I stumbled upon the How To ADHD YouTube channel serendipitously. So great that it has a community too!
I’m a (soon-to-be) Doctor of Audiology who just found out that she has ADHD. It really surprised me at first because I’ve done very well academically and clinically, but now I feel amazed at how much of my life makes sense in light of being identified with ADHD. I got through so much schooling without ever having paid attention in class because no one cared so long as I was earning high scores on tests. When I reached a level of schooling where that wasn’t enough anymore, I became obsessively and rigidly organized with massive to-do lists, dozens of phone alarms, and multiple calendars, project management systems, and note taking systems…and I forced myself into using them by verbally abusing myself into doing so. Until I recently started taking Adderall, there wasn’t an item that went up on my Trello boards or an assignment completed without multiple rounds of telling myself how lazy, stupid, incompetent, and defective I was. I’ve gotten through my entire education by berating myself into giving the appearance of organization, responsibility, and executive function so that no one would know how hard it’s been to get any of my work finished. Everyone who works with me thinks I’m so organized and efficient. What they don’t know is how much torture I put myself through to give the appearance or organization, and I’m so efficient with my work because if I don’t do it the moment I know I’m supposed to, it won’t get finished at all.
I’m 96 days away from graduating with an Au.D. and becoming a practicing clinical audiologist, I’m working on a Ph.D. too, and I’m just now coming to see that life doesn’t have to be as difficult or miserable as it’s been. What a relief that is! But I’m still new to the idea of finding better ways of coping with my challenges than verbally abusing myself into some semblance of executive function, and that behavior is going to take a while to unlearn. Can anyone relate to this?