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.
A lot of people do not understand what ADHD is. My son has ADHD. He was diagnosed at 5 years old. We had many moments of melt downs in stores. Many sleepless nights full of tears. We would get stared at. Many people would glare at me judging. I had been told many times why don’t you discipline your child better. People do not understand the struggle people with adhd go through. It’s a daily struggle. They can get overwhelmed and over stimulated easily. It’s not a lack of discipline. It’s a neurological disorder. They cannot control it. My heart broke when my son said I just want to be a “good” kid. I reassure him daily that he is not only a good kid but an amazing kid. I would love to raise awareness so people would understand more instead of judge. That way no child feel like they are not a “good” kid.
As a musician, one of the things I miss most during lockdown is making music with friends. But I came up with a creative solution, that went on to be a bit hit for Father’s Day: I got together with a pianist friend (she in her house in Esher, me in mine in Guildford), and we put on a live-stream broadcast concert performance of “Paddington Bear’s First Concert.” My friend played the piano, while I narrated the story. We invited kids from all around the world to submit their favourite drawings of Paddington, which we displayed during the concert. We also put some pre-concert videos together, to teach kids how to make musical/percussion instruments, so they could play along with us.
Having ADHD used to make me feel like I had limited abilities, but it turns out, projects like these really depend on my kind of brain-wiring. The ability to think outside the box, and come up with creative ways to bring art and music together, is one of my greatest ADHD abilities.
A casual story about my ADHD making me space out. In school we MUST follow arrows in-between classes to avoid coming face to face with people because of the virus. Because of this I often have to walk in a circle to reach classes just a hall over.
One day I spaced out and had to walk ALL the way around TWICE.
The very next day I had to walk around THREE TIMES because I spaced out and missed my hall and could NOT turn around. I was late for class. It’s something I can laugh about. We do have hardships but we also have little quirks to chuckle at.