About the author:
S.B. Castañeda writes about the struggles of #ADHDwomen on her blog, Adulting With ADHD.
Dear Younger Self,
You aren’t feeling very good about life right now. In fact, if I recall correctly, between performance issues at work and losing those music festival tickets, you feel the very, very opposite of good.
Here’s the thing. And I’m not telling you this to let you off the hook (because girl, we need to do something about some of those mistakes you’ve been making), but…you’re not dumb and you’re not losing your mind. You’re living with undiagnosed ADHD.
It slipped under the radar.
You know all that fun anxiety and depression you’re dealing with right now? You’re still going to have it, but once it reaches a manageable level, your doctor will get a clearer picture of what’s really going on. Then you’ll get even more help. And this will be huge.
Remember all those problems in grade school? Nope, you weren’t the loudmouth or class clown. You were a daydreamer, remember? And you had some weird emotional stuff going on.
So here’s the thing: because you were all shy and awkward and would rather die than have attention paid your way, the diagnosis slipped past everybody.
Enter middle and high school. You’ve always been really book-smart and high-functioning. You stayed out of everyone’s way and kept your nose to the ground. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with your learning abilities! Then, away you went — congrats on that college acceptance! At this point, you were aware of ADD and Ritalin, but to you (and nearly everybody else) it was a little boy’s issue. Nothing to concern yourself with.
You were right — something was wrong.
But you know that sneaking feeling you’d get once in a while? It would happen in your quietest moments. It was the feeling that you weren’t meeting your full potential. You managed to graduate college with an average GPA and have an average first career, but you always knew you were above-average. Yet your life was anything but.
And some of the mistakes you’re making are supremely mind-boggling. Remember the moment when all that joking about being senile or having Alzheimer’s stopped being funny? Remember when you actually started wondering what the hell was wrong with you with an unprecedented sense of urgency?
It gets SO much better.
None of this makes sense right now. Even if it did, you wouldn’t believe it. But you’re going to get better. And you’re going to excel in ways you can’t wrap your mind around right now. Just hang in there and keep working on your issues. You’re going to make it to the other side of this, and the view is marvelous.
Hang in there,