Hi, I’m Joanie! I am new to How to ADHD and new to ADHD. I was diagnosed last summer at the age of 26 after going to my doctor for a memory problem. After CT scans and other unnecessary tests I saw a psychologist who told me, “You don’t have a memory problem. You have an attention problem. You don’t remember things because you weren’t paying attention.” Then she gave me a list of coping skills that I immediately forgot because I didn’t want to do any of them.
Looking back, I was probably ADHD-inattentive, and no one caught it because I was a generally well-behaved little girl, and I was gifted and I didn’t have to try very hard at school. So when I didn’t do well, I got a lot of “you aren’t trying” “you aren’t living up to your potential” and not a lot of “huh what’s causing this?”, which I imagine is a familiar story here! As an adult, I’m learning how much of my experience is colored and influenced by ADHD and how much it is an intrinsic part of me, and not just something I “have.” I can’t put it down. It’s a little frustrating in my family, because even though I have always been the first one to say hey, I have depression, I have anxiety, I have ADHD, no one has every believed me and even after I’ve gotten diagnosed, my family - and especially my parents - have been reluctant to believe me or want to understand me.
Last year, I felt like I was doing really well and I didn’t seek out a lot to manage my ADHD. Then back in June, I got a promotion at work (in a homeless shelter for teens) so now I’m Case Manager and I have A LOT more to keep track of! And instead of running around all day hanging out with my youth, driving them places, getting them to do chores, taking them to group, and playing games with them, I spend a lot of time at a desk, calling their parents, making medical appointments, and floundering as item after item falls through the holes in the sieve! I keep forgetting meetings and scheduling over them and then going on the ADHD apology tour. “I’m so sorry, I forgot he has a dentist appointment at 2. Can you do 4? Okay, I’m so sorry for the inconvenience, thank you.”
The other thing that’s happened recently is my cousin’s 7 year old was just diagnosed with ADHD - combined type. Over the last few years, I’ve been watching him and his parents really struggle and once he was diagnosed I thought about how weird and isolated and ashamed I felt as a kid for the way my brain operated. Now I really want to get more knowledgeable about ADHD so I can be there for him. I don’t want him to feel as lonely as I did. Oh, it’s also nice that he and I got diagnosed close together because now I have his mom to help me find resources!
Anyway, that’s my life story. Other than that, I’m 27, I’m writing a fantasy novel in my spare time, I like to crochet, embroider, read and play video games. I identify as genderqueer (not a man or a woman) and I use ze/hir/hirs/hirself pronouns, but I don’t expect you’ll have much cause to talk ABOUT me, lol. I’m excited to be here!
tl;dr newly diagnosed ADHD social worker crashing and burning, seeks community