34-Year-Old Aussie Diagnosed in September

Hi fellow brains! :slight_smile:

I’m a 34 y.o. woman living in Melbourne Australia, diagnosed with ADHD-PI in late Sept (just in time for ADHD Awareness Month. Great timing :joy:) It was a terribly drawn-out process, made worse by the fact that I couldn’t seem to stay in any one place for more than a few months (I’ve been worrking online for 5+ years). By the time a psychologist pinned me down long enough to take a test, I was off again on another adventure. Two years later I managed to stay in town long enough to access government funding for a diagnosis, and viola. I’m currently coming off my meds for depression in an attempt to try ADHD ones, and treat the possible underlying issues that caused the depression and anxiety in the first place.

Getting diagnosed was such a relief! My God, what a burden has lifted. I always thought there was something wrong with me, and for as long as I’ve known I’ve had this terrible self-talk - in particular there was one line going through my brain ‘There’s something wrong with me.’ I felt like an alien growing up in my town (3000 kms from where I live now, thank God.). I just wasn’t interested in the same things other kids/teens my age were. I felt both older and younger than they were. Making friends was hard and I was bullied. I withdrew into my own private fantasy world full of books and films to deal with the feelings. I also have rejection sensitive dysphoria, so I needed my space to recover. Luckily I had a stable family unit, but they didn’t know what to do. The school blamed me. I often ended up in the sick room at school practicing my best fake cough, or hiding in an empty classroom somewhere to escape the shame of being the school pariah. I was terribly, terribly lonely. (I eventually dropped out and it took years to get back to my studies.)

Things got particularly bad once I hit puberty - all those hormones just seemed to make things worse. This is a common story, particularly for girls, from what I’ve heard. Now I know there’s nothing wrong with me - I’m neurodivergent. Even better, there’s lots of other people the same way! Hello brains! :smiley:

I want to know if any of you ever had these kinds of thoughts going through your head, like a kind of self-bullying negative mantra, like I did?
Were you bullied? What did you do to cope?
How did you find your tribe?

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woah you hit the nail on the head that is legit how I feel, I think it’s definitely an ADHD thing

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Welcome. Good to see another Aussie in the tribe. I understand the feeling of being older and younger. I moved around a lot as a kid so I learned to make friends quickly and it also gave me a chance to fit in a bit better each time. Any friends I had where usually older than me. Even in early adulthood I was more comfortable with older people around me.

I think imposter syndrome is fairly common hell in my work I am more than competent and still feel like I am just hiding here sometimes.

Anyway welcome again. It’s nice here being able to read about others that seem to just get what’s going on…

M

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Hi!

Everything you said is super relatable!

Also, I really want to live in Australia when I’m older, what is the ADHD-situation like there? I’m currently in England :grinning:

My ADHD got very bad when I hit puberty, that’s when I started properly noticing it!
Hell yeah! Being neurodivergent can be awesome!!

Those thoughts are common in my head but I try not to listen too much, keeping positive as much as I can and not stirring sh£& up for myself haha

When I was in college (that’s not uni it’s like the last 2 years of high school), I was very lonely because I think people were reluctant to get to know me because I was different. It sucked a lot, but slowly I made friends with the right people by being more and more myself and now at University I’ve made some amazing friends who like me and aren’t weird about my ADHD :grinning: Actually a lot of them have ADHD haha

I’ve had a best friend for years and she always knew I had ADHD (she’s probably got ADHD too haha) and then all my newer friends I’m also likely to keep for a long time because they know my ADHD and they know me and they love all of it!

I think we just gotta go out of our way to be our genuine selves and it’ll attract others who want to be genuine around us too, it’s nice to be able to grow into our best selves alongside other people who want the same basically :grinning: Give it time, give it effort and you’ll find your friends soon enough!

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Very relatable. Struggling in my 7th major, finally to be a Nurse. Recently diagnosed, feeling blessed, empowered and no more helpless.
Welcome!

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Hi!

My name is Hannah! Around here I go by Keep_my_spleen. :slight_smile: I currently live in the USA and I’m in college for the second time.

To answer your questions:
1)YES, I had horrible self-talk! When I got diagnosed (October 24, 2019! during ADHD awareness month, haha!), my psychologist gave me a huge list of resources and suggestions. One of them was to get rid of my negative self-talk. You have to train yourself, but I’ve been working on it over the last month!

2)My parents pulled me out of the private school I was in before second grade because of my learning issues (I don’t know how schools work there, but I was seven). Unfortunately, I think this might have ruined my chances of getting diagnosed as a child, and then I was treated kind of roughly by my family who didn’t know I was/am neurodivergent (they do now!). However, I was bullied a little bit . . . and I have no coping mechanisms for that, haha.

3)Still working on that one! I have great neurotypical family and friends, and some friends with ASD who are fantastic (honestly believe I am also on the spectrum), but so far I don’t know anyone IRL who has ADHD. I’m thinking about finding a support group, or a local CHADD chapter (CHADD is the national ADHD organization here).

LAST THING, I SWEAR! You mentioned that you feel/felt like an alien. I bring you ADHD Alien! She is super good at explaining ADHD, especially to people who might not have it themselves, through comics. I think it’s cute and I really like her, hehe.

Best wishes!
Hannah/Keep_my_spleen

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Yes. Most definitely have had a mantra or string of negative self talk throughout life. Beginning in childhood, likely gifted to me by parents and teachers. Feeling that I was never doing enough, that I could always do better, that mistakes were a judge of character, that talking was out of line. Feeling that I’ve made huge social mistakes and beating myself up for them. Never letting go of shame. A myriad of other htings.

I was bullied. I didn’t do much to cope other than isolate. I tried to seek help from adults like teachers and parents, but never really got the support that would have been helpful. Teacher never intervened and even at times thought I was part of being disruptive when I tried to distance myself or tell people to leave me alone. My parents would say, “Don’t let it bother you.” They never took action to help me either. Eventually the bully becomes your brain and you bully yourself even when the bully isn’t around. Your mind becomes a battleground, and when you have ADHD it means that your mind can think of about a thousand horrible things in the span of a few minutes, and you constantly feel beaten down, hurt, and alone.

I’ve found smaller tribes over the years. Places where I feel safe and belonging. I’ve often found those through interests or friends. Small islands of safety and unity. But I also found my tribe here. A tribe that offers an explanation about why things were so hard, and why perfect isn’t always a reality. It’s been great to connect with other people who deal with ADHD and the challenges of it every day. It’s also been great to learn that even when you were feeling alone, someone else was feeling the same way, even if it was far away.

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IKR? I remember feeling like I was ‘defective’ for being unintrested in ‘typical’ high-school girl topics like gossip or make-up, but also feeling like a loser for not having a love interest or being totally uninsterested in family and career. Nice to know others feel the same :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the link! She nails the ADHD brain perfectly. I have one of her cartoons on my phone home screen now :slight_smile:

I’m working on the self-talk through meditation, research and speaking to others. Sometimes it’s hard to explain my mindset to NTs, but I’m getting better. It always shocks me how they jump to conclusions based on my behaviour. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised though - I can be pretty random sometimes. Part of communication is learning how my own actions are perceived by others - I’m finding that it’s usually not as bad as I thought, but sometimes I have no clue. For example - I had no idea how much I dominated conversations or fidgeted until a few frank conversations recently with people I know well. It’s kind of embarrassing but at least I can explain why now!

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I know what you mean! I felt so lonely for so long. Thank goodness for support groups and online communities such as this one. It’s heartening to see we can succeed in life, that ADHD isn’t some kind of life sentence. I have a theory that the fact that so many of us seem to be highly creative is due to the fact we’ve had to develop workarounds that others don’t need to consider due to their NT brains. Our lateral thinking muscles are well-developed!

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Ugh, the shame is the worst part about being a brain, I feel. Learning to love myself is the project of a lifetime. I copped a lot of that attitude re. ‘toughen up’ when I was younger too. Now, I don’t stand for it. Truth is, ADHD-folks with RSD are more sensitive than many people out there, and repression and denial is no way to heal.

Like yourself, isolating was my primary coping mechanism for years - it still is sometimes. I’m learning to reach out when I get overwhelmed though - journaling and meditatation helps too. Thanks for sharing your perspective - like you said, it’s great to see that others understand :slight_smile:

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Thanks Zeeshan :slight_smile: I’m so glad to be a part of this awesome community of global brains! ADHD pride!

P.S. Nurses rock! Best of luck in your career :yellow_heart:

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Onya! Welcome to the tribe!

At least there’s a handful of us in this Timezone. For me being the weird kid was kind of with the territory: 0-5 Switzerland (parents migrant workers) 5-7 Italy, 7-now ‘Stralya. Suspect my mon has the ADD and I have a quirky uncle on dads side so there’s that.

The sense of casting a huge bow wave of chaos, where others have to pick up the mess has never really gone away, but working on it.

Q: which app/site do u use for meditation? I’ve been at the Smiling mind but would be good to know if there’s other cheap and cheery options.

Good luck with it all, and thanks for stopping by.

Lui

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