It's time I take this seriously.

Hello.
I’ve been following along with ADD/ADHD information for a while know, subconsciously recognizing that I’ve struggled with it, but also not consciously accepting that this could be my reality.
I am 22 and not yet pursuing diagnosis, though intend to start within a year.

Why not yet?

In case you wonder why, I have a few other medical concerns I need to prioritize first, and I am coping much better with awareness and supplementation in the meantime.

Life story.

I have quite a few things in my deck stacked against any sort of clarity. My mom used to consistently tell me the story of how she “cured my autism” with diet and supplements. Then when I started middle school and started struggling with focus, I got yelled at and grounded for having D grades every quarter until I finally graduated high school. It stunk being told from every angle that I had potential, yet I couldn’t figure out why I “didn’t care enough” to do homework. I pretty much left my hometown dysfunctional and distressed

Then I got a job (which I still work at) working in the supplements department at a grocery store. There were typically only 3 people in the department, so I was able to get pretty personal with my coworkers and managers. My first manager there was a self diagnosed Aspie. My second and current manager is diagnosed ADD. They are both absolute powerhouses. I practice acknowledging that my growth is my own doing, but they also have helped me an amazing amount in becoming who I am now. I doubt I would have made nearly as much progress without getting to know them.

I don’t have a support system at home nor the resources necessary to move away, and I’m still learning to cope with that. My mom and I are getting along better than ever, but we are still a very dysfunctional family. I know that I have been codependent, however I am far enough along to stop acting upon old habits, but not enough along to speak out against it. I know my brother is neurodivergent too, but for reasons I don’t understand yet, we can’t emotionally connect on anything.

I have been amazed with how much ADD/ADHD resources have helped me (namely how to ADHD and ADDitude) and I have a cleaner room, productive hobbies, and better relationships because of them! I look forward to reading more!

What’s been helping me the most are the 25 minute timers to get stuff done, the dopamenu, and cleaning with “desired clutter”

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Hi Cerabella,

Reading your story I felt a great overlap in some of what you’re describing, but first of all, nice to meet you! Hope you’re well :upside_down_face:.

So what I can’t imagine is the family situation, that really would drain me to be honest. My family might not understand it yet, but they usually do try to understand it. And my ADHD comes from my mother’s side (she herself has ADHD but she doesn’t want the diagnosis), so she gets bits of it.

Growing up I experienced a lot of the things you just said, I basically was that kid who could get good grades if he just would be interested, and in a weird way that’s still true about me, but this was only in primary school. ADHD has always been there, but what was fascinating to me is that my problems grew and grew when I graduated from high school. Ever since getting in high school I got increasingly frustrated with my lack of wanting to, constantly losing concentration and just working twice as long as you might need to on homework just because you decided to do something else alongside or something else at all. Now I hate using this as an excuse, because to me I’m still the problem. But somewhere deep down I know I’m only partly to blame for that.

Anyway, I graduated, and after that the complete structure of weeks, months, whatever, it all fell apart. And I knew then that I probably had ADHD, I just was very good at not wanting to change things. So I hid it most of the times (or tried to, seeing the results of most of those tries) or just laughed it off. But I started to struggle with what I wanted, who I even was, I was basically searching for a light switch in a really dark room without a light switch. But I kept on struggling and starting studies in college and just quitting again because I showed I was incapable of doing it and that led to social anxiety.

Fast forward to about a year and a half ago and that was when I found that there was no other way than to seek help or sit at home and basically do nothing all day. Those were my options, I guess this can differ between each person. I ran through 5 walls, but the sixth seemed thicker and I couldn’t get through it. It all escalated with a home situation in which people got frustrated with me (guess I couldn’t blame them if I was constantly home) and a father who got into a burn-out. When he got a bit better I collapsed mentally from always staying on my toes with everything that happened. So I went to see a therapist for my social anxiety and there I also got the diagnosis ADHD, without the idea of me going there that I was going to get that diagnosis.

This all happened when I was 21-22 years old at a therapist. I’m 23 now and started studying again which is a pain with covid around and online studying but that’s a whole other story. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I always wanted to keep going, wanted to perform and make others proud of me or go for the extreme level while I was at it, make me proud of me. With everyone in school always telling you that you can do better, that’s going to add up, and stick around, at least for me it did. Seems that seed was planted in primary school and blossomed after high school. Perfectionism is still a big thing with me, there’s good enough and there’s terrible, there’s no in-between.

But getting the diagnosis did change basically the other 50% of my extern life, internally it changed 80% of me and not in character… just in thinking and making decisions. Now I can oversee what is expected of me and sometimes listen to exactly what someone is saying in a conversation. Social anxiety basically disappeared after the therapist and I’m not ashamed to hide it anymore. It took me a long time to see that I needed help for it and still it needed a really radical situation to actually take the step.

So, there’s not much advice in there but mostly just recognizing what happened to you in myself as well. You can always let me know if you have a question about anything. I might only have one year official experience, but also 22 years undiagnosed experience :upside_down_face:

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Thank you for your story. It’s really cool to hear a story that is like me as far as timeline goes. You just mentioned diagnosis; was it the knowing that brought change to your life, a care plan, or a bit of both? Those are remarkable percentages compared to my 20% tops improvement I’m used to. (It’s more to say that I don’t easily feel a change with many things I try, but sometimes I find things that definitely help a bit.)

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Welcome, @Cerabella!
Self-knowledge is a good thing, especially if you use that knowledge to improve things. And it sounds like you are doing that - trying different things to help organize yourself and get things done. Congratulations! It will help you even when you do have a formal diagnosis. And if your plans hold, you will get a diagnosis at a much younger age than I did (56).
– John

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:+1::+1::+1::+1::+1::+1::+1:

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welcome!!!

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For me I think it was a combination of a lot of things like… falling in place, if that makes sense. I already knew about ADHD, and some part of me probably knew it before I was diagnosed. A lot of time it just wasn’t in ‘my-already-too-crowded-mind’. But I really had a comparable character and a lot of similar checks on the list you have for a diagnosis (I again forget the name of it, pretty sure it has one :sweat_smile:)

But it was really a combination of hearing they give you a diagnosis, however much my parents were opposed to it (and they usually support me in almost everything), the tips you get and, at least for me, individual help getting started with knowing about it and living with it where my therapist gave me all sorts of tips. I also use medication for it now and in parts that I kept failing in with studying, I now succeed most of the times (now covid isn’t helping it with online education but there’s no choice to that now). But also in my life outside school, the making decisions and keeping a bit of sight on what is expected of me, not that I never lose it anymore, but I regain it quicker. Making choices or just participating in basic conversations without missing 70% of whatever someone just asked you. I don’t often go without medication anymore, but that’s really a personal thing I guess, I’ve heard lots of stories of people coping without medication.

A lot of my character was visible in what now has gotten a lot better, especially in the last years before I got the diagnosis. Having that better now, I’m still learning to cope with it and again, the situation in my country isn’t helping because I really thrive in structure and that just isn’t there anymore. So yeah it’s the combination in the tips and trick I’ve gotten in the process, and the medication with that, has gotten me back in the right direction, at least for now :slightly_smiling_face:

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