As I reached out for support, my friends and family struggled to sympathize. After all, I looked smart and successful—from the outside. My friends assured me I was either expecting too much of myself or making excuses for not bringing my behavior in line with that of other adults. My occasional verbal outbursts just meant I had to think before I spoke. Of course my desk got messy sometimes, but didn’t everyone’s? Surely I didn’t think I was the only one who felt overwhelmed from time to time?
Surely not, but my struggles extended beyond what could be considered “average.” I lived in a constant state of frantic anxiety, knowing I had too much to do but unable to bring specific tasks into focus. Bills went unpaid. Close relationships felt insecure and suffered from my irritability and overemotional behavior. Feeling others’ trust and respect was misplaced, I battled persistent guilt and a fear of being “found out.”
Sometimes I shy away from telling my own story here. I want The ADHD Homestead to be about more than that. I want this space to be about helping others, sharing ideas, providing support.
But the truth is — judging by the comments — sharing my experience via this guest post on ADHD Roller Coaster did help a lot of people. Specifically, my words helped women with ADHD, who are far less likely than boys to be diagnosed as children. This lag in diagnoses generates a whole host of mental health issues as we navigate the tricky world of adulthood: anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, to name a few.
It received a brief mention at the bottom of my 2014 Blog Action Day post, but I’m sharing it again in here because it’s important. It’s important for women with ADHD to see their experience mirrored and validated by someone else. It’s important for parents, spouses, and everyone who loves us to understand the differences between ADHD in girls and boys. It can make all the difference in the world.