Two years ago, our life looked very different. The situation with our daughter who was seven at the time consumed my daily thoughts, and when I imagined our future all I could see was darkness. Even the pediatrician was asking me the darkest of questions:
"Does she lie and steal"?
"Does she start fires"?
"Does she hurt animals"?
It felt like the pediatrician saw dark times ahead too, after all, he was an expert; he'd seen this behaviour many times. Fast forward two years and our life looks very different. As I write this, Sarah is sitting next to me watching Eddie the Eagle on her Ipad (our screen time). She is laughing and smiling, and she is so happy. Because of her happiness and the normality that now encompasses our life, I have the mental capacity to think of other things.
I have the brain space to explore the positive sides to ADHD, to seek answers into why some people can thrive with ADHD and for others; it's their downfall. I can do this because Sarah is thriving, and I no longer see bleak, dark times ahead. I no longer worry that she is mentally ill as now all I see in front of me is a bright, shining light. However, this doesn't mean that our life is easy. Our daughter is determined, strong-willed and at times very difficult to handle. But, compared to where she was two years ago, I will take this any day of the week.
I was 38 when Sarah was diagnosed, and as I started to learn all about ADHD and who Sarah was, I began to discover who I was as well. As I explain in the book, Sarah was medicated for a while. We tried various types of medication but for us, they only seemed to make her symptoms worse, so we had to find another way.
It was during this time that I decided I would travel this journey with Sarah. I would have the blood tests, take the supplements and have the iron transfusion; as I was also low in iron. I would take the marine plankton (I kid you not), use the essential oils, take gluten and dairy out of my diet and would walk the same path as Sarah.
I started to notice that while I benefited from all of this, the biggest advantage, the one that I didn't see coming, the one that I hadn't planned or researched or written on the 'things to help Sarah list'. The one thing that made the most profound difference to Sarah's behaviour was human connection. Sarah had been so down on herself; she felt different, stupid, scared and lonely, but traveling the journey with someone else, started to make her feel like she was normal.
Wherever you are in your journey with your child, I hope that in some way by reading our story, it can help you with yours. You could be at the very beginning of your story, and your child may have just been diagnosed with ADHD. Or, you could be right in the thick of it and could be feeling overwhelmed, scared and lost. Or you may be feeling empowered and ready to allow yourself to see that their ADHD could be their gift?
I wholeheartedly believe that our stories can be re-written, and at anytime we have the power to say - 'this isn't how the story ends'.
With love & light,
PS I am giving away ten copies of Saving Sarah next week. I will post some more information about it next week on Facebook ☺