Growing up, I was always told I was bright. I could pull out the good marks when needed, but as I got older it got harder. Deadlines got closer together, the work was more demanding, and there were so many more distractions. Eventually I grew tired of the big last minute efforts, so I settled. I took a career path that, while worthwhile, didn’t challenge me.
But my undiagnosed ADHD didn’t let me settle. I kept having ideas. One was digital photo restoration, long before it was widely available. Others were about businesses or changes to the hospital I worked at, or services like therapeutic mental health programs. Having a wealth of ideas is not new for people with ADHD. We just struggle to bring them to fruition.
Finally, the frustration at all these thoughts, and the unshakable feeling of not reaching my potential, became too much. I vented to my wife. She became my self-regulation, and encouraged me to see the ideas as something I could present to the hospital, as a new role. On my next day off I had a meeting with the CEO and pitched. While all of my ideas didn’t get launched, I got the job — the first of several roles I would personally create in a variety of health industries.
Gradually, I found the way my brain worked was a means to growing my roles and reaching my potential. My never-still mind was best directed to learning and creating my own solutions.
Several years later I realized I had ADHD. It hit me hard. And the shock was realizing how close I came to stalling all those years ago. With the majority of adults with ADHD undiagnosed, it’s crushing to consider how many have stalled in their lives and don’t know why.
This is the iceberg of ADHD. All that potential lying dormant. Somehow I climbed it, and my potential was seen.
This is why I’m sharing my story here, and asking you to give to ADDA. There are millions like me out there, and all the gifts they can bring to the world are hidden underwater, just like that iceberg.
ADDA can find those people. Their stories can be rewritten. Your donation is how. Please join ADDA. And please give.
Anonymous, ADDA Volunteer