Hi, my name is Eva, I’m 25 and just discovered the youtube channel a few days ago as I started to look more into ADHD after one of my friends send me a test (just for fun). But the result was that I apparently showed a few signs of ADHD.
So I started to look more into it and now I’m asking myself if I could have it because of some of the things I can relate to. Even though I can’t really remember if I struggled with it my whole life (which is probably one of the things why I’m nervous because I just don’t know if I maybe could still have it even when I can’t remember if I struggled with it before the age of 12 as well…)
Plus I have been diagnosed with a more physical disability since birth because I was a premature baby.
What I can remember from my childhood years because my mom always said that I was always good at entering myself when we were driving for a long time like going on vacation. I had my CD player and just would listen to books or whatever and look out of the window.
My mom also always said/says „How great it would be if I could put the same effort into other things as well like I do when I really want something“. Just that the things I really want are the things I’m really interested in.
I can’t remember struggling very hard in school (Well, I did need more to learn to read or at least I remember that it wasn’t as easy for me as it seemed for the other kids) even when I never was one of the best students either I always was somewhere in the middle. Except in math where I started to struggle as soon as we started with the 1x1 (Don`t know how many things my mom tried to help me learn it but I never really did or at least not memorized it.). So, they thought that I maybe had a learning disability in math and I went to therapy for it.
The therapy didn’t really help and it was never really confirmed that I had dyscalculia. I even remember my mom telling me that one teacher said after she sat down with me to help me: “This child doesn’t have dyscalculia. she just needs more time”.
So, I just got a calculator in 6th grade because I was and am just terrible at doing math in my head.
One more thing you maybe should know is that I always had accommodation from first grade until I was finished with high school because of my other disability. From first to 4th grade this was just another person who was there to write for me and stuff. But for all the other years I got more time for exams because I wrote with a laptop or needed to dictate the assistance what she/he should write in my maths exams.
And I can’t remember for the life of me if I always did play with things or almost always had something in my hand to play with (it could be a pencil or strings from my pullover or something like that). But the first time it was noticed by someone (the person who assisted me at that time) was in 6th grade. Where he suddenly asked me if he should give me a stress ball to play with. And even when I don’t think I have this ball anymore. I always have something in my hands when I don’t need to use them. Or even when I start watching a movie without something in my hand I will get something to at least hold very fast after the movie started.
But yeah to speed this up a little I basically had not really any difficulties in school (well, except for being bullied in 6th grade and not really having any friends for grade 5 and half of the 6th grade. Afterward, I got very introverted and still am because I’m always afraid people could reject or not like me.) Okay, when I think about it it isn’t really true that I didn’t have trouble in school. For example, I always had a slower response time than the other students. So if the teacher didn’t structure the class and suddenly just jumped from one topic or one task to the next I always needed a bit to notice it and then to adapt to the change. Or horror for me was when the teacher just called on me to answer a question out of the blue. Because I either I just had zoned out a bit and hadn’t been following the class with my whole attention. Or they could have asked me the question a second ago but it was like I had forgotten it instantly. So I knew that they had just asked me something but the question on its own was gone already.
Oh, yeah and I always struggled with keeping my room clean even when I tried to. So everytime after I got help in cleaning it and I said to me “Okay, now you will keep this order.” A week or less later I had started to make a new mess again. Because I either forgot to put the things back or because I had/have the feeling that when I put them back I sometimes just forgot/forget where they are.
I can’t tell you how often I just forget to bring my glass or sometimes a plate with me when I leave the room to bring it to the dishwasher just because I forget (and that even happens when I maybe thought about it a few minutes before)
And what made/makes this even more difficult is that I might have one day the energy/motivation to maybe clean one area of my room (like my desk) and I’m proud of myself when I really did that. But then my mom comes home, looks in my room, and says: “Well, didn’t you say you wanted to clean your room?” And I think: “But I cleaned my desk… and tomorrow I want to do the next thing.” But when I say this, she says/said: “But you did start already why didn’t you finish it?” But this mostly just leads to me thinking the next day: “Well, I can’t clean my room in one go anyway… So, why should I even try? especially when it will not stay organized for long anyway…” Which is the wrong train of thought I know but I’m just frustrated that I’m not able to do what should be easy or apparently is easy or easier for other people.
Or cooking with more than one or two steps feels really overwhelming for me. I can make noodles with sauce but even that looks sometimes like this in my brain: „Okay, the noodles are cooking. Okay, now just be careful that they don’t burn… Ah! Oh, no, the sauce is cooking now too. Stir it, so that it doesn`t burn! Oh, oh, now the noodle water is starting to boil over, turn the stove down or something! And now I need to stir the sauce again…“ When I write it out it is funny but at the moment it is stressful for me.
Where I notice this as well is when I’m driving. I’m just driving automatic because concentrating on driving a stick would add just one more thing I need to pay attention to. And I have a hard time concentrating as it is. I mean when it is not busy it is okay but as soon as it gets busy I notice how it takes me much more effort to not get distracted and to process everything that is going on. But don’t get me started how it is when I have my mom and my grandma in my car and they both start talking to me because they think I should do something different. This is where I think sometimes: “Please, shut up. I’m trying to concentrate here and you telling me how I should do it differently isn’t helping right now. Because then I start thinking about it and it takes another part of my attention away from the road…” It is okay when one person talks to me most of the time.
Or supermarkets are no fun either because my brain is constantly worrying if I am blocking someone’s way or if they can see that I’m stressed out. And when then my dad or mom asks me if I want something or what I want then it is like my brain knows that it was asked something and what it was asked but it takes a bit of time until I can answer and since this is in most cases not fast enough for my father I got used to just shrug. Because deciding what I want would take a while.
But yeah I really started struggling in uni (where I don’t have a person who helps me anymore because everything is done on Laptops). It did start with me not really wanting to do the work unless I liked the class or the prof made it interesting. But I somehow managed to get through the exams until I needed to write my first paper. I procrastinated on it for far too long because I just couldn’t bring myself to start it. My mom finally had to help me (with the structure and with telling me that she would look over what I wrote so that I knew I had to write something) because otherwise it never would have been finished. This was really embarrassing for me because I really hoped this would be different in uni! Since my mom and dad helped me a lot with my homework in school as well especially when I needed to write papers because structuring a paper just sometimes feels impossible for me. And this got so bad last year in uni that I thought about quitting uni because I just asked myself: „Why is it so dam hard for me to structure or start things? Nobody else seems to have the same problems as me… Maybe I’m really just lazy or stupid?!“ But then again I managed to get through most of my degree already and just need a few more classes but I feel like I’m way behind other students my age because they did graduate already plus didn’t have to repeat grade 11…
And then there are a few more but maybe little things which affect my life. Like not being able to remember birthdays unless I save them on my phone, forgetting names a lot of times, avoiding to write or replay to e-mails, or making appointments and right afterward forgetting when the appointment was when I don’t write them down in my phone while the person says the day and time. And even when I put the appointments on my phone I sometimes forget them (when I forget to set the reminders).
So, with all of this I even sometimes feel like life is generally just too overwhelming for me (Even when everyone else around me would probably say: “Where is your life overwhelming?”) and how shall this work when I want to move out (which I want to do maybe this summer) but I’m maybe just not able to keep my life organized…
And so as I looked into ADHD the last few days I was like „Uh, I can relate to that!“ But now I’m afraid to bring this up with anyone because what if I should try and get a diagnosis but then it turns out I don’t have it? Then I’m really just lazy and stupid?
So, yeah, that was it. I’m sooo sorry. I didn’t realize how long this would be… So, thank you to anyone who got to this point because I know reading something long can be tiering… And I’m sorry for the mistakes… English is not my first language…