ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactive disorder) is being talked about more and more. Particularly when it comes to women in their 50’s and 60’s. In fact, in the last two weeks I have met two women who have struggled in their lives. One says she ‘suspects’ she has elements of ADHD in her personality and the other is confident she has ADHD which was undiagnosed as a child. In her words, she has just thought she was thick all of her life.
It’s actually heart-breaking to think of so many women spending the majority of their lives thinking they are ‘less than’ because of remaining undiagnosed as a child. Many boys were diagnosed as ADHD, particularly in the 1970’s but very few women. Mostly because we kept quiet and acted like everything was fine, when, in fact, it was not.
Now, things are changing and more and more of us are seeking to find out what makes us tick and with a diagnosis, often comes clarity. It’s a subject I know a bit about and is close to my own heart.
I was diagnosed with ADHD in March of this year and I have to say it came as a relief. I had, prior to this diagnosis, thought I was stupid and disorganised and ‘annoying’ as I talked too much and had an air-head brain (albeit with a million thoughts and ideas and lots of energy). In truth, I have a condition, that’s all and it affects me when I am stressed; that’s when my ADHD takes over! How it plays out in my life, is losing things and forgetting names of people I know! I have been known to mislay coats, handbags, keys, you name it! Luckily, I now have a winning formula. I listen to people telling me their names calmly, I slow down and I focus. If I lose something now, I sit down and I back track. Where did I last see that item? 9/10 I find the item I thought had been lost forever. ADHD comes with many positive traits, my favourite is #hyperfocus. It is truly amazing how I can get absorbed in something and not surface for hours. I am literally engrossed so it’s not always a case of not being able to digest information. Quite the opposite.
Luckily for me, my ADHD is pitched at around 20/30% of my personality so that is good news. That means I am able to help those with ADHD as I understand them, but not allow my ADHD traits to take over the show. I wouldn’t be much help if I were bouncing off the walls like tigger when my clients need more of an Owl type character to guide them through the process. In fact, having done a lot of work on myself so I am far more owl these days than ever before which is great! I guess that comes with age also. That does not mean that I still don’t leave something behind wherever I go. The difference is that I remember I have now, and can easily retrieve said item.
So, if I have ADHD, how have I found ways to overcome this condition or at least learn to work with it? I recently had training with Sarah Bickers, a fellow member of APDO, the Professional Decluttering Body. She too, has ADHD and a recent article in a national magazine has shown how, as an organiser, she can implement systems and practices into the lives of her clients as she can relate to their issues and address them.
- The first thing is recognition of who you are because of it. For instance, my biggest fault was ‘over-talking’ other people and interrupting. Now that I am aware of it. I don’t do it, or if I go to do it, I apologise and let the other person speak.
- I think before I act – slowly is the best course of action
- I do not bombard myself with social media and lots of messages etc on my phone. I monitor what I take ‘on board’ and make sure that the information I receive is positive
- I avoid sugar like the plague – sugar is the worst thing you can do to your body and for someone with ADHD it’s horrible
- I meditate and take quiet time, no music, no noise, just me and the voice of the guru I am following
- I avoid shopping days as I used to spend money to make me happy. It is no longer financially viable
- I walk in nature (a lot)
- Exercise is my everything
- I medicate with fresh air, good friends, uplifting music and engrossing books
But above all else, I don’t have a lot of ‘stuff’. If I had a lot of stuff, I would lose everything so having less stuff is so much easier for me to handle. In other words, I have a decluttered life which helps me not lose keys, coats, umbrellas, scarves and my phone on a daily basis!
I am attracting more and more clients with ADHD and I want to attract more. After all, it’s what I know best. Given I have the condition, I can help those who have it too as I know how they think but can come up with solutions that work best for my client.
ADHD is an interesting subject and is characterized by a number of key behaviours. ADHD can be genetically inherited, but it can also be created by the environment you have grown up in. it can be broken down into three specific categories HYPERACTIVE, INATTENTIVE and COMBINED.
The biggest piece of advice is to not kick yourself but congratulate yourself on who you are! With ADHD you will have the most amazing character traits and mainly fall into the empath category. I rarely met someone with ADHD who isn’t just wonderful, mainly because one of the key traits is the want to people please. People pleasing is not an overly good tool as the person who does the pleasing often gets walked over. That said, if used correctly, it’s a great way to make it through life as, after all, someone who is intent on making others happy, is never going to be ‘that’ bad!
Below is a link to some key traits of ADHD which you may find useful and a further link to the organisation who diagnosed me. It was the best decision I have ever made. Please always do your research to find out who is the best person to talk to you about your symptoms and who best to turn to.
If you know of anyone with this condition, who struggles with clutter, then I am the right person to engage to help your friend or family member find easier ways to deal with their home environment and/or life.
The Lifestyle Concept
Helping you find inner harmony through decluttering