Living With ADHD Has Taught Me How To Be Perfectly Flawed

as said Nicole Audrey Spector

October ADHD Awareness Month.

Growing up, I was always praised for my intelligence. I went to a magnet school for the gifted and attended one of the top public universities in Florida.

Imagine how surprised I was a few years ago when, as the top career woman I knew to be in my mid-30s and destined to be, I didn’t start to feel very smart. The problem is, I was going to forget some things. Not just the old stuff, but some of the most important things: words.

For example, someone asked me, “Where is the garbage?” Let’s say he asked. I’d like to answer “under the kitchen sink”. Instead of saying “kitchen sink,” I’d stay completely blank and leave the sentence hanging. Or, even weirder, I’d say something like “In the Fridge” and quickly realize that I was wrong.

Surprised and a little worried, I went to my primary care provider, who gave me tests to test my memory and rule out something truly terrible. gliomaa paralysis or aphasia. He decided that not everything that happened with me was connected with a serious physical health condition. He seemed carefree and suspected that everything could be the result of stress.

And that was the end of the conversation.

I got back in my life as best I could, but my symptoms got worse. Soon, the problem wasn’t with word recall (which was still an issue, though) but more with my energy and focus. No matter how hard I tried, I had a hard time getting out of bed and starting my day. I dared not care about any of the tasks that lay before me.

i live with depression and they had been on medication and therapy for a long time to treat it, but this felt different. I wasn’t really feeling sad or hopeless or worried. Frankly, I felt like I couldn’t put my role together.

That’s when things started to go bad. I lost my job because I couldn’t do anything. Then I lost another one. And another.

The most frustrating part of all of this was that I would get a surge of energy late in the evening, around 8:00 PM. My ability to get up and do things would fall into place.

But then there was a deeper, almost existential pain. I have always been the shining image of success. Now I was suddenly failing in my career. Fantastic and over and over again. And for no apparent reason.

I’m an open book about mental health and everything else in my life, so I’ve relied heavily on my friends to explain what I’m going through. One day my friend, who is a middle school teacher, was listening to me and stopped me to ask me if there were any tests. attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

“I’m talented!” I shouted. “I have no way ADHD. I could never have been this successful in school!”

My friend laughed in my face.

“Girl,” he said, “tons Gifted people have ADHD

At that time, I had a very limited understanding. ADHD and he knew it only manifested as an inability to focus.

I didn’t know you could have ADHD affect memory or present as a lack of motivation.

I tried to see a psychiatrist, but none of them were available to see me. So I went to a neurologist who was dead on a completely different diagnosis: Sleep apnea. But sleep apnea tests showed I didn’t have it. So I soon returned to the first frame.

Natalie Chambers receiving her MA in law, 2022. Natalie Chambers receives her MA in law in 2022.

I finally found a psychiatrist who could see me. He gave me some tests to determine if I had ADHD. And let me tell you, I got pretty much every answer for an ADHD diagnosis. I finally succeeded at something!

I’m totally pumped – not only because it means I’ll eventually have an answer and a path to treatment, but also because it means all my problem is solved, right? False.

Living with ADHD is very similar to living with depression (no wonder. they are usually found together). You can take all the drugs and do all the therapy in the world to tame the symptoms, but to truly get out of the clutches of ADHD, you need to get to work.

For me, work requires being super organized by making to-do lists for the next day. These lists go into detail on the most basic tasks. For example, I type “Get out of bed” and “Take a shower”. Everything needs to be distributed very neatly or my brain gets stuck and I can’t do any of it.

women are famous Underdiagnosis and inadequate treatment for ADHD, and I feel lucky that I got the right answers from the right medical professionals and was able to persevere. I encourage all other women who suspect they have ADHD to do the same.

In some obvious ways, ADHD has made my life more difficult, but also somewhat easier. All the pressure I had put on myself – the pressure from other people and society’s expectations of me – began to melt away.

Everyone says there is no such thing as perfect. But do they really believe it? Do most of us, especially women for whom patriarchy dares to do basically anything or be nothing, do not secretly believe that we will be the ones to get an A+ in life?

I certainly thought so at one time, but now I’ve let it go. I am no longer a gifted child, now I am a talented woman. And most of my gifts – like the gift of grace – are things I can only give myself.

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