New, and recently self-aware of what ADHD is... 15 years after diagnosis.

Hi everyone, this is my intro.

Basic facts about me:

  • 26 years old
  • Diagnosed young
  • Live in DC
  • Air Force vet
  • Consultant/Project Manager
  • Currently taking Vyvanse
  • Literally have never even considered doing research… until this week.

So as the last bullet point said - yeah, I didn’t know this was a thing until now. I genuinely never gave ADHD a second thought until now.

Here’s my story:

As noted in the fact section, I was diagnosed in grade school, maybe even 4th grade if I recall. I was blessed that my family had the proper insurance to cover my medication, and also that my mother was a 1st grade teacher who could help me develop some of the skills I needed to succeed in school. When I was 11, I decided I wanted to be an attorney. When I was 13, I decided I wanted to join the Air Force and be a fighter pilot. However, at the time, the military was not accepting people with ADHD/on medication for ADHD. So, I did the most logical thing - stopped taking medication for the next 10 years. I was able to enlist, and completed 4 years of service in the Air Force. I also went on to college, and received a B.A. in History with a Pre-Law minor. I took the LSAT (acceptance test for law school), and pulled out a decent score.

I had finished 7/8th grade - college without any medication. By the time I finished college, I was 24 (little older due to the Air Force thing). However, I started to recognize I was reaching the end of my potential without making a change. My GPA in college was a 2.6 - far below what I was capable of. My scores in my history courses were A’s, while things that didn’t hold my interest (pretty much everything else) went pretty bad. I didn’t study for either LSAT test I took, despite spending $500+ on study books. Being out of the military, I figured it was time to make a change, and try some medication again. So I did in 2017 - and it was like putting glasses on for the first time. I could see again, think again, and actually felt plugged into life. The cloud in my head that dogged even simple things was lifted, and I experienced some of my best brain moments, if you will.

Except I had nothing to spend the brain power on. I didn’t have a job right after college. I moved back to my moms house, and spent the next year searching. One thing I was always good at was adapting - unsure if it’s the ADHD, military experience, or something else, but I have always been proud of my ability to adapt to dynamic environments and pull out success. Since I had decided to hold off on law school so that I could pursue a full time career in the interim.

However, the job search was taxing. I went through no less than 20 FULL resume re-drafts, applies to roughly 300 positions, maintained 4 different versions of my resume for different position types, and drove 10+ hours for interviews that did not pay off on a routine basis. Long story short, I nearly lost myself through the process - if it wasn’t for video games. I started playing Destiny 2, and it really helped… with pretty much everything, including giving me a purpose to wake up in the morning and work on something. Eventually, I landed a job - spent a year there, and moved to the next.

My next job is my current. I’m a consultant at one of the largest firms in the world, advising my own individual client and overseeing a project worth millions of dollars. The work is high stakes, high stress, and highly technical. 2 years ago, I would have had absolutely no idea what this job even was. I didn’t even have a concept of consulting/project management. Every day, I walk into work and confront challenges that I have no idea how to solve - and that’s what my job is supposed to be. I can’t decide if this is something that I can do better with ADHD, or if ADHD impacts my ability to do my job in this aspect.

ADHD does impact me in other parts of my job, relationships, and even my self care. After a long time without ever even considering researching ADHD, I stumbled upon this forum’s YouTube channel, and literally every single video applied to me. I had no idea why I didn’t look into this before, but I’m glad I did.

I’m looking forward to talking about how ADHD has impacted me and how I can learn from this community. I’m also excited to contribute to the development of others however I can.

I had more of an intro planned - but after two separate interruptions while typing… yeah, you guys get it.

3 Likes

I really enjoyed reading your intro!

I can imagine that being in the structure of the military really worked for you (ex British police officer). I hate Desk jobs, they make me so miserable, but I love the flexibility of adapting to situations, reading people and problem solving on the fly.

2 Likes

I’m glad! The military was great for structure. The fact that I’m in such an ambiguous environment now is absolutely the biggest challenge I have faced.

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I have a similar story! I was given the diagnosis at age 6 and never really thought anything of it until recently when I just started a new job and was having such a hard time grasping simple things and remembering directions so I did what you did, I did some research and stumbled upon this as well!

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@Baggedsaturn93

Welcome aboard. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing. I am a wee bit older than you (73) also w/ ADHD. My 42-year-old son was diagnosed with ADHD when six years of age. One of his two daughters, age 11, was recently diagnosed with ADHD.

my son also stopped taking medication after high school. It probably made his college experience more difficult. It took him seven years, three different colleges, and high-anxiety w/ “brain burn-out” to finally graduate. While he thought he was stupid and not college material he achieved a 3.97 GPA out of 4. He works in the field as an electrical engineer. He thrives on the challenges and problem-solving that he faces every day. Like some others with ADHD he said that he would die if stuck behind a desk.

It was only after some years of living through my son’s experience that I suspected I was the tree :deciduous_tree: from which the apple :apple: fell. I was diagnosed in my early 50s. Having that confirmation put a whole new light on why all of the years prior were so difficult in many ways. I won’t bore you with further details, but by all means feel free to ask any questions you might have.

Yeah, this site was a great discovery for me too! Though I only joined within the past month, I come back every day and (like you) benefit from both giving and receiving. It’s satisfying to dialogue with others here who understand and live with ADHD. I suggest that the world at large has many skeptics . . .

Small things can make a big difference!

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