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What It’s Like To Have ADHD As A Grown Woman


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What It’s Like To Have ADHD As A Grown Woman


If somebody asked you what it’s like to be a grown woman with ADHD, what would you tell them? Here’s what I would say – can you relate to any of them?

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  1. If I weren’t diagnosed, I’d wonder if I were having a stroke or early-onset Alzheimer’s.
  2. I compare myself to neurotypicals constantly. I want to know if it’s me or my ADHD.
  3. Pre-diagnosis/treatment, at work I felt like The Late One or The One Who Never Has It Together.
  4. I silently smile when people say things like “well you aren’t bouncing up and down so you must be fine.”
  5. When I get a great idea or cluster of ideas, I quickly talk myself down to “normal” so I don’t go overboard again.
  6. I require lots and lots of planners, habit trackers and stickers to do the kinds of things that come easier for neurotypicals.
  7. I walk around with a notebook because if I don’t jot it down, it’s gone forever.
  8. Pre-diagnosis I wore the persona of “flake” really well.
  9. At first I got by on my humor – a lot. Better to beat them to the punch and laugh at myself first.
  10. I were overly nice to compensate for feeling all wrong.
  11. I nod silently when people say things like “ADHD isn’t real” or “people who use ADHD medicine are drug addicts.”
  12. As a mom, I come with all the trappings of being Super Mom, except I figuratively have one arm tied behind my back.
  13. I geek out on life hacks, not out of novelty but out of desperate necessity.
  14. I have to cut a lot of things out of my life to manage the things I keep.
  15. When pregnant, then nursing, I couldn’t have the medicine I needed to function optimally during the hardest times of my life.
  16. I had to teach myself to stop apologizing all the time. I still catch myself doing it sometimes.
  17. My default setting is: all conditions must be just right for me to do the thing.
  18. I don’t always have my days straight.
  19. I get lost very easily.
  20. I tend to lose things. Important things.
  21. When lighting a candle, I have Alexa remind me to blow it out.
  22. I had a doctor in another specialty tell me my condition was fake. It was a sad, powerless feeling.
  23. My family knows, but we don’t talk about it much.
  24. My husband knows and now we can finally talk about it.
  25. My daughter will know and I will teach her to love herself – warts and all.

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