I didn’t get diagnosed until I was 56. I had subconsciously dealt with my ADHD successfully until I was in my mid-fourties. By that time there were small indications of my not being able to maintain the status quo, but I paid no attention to that since I had recently started my own CPA practice and as the business grew I began having issues with anxiety to go along with years of mild depression.
I had been hanging on by my fingertips to my highly deadline oriented business and lifestyle in general until the week that 2 competitors closed their businesses. All of a sudden my client list at least tripled and NONE of the previous work had been done for these clients in a software that I used. This meant that I had 6 months worth of data entry to do in addition to the extended tax work that was fast approaching another deadline. All of a sudden I couldn’t decide where to start, and once I did find a place to start I was SO easily distracted and then was working on another project. I was working all the time and completing nothing.
That was the beginning of a dramatic mid life crisis. I went from a successful (married) business woman to a divorcee who can’t hold a job to save my soul.
Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so there were other stressors along the way that exacerbated my ADHD symptoms. By 2014 I was divorced, unemployed, and living in a geographical location that had me physically and emotionally isolated.
I managed to move back to the area where I grew up, but after nearly 35 years away I find that I am every bit as isolated as I was before. The one consolation is that I am now living in an area that excellent medical care is available. That had most definitely not been the case pre divorce.
I started seeing a therapist nearly 2 years ago that specializes in treating ADHD, as well as has the condition himself. I thank my lucky stars for that man every day of my life. My family is not supportive of my ADHD to start with, not to mention the emotional damage caused by being married to a narcissist for 30+ years. It has been in the last 2 months that I have been able to understand some of what my therapist has been saying. I have a long way to go… but I am finally coming to see the ADHD traits that were an everyday part of my childhood that I thought was normal. I always thought of myself as “the family idiot” even though I knew I wasn’t stupid, I just learned slower and different than my siblings. I’m so happy that I always knew I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to, I just had to decide to and NOT ask for understanding from the family that couldn’t and still can’t see my special gifts. To the family I am at best “different” and at worst “embarrassing”.
Do yourself a favor and don’t get stuck wasting time evaluating your life to prove the diagnosis to yourself. I was so convinced by my ex that I was the root cause of all disappointments during our relationship, that it took me far to long to realize that the subconscious coping that I did as a child worked and that I have to let go of all the negative feedback from my meltdown and just work to heal old wounds while discovering new coping skills so that my future is what I dreamed it to be. Thanks to my therapist I know it is there for the taking… I just have to be willing to take the chance. You can too. Put the emotional demons aside and challenge the negativity in your head. You’ve got this.