44m here. I was diagnosed with ADHD (primarily inattentive) roughly 3 yrs ago.
Up to diagnosis I was more or less ‘managing’ my life. Going through years of procrastinating schools and study but still somehow managing to graduate from university at the age of 29. Getting a more or less suitable job and even acing it the first few years.
So much that about 10 years in, I was managing a leadership position that was asking more and more of my executive functions. I saw my work evaluations degrade each year. I saw people far younger doing better at my job than me, which frustrated me greatly and constantly made me feel like they smelled my blood (I’m pretty certain some really did). I felt like I had to push myself harder and harder in order to survive. Knew that at some point I wouldn’t be able to keep up.
Meanwhile, my inner imposter’s voice grew stronger and stronger. I became more and more convinced that I was indeed without value. That I was indeed that weird and lazy, good for nothing person people always had made me feel like when I was younger. I felt like my biggest fear was coming true: that ‘they’ had always been right about me.
And then I couldn’t do it anymore…
This put me on a path to diagnosis. Since diagnosis I went through several stages ranging from denial, shame, anger and finally acceptance. Diagnosis has helped me see my own strengths and accept my weaknesses. It made me see where and why I struggle. It also helped me to rewrite some of my ambitions so they would better ‘fit’ my particular talents than they did before.
It helped me find a new job that actually ‘fit’ those ambitions. I was prepared to do a step back careerwise. But so far I feel like I’m only going forward where before I was completely ‘stuck’.
Of course there are still struggles. You don’t just change 41 years of hiding or ‘masking’ ADHD overnight. Especially when it was so much a second nature that I never knew I was doing it. Also my executive functions are still very much failing me when managing a relationship and a household of 3 kids. And my social anxieties are worse than ever from lack of exposure due to two years of Corona.
But I can really say that I’m an overall happier and more ‘together’ person now after truly getting to know my ADHD side and no longer be angry at myself. Or worse: ashamed of myself.
I’m excited to find this forum. Even though I read it is being decomissioned. I still hope to share thoughts stories with you and maybe even learn a thing or two from this community.
Be seeing you!