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I had known for a very long time that I was “different” and it was gradually eating away at my spirit. I was exhausted and frustrated and I couldn’t quite understand it – so, I didn’t know what to do about it and that perpetuated the problem. I had a friend at work who was a fellow odd-ball and one afternoon, she talked about her teenage daughter getting diagnosed with ADHD and how that lead to seeking a diagnosis for herself. I asked some questions and risked the vulnerability of sharing with her some of my experiences over the years. Immediately, she invited me to join her at her ADHD support group that night. I went and felt a deep sense of being home with a group of strangers who had been struggling like me. A few months later, I made an appointment and got my diagnosis. That was almost 6 years ago and I was 40.
Six years ago, I often went to bed hoping I would never wake up because I was in so much turmoil and I felt utterly hopeless. I wouldn’t say my life is easier or harder now, but it is far more sane, because once I had a name for what I was dealing with and a community full of resources and support, I found that I was not alone and I started to learn successful strategies and began to develop myself in ways I had not thought possible. These last few years have brought me tremendous self-awareness and eventually self-acceptance, gratitude and a positive outlook.
For your mom and aunt, they might not be ready to accept the idea of having a condition like ADHD, but that doesn’t mean they would not benefit from you sharing about what you’re learning about how to manage your own ADHD. And, if you are like me, it is wonderful to no longer think I’m the only one living with this; so they might get something similar by hearing your story(ies) and having a safe person to tell theirs. If they ever choose to explore it more, they’ll know that they can talk to you.