I need to know who I am

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    • #65672
      Ntjhu
      Participant

      I have tried for years to conform to many different styles of personalities, I have reinvented myself so many times I cannot count, now I just want to be accepted for who I am. The biggest obstacle I have is the arena in my head of voices that keep telling me I need to change every time someone walks in the room. No amount of meds can convince me I’m the best person for the role in my life if I won’t cast myself for the part! Somehow I have to see myself in a different light, and that’s where I get so discouraged! No matter how much I want to and need to change, the patterns of ADHD are there. My doctor ran some kind of blood test, she said just to check for some extra genetic component of ADHD and it was there! It made me feel kind of…well extra ADHD! I go to a specialist for a different problem who doesn’t even believe in ADHD and fights me over my meds, I had to learn not to become like him when he showed up. And therein lies the problem! I have standards! I have beliefs! I need to be me at all times…when I find out who that really is. There are little pieces of me, fragments, all over the place, inside my mind like a jigsaw puzzle. It’s exhausting! So? Who am I? How do I find me? I am a true chameleon 🦎

    • #65705
      Oh Dang Matt
      Participant

      I’m sorry I can’t help you find yourself, but wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. I feel like this, too, and have been trying to find me for quite awhile now. It’s really frustrating to say the least!

    • #65798
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      I’m assuming you’re female based on your screen name. This upcoming free webinar could get you started on this journey:

      Live Webinar on October 31: Stronger Than You Think: A Guide to Empowering Women with ADHD

      Penny
      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #65908
      BlueTang
      Participant

      Hi, I went through a form of therapy called Internal Family Systems Model or “Parts Therapy”. It helped me to reconnect to me and recognize why sometimes I sort of slip into other aspects of me. When the therapist I was seeing suggested parts therapy I thought she was a little strange. But, for me it worked. It is something to research. Maybe it could help you as well. As the specialist you see, the one that doesn’t believe in ADHD, I am sorry that you have to deal with that nonsense.
      Best of luck.

    • #65921
      Huberbrittney5
      Participant

      Oh I have been there. I still kind of am. For me, I secluded myself for a bit. That helped me to better understand who I was. Took a break from social media, limited the interactions I had with “friends”. It allowed me to “find myself” enough to be able to start surrounding myself with the people in my life that love me unconditionally, and to minimize my social circle to those that share similar beliefs, values, interests. I still limit the amount of time I spend in a social group setting, because it is still a struggle for me. It was sometimes lonely and hard but it worked for me.

    • #65964
      sknight
      Participant

      Dr. Seuss says it perfectly, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Of course, it took me until I was in my 40’s to understand this.

      • #74238
        Saffron Flowers
        Participant

        I am new to this. Adult with ADHD. I loved your response and am going to try this. Social Media often makes me feel bad because all I see is people having a life and moving on and I feel like I am failing or missing out.

    • #65980
      lakevillageeastacd
      Participant

      Wow, this almost give me the chills… I had no idea other people felt this way…. I had no idea why? I thought because I’m such a people pleaser so I am always conforming to what other ppl want. I hate it because now… at 34, I am confused. I wish I could go back and change so many things now that I’m older and understand better… and know what it stems from. Thank you for sharing! Feels good to know I’m not alone!

    • #66518
      Ntjhu
      Participant

      Thanks guys! I couldn’t believe people actually wanted to help me ❤️. I love this place!!

    • #66751
      AMusicalYogi
      Participant

      I connect so much with what you are saying! I feel like I find myself, then something happens and I fall back into my ADHD patterns. Thank you for sharing, you’re not alone : )

    • #74239
      Saffron Flowers
      Participant

      I have no answers but I loved your post. You have said how I feel. I am now 50 and newly diagnosed and this makes me feel suicidal. I am so scared I am running out of time to be who I really am but the fear, oh the fear of just being me, whoever she is. Thank you for writing your post. I hope you find her xxx

    • #74246
      amashtamuu
      Participant

      I have tried for years to conform to many different styles of personalities, I have reinvented myself so many times I cannot count, now I just want to be accepted for who I am. The biggest obstacle I have is the arena in my head of voices that keep telling me I need to change every time someone walks in the room. No amount of meds can convince me I’m the best person for the role in my life if I won’t cast myself for the part! Somehow I have to see myself in a different light, and that’s where I get so discouraged! No matter how much I want to and need to change, the patterns of ADHD are there. My doctor ran some kind of blood test, she said just to check for some extra genetic component of ADHD and it was there! It made me feel kind of…well extra ADHD! I go to a specialist for a different problem who doesn’t even believe in ADHD and fights me over my meds, I had to learn not to become like him when he showed up. And therein lies the problem! I have standards! I have beliefs! I need to be me at all times…when I find out who that really is. There are little pieces of me, fragments, all over the place, inside my mind like a jigsaw puzzle. It’s exhausting! So? Who am I? How do I find me? I am a true chameleon

    • #74611
      the dancer
      Participant

      A chameleon changes the color of its skin to hide from predators. A mask can be worn in jest, to hide one’s true intentions, or to hide from a predator. The person wearing the mask can also be a predator.

      When I question, who I am, I need to define the words I am choosing to describe my experience. Once I do this, I notice a power struggle frames the situation. If I look closely at the power dynamic, I see myself more clearly in that dynamic. These are a few strategies I use to learn about who I am. I hope you find them useful in your quest.

      “I have to see myself in a different light” This sounds like a solution that you acted upon when you had to resolve your conflict with the specialist. “I had to learn not to become like him” Awesome! You mention a jigsaw puzzle and fragments. Based on what you have shared, you are working on it. The hard work will pay off.

      d

    • #74614
      the dancer
      Participant

      I have learned that sharing personal experiences can help others find their own way, I hope this helps. Just one thing, before you read, imagine confidence and self esteem as a deep ocean you are swimming in.

      As a child I learned how to protect myself from predators (conscious and unconscious) by sharing what I knew to be true (learned behavioral responses) in a way that challenged a predators belief system. My confidence and self esteem grew from this experience. After some years, eventually the strength in knowing myself diminished; it took many years of hard work to recover. The safety I learned from being silent in my young adult years crippled me in my early twenties. Then I got lucky at twenty-five. I fell into the best job ever – working on the stage as a tech (10 years). I was terrified of my first show call, sweating, eye twitching, shakey, all of it,… until a mouthy Brit belted me on headset. I stopped, took a breath, and used logic to change my behavioral response from imagined threat to stepping into a world of magic I dreamed about. A second win!

      Years later I made my way to training as a ground rigger with the lead rigger (all males, almost no female presence in this department). August 2007 Matisyahu 311 show – a ground rigger is responsible for securing points to the grid (in the roof) by managing the stage (ground) activity and protecting the climbers (walking steel). A bright smile and a pair of lungs to halt the stage in one blow gave me passage to double and triple check load bearing weight. I was not in Kansas anymore, this was serious work! The training was going well. By lunch I saw an opportunity to run truss spot (sitting 40ft. above the audience to run a spotlight) I was thrilled! ADHD impulses kick in (many years before diagnosis) – I have climbed truss before to higher points, no problem. I am standing on the sub in the house, the audience is raging, I start climbing, the audience screams die! die!, I get to the truss, I need to lift my body up and over, right arm locks up – real tight, but inside, the crowd got to me – I had to come down – the tricky thing is, climbing that high means the only way to come down is by fall arrest, meaning I have to look like I am falling – I did it – the crowd roared, I stopped the headliner 3 minutes, I lost my chance at being a ground rigger. Within seconds I had to choose how I carried this fault. I came down strong, passed on the ladder, took a moment in the crew room, filed the paperwork – and by the end of the show I was back to lead ground rigger in training, shaken, alive, smiling, and stern with my voice on stage. There were death stares and the humility was real, I made a mistake and I owned it. A guy from the crew came up to me, close, held me with his eye and a grin, ‘you turned that around real good’ the crew respected you even after the fall. At the end, the lead rigger worked with me on a trauma followup – I am sharing this with you because you asked, how do you find yourself – I find myself over and over again by failing with courage, trusting what I know to be true and making adjustments from there.

      d

    • #74966
      queenb
      Participant

      I totally understand how you feel. Totally. I’m so disappointed in countless doctors and therapists over the years that nobody recognized I had ADHD all along (I have like 7 other mental health diagnoses’….). I was diagnosed just this year and I am 38. I have a great therapist now, and she suggests for handling this “lost” feeling I seem to have all the time…. she suggested to turn it into fun! Add some stimulation that my brain loves. So I’ve made a plan, like a “quest” to find out who I am. We came up with a bunch of fun things for me to do, try, research, create and to record my reactions and enjoyment to various activities. Nothing is off the table! She also wants me to stop for 15 min. every day and go inside myself (guided meditation, just listening to my heart, feeling the sadness of the lost years of my life, a slow walk etc. and just see what comes up without judgement. She reminds me to stay curious, because ADHD brains become very effective when they are allowed to be curious. It’s validating and stimulating. Maybe this idea will help someone else – it is certainly helping me. It also helps me to work through some of the anger I am feeling at being diagnosed so late in life and refocus on the future but still remain true to myself – even though I am a litttle unclear, I am excited to find out who I am 🙂
      B

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