The Emotional Side

“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.

ADHD Adults: Late Bloomer
ADHD Adults: Late Bloomer

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.

[Late Diagnosis, Little Treatment: What ADHD Looks Like in Girls and Women]

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.

[Free Download: Your Guide to All the Best Parts of ADHD]

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  1. I can so relate to this! I wasn’t diagnosed until about 3 years ago. I am a self-taught software developer, and a pretty good one at that. At least my paycheck tells me so and so do the consultants I’ve worked with. They even asked me to do a presentation at a conference a couple years ago and told me I did a really well. However, I have a really hard time making myself believe that I’m a “real” developer and not a fraud. I live in fear of someone finding out that I don’t really know what I’m doing. I nearly quit my job because of that fear, then decided that I’d wait until they found out and fired me. It’s been 22 years and I’m still waiting. Even that hasn’t fully convinced me that I’m not a fraud.

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