New to the forum - Hi from Scotland 😊

A lot of people seem to write introductions here so figured I might as well… :sweat_smile: haven’t actually really engaged in an online forum for about 10 years so pardon me if I get the etiquette wrong now or anytime in the future… :joy:

So my name’s Emilia, I’m 25 years old and I’m from Finland but been living in Scotland for the past 5 years.

I haven’t been diagnosed with ADHD yet, I’m still waiting for an appointment with a psychiatrist, but the more I read about it, the more convinced I am that it’s something I have.

One example being overwhelmed by writing this bio right now :joy: wondering how specific I should be about my history and problems, starting to think I probably shouldn’t bore people to death with it all cause you’d be here all day, but then thinking I guess that is what this forum is for and I’m overthinking this, but so if I do write about my experiences, where do I even start? So many potential things to talk about but no idea where to start or which to pick cause I can’t possibly write them all :joy: ok weird inner monologue over, I’ll give this a bash…

I was always a bright kid, did well in school without much effort, and so thinking I had some sort of learning disability never even crossed my mind, in fact, I was often the smartest kid in class (is there a way to say that without sounding extremely arrogant…? :joy:). But I was often very snappy with my parents, getting angry with them over seemingly tiny things like asking me what I got for homework today (I would tell them to mind their own goddamn business cause telling them what homework I had would mean they would make me do them). It’s not that I didn’t ever do my homework, I mostly found school very interesting and loved learning new things, I was like an information sponge, but anything that required long periods of concentration, like reading through a chapter in a book, I would almost never do, partly cause I would forget, and partly cause I just really couldn’t be bothered to.

When it came to the social game however, I’ve always struggled a bit, I always say I’m like a walking contradiction (in most aspects of my life), but socially especially. I’m very shy upon meeting new people, and get extremely anxious about going alone to new things. But once you get to know me, you can’t make me shut up :joy:
In primary school I got bullied a bit cause I was clearly somehow weird and different to most, luckily it wasn’t too bad and kinda fizzled out (cause my primary school was tiny, with 69 pupils so everyone knew everyone and you couldn’t really get away with bullying there for long before teachers and parents were all up in your business) but when I moved schools to go to middle school I got so badly bullied and didn’t make a single friend in the one year that I was there, that I decided to switch schools to one where I already had some friends from primary.

Anyway, getting sidetracked here a bit, not sure any of this is relevant… :joy: I’ll try and make it shorter and snappier…

Fast forward to high school, got into a musically focusses high school and finally made lots of friends cause it was easier with people interested in similar things, I was still doing quite well in school cause the teachers were mostly great and they managed to keep my interests up. Throughout my school journey my grades stayed fairly well, but in high school they did get a bit worse (although still around/above average), but I did always feel like I wasn’t quite reaching my potential. I knew I wasn’t dumb, but the more freedom of choice and the more in charge of my own studying I became, the more I would start to struggle cause I just didn’t have the internal motivation to make myself study. I felt like I could do so much better but for some reason I just wasn’t.
When it came to my finals decided enough procrastination, I’m gonna apply myself to studying so help me god! But no matter how determined I was, I would just get too distracted at home to study, so I started to go to my local library to sit and study cause it was the only place I felt was quiet and calm and distractionless enough where I could focus on studying. This helped, but still wasn’t as if I wouldn’t get distracted. Thank goodness smart phones weren’t much of a thing back then…
I ended up doing alright in my finals, but nowhere near as good as I hoped or felt I could have done. Whenever I had a test I would get really anxious and frustrated cause I had so much information in my head in no cohesive order that I couldn’t seem to get it down on paper. I founs it hars to pick the important things running around in my mind, and even more so getting it into a readable cohesive text that made sense on paper. It wasn’t for a lack of knowledge, but for a lack of structure in my brain if that makes sense :sweat_smile:
We would always have 8h to finish the final test of whichever subject we were writing it on, and I would spend probably about half of it reading through the questions, panicking, trying to pick one to write about, get stressed about the fact that half the time was gone and I reeeeeally need to pick one now and start writing or I’m not gonna be able to finish it, and only then being able to get something down on paper, with the knowledge of impending doom otherwise haha.

Fast forward to few years ago when I moved to Scotland to start uni. (Again, realise I’m probably rambling and/or writing the longest blog post in history… :joy: so gonna try and self-edit and not make this suuuuper long, if possible…)

Lemme just say, that essays are the bain of my life.

Same scenario as the finals in high school, except this time instead of having 8h to finish an essay in a classroom, I’m in charge of organising my time so that I - research a topic, make an outline, start writing, reflect, do more research, keep writing, reflect, edit, submit - I would essentially get overwhelmed by everything I needed to do, get super anxious about it, feel incapable to do anything, procrastinate until the very last minute, then on the night before the deadline I would spend the whole night writing out this essay I should have started on two months earlier. Every. God. Damn. Time.

I always swore ”next time I’m gonna start on time! I really want to do well and not leave it last minute!” Yet every time without fail, I would hand in a piece of work done as last minute as possible… Including my dissertation.

I’d kind of always joked about having ADHD to my friends cause I was so scatterminded and procrastinated so much, but I was never entirely serious. I just thought I had really bad work ethics and I just needed to apply myself more.
It wasn’t really until the last few months of the last year of my uni, when I nearly had a nervous breakdown over the building pressures of deadlines and planning for the future etc, that I decided to get in touch with my uni about getting tested for ADHD (not necessarily cause I still believed that I had it but because I’d heard so much about ADHD medication helping with concentration and I was desperate for anything to help me do that). But my uni got back to me saying something along the lines of getting a diagnosis would take several months and by that time my dissertation deadline and uni would be over with, so I didn’t pursue it cause I figured what’s the point.
I did manage to get everything done, although lucky for me we all got extensions (cause of a uni mess-up unrelated to me) which I would not have made it through without… Nor did I get nearly as good marks throughout uni as I felt I could/should have.

Fast forward a year after uni now -
I spent the summer after I graduated working at my usual summer job in Finland, and as autumn came I was hyped up to come back to Scotland to ’finally start my career’ and do all the things I’d always dreamed about. (I studied popular music at uni which I guess is something I forgot to mention), so getting work as a musician, working in a recording studio, or anything industry-related even just to get some experience and get my foot in the door.
Yet as I got back, I very soon got anxious and overwhelmed by the abundance of possibilities andlack of opportunities simultaneously, I had no plan, and no idea what to do, and ended up going back to working at a gym as a cleaner where I’d worked part-time throughout my studies. This was meant to be part-time, and only temporary, yet I somehow got stuck there working fulltime and before I knew it, it was spring again, I was nowhere nearer working in the industry I wanted to work in, and I was absolutely miserable working the job I was at. I decided to go back to Finland again for the summer to be near my family again and work a job I actually loved doing (being a deckhand on tourist boats in Helsinki :raised_hands:t2::grin:). And figured, after THIS summer I’m gonna get a grip of myself and ’apply myself’ and really try and get a job in the field I want and start building the life I wanted.

And that brings me to today.
I got back to Scotland about 2 months ago, and scared to fall into the same rut I was in all last year, I’ve decided not to get a part-time dead-end job for the fear of getting stuck in it again, and the plan was to spend all my time looking for ”real” work instead, and start practicing and writing my own music more again to have more to show for myself as a professional musician, yet this is not at all what has happened.
I have spent the past two months essentially procrastinating my days away on pointless things like Netflix and playing Play Station and it seems that the more time goes by, the more stuck I get and can’t seem to bring myself to do anything. Even stuff like leave the flat most days.
One night two months ago, I was feeling a bit desperate again, and I started wondering ”You know, what if I ’actually’ have ADHD?”. I went on to google the symptoms in adults and women, as I only had a very skin-deep knowledge of ADHD and usually you only heard of kids and especially of boys having it, not adults or women.
The more I read, the more my life started making sense.
It was like someone was describing my life without knowing me and I just had this Heureka moment. I just burst out crying cause I felt like my life finally made sense.

Anyhow, here I am, still unemployed, extremely stressed, the master of procrastination (I came and sat in a café just now to try and do some job hunting, yet I’ve instead just spent the last hour and a half writing this post… lol).

I went to the GP like a week after that night of revelations, once I’d built up enough courage, and I’m now on the waiting list to see a psychiatrist, which might still take a month, although no specific date has yet been set… I can’t wait, cause I’m so eager to actually ’start’ my life properly, as I feel that I’m just treading water now. But also, cause until I get a diagnosis I am just second-guessing myself constantly, thinking I might just be lazy, I might not have ADHD at all and I’m just making excuses for my bad work ethics…

Anyhow, I’m really sorry for the extremely long post, and if anyone managed to get to the end of that I am thoroughly impressed and proud of you, cause I’m not sure I would have! :joy:

Long story short - Hi I’m Emilia, nice to meet you. Hopefully be able to officially be part of the tribe in the not distant future… :joy:

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Jeeeez, actually seeing this post posted now makes me realise how ridiculously long i actually is! I don’t expect anyone o make it through that one… sorryyyyy! :joy:

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Hello Emilia and welcome! :smiley:

And word walls do not scare me! BAHAHAHAHA.

I hope you’re able to get an appointment relatively soon so you can get things sorted out! I love the paragraph of your “weird inner monologue”. I relate to that entire paragraph. :joy: I overthink too and also end up with weird inner monologues, hehehe.

I was very much like you in school! I loved absorbing the knowledge, so school was very interesting! Though I didn’t have trouble reading chapters until about high school… when the subjects started to interest me a lot less. Usually literature. I hated literature. I hated literature so much. I loved reading, but I HATE required and forced reading. If I don’t want to read The Crucible, don’t make me read the Crucible, just give me a TL; DR version… But I digress… :sweat_smile:

I’M RELATING SO MUCH RIGHT NOW. I use the phrase “I’m like a walking contradiction” all the time!
-high fives- I totally can be the same way, though I’m slowly getting a little better… but it really depends on the situation, as well as, my mood. But shy is generally my usual default, especially if I don’t have a friend or my boyfriend around to kind of be that social buffer.

Also I loooove when a mess-up works in your favor, especially if the mess-up isn’t yours!

Also being a deckhand on a tourist boat sounds interesting! What does that entail?! It sounds fun - is it fun?! It sounds so cool.

I really hope you’re able to see a psychiatrist sooner rather than later! And I hope when you do get in that they are wonderful and great and amazing. :heart: And it’s okay… I’ve been sitting at work for an hour and I decided to read through forum posts and respond to yours. :sweat_smile: We can all ride the procrastination train together, at least!

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Hi Emilia,

We are all experienced word wallers here. That doesn’t guarantee we’re any good at READING them, but we all write them, so no need to apologize.

Welcome to the tribe!

The thing that struck me is how similar your experience was with mine, although I’m 15 years ahead in my timeline. I have a degree in Illustration, but I haven’t ever managed to do any jobs in that field. I work for a financial firm, and have been doing so for almost 10 years now. It’s not what I want to do, but I struggle to figure out what I DO want to do. Currently I’m trying to decide if I want to try freelancing again as an illustrator/graphic designer or pursue a graduate degree in something, and if I should stay in finance or move into another career track that jives with my undergrad degree, like Art Therapy. I’m terrified of choosing “wrong” and getting the education and then still not progressing in any kind of career. So I keep stalling and not even starting anything. It’s pretty demoralizing.

I hope you’re able to get the help you need and acheive your dreams!

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Started reading this at work earlier, and had to save it for later lol. I can relate as well with just about everything you said! I hope things go quickly with the appointments and everything related! Now, I need to go finish some mid-term stuff that is do in 5 hours… :sweat_smile:

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Hey Harley, sorry for the slow reply! Wasn’t quite sure where to start with replying to your message and kept putting it off but I’m gonna try and get over myself! :sweat_smile:

Man, I feel like my whole life is one big inner monologue at times, and just wish I could shut my brain off sometimes instead of running on overdrive constantly!

And yeah in terms of reading chapters, I didn’t really struggle with that until high school either I think.
I think it’s because before high school it would only be a page ow two to read, which is still mostly doable, even if it isn’t the most interesting topic. But when high school started and I had to read whole chapters, just the thought of the bulk ahead was like “naaaahhh!” and I’d go watch TV or something instead haha.

And literature I get it! I used to love reading as a kid but I think I’ve always been quite particular in my likes. I loved reading fantasy, like stuff that wouldn’t be “realistic”. Harry Potter for life <3

I think I read like two or three books for book reports ever, the rest I would just skim through, read a page here, a page there, get the general gist, then just go online, read other people’s book reports, and rework those to look like I read it :joy: Think the best mark I ever got for a book report was for a book I never read!

And as far as the deckhand job! Man! It’s awesome!
It suits me so well cause you’re basically a jack of all trades on the boats - you tie the ropes upon arrival and untie when departing, you check/sell tickets, ensure the safety of everyone onboard, you work the bar onboard the boat, you tell people about the history of the destinations we’re going to, just generally engaging with people from all over the world! keep everything clean (less fun…), handle cash, phone people up with queries etc! But my favourite part - You get the be out at sea all day every day! (Get to go home for the night, which is even better) And the company I work for has 11 different vessels, 5 different islands we go to, and chartered cruises too, so no one day is the same! :blush:

Before going to study music at university, I was considering going to maritime school, but in the end, it sounded too boring with too much physics and maths and theoretical stuff in general. I’ve always been a much more hands-on person so the reality of being a sea captain just sounded way too boring haha. It’s a lovely summer job though :slight_smile:

And thanks for all the encouragement, I wish I could just speed up the clock and see someone already!
(Patience is not my strong point… :sweat_smile:)

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Hey! :slight_smile:

I’m glad I’m not alone in rambling and word-walling :smiley:

And I totally empathise with you on struggling to figure out what you want to do.
Growing up I was very passionate about a lot of things but I think because my whole family is very musical that I always got most encouragement in music, and it was something I was quite good at, and got praised for, so it just felt like that was what I should be doing. I built up this idea of where I thought I wanted to be in like 10 or 20 years and how to get there, a music degree seemed like the natural step towards that.

However, having come out the other end of uni I feel more lost then ever, second-guessing whether it’s actually what I want to be doing, but not really being able to think of an alternative. I do still love music, but it doesn’t excite and inspire me in the same way it once did (I’m guessing that might be the ADHD speaking…)
But nothing else really inspires me that way either, so I feel like if nothing gets me that fired up, might as well go for something that I like?

Ehh, feel like I’m rambling again haha.

But yeah, totally get the feeling of choosing wrong! Relate to that so much!
Part of me would love to do further studying, been thinking about doing a MA in Music Psychology, cause that’s something I really gained an interest for in my last year of my BA, but then I’m thinking like “do I just want to get this degree to scratch an interest itch, or can I actually use this degree in any kind of productive way?” haha.

I think my advice for you (which I don’t follow myself cause I’m a massive hypocrite :joy:) is to just try doing a bit of freelance! Just part time on the side. Testing the waters so to speak.
If you feel unsure of yourself or lacking in confidence, even offer to do some small project for someone pro bono, perhaps a charity or something. It will give you experience and a confidence boost, and potentially spread the word of your work too!
Once you feel you’re confident enough, you can charge for your work (and never undervalue your work! I know it’s very easy to fall into the mindset of “anyone else could do this, and probably way better too!” but no! they couldn’t! and wouldn’t! so don’t undermine yourself and the validity of your work :slight_smile:)

Good luck with figuring out what you want in life! I’m right there with ya! I think the important thing is to try new things (which for me, personally, is terrifying, but also extremely fun once I finally pluck up the courage!), because I know it’s soooo easy to become complacent and stuck in a rut, and nothing inspires you anymore. So only by trying things you haven’t before, you might find something that inspires you again and gives you a course!

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No worries on the “slow” reply! (Two days seems pretty fast to me! :grin:) I totally do the same thing.

YES. Harry Potter is love. Harry Potter is life. What’s your house? :smiley: (You know I gotta ask, bahahah)

THAT’S HILARIOUS. I never did a lot of book reports beyond grade school, thankfully. But I did take a History of Rock n Roll class just for the fun of it… and bullshitted every report, including the final paper. I finished them all in 2-3 hours… usually finishing at 3AM on the day it was due. :sweat_smile: I grew up with rock due to my Dad so it’s just like… I could easily take a record and half-ass a report and I’d get an A. I cackled. We’re… good at this? Bahaha.

THAT SOUNDS AMAZING. Aside from keeping things clean, which is rarely ever fun, that sounds like such an amazing summer job! It’s awesome you get to do something you really enjoy doing for the summer, at the very least!

And I get you - patience ain’t my virtue, either. :sweat_smile:

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Hufflepuff! :joy: the stoner house of Harry Potter haha
I had mixed feeling when I got the result but in the end I do feel like it’s probably accurate :joy: Also, badgers are totally cute!

I did a course in rock n roll history too! (And well, kind of a degree half dedicated to it too I guess… :joy:) my dad was 20 in the summer of loove so I grew up listening to all that stuff too. The Beatles :heart:️ Forever.

And I think the great thing about being creative and/or having ADHD is you come up with the most creative/least effort requiring solution to most things you have to do! True innovation! :wink:

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PFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTT YES. :joy: SO TRUE.

Nice! My Dad definitely was leaning more towards hard rock and heavy metal. Such a reeeebel. :rofl: And so I did a paper on the Def Leppard’s drummer, Rick Allen, about life before and after an auto accident where he lost his arm… and how he re-learned how to drum with one arm. It was a fun paper… and I totally looked up like two things… wrote the paper and was done. :joy: I’m also really good at… fluffing stuff. But making it look NOT FLUFFED. We’re talented people, ADHDers. :wink:

HUFFLEPUFFS <3
I am a Slytherin. :sweat_smile: Always. :snake:

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Hi Emilia! I’m excited to see someone else who lives in Edinburgh here. I’m also new to the forum (and from the UK thread, I’m also in a similar disgnosis stage to you, between the GP and the psychiatrist). Your childhood behaviour description sounds a lot like mine! Anyway, just wanted to say “hi” to an Edinburgh person :slight_smile:

Heyy! :blush: yay to Edinburgh! :raised_hands:t2: Welcome to the forum!

Just an update in case anyone was wondering/interested…

It’s been 8 months now since I was referred by my GP to the ADHD evaluation, and still no sign of an invitation to meet with a psychiatrist.
The initial estimation was a 4 month waiting list - phoned them after 4 months, they said it’ll be 8 months from referral - and that’s now, so I phoned up the clinic few days ago to see what the hold up is.

And they said it’s going to be another 2 months at least… but I’ve lost any faith in them ever seeing me at this rate.

Not to mention that I won’t even be in the country during that time, as I’m flying back to Finland for 2 months in the summer…

So I’m just starting to feel quite hopeless about this whole thing. Constantly second guessing myself whether I have ADHD or if I’m just going crazy. Probably both… I just need some answers and some help but the NHS is stretched so thin here that they don’t have the resources to allocate for a ”non-priority” such as myself.
When I told the woman on the phone that I am struggling and I have already waited 8 months in uncertainty and I really need to see someone, she said there is nothing she can do, and told me if I have a mental health crisis there’s a mental health emergency service at the royal infirmary, but I’m guessing that’s for people who are suicidal and truly at the end of their ropes. And I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that for me to be seen by someone…

And I don’t have the money to go private either. So I’m just stuck in this horrible limbo now without seeing any option but wait until after the summer when I’m back in Edinburgh to be seen by a psychiatrist. …assuming they haven’t pushed me to the back of the line again for not being here when I was supposed to be seen… and wait another year…

Ugh.

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From other posts on the forum, this sounds quite typical for the NHS, sadly… I’ve seen similar from Scotland in particular and the UK in general…

Maybe you can tell them that you have to visit family this summer back home? (your old grandmother or something like that) Maybe that can help you get shifted in the line, so you get a time in August or September, rather than while you’re home?

I did tell them that and the woman on the phone said she’s made a note of it in their systems… whatever that means :confused:

Hopefully that means a good thing…:sweat_smile: But yeah, call them as soon as you’re back, confirm that you’re at the head of the list, and how long until you can get an appointment. If you already have your return date, maybe write it here, we’ll remind you too, if you need it?

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I’m forgetful, but I should be alright remembering this, as it’s something I’ve been anticipating for the past 8 months. But thanks :slight_smile:

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The struggle is real

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I’ll just add a link here as well for anyone following.
I finally got diagnosed the other day! ^^

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