I’m thirty something years old and I recently discovered I might have ADHD.
I’m currently awaiting an assessment and potential diagnosis.
This is my story of how I made the discovery and the struggles I’ve experienced in life with untreated ADHD.
I have always dreamed of achieving something significant in life. Like leaving a positive mark on the world. Or creating a legacy.
I’ve had many hardships, and I’ve been inspired by the success of others. Two of the biggest factors that have driven me forward.
However, there seems to have always been something preventing me from achieving much of anything.
After many failed attempts at multiple business ventures, I knew I had to change something.
I started seeking answers in personal development books, but this only caused a ton of resistance.
Fast forward through many bouts of depression, I plucked up some courage and joined a $4,000 coaching program to unpack the unhealthy habits and limiting beliefs I had developed over the years.
In the months that followed, I formed a daily exercise habit, completely gave up alcohol, and found a new sense of confidence in myself.
My life was changing for the better, but there was still something I struggled with.
My ability to focus.
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The Unexpecting Video That Hinted I Had ADHD
Keeping up with my new commitments, I started seeking ways to help me focus in my blogging business.
A fellow blogger suggested I listen to these weird audios called binaural beats.
I searched YouTube and found tons of these audios for improved focus.
And they seemed to help.
After a week trying out these audio tracks, YouTube suggested this video.
I assumed it couldn’t hurt, so I gave it a try.
I played the audio and got to work writing content for my blogs. 10 minutes past, then 20, then 30…
An hour later and I had written more words than I had done in the previous 48 hours.
“Wow!” I thought to myself, “these binaural beats are the real deal.”
“Maybe I’ve got ADHD?” I chuckled to myself.
Rejecting the idea, I continued life as usual, which mostly consisted of persistent distractions, procrastination and failed consistency.
I knew I had a problem, but I completely abandoned the idea of having ADHD.
I told myself; it was just mindset and that I probably still have limiting beliefs holding me back.
Fear of failure and self-doubt being prominent ones.
Another year passed of tried and failed attempts at achieving results in my business.
I was running out of money so I needed to find work quickly.
The Freelance Gig That Led to New Discoveries
After searching and finding a freelance position for a popular business blog, I plucked up the courage and applied.
I was nervous and doubtful, but all the lessons I had gained in coaching sessions and self-help books enabled me to trust the process.
Three days later, I received an email.
Thank you so much for applying to write for us! We would love to have you join our team.”
I was over the moon.
It meant I no longer needed to worry about money, I’d be developing my writing skills, and it would help me overcome my fears of putting myself out there.
And I’d be able to grow my business on the side. I was so excited.
Unfortunately, I was quickly faced with more frustration and inconsistent results.
I had such high expectations. I wanted to write 4-5 articles per week, but I could hardly manage 2.
Three months later and I was still struggling to write 3-4 article per month.
I was following every productivity hack in the book. Except for one.
The new year rolled around, and I searched through my YouTube history to find that ADHD track.
It inevitably led me down the rabbit hole of getting answers to questions like:
- What even is ADHD anyway?
- And do I actually have it?
I read articles, watched YouTube videos, and took a course.
It was like the entire world had followed me around for 30+ years and documented my whole life without telling me.
Serious Trueman Show vibes.
Looking into getting an assessment meant I had to wait eight months. And everyone knows I hate waiting around for things to happen.
So I took things into my own hands and turned to diet and nutrition.
After reading this article, I spent over £100 on supplements to see if I could get my brain to focus.
Full disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or therapist and the information in this post is for educational purposes only. The details pertaining to ADHD are my opinion based on my own experience and extensive research. The information I share is not intented to substitute professional advice or be used to diagnose or treat anybody with ADHD. If you believe you have ADHD, please speak to a doctor or mental health specialist.
Feeling My Brain Work For the First Time
For the first time, I could physically and mentally feel my brain working in ways I had never experienced.
It was like someone flicked the “action taking switch” from the off position to the on position.
My brain fog lifted, I was less impulsive, the nagging voice in my head disappeared, and I felt excited to start and finish things.
It even gave me the courage to start a YouTube channel, and I challenged myself to post a video every day for 30 days.
It’s probably one of the best things I have ever done, because it taught me that I am capable of sticking to things to completion.
Feeling my brain working for the first time also changed the way I saw myself. It was like I was developing a sense of identity for the first time.
However, this new drive within me only lasted a few hours per day before the brain fog crept back in.
I had to take three doses of supplements every day, but it was like I was only benefitting from 40% of the supplements power.
Things like absorption and overall diet play a big role in the supplements effectiveness.
Some days were better than others, but to optimize everything would take a lot of trial and error and would cost hundreds, if not thousands.
I knew with my current level of output, I wouldn’t be able to sustain this lifestyle of spending so much on supplements and extra food to optimize my diet.
I gradually tapered off the supplements and reflected on everything I had learned over the previous 6 months.
Things I learned About ADHD and Myself
I started looking into ADHD in January 2022 and here are some of the lessons I have learned.
I’ve also linked to the many resources and videos that have massively helped me understand ADHD and myself on a profound level.
- “ADHD is an executive function deficit disorder” and less of an attention deficit disorder
- Attention of an ADHD brain is dispersed, meaning they are focusing on too much, instead of not focusing at all
- One of the biggest struggles with ADHD is self-regulation, which is why we get distracted and are impulsive
- People with ADHD struggle to pay attention to things that don’t interest them, but they are capable of hyper focus when working on things they love
- I think my own untreated ADHD resulted in an undeveloped sense of self or identity
- I now understand why I’ve found it so hard to reach my goals
- My inner-critic and distorted thinking could have been a consquence of ADHD
- According to Dr. Amen’s research into brain scans, there are 7 types of ADD
- Some supplements can help some people manage the symptoms of ADHD and relieve the side effects of ADHD medication
- There are countless reports connecting ADHD with childhood trauma, which I can heavily relate to due to the abuse I experienced , , 
- There are lots of successful people with ADHD
Coping with Undiagnosed ADHD
I find it super interesting how I started learning about mindset and neuroscience about 4 years ago, yet never stumbled onto anything about ADHD until now.
Maybe I just wasn’t listening?
Even so, it makes complete sense that I would eventually study mindset and psychology in an attempt to overcome mental health problems, improve cognitive performance, and to understand myself better.
I still believe mindset, self-esteem, emotional intelligence, and taking action are essential components to achieve our goals.
But I can’t ignore the fact that ADHD seems to effect all of these areas.
Until I get an ADHD assessment and potential diagnosis, I’ll do my best to cope with the resources I have.
- A healthy diet
- A structured morning routine
- Daily exercise
- Developing successful habits
- And maintaining a healthy mindset
I’m expecting an ADHD assessment next month (Oct 2022) and I’ll go from there.
Will I get a diagnosis? Do I even have ADHD? And how long will it take to get treatment if I do have it?
These are all unanswered questions for now, but whatever the outcome, I will keep you posted.