Hi, I think we need to differentiate between the hyperactive ADHDers and the inattentive ones. As you may already know, more girls and women fall into the inattentive group, and more boys and men into the hyperactive group. I am inattentive and I find that as a group, inattentive ADHDers do not exhibit the level of energy that the hyperactive group have. Also, when I was tested at age 56 for ADHD, I asked the psychologist doing my testing if it were true that people with ADHD tended overwhelmingly to have high IQs and he said no, it was spread out over the range of IQS. I Suspect that the reason that this myth has grown up is that ADHD is so (in my opinion) underdiagnosed especially in women, and the people being diagnosed as adults tend to be more intelligent as they are more likely to be able to search out a cause for their difficulties and get diagnosed. This means that there are an awful lot of adults out there unable to discover why their lives have been so difficult.
I think you have gotten some tremendous responses here and I hope they are helpful to you. I am not one of the people who see ADHD as a blessing of gifts. I have struggled very hard all my life because of UNDIAGNOSED ADHD, and was denied a chance to reach my true potential. But I do think ADHD brings some positicves thart we can build on. Our ability to empathize, to hyperfocus on topics that interest us (this one is a mixed blessing), our abundant curiosity. I agree with the person who said you may be experiencing the effect of all the negative messages we get because we do not conform to society’s expectations. I would suggest you learn all you can about ADHD — this is a lifelong assignment; try to meet other people with ADHD to share experiences, and possibly spend some time in therapy with a therapist knowledgeable about ADHD for help in overcoming the difficulties you have faced while undiagnosed. Remember also that ADHD can be comorbid with a number of other conditions, including, depression and anxiety. In my case, I was treated for depression and anxiery without a true resolution for many years. It was only when the ADHD was diagnosed and treatment for that was incorporated into my therapy, both psych and physical, that I began to finally be the person I was meant to be.
Good luck to you in your future. A much better life awaits you.