In the 4th grade I was chosen to participate in a program called Academically Talented Children. Although cognitively able to meet those high expectations, I did not have the executive function necessary to be successful in such an advanced program. I had no motivation to do school. I wanted to socialize and challenge rules.
I was a dopamine seeker for many years. But I knew I had to go to college. Ultimately I left the smart kid program in the 10th grade and went to a small Catholic school where I did well enough to get into college and lucky enough to have parents to pay for it. My mom always told me to be a lawyer so I majored in law and ended up in the mental health field. As I became a Therapist and learned about ADHD I saw a lot of the traits in myself and my childhood. At the age of 44 I underwent a neuropsychological evaluation that indeed confirmed I had ADHD combined type.
I can finally forgive myself for “never working up to my potential”. And some bad choices along the way.