I am Michał (can be called Mike, for sake of simplicity). I am from Poland and I’m 32 years old. I’m hoping to find some souls from around the world I can share my story with. I would like you to excuse me in advance if I make any mistakes as I’m not native English speaker.
I found HowToADHD channel lately after my therapist suggested that I might have this condition and I dived into this topic, binged watched lots and lots of videos while procrastinating on my work. It clicked in my mind, that it explains a lot of my life-time struggles.
I consider myself rather successful person, because when looking back on my story I managed to overcome a lot of thing to be in place where I am now. However it is very superficial point of view, that’s what most people see, but in fact I really struggle to stay afloat and not sink into deep dark waters of depression.
From beginning, I seemed to be pretty normal child, little shy when compared to my peers, but my parents didn’t know that in fact that was first symptom of my problems. I don’t blame my family, we were poor but I received from my parents many things that can’t be bought with money. However despite my parents were well educated people they haven’t noticed anything, perhaps because in these times mental health awareness in Poland was close to zero. We had problems, my older brother was troublemaker, and hence my parents attention was mostly focused on him, I grew up believing that my parents have enough problems with him, so I need to be quiet, trouble-free child. So I was and I buried all problems in deep corner of my mind. I wouldn’t like to go much into details. I just want to explain what was the reason on my life-time conviction that I must sustain problem-free image of my person. It might seem contradictory to the fact that using ADHD terminology I am both hyperactive and inattentive type. (now I am aware of term such as ‘masking’ and how huge role it played in my life)
Anyway, I managed somehow survive first grades of school despite I developed something that I would call school phobia (I don’t know proper terminology for that kind of fear), along as some kind of OCD. Since middle school my depression really kicked in and after that it was only slippery slope down to hell. I turned to auto-aggression as coping mechanism. I felt really lonely, had suicidal thoughts and really didn’t care about future.
Later on, at age of 19, I moved out from my parents house with my girlfriend at the time. This was really toxic relationship that costed me much of my mental health. Under pressure of my parents I started studying at a university. To keep up with the image of being successful person I turned to self-medication, and became addicted to opioid drugs. Meanwhile my brother died due to alcohol abuse.
I just really wanted to find way out of my misery, I really couldn’t keep up with the pressure, all I could do was pretending I’m fine, but inside I was suffering.
Nevertheless, I finished uni and even started doing PhD. I really liked it but I was damaged enough to eventually fall apart. All my relationships were disasters, I felt imensive loneliness.
During all this time, I tried to seek for a help, but I ran into bad doctors and it discouraged me and for a long time I avoided seeking help . Eventually, on a verge of committing suicide I made a bet with myself, that I will do anything I can, but I need to give myself at least one shot before I decide take my life away. I knew that only person that can help me is… only me. I don’t want it to sound lofty, but that is what I was thinking.
Now, after six years from this moment, I am sober for almost six years, married, and proud to become father in February '23. I am working as software developer, which is related to my passion. It doesn’t mean I solved all of my problems. I still working with my therapist, I’m trying to figure out how to create my environment accommodated for me. Sometimes it is still really tough. Impostor syndrome, stress etc. There are many things that are not in good order.
Lately, my therapist suggested me that I might have ADHD, and it gave me new hope. Although, I managed to figure out most of my problems, it was still back in my mind that I something is not ok.
Now I am learning about neurodiversity world, and next week I am going to start process of getting an official diagnosis.
Forgive me this long topic. I really hope you all are doing great.