 miles an hour; I can talk about numerous topics all at once. Other times, I want to say nothing.
4. At times I feel so confident in myself and my beliefs and dreams, other times I feel shy and lost.
5. Sometimes I could talk on the phone for hours with friends and family, other times I can't bring myself to pick up the phone.
6. I make so many plans with so many people, and at the time I am 100% committed to those plans, but then it all becomes too much so I cancel commitments.
7. Sometimes I can be sitting with a group of people trying so hard to be present, but my mind runs away with itself, and I find myself feeling anxious and lost.
8. I think of everything that needs to be done, all at once. Under the stairs has become like a junk jungle again. I think about the messy drawers, the kid's rooms. I find it so overwhelming that I don't know where to start?
9. I hear everything. The low hum of the bathroom fan, the barking dog and that dripping tap. I hear it all.
10. I forget important dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, they just seem to skip my mind, even with a calendar and reminders.
11. I have so many emails and messages to reply to; they whirl around inside my head. Then I eventually reply and then another reply comes back, so I need to reply again. Help.
12. I am that Mum in the school; you know the one who forgets things? Meetings, forms, deadlines and no matter how hard I try; they just slip my mind (although I am getting better)
13. I get really passionate about something. Saving dolphins, being a vegetarian (again), animal rights. But then I find it all too stressful, so I stop being passionate and then move onto something else to be passionate about.
14. I can get really angry, very quickly. I can be so calm and happy and then something doesn't go my way or the arrangements change, and I turn into a fizzy bottle of lemonade and explode everywhere.
15. I either don't cry, or I cry a lot. There is no in between.
16. I clean and tidy frantically like I have OCD, yet sometimes I live in chaos, and then I can't seem to get back to how I was. It all seems too overwhelming.
17. I immerse myself in projects and put my whole life into it. Then when it’s done, I wonder what I was thinking?
18. Sometimes at events, even something so small like my child's sports day, I can find the whole thing so daunting that I want to go home. Other times I am the life and soul of the party.
19. I spend most of my evening’s 'faffing'. Maybe tidying, maybe organising, puffing cushions up, anything but sitting down.
20. I struggle to watch a film. I fidget and get bored and hate the fact that I can't talk. The struggle is real!
21. I can never make decisions and even when I do, I change that decision so many times that everyone else is in a spin and I'm like "what's the problem, I only changed the arrangements 20 times"?
22. I get so anxious about the smallest of things. My brain can make something tiny look like a blockbuster movie.
23. Sometimes I go to the store to buy things for the house but then can't decide where I would put them, so I buy nothing. Or at times I go to the grocery store but forget my list (again). I can't decide what to make for dinner; my mind sends me a million recipes. It's so overwhelming that I put random things in the basket.
24. I make lists about a list about lists. They are everywhere, on my phone, in notebooks and in diaries. I have three diaries from this year, yet I haven't used one of them properly as I can't quite work out what to write in them?
25. I find myself saying "I'm so overwhelmed", "I'm not coping", I am drowning in housework" and my husband looks at me and says "You make it sound like your a CEO for a massive company". If only he knew....my mind can't switch off, so it thinks of everything all at once - I feel like a CEO of a massive company!
26. I wake each day either ready to take on the world or anxious about the world. I am never sure which one it will be. I love it when the genius is there; I can do anything and everything but when it's not, it's scary and lonely.
27. I worry about everything all at once. If I read a bad news article, I can't sleep. It makes me heart so sad.
28. Friends and family tell me that I am positive and inspiring, yet I wonder what they are talking about as my brain tells me I am not enough.
29. Family members tell me to relax, but no matter how hard I try, I will never, ever know what that feels like. It sounds like such a great thing to do....maybe I should try it one day?
30. I change my seat in the car all the time - up down, up down, I can never decide how I want it to be, every day is different.
31. I lose everything. Keys, bank cards, shoes, clothes, hats, sunglasses. I even got to the shops yesterday and forgot my purse. Sigh.
32. I am sooooo clumsy and break everything. I am so heavy handed and noisy (not sure if this is more of a dyspraxic thing, but I am not going there ha)!
These are some of the things that go on inside my ADHD brain - maybe you can relate to them? Maybe they are just me? I have always been like this; I used to hate it, but now I am embracing it. I am learning to make peace with it and stop trying to be like everyone else. There are so many wonderul positives about ADHD, but these are some of the struggles, although I guess I don't think of them as struggles because it's just my personality.
I have friends that inspire me so much. They are super organised, remember everything and just seem to be so together. I love them for that, but I have learned no matter how hard I try, my brain isn't wired that way. But I will take it; I will roll with it, and I will be grateful every day that I am happy, healthy and have love in my life. I am proud to be one of the ADHD sisters of the world, because even with all the chaos, we are immensely passionate and excitable, and I love that.
If you have ADHD (or you think you have) love yourself for being you. Trying to be like someone else is the worst thing you can do. ADHD people are creative, passionate, loving, spontaneous, ambitious, imaginative, chaotic and rarely boring. Find your passion and put your heart and soul into - because when you do you inspire everyone!
Be love, be light, be you (with a little bit of forgetfullness for good measure)!