So I’ve been lurking these forums for a while now, on and off, and I’ve seemed to have missed posting up here.
Quick side note: I’ve put my name up as Bron, it’s a shortened version of my online alias and is loosely connected to my actual name.
I figured it was easier than ‘A friendly face’
I used to be very open regarding my identity online, but I’ve since had family and choose to be a little more private for their sake. It’s not because I don’t trust anyone, you all seem great!!
I am husband and a father to 3 children. (7, 4, 1) I live in Australia, Queensland.
I am currently on going a journey to diagnoses, determined to finally see it through this year.(now first psychiatry appointment next week!)
I have always ‘suspected’ I might have it, only since attempting to manage family and receiving ongoing psychological therapy have I really sparked an interest in actually considering a diagnoses, as life as you could imagine, is currently a massive struggle.
My eldest, who is actually my step son, has also been recently diagnosed with ADHD, and going through the list and drawing comparisons in behavior with my own was also a massive red flag for me to check myself.
My mum and I also suspect she has undiagnosed ADHD, her career choice and trauma have likely maked her symptoms.
My wife: We’ve recently been looking into her struggles and symptoms and have recently learnt she presents very Autistic and are undergoing official assessment, actually starting today. Trauma has also further masked her symptoms. (Generally females on the spectrum are already professional maskers)
I’m nearly 30 and looking back, I have no doubt my nuerology has severely impacted my entire life and I really wish I had of considered looking into this years ago. That’s the past now and it only motivates me more now to do something about it.
Back story/My ADHD journey:
Grab your popcorn and a drink, this is going to take a while.
My earliest memories in relation to ADHD were back in grade 3, my teacher would be frequently mid-sentence, teaching the class, when he would suddenly cut to saying, “And Bron, sitting down”, in a calm manner, as I’d be always up walking around, when I was supposed to be sitting. In the same year, some of my teachers less calm moments, I remember having a complete lack of an ability to get my ‘tidy tray’ (desk draw), tidy. To the point where he got so fed up and launched my tray with all its contents to the other side of the classroom floor.
Also through many of my eariler primary school years, i remember being targeted by school bullies, because I would always ‘over react’ and often get in far more trouble than they would for provoking me.
On the home front, I was an only child for 6 years until I nagged my parents for two more siblings, because I was so bored, when I wasn’t busy with my world of Lego or computer games.
Given the people I’ve met and stories I’ve heard over the years, I’d consider myself rather fortune that this was all I had to worry about.
My teachers and other parents had mentioned to my parents in those eariler years to get me tested for ADHD, but my mum was terrified of the label and stigma it would bring and refused to look into it further.
I don’t blame her for the choice she made, because i know that everything she has done for me growing up, has been with good intentions. Doesn’t make it less frustrating though.
Fast forward a little, I thought I was a fairly normal kid, though I only ever had 1 or two close friends at any given time and out of the 3 really close friends i made in my 13 years at the same school were:
-The one between the ages of 9 and 12, moved down to Canberra that year, we still occasionally keep in touch.
-The one I made when I was 10, I’m pretty sure he also has undiagnosed ADHD and was one of two groomsmen at my wedding, we’re still close.
-The other I made when I was about 13, was my best man at my wedding and to this day is probably the most chill, understanding, go with the flow down for anything kind of guy I know.
He’s really well organised and is horrible at initiating contact or catch ups, so it works well.
-The only other close friend I properly made was through the church, when I was 14, though him and his wife moved to Melbourne with his wife a few years ago, though we are still really close.
I’ve gone into detail here, about my friends for two reasons:
- You’d have to know the type of people they are because for a large part, they have grounded me through life, been there when I needed them and ‘mostly’ kept me out of trouble.
- Up until I had family, 6 years ago, I used to think I was friends with literally everyone, always meeting new people, catching up with everyone, all the time, even when I should of been doing other things. I was hyper social.
I’ve since learnt though, having such a large circle, causes those that actually consider themselves close to you, to hurt or start to distance themselves. I learnt at a pretty rapid rate at that point, just how few people i thought I was friends with, actually considered me to be apart of their ‘close circle’. It nearly broke me.
And without those 3 sturdy friends, my life would like very different today, i can gaurentee you that.
Learning further this year, just how hard it can be to maintain a friendship with ADHD, really explained a lot, but also made me so much more thankful for those that I do have.
My point is, if you think you have a life friend like that in your life, that gets you and is able to be around you at your worst and keep coming back.
Hold on to them! Do what you can to show your appreciation. ~
Back to my back story
Through high-school, I channeled a lot of my excess energy into sport, soccer every lunch from 12 to 15y/o, then i hit 6ft tall and played 4 hrs of basketball everyday from 15 to 17y/o.
Grade 8 I hyper focused on Japanese, as my family had a long term (18 months stay) Japanese exchange student staying with us and it was a subject I had at school.
I would study kanji through some other classes I found boring, spent way too much time folding origami for all my classmates, was better than my Japanese teacher at that.
Achieved a grade 10 standard of speaking and listening and grade 12 level of reading and writing and was sent to a grade 11/12 ‘two day course’ at another school to further my learning, just that year.
Grade 9 I got bored with Japanese, took an interest in girls and ended up spending most of my Japanese classes, teaching the other students.
Which looking back, wasn’t uncommon in classes that I actually knew what was going on, it would frequently happen in my Math classes through senior years, I loved to teach!
Graduating school, I took a gap year, worked, then returned to study, because I loved learning, at that point, I had decided I was going to be a game developer! Didn’t quite get the exiting grades I needed to make it into the university level bachelor’s degree, so I bridged my way in with a diploma, started in IT ( Website development).
Deadset, the first three weeks of my Diploma, 3 days a week, 8 hrs a day, sitting at the one computer nearly the while time.
I nearly lost my mind and I new that at that point, I could never do an office job 9-5 or study a degree where I was so stationary.
I had already paid for half the diploma though and still wanted to study something, so I finished that year, bridged to university, as planned,
But instead of continuing into game development, I stared a Bachelor of Education majoring in Mathematics and Health and Physical Education.
I competed 2 years full time, half way though, moved out of home half way through, blew through $3000 of savings in 3 months, on groceries. Yes, meal planning was not my strong point, no most of that was not take out I had least had a ball experimenting with cooking, usually took me 4 hours to prepare most meals…
At the end of my first 2 years at university, I had failed about 3 out of my 16 units over those 2 years, but due to my wisdom teeth and lack of stable enjoyment, I decided it best to defer my following year of university and try and earn some more money, to pay off my new debt and pay for a new laptop.
1 year off university turned into 2, as I was finally able to enjoy a full time disposable income and I had gone further into debt, needing a new car.
Finally stared my 3rd year of university, crushed it, finally had housemates that were less distracting, lived in the city, near everything I needed to travel to, so had way more time to organise myself, meal plan, frequent the gym, etc. Had a really solid routine that year and a job that I could literally write my own hours, from 3 to 50 hrs a week, as I saw fit, week to week. This all helped heaps and honestly was the most productive I’ve ever been in my life, to date. I even managed to save $3000 in the first 6 months of being at university full time that year!!
End of that 3rd year, things got a little more shakey, as my relationship with my now wife took a turn for the worse. While she was about 3 months pregnant with our first child, my past poor conduct and conversations came back to bite me and I quickly turned my focus from university to attempting to recover my relationship, as I was attempting to be more adult, as an expecting father and didn’t want to throw it all away.
Another side note: It’s worth noting, that up until this point, I was pretty convinced I was just lazy and liked being around people, fully dismissing the idea that i was ADHD, though it was still at times a running joke. My 2nd job at McDonald’s, I was referred to as ‘pinger boy’, not actually knowing what that was slang for at the time.
Married life, with kids:
Now the real hard years of my life began.
So, one of my most reoccurring life habits, is biting off more than I can chew, so-to-speak, or over-committing and these years are my life’s most prime example as such.
2015: 3rd year of university, got engaged, first child underway.
2016: moved in with a partner for the first time, with her son, 2 weeks before our daughter was born, 1 week before the start of my 4th year of university.
Failed all 4 units when wife got sick at end of Semester.
Got married Sept that year.
2017: after moving house 6 times the 3 years prior to this, we moved a further 2 times at the start and end of this year.
2018: 3rd child due start of year, lost her (passed away) 4 days before the due date, 3 days after my birthday.
Spiraled hard, diverted attention to trying to change from truck driving to an office job, tried to buy a house and started a Bachelor of Accounting, all during the second half of that year.
2019: Was a dark year for me, I closed myself off from a lot of people, buried my head into my work and started up a debilitating addiction to on online mobile phone game, where I found a sense of community and control.
2020: wrote off my car due to said addiction, nearly ended in divorce and finally started to put my foot down and turn my life back around.
Looked into ADHD, become convinced it had been setting me back and an underlying issue my whole life.
So here I am, now in the same month as my wife, we are both undergoing psychological and psychiatric assessments to official confirm our conditions.
I don’t for a moment think I have it all together or all the answers, despite coming across at times a little pretentious, I always mean well and don’t consider myself to be better or ‘above’ anyone.
I’m thankful to have this community here and look forward to continuing engagement with you all here.
And no I don’t mind if you have skimmed through this, I’ve tried to categorise what I’ve written to make it more of a ‘digestible’ read.
Thank you for whatever amount you’re able to read and a WELL DONE if you actually read the whole thing through!!