I didn’t understand that I had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) until I turned twenty-eight. That meant a big part of my life was spent believing I was somehow “not quite with it”. I didn’t think it was possible for me to have ADHD because it was usually associated with hyperactive boys.
When I was growing up I wanted to be the best at everything I did, no matter what it took. I remember staying up all night doing homework because I never got anything done during the evening as there were just too many distractions. The library was awful because I would just end up counting the books on the shelves instead of reading what was in front of me. I thought taking a job in the library might encourage me to do school work, but it was disastrous. I easily lost focus every time someone walked in and I realized I had been reading the same sentences over and over again.
It wasn’t until I took Abnormal Psychology in college that my life really got out of control. I had asked the professor of that class to allow me to take the exams in a separate setting such as the Disability Services Office so I wouldn’t be distracted. At the end of the semester she finally promised to bring the test there. When I went there to take the final I discovered the test was not there. When I finally calmed down enough to speak with her, the conversation wasn’t helpful.
As I headed out the door the Director of the Disability Services Office stopped me and we walked back into her office. She shut the door and, in tears, I told her everything that happened. That’s when she told me she thought I might have ADHD. She gave me a list entitled “ADHD Checklist” and asked me to fill it out. Noting my answers, she asked me to see a psychiatrist. After a lengthy meeting with the psychiatrist he told me he believed I had ADHD. I still couldn’t believe it. He gave me a prescription for medication and told me to come back in three weeks. I started the medication the next day and after a few days I felt much better. I actually knew what was going on!
Now I understand my past failures, the self-loathing, the insecurities and the inability to stick to anything. I know that I missed some amazing opportunities in my life. But now I know why these things have happened, and I no longer have to beat up on myself because I’m comfortable in my own skin. And I’m finally out of the fog. My mentor once told me “it was like looking through a pair of binoculars that were out of focus.” Once they were focused I could finally see things clearly. I thank my mentor and higher power for this journey. It has made me unique and I am finally where I am supposed to be.