Hi i was diagnosed in my 40s. I was always a person who overcompensated for my perceived ‘lack’ by helping others too much. And decades of daily bad looks from people at work, socially, public when I forget things or make errors or mix my words up… it’s really hard for us. So at long last I’ve eased up on myself! These things helped me:
1) Exercise and hobbies including martial arts based exercises. They’ve built my confidence by my body feeling stronger
2) celebrating that i love nature and im really good with animals rather than hiding it and doing some volunteering and meeting likeminded. You perhaps have an intuitive sensitivity with animals that neurotypical people don’t have. Celebrate that it’s wonderful!
3) Mindfulness meditation courses and practice over years now it’s helped so much. When the critical thoughts come along I can now notice them more as just thoughts like clouds passing. It’s taken a long time though and I’m not saying it’s easy!
4) Therapy with a therapist where we focused specifically on building my self-compassion.
5) Getting adhd diagnosis and possibly autistic spectrum too. Feeling more proud of what I’ve been through and survived and my resilience.
6) adhd books: Focused Forward (cant member author)
And The Gift of Adult ADHD by Lara hobos Webb.
7) listening to any additude podcasts and articles about shame and adhd
Good luck with this. You are young enough to turn this around. Speak to your therapist about this and put some focus on it in your sessions, it is your therapy agenda after all!
Try to celebrate yourself, you sound lovely and a very sensitive person. Building self compassion is perhaps the next part of your journey to work on…