I was struggling in my relationship and on the brink of losing my job (again). My boss had instructed me to shadow my coworkers and figure out what they were doing differently that enabled them to do their job. When I realized that in most cases our processes were similar, I felt defeated. I looked inward and just saw the all the other times I had failed. I started to believe that I was just lazy and self sabotaging as I’d always been told. I was reminded how the job I couldn’t afford to lose wasn’t even something I enjoyed but it’s where I landed myself after failing pretty much every class in high school. Get this, I tested so well that I received a scholarship to my university of choosing but because I struggled to do homework I didn’t have the GPA to get accepted to said university…
I had never even considered the idea that I was ADHD, I grew up in a home that didn’t believe ADHD was anything more than a cheap diagnosis for children without discipline. I had stumbled on Jessica’s TedTalk by accident, I frequently listen to TedTalks in the background as I work on other things and it just happened to be a queued video one day. But as I listened I really connected with everything she was saying… I hung on every word. After listening to it twice, I started down the rabbit hole. I spent a week watching videos and reading articles learning as much as I could. At the end of the week I sat down and just wept. I finally felt like their could be an actual reason for my struggle, I could finally look back at my failures and forgive myself because they were no longer my fault.
I immediately called my mom and ask for help finding a psychiatrist to see. I went in completely open minded. I want going to tell him what I was there hoping to hear and if he had a different opinion I was at least hopeful I could get some help and still improve myself. 30 minute into the session and he says it, “I’m going to be honest here, I am absolutely convinced you had Adult ADHD and that’s it’s caused anxiety and depression disorders, all of which are treatable with therapy and medication…”. I was stunned, I didn’t know what to say which made the doctor think I was rejecting the idea! I was quick to come clean and let him know I had thought the same thing but I didn’t want him to think I wasn’t open to other ideas… I’m now about 6 weeks in, we are still adjusting my meds and seeing a therapist regarding what I know know are impulse controls issues but my life has change completely. Yes, the medication has “robbed” me of who I was, but I don’t miss that person at all, I almost dread knowing they come back when the meds wear off but it’s less and less of a hindrance everyday.
Since my treatment began I feel like I’ve been given a second chance. My work is improving, I’m spending more time with friends and family, my apartment has never been cleaner and I’m going after everything I’d been too afraid to do thinking I would just fail like I always had. I finally have the confidence to enroll into a local community college and work my way up to that university so I can pursue my dreams.
TL;DR I’m incredibly thankful for Jessica’s courage and desire to inform. My life has completely changed for the better and it’s because I was finally able to ask the right questions.
My name is Stephan, I’m 26 and I have an ADHD Brain!