My story-Its OkAY to NOT be Okay!

2 years ago I was diagnosed with ADD. I am a young (27) mother of 3 beautiful kids, a wife, a student, a daughter, and a friend to many good people. I am one lucky woman, but I didn't always feel this way. After my daughter started displaying ADD symptoms, I realized that I could relate as a child to exactly what she is going through. School, and relationships with others were always a struggle. Even though I had many friends, I always just felt like nobody "got" me. Teachers and everyone around me would always tell me I needed to try harder, or get it together. I tried and tried but couldn't do it. Even though I had those people in my life that told me I was good enough, I would try and fail once again. So I stopped believing them. After years of struggling, I dropped out of school. Life was a big party, I had no dreams or goals because I wasn't "good enough" to accomplish them so what was the point of having any. I never finished anything, I wasn't "smart enough" or organized enough, or successful enough. I couldn't be like those people. The ones with their life in order, that finish college and get good careers and that are happy and accomplished. Life seemed so easy for them, they were just lucky. I just accepted I wasn't one of them. It was easier to embrace being a failure, and irresponsible and "lazy". Then to actually work to get my life in order. It was always so hard for me, so I started to beat myself up for it and I became a victim of myself. I stopped trying.

I was lucky enough to meet my husband, if I said I'm not good enough he told me why I was. So my self esteem improved drastically over the years because of him. 3 beautiful kids along the way too, helped me realize I am good at something. I'm a good mother, and a good wife but I still wasn't happy with myself no matter what anyone around me told me. One day after a really inspiring talk with a friend of mine in college, I enrolled in school on a whim. I guess it was my impulsivity that got the best of me. I had never even thought of ever going to college. But today was a good day, I was really inspired. I decided I was going to become a Nurse Practitioner. I had always looked up to my daughters Pediatrician. :) I just enrolled without a plan, and didn't ask any questions, the college counselors told me what to do and I did just that. It can't be that hard I guess right? My friend was doing it. So with high hopes I was on my way. The first semester was great, I got an A in English. Writing was the one thing that came easy to me, (and talking and any form of communication :) BUT this was college! I completely and utterly surpassed every expectation I had about myself. I was in denial, that I actually got an A. I started to question how hard is it to get an A? It must be really easy if I did it? I'm not THAT smart. So going into the next semester with head held SEMI-high I assumed I might just be able to pull this off. I went in full force dedicating so much time to my studies, I was focused and determined. Then came my first NAS (natural science) exam. I went really confident and sure I would do great, only to finish the exam to see I scored a 50 out of 100. I had FAILED once again. How could I have possibly failed this time?In the past I just wouldn't try, but this time I worked so hard to study and put so much effort into this? I knew I could do it, I had the grades to prove it so what happened??

So started the next downward spiral, I just started to question myself. Am I smart enough to do this? What is wrong with me? A few days shortly after, I had to call a friend to cancel plans with her (because I had forgotten I had something else to do) something that happened too often then not. This time she surprised me with her reaction, she said its ok I didn't expect you to come anyway. Then it hit me, I was "reliably UNreliable". A phrase I had read on an article about Adhd. People always treated me as if they expected me to not follow through (because I never would). I WAS reliably unreliable. I immediately began looking up adult symptoms, after scoring 12 out of 12 on a "Do you have ADHD" quiz I immediately scheduled an appt to be evaluated. Reading the struggles, of ADHD I became so overwhelmed with feelings. From confusion, to fear, to relief. I finally knew what was wrong, and there was hope for "fixing" it. Maybe I could fix it and finish school? Maybe I can fix it and get organized finally and get my life together? I was so relieved, but now what? How do you fix ADD? I was hopeful and scared all at the same time. 

So for the past two years I have been working towards being who I want to be. I learned more about this disability and I adjusted my life to work around my struggles. I give myself a break these days, and I don't beat myself up. Things were hard because I tried too much to do as others do, and not understanding that I am good enough, that I needed to know myself to learn I need a new way. I'm still in school but I'm happy to say I am a straight A college student, my relationships are better then ever and I finally feel content with my life. Its been an uphill battle against myself at times, but I've developed this unconditional love for myself along the way.  I realized nobody is perfect...we all have our struggles. Some more than others but they are there. Comparing yourself to others is like trying to fit a square shaped diamond into a "round" shaped ring. We all sparkle, even if you don't fit into what everyone expects you to, you just need to find what fits you. I realized I don't need fixing, I needed adapting. I learned terms like "hyper-focusing" and realized I do talk a lot....but that's not a bad thing. I'm not sensitive, I'm passionate.  I'm not unpredictable, I'm spontaneous :) We need understanding as much as we need help. Understanding yourself and how others see you, but what's most important is how you see yourself. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK SOMETIMES. I realized that along the way and for the first time in my life I can say I love myself. I'm not beating myself up, and I'm not striving to be this un-attainable person. I know I am good enough, I can do anything I want to do and it will be harder at times, but that just makes the rewards that much sweeter. So give yourself a break and know its Ok to not be Ok. Get help if you need it and get the chance to know yourself. 

Great post.   I hope my

Great post.   I hope my children can 'find their way' out in the adult world. I worry so much about them being independant and wonder HOW are they ever going to live a full happy independant life...  Thanks for sharing.

Yes, you ARE a lucky woman!

It's great you found out while you're still young and you can stop the cycle of self-loathing that comes with failing to 'launch' any kind of career/life.

I'm 42, have 2 kids, and have been trying to get my life on track after 'almost' succeeding dozens of times.

you're on the right track - hang in there!


Keep your head up

I too was diagnosed about 4 years ago. I can so relate to your post. I too have learned to love myself, and strive everyday to do my best at everything I do. I just need acceptance, and I now know it starts with me. I accept myself, and hope to find someone in the future that can do the same. My current marriage didn't work out because I feel my soon to be ex couldn't except ME. That's ok. I accept me, and right now that is all that matters. It's not selfish, because I did accept him. I am moving on to a brighter future, and I can't wait to see what it holds for me. I too have enrolled in college, and couldn't believe after 20 years of being out of school, I was able to get into entry level college English. I literally asked the person if they were sure these were MY test scores. Thanks for your post, and keep doing amazing things.  Keep us updated with your progress too.  :)


Thanks for the encouraging words from another woman with ADD!  I am working on not beating myself up, too.  But I think I need external help to figure out my strengths and how to make the most of them.  I would love to connect with you!  Maybe we have more in common than age and ADD and maybe I could pick your brains about what has helped you so far.  I just moved to a new city which has a good few opportunities for ADD support, and I really want to start out well.  By the end of my time in my last city, I spent days at a time doing no work at all during the work day... I knew the job wasn't well suited to me but the benefits were great and I knew it would be temporary.  But here I really want to get something going that's great.  I think now's the time.  And part of getting a good start is going to be really understanding myself and working WITH myself rather than beating myself up for what I am not able to do in the same way as everyone else.  

I am 27 as well, but I was diagnosed at 9.  So I've been on meds the whole time, but never gotten any other help to deal with the long-term symptoms.  I'll be getting married in May and we're looking for someone to help us at the moment.

In terms of self-esteem, something I found that helps at the worst times - and I think you've got it - is a concept called the "Inner Pilot Light," which is everyone's personal little voice of unconditional love to tune into.  Sounds a bit new-agey, but it's drawn me out of the deepest despairs.  I think it's the same thing Liz Gilbert found in "Eat, Pray, Love" and pretty sure that CBT is also about helping to strengthen that voice.  But it's hard to remember to listen all the time!

Thanks again for the happy words.  I would really like to talk to you more.  


Frank (hope you don't mind me calling you that). Are you talking to me? Just wondering, because there are a few posts on here, including mine. I would be more that happy to talk to you, but don't know how on here.

I don't mind at all being

I don't mind at all being called Frank, some of my closest friends use that nickname :)  My username can be confusing, I am indeed a woman!  :)  My response was directed to the OP, but I would gladly connect with anyone!  esp women with ADD.  I... also don't know how to connect on here.  I don't see a private message function, and I think the rules say that contact info will be removed if posted.


Is there any mod watching these forums who can offer some advice how to follow the rules but get in contact?!