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.