There I was: broke, divorced, and earning minimum wage at 33 years old.
Previously, I made it through high school reading only Cliff’s notes and doing homework at the last minute.
But I managed to get good grades and got into Harvard – and that’s when my life fell apart.
I dropped out twice before graduating. I then failed out of my first six jobs and businesses.
After I hit the low point at 33, I was diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD shortly thereafter. Diagnosis and treatment changed my life!
I got promoted four times in six years, most recently as a senior manager at an $8bn Fortune 500 company. I got remarried. And, I cracked the ADHD productivity code. While working full time, I managed to publish 25+ articles, film 50+ YouTube videos, read 75+ books, and grow my coaching brand to 100,000+ followers. Now I help others on their ADHD journeys.
I was diagnosed with ADHD at 35 during therapy after I escaped an abusive relationship. That diagnosis allowed me to finally be introduced to my own brain.
With research, medication, and that ADHD grit, I’ve been able to heal my inner child as I recognize familial ADHD patterns, gain control of my emotions and utilize logic brain, break free from substance abuse, accept personal accountability, and live a life for the future instead of the time blind “now” and “not now.”
The thing I’m most excited about though is that I’m able to understand myself as a parent to my young son who very likely inherited ADHD. I know this will be invaluable knowledge that can help his and my growth and stability. The ability to know why I never fully fit in with the socially accepted neurotypical world means I don’t resent it or exhaust myself trying to appease it now. My hope is that I can pass this knowledge onto anyone that will listen. ADHD diagnosis as an adult was freedom for me
I was too impulsive as a kid. Breaking my bones, making bad jokes, damaging things. Once I attempted suicide.
Things didn’t change much in adulthood. Driving aggressively, buying stuff without thinking. I’ve never kept my room straight. I’ve changed three universities. Regardless, emotional dysregulation was the worst thing in my life. That anger was making me someone I hated myself. Bad words were going out of my mouth, but I could barely hear my thoughts. When I was 24, I was cheated by the man I love, lost my friends. I wanted nothing but death! My family’s help changed my life! By trying hard I became the best cyclist at one point.
I was diagnosed at 26. Meds are life-changing but the biggest part is love! If you have people who love you, it will help more than medicines. Now I’ve been a successful cyclist in the national team and a meditator for two years, and I’m about to go to Europe for a master’s in Neuroscience. Our brains are slightly different, we can use this difference as an advantage. 🙂
Having being diagnosed with ADHD at 40 was a shock after a breakdown after years of struggling in silence. I remember my teacher saying to me I wouldn’t do anything with my life but luckily for me a youth club helped me as school was designed for me.
Even though I left school at 15 with nothing I did became a British Champion.
I doubted everyone who said I couldn’t do nothing and used it to battle though.
Today I am a professional speaker, published author, international campaigner after setting up International Father’s Mental Health Day and have spoken on radio and TV stations around the world.
I realise having a diagnosis was the best for me as I understood the invisible enemy that I manage better even this morning.
I know believe even though ADHD has been hard it’s given me the passion to help others and change society for the better.
ADHD awareness in fatherhood is my next chapter and I hope this gives people hope that there is a community of us all in this together
Overwelled by stimuli as a kid; my copying mechanism became to focus on one ; put it in the background and then simultaneously listen to the teacher. I became a swimmer -which had similar effects. Here is a poem to describe what this felt like.
A coin splash 💦 , then a plop on the pool floor
You follow; a bigger splash but no plop 🏊♀️
Just motion, calm, as freedom follows immersion , then imagination 🦋🌊
More splashes, more plops, even voices – but they are very faded
This space, this time, this moment, is yours to fill, to feel
In the water you are far in the swimming crowd
The repetition of sums and the unending folk tales have you restless
Through the windows, the bright camelia 🌺 draws you into its petals
It’s beautiful in here; you put your color pens onto paper p🖊 🖼 before the moment goes away
In the petal , you are far in the class crowd
I walk around in circles
Have trouble standing still
I have a minor meltdown
When presented with a bill
My taxes drive me crazy
I cannot follow google maps
I’ll go round in circles on the tube
In an attention lapse
And although it can be stressful
Trying to live your life with me
I make you funny and unique
I’m your ADHD
Anna de Lacey
So when I was a little kid I used to hate cleaning. I would always think of other things I could do. So I used to try to make myself believe it was a game. I used to shoot basketballs of clothes into hampers, put hangers into color codes, Sing lots of songs, Clean windows and act like it’s a race to finish, and so much more.It made cleaning so much more fun than it is and I basically tricked my mind and adhd into making it do something it does not want to do but now does.
Ever since I was young, I had known I was different. I have more energy then a normal person does, even as the adult I am currently. I struggle with my thoughts and feelings, feelings of failure and rejection that triggers my anxiety and makes me lose hope. But, the sliver lining is that I am gifted beyond measure. Blessed with abilities I have had and honed these last 27 years have helped me to appreciate my uniqueness even as i struggle daily with stuff like selective hearing and torriental thoughts that leave me unable to sleep sometimes and those nights I try to explain that (to myself),I am alive for a reason, there is a purpose in every step, every failure is measured by a chance of success and I am successful by the hearts I fill with the love I willingly try to share because what matters most to me is knowing I have people who love me for being me and the ADHD just enhances the love they have for me.
William Carrier IV
I knew something was wrong, but what? I earned good grades. I was in sports. I was in academic clubs. I hung out with jocks, dorks, geeks, the in crowd, the out crowd. But I was scattered.
If I was busy, I was happy, and my grades went up. If I wasn’t participating in a group or sport, and I was bored, then my grades went down. College was horrible, I wasn’t good enough for college level sports, and I wasn’t outgoing enough to join clubs.
My grades sucked. I knew I was smart, but why was college so hard. I met my fiance, worked full time, and my grades shot up. I left college without a degree, but close to 5 half or more completed majors. I shuffled through jobs every 4-5 years before the challenge faded, and I lost interest. I filled time with biking and dancing, but I got injured and, at 51, lost my battle. One hand wasn’t enough anymore. I got counseling. I got diagnosed. I got meds. My hand was untied. Now, 52 I can pull myself up, focus, and move forward.
When I was in 2nd grade, my father drove me to a brick building once a day for 3 days. A lady there would ask me questions. When the three days were up, she handed my parents a large stack of papers. My diagnosis.
I love to read, but sometimes I can only focus on the things behind the book, not the words itself. I can barely keep my room straight for a few days. I get distracted easily, and would switch back and fourth between by computer tabs when I was trying to focus on something. It never felt like anything but a lack of discipline. It never felt like anything more than disorganization. It never felt like ADHD. A teacher said ADHD meant kids who didn’t listen to adults. She was wrong.
My mother says I wouldn’t be nearly as creative as I am if I didn’t have ADHD. I can’t imagine a world where the pen wasn’t as big a part of my life as it is. I love writing, it feels more like something I can’t not do than a hobby. I love to draw, but it never felt like ADHD. It felt like me.