Reply To: Struggling with ADHD as an adult.

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I completely understand what you’re feeling and dealing with. I’m 32, and I have spent my entire adult life struggling with ADHD without even realizing it, as I was just recently diagnosed a few months ago and have only just begun to understand what it means to have and live with ADHD. I have gone from job to job and struggled immensely – whether it is maintaining attention and focus on my tasks, keeping motivated and interested, staying on top of my day to day responsibilities or completing projects on time…it is all so hard. Until recently, I didn’t understand why I had to work so hard to simply learn new roles or skills and keep up with my peers. Unfortunately, the way our brains operate does not mesh well with the expectations and demands of the typical work environment. I can’t honestly say that it has gotten easier as I’ve gotten older, but I agree with others who say that finding a job or role that you enjoy does help. Unfortunately, not every person with ADHD can go out and choose a job that they love; sometimes we have to accept what we can and try to make that work. What I can say has helped the most is empowering myself within my ADHD. Since I’ve been diagnosed, I’ve made it my mission to understand how my brain works and how this condition affects me. I’ve looked for resources (like ADDitiude) that can provide me with the tools, support, and understanding I need to work WITH my condition, as opposed to constantly fighting against it. I am now in the process of adjusting my lifestyle and approach to work to enhance the benefits of my condition and minimize the symptoms that cause the most frustration. I am learning why my brain does what it does, how to control it when/where I can, and then how to unlock the massive benefits that come with it (like hyperfocus!). While I haven’t implemented these strategies across most of my life as of yet, I will say that the simple act of beginning to take control has helped immensely. It makes me feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that one day soon I won’t feel the constant struggle, frustration, and self-doubt that I’ve dealt with my entire adult life. You are not alone in your struggle. While we ADHDers are not “normal,” we are still very, very capable. We just have to figure out how to operate a bit differently than others to accomplish things and achieve our goals. I’d recommend finding some books and other resources (look up “How to ADHD” on YouTube!) that will help you start understanding your brain and its intricacies, and provide you with the tools and confidence to begin using those intricacies to your advantage. Living with ADHD is not easy, and I’m not sure it ever gets easier. But it is possible. You got this! We are all here for you 🙂