I’m 22 years old and grew up on East Coast of the US.
Firstly, I’d like to thank Jessica for her TED talk, which opened my eyes to the fact the I may have ADHD and led me to seek a diagnosis.
I was diagnosed about a month and half ago and I am still coming to terms with it, to be honest. I started medication and am still waiting to meet with a therapist to help process this and get strategies for organization and planning. And of course, I’m also watching the How To ADHD videos, which have been enormously helpful.
To give some background, for the past few years, ever since I started college, I have been constantly consumed by stress and anxiety and have not been to able to share it with anyone except medical providers or my college dean. As someone who’s loved learning for his whole life, it shattered my self-esteem to see myself fail so badly at college and not be able to succeed no matter how hard I tried. Trouble sustaining attention and disorganization made it so that I couldn’t finish assignments on time or study as I should have for finals even though I knew I could learn the material. Through all this, I developed a deep-seated sense of failure and I began to hate myself for not trying hard enough.
In high school, the material was much easier so I didn’t really need to study much and I had the structure my parents and teachers in school provided. Once that structure vanished and the material got so much harder in college, I couldn’t keep up. Despite this, I was able to wear a mask in front of my friends and parents who all thought everything was fine. I was too embarrassed and afraid to tell my high achieving friends and my parents that I wasn’t doing well and that I didn’t understand why.
Wearing this mask, though it saved me from embarrassment, left me feeling very lonely and having to suffer alone. Looking back, I wish I could have let some of my friends in to my struggles. It probably would have made things easier and maybe I could have been diagnosed sooner
Now, I’m trying to think less about what if’s (which are too many to name) and to look towards the future instead. I hope to start a process of healing and to accept myself as I am and to no longer hate myself. And I’m very grateful to have found this wonderful community and am really looking forward to learning with all of you.