Wow! Maybe I have ADHD…

This appeared on the BBC this week and is a great piece to help raise awareness for #ADHDawarenessmonth.

The hilarious part is that I can still almost look at articles like this and think “I really recognise myself in this, what a coincidence! Drama, creativity, lateness, feeling I don’t fit….”
And then I remember that maybe it’s because I have ADHD. I have known this now, officially, for ten months.

I think that the greatest benefit of getting an earlier diagnosis would have been that my habits of self-sabotaging, blaming and hating myself wouldn’t have become so deep seated and embedded in my psyche.
At 52, habits are so much harder to change, and my neural pathways are so well-established, that I do wonder whether I will ever really be able to reverse them, stop pushing myself to prove that I’m good enough and believe the narrative that I am actually ok.
This post isn’t meant to elicit sympathy…. And things genuinely are better than they were.
However, I do want people to understand that giving children and families information so that children with ADHD, or any other brain difference, can understand, accept and love themselves for all they are is the key to them thriving.

In her fantastic book, Better Late Than Never, Emma Mahony writes about how she, as a teacher, is hugely attuned to children in her classes who might have ADHD and has helped some children and parents to gain an understanding of the condition at a much earlier age than she or I ever did.

The old expression “it takes one to know one” certainly seems to be true in the context of ADHD and there is data out there, although I can’t lay my hands on it (which has almost stopped my judgemental brain from publishing this piece) that we attract one another: as friends, as partners and as allies.

(If we are friends, don’t over-think it. But if life is incredibly tough, please think about it….)

I think that part of the downside of this can be that someone with ADHD can look at their close circle (or echo chamber), see lots of other people struggling with similar difficulties and think “oh but EVERYONE is like this, so I should just shut up and toughen up”.

But just because a few people you know and love are super-creative, highly self-critical, unable to relax and really struggling with life doesn’t mean that you, or they, shouldn’t want things to be better.

Things can be better.

And knowing this is a big step towards making them so.

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