I didn’t have a relationship with myself.
I wanted to get as far away from myself as possible.
I didn’t want to be crazy. I didn’t want to be this weirdo.
I’d have picked anyone else on the street, “I’ll be you!
“Teach me how to be you! I don’t want to be me.”
I didn’t learn anything at school other than how to hate myself.
I couldn’t sit still.
I didn’t remember to raise my hand before speaking out loud.
I had so much energy. Bouncing around the walls of my head.
It was like, “Be-dum! Be-dum! Be-dum! Be-dum!”
That was my head, like… Just, yeah, nonstop.
But I just remember being scared all the time.
It was living in constant fear of doing something wrong,
of slipping up, of offending someone, of looking stupid.
I couldn’t keep going as I was, that was the only thing I knew.
I needed some sort of help.
The first time I went to a psychiatrist
was when I was a teenager.
They diagnosed me pretty much straight away,
told me they thought I had bipolar.
I felt relieved. I literally thought,
“Wow, OK. I have something.
“That sounds bad, that sounds intense. That would justify it.
“This is an explanation for whatever is different about me.”
So, it wasn’t my fault.
I started taking a medication called Depakote when I was 17.
I’ve been on anti-psychotics for 13 years.
Basically, since I was a child.
University was a struggle.
It was only possible by pretending to be someone I wasn’t.
I got really good at pretending to function.
Like, I was living a lie, to myself as well as everyone else.
I had this feeling in my gut
that bipolar just wasn’t the whole picture,
and it’s only then I started googling anything and everything.
And I came across descriptions of ADHD.
It was one of those moments where everything just clicks into place.
But trying to get an ADHD diagnosis!
Gosh, like, no-one believed me.
If you know you have something and you’re trying to tell…
You try and tell, like, eight different doctors…
Oh, it makes it seem impossible!
I felt defeated after going to see one GP,
and she was like, “No, you already have enough
“chains around your neck, another diagnosis isn’t going to help you.”
Oh, that… Oh, man…
I walked out of that GP appointment
and I couldn’t even cry cos because I was just too numb.
Eventually, I thought, “Yeah, this isn’t working.
“I should just give up.”
But, then, a few months later, I got a psychological assessment
for a new job and, when the results came back, the doctor was like,
“Yeah, you have ADHD and I don’t think you have bipolar.”
When I first went on ADHD medication,
the first day, I was like, “Wow!” I was on top of the world!
I was, like, “Oh, this is what it’s like.”
That ability to focus was just there.
It was like, “Oh, my gosh, I have so many things I want to achieve!”
It’s like making up for lost time, in the sense that
you’ve always been told, like, “Pay attention!”
“I can pay attention! I can do it!”
My whole life, all I wanted was to just be like everyone else.
But, then, when I got ADHD medication,
I was able to experience this normal, and it occurred to me,
I never once stopped to ask myself if that’s what I really wanted.
I just thought it was the only option.
Now, I can choose to not be normal
cos I know what it feels like and it’s not for me.
The thing that’s helped me the most
is being able to practise mindfulness, even if that’s,
“I’m going to try and notice the taste of this bread roll”
and learning how to sit with the energy
and how to, gradually, over time,
be able to calm some of that energy and still it.
People that see the world differently
can obviously help create a better one.
There are so many amazing things about having ADHD.
I like my energy
and I have so much love to give the world.
And who knows where it could take me?
What’s your take? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
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