My neurodiversity (the way my brain is wired) has shaped my life in so many ways. Both good and bad but I never imagined that a formal diagnosis could dramatically change my life.
For years, I struggled to understand why certain aspects of my life seemed more challenging for me than for others. Almost two months ago I was officially diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and EDA (Extreme Demand Avoidance) or as I more commonly refer to them, my SUPERPOWERS!
Getting that diagnosis, I was finally able to make sense of my experiences and begin my journey towards self-acceptance, being able to live authentically and ultimately a happier life.
In my childhood, I was always seen as "the talkative one", “the super enthusiastic one” or "the cant sit still one.", I got by at school, but I found it sooooo difficult to focus on everyday, mundane tasks. My teachers (and family) often expressed their frustration with my inability listen and focus on what had to be done!
As I entered adulthood, I noticed that things didn’t change, it wasn’t a phase. I had difficulty staying in one job, always wanting to change and move on, I found it hard to maintain positive relationships and managing my emotions was sooooo hard. My anxiety levels were constantly high, making even the simplest tasks feel overwhelming. I started to believe that it was all me and I wasn’t “normal”. Yet I tried to hard to be "normal", it was exhausting!
After years of struggling and with the support of my amazing family, I decided to get a diagnosis.
At first, I felt a mix of relief and fear; Relief, because I finally had an explanation for everything I had struggled with; Fear, because I was uncertain about what this would mean for me.
I began to learn more about ADHD and EDA in adults and I learned that ADHD is not just all about the hyperactivity presentation but can look like impulsivity, overwhelm and hyper focus. EDA on the other hand, involves difficulty regulating emotions and an intense need to avoid or resist perceived demands. This newfound understanding provided a sense of validation and hope.
As I continue to navigate life with ADHD and EDA, I have come to accept that my journey may be different from those of others. I have learned to advocate for myself, seeking accommodations and understanding when necessary. I have also discovered that my diagnoses come with unique strengths (those SUPERPOWERS again), such as creativity and resilience, enthusiasm and so much optimism, which have become valuable assets in both my personal and professional life.
My journey to diagnosis with ADHD and EDA and beyond has been both challenging, overwhelming and awesome all at once. It has taught me the importance of self-acceptance, perseverance, and seeking support.
Although my path may be unconventional, it is one that has shaped me into the person I am today – A person who is stronger, more compassionate and better equipped to face life's challenges head-on!
If this resonates with you, please know that there are others who feel the same and there is help out there.
Keep being amazing