I've been working with many clients with adhd one-to-one. All of these clients were struggling with some kind of disorganisation, which as a Professional Organiser and Coach, I was there to help them with. So, it only seemed natural for me to completely be unaware of my own adhd. But, in an attempt to be able to serve my gorwing clientele of adhd women even better, I decided to study it. And what I found astonished me... you see, adhd wasn't what I had initially thought it was at all. It isn't what was explained to me other professionals and it certainly doesn't fit the name description either- Attention Deficit Disorder; because:
It's not a disorder
It doesn't always involve hyperactivity and
When you have adhd, you don't have a deficit of attention, in-fact you have more attention than a Neuro-typical brain, there is just an inability to distribute this properly... unless of course, we're passionate about something which becomes our superpower (hyperfocus- my favourite thing about adhd which I will tell you all about in the next post!)
But perhaps the most surprising revelation of all, was that: I have adhd. For 37 years of my life, I had adhd with absolutely no idea that I had it. Nobody ever guessed and I've learned to be so efficient, organised and productive, that unless you are trained in adhd and live with me (to witness how I lose my phone five times a day everyday- true story) then you wouldn't even know... No one ever knew!
So, here I gift you with the 67 reasons that I knew I had adhd.
1. Doodling on work in school. I was always incessantly drawing, or writing.
3. Constantly being told off for talking (in school).
4. Naturally bright but didn’t apply myself in school, meetings held because of this.
5. Flourished in drama and was given great roles but couldn’t carry them out because I couldn’t remember my lines. This was such a shame, because as a kid, I dreamed of becoming an actress, but this really affected my confidence. Like many things do with adhd in our younger years...
6. Lived around the corner from school but was always late!
7. Now we live around the corner from my daughters school and we always get there just in time despite the fact I wake up at 6:00 and school doesn’t start until 8:45!
8. Struggled to get up on time when I was younger.
9. Always being late - I'm always joking that unless I'm being paid, or taking my daughter to school, I'm always late. But the reason it's not even funny is because it's TRUE!
10. Time blind. I often set myself timers to remind myself of the time when I'm lost in a task, because although the laser-like focus gets my jobs done to a high standard, it also means I have no idea what the time is & checking it is just not a thought at all. I only think of what I'm doing when I am able to focus.
11. Hyperfocus- my favourite thing about adhd. I'll spill all in the next post... so, stay tuned.
12. Reports at school always noted easily distracted.
13. Easily lead in my youth. Sad & pretty unbelievable if you knew me now, but very true.
14. Struggled with eating disorders/ binge eating and starving myself in my youth- actually very common with adhd. We have naturally lower levels of dopamine and are unconsciously always seeking out ways to get more.
15. Struggled with drug addiction in my youth- as-well-as a lack of Dopamine, the adhd brain is also (weirdly bc it doesn't seem it) understimulated, it is for this very reason that 52% of people with adhd struggle with addiction. Because we are always seeking out more Dopamine, plus more stimulation... reaching for illegal drugs ticks both those boxes. And I just want to take this opportunity, if this was you also, to say- you were just unconsciously trying to fix something in yourself when you engaged in this and that I hope you find some compassion for yourself there. This has really helped me to understand how I got so caught up in addictive patterns in my youth.
16. Life and soul of the party, was massive party girl and binge drinker!
17. I lose my phone about 5 times a day. I’m always putting something down and then cannot recall where I’ve put it. This is common with adhd.
18. Can never remember where I’ve parked!
19. No sense of direction!
20. Always avoid shopping when it’s busy and do it online wherever possible because too much choice overstimulates me and leaves me so overwhelmed I can’t choose anything.
21. Falling into periodic crushes with aspirational lifestyles… I’ve brought courses I’ve never completed. There, I said it. It's true. I often try on a different lifestyle in my head. It's become a private joke with myself that I've learned to have fun with now.
22. Never had a stable job in my teens. The longest job I’ve been in was 3 years and that was because it was hospitality in my 20's, so I was physically on the go and an agency, so I could choose when and where I worked (plus, the work was physical as-well-as mentally stimulating) I run my own business now which suits me, but I still struggle with long term planning and small details. I'm a visionary and I can't wait to employ someone to sort out the admin stuff that I always dread!
23. I wrote a book (I’ve always loved to write) but I can’t edit it to save my life even though I’ve tried 3 times. I;ve sent it off to a publishing competition, in the hopes that if it gets published, I'll actually get an editor who can take a look because the editing is just painful. I'd rather have an editor than the prize money. Honestly.
24. Highly creative.
25. Deeply empathetic.
26. Pick up on other peoples emotions and feel them in my body.
27. Need frequent time alone to decompress and figure out how I feel and just be. I get too overstimulated sometimes. This need for space has affected my romantic relationships. Though, tbh I don’t need a lot of space. Just little regular bits, even if its to write, go to the gym on my own or for a walk, a little bit everyday. Unfortunately, I have often been in relationships with people who need the opposite...
28. If I’m not interested in something I can’t learn it. I tried really hard to re-sit maths to study a master's in social work but my brain just can’t compute it. It's literally painful to try!
29. However, I love language and writing and find inspiration for that effortlessly!
30. I’m always thinking up new ideas and will often have 5 or more new business ideas in a week, sometimes in a day!
31. I love to read but I can’t always concentrate to read.
32. I can rarely watch tv without fidgeting with my phone or doing something else at the same time that requires my attention, so I never actually concentrate on the tv to really watch it.
33. I have made many poor decisions in relationship and have been easily gaslighted because of my forgetfulness when I was younger. I experienced domestic abuse for various reasons that I understand now were actually caused by my adhd.
34. I find it really hard to trust people because of this vulnerability.
35. I fidget a lot with my hair. Always have done.
36. I’ve not lasted in office jobs for very long or any job that requires me to sit still and be around the same people everyday because I get bored and I like to be on the move.
37. Despite being naturally bright, curious, articulate, empathetic, socially adaptable and having many great qualities, with lots of potential, I’ve never reached my potential.
38. Hate talking on the phone. Friends and family always text or meet.
39. If I don’t text back straight away I forget
40. If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t exist. Lol. I rely heavily on diaries and goal planners to get things done.
41. I have excessive amounts of energy and am really upbeat, creative and inspired in mornings, but by the evening I have little energy to do anything.
42. When reading, if I'm unable to focus (it really randomly depends!) I struggle to take sentences in and often have to re-read lines, or pages and it still doesn’t stick.
43. My long term memory is okay, but my short term memory is shit bro.
44. I struggle to apply myself to do tasks I don’t enjoy.
45. I’m always looking for the quickest, fastest way of completing something.
46. I have periods where I feel like someone’s pulled my batteries out and I just feel tired with low mood.
47. I either have an inability to focus, or can focus so heavily on something that I hyperfocus, there really is very little inbetween with me and my character is extreme like that in many ways.
48. Depending on whether I am passionate about something, I can fixate on all the details and strive to perfect them, or miss all of the details and just not care.
49. I need a clean, tidy place to focus but haven’t always been organised or a clean person. This improved when I hit my 20's.
50. I always have at least one project left on the side at home that I’m supposed to be completing, but I often get side-tracked and start something else.
51. When I clean my own home, I move from one task to the next before the first is complete and just open numerous tabs up then move back in a sporadic order shutting them all down. It is a chaotic and completely quirky process that makes absolutely no fucking sense.
52. I can be brilliant at multi-tasking, but I can’t have a conversation and text someone at the same time. Not sure if this is just me?
53. Biting the skin around my finger nails.
55. I find it difficult to listen to people without my mind drifting... sometimes. When I'm at work however, it's like I'm a different person and can focus much more efficiently. But in my personal life, I really struggle to listen if I don't find something interesting. University lectures were hell for me... listening to someone waffle on for two hours straight? No way!
56. In romantic relationships, I have struggled when the honeymoon period wears off. Though this does not affect my wanting to stay with somebody, it is definitely something that I have silently struggled with and wondered why nobody else gets it.
57. Despite being naturally bright, I always struggle in exams or physical tests. I can't switch my focus on when I want in there situations and it can be frustrating because I'm actually very smart!
58. I struggle to relax. Rest for me, is getting hyper-focused in a task I enjoy, rather than being absent of mind which I don’t find natural. Emptying my mind completely is just impossible. It never shuts off.
59. I often talk over people, even thought I know I do it and try not to, I just can’t help it.
60. I find sustaining friendships difficult. Partly because I am very different and partly because I find keeping up with all my responsibilities as-well-as numerous relationships just exhausting!
61. I am prone to social anxiety, but I’ve learned to mask it very well.
62. I’m often mistaken as an extrovert because I can be very chatty, but I’m definitely more introverted.
63. I’ve always felt different to other people, but have never been able to pinpoint exactly why.
64. I notice subtleties that other people don’t pick up on and am very sensitive to energy.
65. Extreme sensitivity to rejection (RSD- rejection sensitivity dysphoria) is thought to affect the majority of people with adhd… and its no surprise, bc did you know that an individual with adhd will have endured an average of 20,000 negative comments by the time they reach adulthood? This one is hard for me to admit, bc I've developed a pretty thick skin in this area, but yet- I still struggle with rejection sometimes. And in my intimate relationships, it is a genuine fear that grips me from time-to-time.
66. Need for social isolation due to being overstimulated sometimes. Or just because I can't face anymore disappointment with relationship (I've definitely had these moments too).
67. Mood swings- perfectly normal with adhd I guess, but makes me pretty exciting and unpredictable. Lol.
What's your experience with adhd? I'd love to know! If you are looking for Coaching support, then please feel welcome to reach out for your free consultation. I am here to support you in any way I can. And I promise, things can get easier for you, no matter where you are.
Want to know some habits that changed my life and made it much easier for me to manage my adhd? Click here.
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