I'm terrified...

I don’t even know where to begin, because in all honesty I’m more terrified of the feedback I’ll get than actually saying anything, but here it goes…

Hi, my name is Alexis. I’m 27 years old, I’m a full-time, online college student, a fourth-time married woman, a mother to a brilliant 7 year-old daughter, and I’m in the process of being officially diagnosed with ADHD.

I have been watching a few of Jessica’s videos here and there for about 2 years now. It started with her Ted Talk on a late night drive to the airport with my sister and my family. We had broached the subject of trying to discover what it was about my brain that was just shutting off during conversation, or why my eyes would wander when someone spoke to me directly even though I could hear and understand everything they were saying, or why it would take me a minute to process what someone had said, told them “I heard you, I’m just thinking about what you had said and trying to find the right words,” and THEN responded after a solid minute or so. I remember bawling my eyes out in the passenger seat thinking “Holy shit, why does this all sound familiar?! Why am I resonating with everything she’s saying?! I can’t possibly have ADHD, I’m just air-headed… a dumb blonde, just like everyone told me in middle school and high school…” I remember thinking about how I felt about classes in high school, that I did really well on tests and labs and quizzes, but most days I wouldn’t even show up to class because I “hated me peers” or “the class was boring and I could ace it off tests alone anyways.” Cut to the last 6 months, where I’ve been dealing with forgetting important appointments (today’s especially, since it was the day I was supposed to be officially analyzed and hopefully diagnosed), or I can’t focus on my classes if they don’t matter (seriously, who cares about Research Methods in Health Sciences?! (No offense if you do, btw)), or I hyper-focus on projects that do matter to me (like trying to find a new place for my roller derby team to skate out of since our only local one shut down last month)… All in all, I really couldn’t deny what was right in my face anymore, especially given my family history of mental health (my maternal grandmother with bipolar disorder, my 2nd youngest sister with bipolar disorder, and my youngest sister with ADHD).

The point I’m trying to get to is that, while nothing’s official yet and I feel like I’m in mental health purgatory because my brain won’t remember appointments to get me out of it, I desperately want to connect with people who understand. People who have answers. People who have advice. People who “get it,” because my partner is patient and understanding, but I’m sure he’s getting tired of me cutting him off in the middle of his sentences or bouncing around with random talking topics.

I’m terrified because, as much as I believe I’ve found the right answers, I’m scared no one will believe me, especially professionals.

I’m terrified because, if it’s not the answer, then what is?

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Welcome fellow brain! You are going to fit in here and everyone is so nice. Don’t be terrified of posting or answers, I was that way at first but it’s gonna be ok.

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I’m at the same spot right now and I can really relate to how you described that. I’ve done the testing appointments, but haven’t gotten the results back, and the feeling of being in limbo is difficult.

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Welcome! I relate to so much of what you are saying, I am afraid I don’t have any magic words to make everything easy but please know you’re not alone and not the only one feeling this way.

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Every time I went to get a diagnosis for something, I was so scared that they’d say nothing was wrong with me and I just wasn’t trying hard enough, so I know the feeling. And I know what it’s like for people not to believe you, because my mom is super dismissive. Hopefully, the people in your life do believe you and are supportive! Either way, I’m glad you’re here.

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I was told by a psychiatrist years ago that I have ADHD, but I’ve never had proper testing. As I read through the posts here I can relate. I feel at home and don’t feel alone. There’s tips to help me figure out me.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get proper testing; we’ll see, one day at a time. But I’ve got a place here where I can relate to people. They understand my struggles I and understand theirs. Whatever a piece of paper may or may not say one day, I found a home here. Welcome to the tribe.

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My suggestion is to continue becoming as proactive as you are terrified.

One answer in any case is to continue discovering where and how you could improve current challenges, then [unavoidably slowly] develop new skills and behaviors towards doing so. As with the greater game of life: consistently high productivity and other skillsets are a practical impossibility - the goal is to be as consistently productive as possible while making improvements wherever possible.

Start looking into techniques and strategies for keeping schedules, planners, and other organization as needed. Whether or not you get a diagnosis for ADHD - developing these skills will at least help with present issues and challenges with academic programs (something I know all too well wrapping up what’s been a crawl through a BS and MS in Computer Science as a returning adult student myself).

I further suggest looking into these resources and starting to adapt them for your benefit:

  • Ryder Carroll’s book/technique “Bullet Journal Method” a.k.a. ’BuJo’ which Jessica’s page has some videos on.
  • David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done” whose techniques I currently prefer
  • Stephen Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” which I also found insightful.

Hope this helps,
S

“If it’s not the answer, then what is?”

Well, SOMETHING is the “right” answer (adjective used loosely, of course!) to that big question. And if ADHD isn’t the right answer then you need to know that it isn’t, so that you can go look at other things to see if they are more right answers. And if ADHD IS the right answer then you can get started working on ADHD-oriented solutions.

But the above is obvious. You could have thought that up yourself, and you probably do once in a while. The trick is, that when you start to get worried or anxious or otherwise stressed about the concept of diagnosis, YOU FORGET the above obvious thing. So do I. Many of us have that type of reaction. That’s why we’re here to support one another. :slight_smile:

So, let me just suggest, that the important thing is to keep moving forward. Even if it makes you take a great big worried breath every time you take a step, go ahead and step that step anyway! If you’re moving backwards, let us know, and we’ll ask you to move forward. But if you ARE moving forward? Well, hey, what more can you possibly be doing?

Best of luck! :slight_smile:

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my thoughts exactly

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