I have ADHD. I say it quite proudly as before I used to think I was “ill’. I am not. I am well but I think differently to others, that is all.
Many women in their early 50’s are being diagnosed, a missed diagnosis from school days, we have often found ourselves struggling with life, frantically holding everything together, until suddenly, you cannot continue anymore.
I was diagnosed officially in 2020, it did not come as a shock as I realized I had a very busy brain that never shut off and I knew that was making me ‘poorly.’ Not only could I not sleep at night, but my brain also went over and over like a stuck record, recalling past events on a continual loop of hell. I had read Dr Pete Walker’s Book From Surviving to Thriving about healing trauma and recognising the Four F’s (Fight, Flight, Freeze & Fawn) that underpins the infrastructure of most of society.
It took the genius of @Eckhart Tolle to help me realise that most of us spend 99% of our lives in our head and it made me laugh too. He talks about those people who shake their knee constantly and he said that if you had a dog and it did that, you would take it to the vets!
Prior to diagnosis I was constantly beating myself up over the ADHD like things I did. Now I smile and acknowledge them as part of me. Lost keys, lost phone, doors left open, bags left in shops. The list is endless.
If, like me, you find yourself diagnosed with ADHD later in life, you could be reeling or dancing with joy. For me, it was life-changing, all those years of saying to myself I was not good enough or was stupid, now I know that I am not.
There are so many positives related to ADHD and some very prominent people have ADHD, Richard Branson, Rory Bremner and Justin Timberlake amongst them.
Here are my top tips to managing your lives with ADHD or suspected ADHD.
- Get yourself a diagnosis – even if it’s for your own piece of mind – it takes the weight off always blaming yourself. Now you have a condition to blame.
- Share with your friends and family so they understand what makes ‘you’ ‘you’ and how their understanding would be appreciated
- Cut down on the sugar and manage your diet very carefully – lots of green vegetables – I advise seeing a nutritionist
- Avoid stimulants like recreational drugs and alcohol
- Use clocks and timers effectively so you are not late
- Sleep well – get up at the same time, go to bed at the same time
- Walk in nature
- Learn to quieten those inner voices (Mediation is great for this)
- Drink 1.5 litres of water minimum a day
- Slow down
- Do not spread yourself too thin
- Learn to focus – one thing at a time
- Have as little stuff as possible, that way your brain does not go into over-drive
- Declutter! Less stuff will mean you stop losing stuff too
- Take up yoga, meditation, chi-gong or Pilates to quiet that brain
- Read up on ADHD and recognise that you are not alone
- Join local groups – there are plenty on Facebook
- Use your amazing skill of “hyper focus” to listen to people when they speak to you.
- Think before you act – walk away and have a think before committing to something that may cost you dearly
Focus on the upsides of ADHD – there are so many…mine make me laugh and don’t harm anyone. I love the hyper focus/rabbit hole, type deep analysis of documents that I can do. When I write these blogs, I use my hyper focus and often hours go by as I write without thought. It is truly a gift and I treat my ADHD like that. It makes me quirky and different and for that, I feel blessed.
One day I might share how many days a month I go into work wearing just one earring. LOL