“Undiagnosed ADHD Made Me Feel Insecure.”
Before my late diagnosis, ADHD left me feeling inexperienced and inept. But I’m finally coming into my own – I’m doing adulthood right.
Being diagnosed with ADHD at 47 means that I have a lot of catching up to do. Recently, I tried on my ill-fitting big-girl pants, as I set out to buy my first house that didn’t come with miniature horses and big-boobed Barbies.
Being suddenly immersed in the foreign land of real estate stirred up some insecurity. Living with undiagnosed ADHD trained me to feel inept. In grown-up situations, I never expected to be taken seriously. I was always afraid that everyone was sniggering at me behind my back.
The fear was all in my head. The lawyer and realtor expressed admiration over the questions I asked. Finally, here were people who didn’t find my excessive querying annoying. Although I found my dream home, I took my realtor’s advice and looked at several other properties to be sure. No small feat for someone with impulsivity.
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Said the realtor, “Not many people look around enough before they buy.”
Surprised at fitting so well into my big-girl pants, I tried to undo my realtor’s compliment by saying, “That’s because they have more money to spend than I do.” I realize now that I was so uncomfortable with praise that I undercut his compliment.
I won’t do that again. It feels great to have a trait that used to elicit exasperation taken in a positive light.
It’s still hard to feel like a full-fledged grown-up because I’m doing many things for the first time late in life. But I feel good that I’m doing them right.
[Late Diagnosis, Little Treatment: What ADHD Looks Like in Girls and Women]