This is something that I haven’t really discussed in length. Yes, I mention it a bit on the About Me and Home pages, but I don’t go in depth. I feel as though I just brush the surface a little bit.
So, today, in this post, I want to go a little more in depth and talk a little bit more about my story with this. I want to start before I got diagnosed with ADHD, Inattentive type.
The best place to start is the end of elementary school (Grades 5 & 6), as this is a time I remember fairly well, before getting my diagnosis.
I really remember struggling during this time. I would constantly daydream in class. I would struggle focusing on tasks, both at school and at home. I would study for a week for a test. I would do it every day, and my grades wouldn’t reflect how hard I had studies. I would get to the test, reread a question a dozen times, know that I had studied and should know the answer, but I would just blank.
I remember coming home one day, crying in my dad’s arms. I had just gotten a test back. A test that I had studied hard for, but didn’t reflect that. I was discouraged, and asked him what I was doing wrong and what was wrong with me. And I think that’s when my parents really started to take a look at what they could do to help me and figure out what was going on.
This lead them to take me to see psychologists. I remember talking to them, and being given a short test/questionnaire for me to do. I don’t remember a whole lot of these session(s), but I do remember at least that.
So I finished elementary school, without having to do over a year. I managed to pass and move on to grade 7.
The summer before I started grade 7, my parents sat me down and told me that I had ADHD, Inattentive type. I remember tearing up, and asking what could be done. They told me that there was medication that could help me.
So I started grade 7 at a new school, as that’s when high school starts here. And I also started medication. I cannot tell you what a difference this all made. Having a diagnosis and being on medication made a huge difference. I was able to focus better, got better grades (best in my class), I could remember what I had studied and answer questions during an exam, just to name a few. My self-esteem went through the roof. I finally understood what was going on.
Although I had a diagnosis, I didn’t really talk about it to my friends and such. Let’s face it, I was starting a new school, was in my early teens, and wanted to fit in, like pretty much everyone else at that age. So, I didn’t really talk about it through my teens. I was doing well, had friends, I felt like I fit in, could pass on as ‘normal’, and I didn’t see the need to say anything.
Got through my teens and school and all that, and managed to do well during this time.
Then, it was time for university. I got into a university two hours away from home. I lived in a dorm my first two years, and moved off campus for my last two years. This was a whole new thing, and I did struggle with things that I hadn’t struggled with before. I had a hard time managing my time, I did hand in some assignments late, I was super disorganized, and the list goes on. I didn’t realize that all of this was normal for those of us with ADHD.
During this time, I also met and married my husband. Once we both graduated, we started our family. Our eldest was born the same year I graduated. Within the next 3 1/2 years, we had two more kids. I continued to struggle. And I was really struggling. Again, I didn’t fully understand that all the things I was struggling with had to do with how my brain is wired and functions.
Since starting this blog, listening to podcasts, researching, and such, I’ve learned that ADHD affects more than just focus, completing tasks, being able to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. I wish I had asked questions and done research on my own years ago, but better now/a little late than never.
Recently, my dad admitted that he had a regret with regards to my diagnosis, as the subject came up. He said that he regretted not getting me tested sooner. I told him that I appreciated that they got me tested when they did and that I’m glad they didn’t wait longer. As a parent, I understand where he was coming from. It’s hard to see your kids struggle.
But at the end of the day, I appreciate that my parents listened, took what I was saying seriously, and took the steps to get me my diagnosis.