I was on a retreat and took a short break from lists.
During our getaway, I found myself saying to my friend a couple of times, “Ah, my ADHD is showing!” and it reminded me of this list idea.
So here we are, a collection of things about my experience of ADHD:
1. I got diagnosed at 42 because I caused a car accident when I misused my usual internal mantra “the light is green, the light is green, the light is green.”
2. I cried when I read my first stories by adult women diagnosed with ADHD because I finally saw that I wasn’t alone.
3. When I was 25, after spending only an hour with me around my house, an alternative school founder from Germany asked if I struggled in school. When I told her I did really well in school, she said, “You must have helped the teacher a lot. That's how some people adapt.” She didn't call it ADHD but now I know what she was talking with me about that day.
4. I used to make endless lists to help me manage my day but I can’t anymore. They don’t work. I’m trying to figure out how to solve this and it’s just not as simple as it should be.
5. I create mantras to help me remember things. “Meeting at 5, meeting at 5, meeting at 5…” sometimes they turn into songs and then I forget that I’m actually singing this mantra for a purpose
6. When I’m tired the struggle to stay on task intensifies. I often say, “My ADHD is showing” and it helps with perspective.
7. I love to hyperfocus and can work for 12 hours straight on something I’m really into, happily.
8. Learning to accept that my brain just works differently has really helped me give myself grace and support.
9. I still love planners (even though I don't use them well), often with a collection of 4-6 each year. (This is probably totally unrelated to ADHD, I don’t know.)
10. I hold all diagnosis lightly, often avoiding them. ADHD has taught me, however, that having a word to organize research and understanding for my experience can also bring great relief and a sense of connection.