The veil dropped in 2014.

Behind the painted-on smile, I was deeply unhappy.

I realised that I had been unhappy my entire life and I was 50 years old. I had had enough of feeling out of control, manipulated, empty, soulless, tearful, depressed, exhausted and everything else and more. So, I decided that in order to declutter my life, I had to go back to the beginning. The bit where I was born and what happened after I was born.

I reflected on who I was from childhood and asked friends who I was. I recalled events with friends. I found my adoption papers to see who I was as a child. Content was the word used and never cried.

I reflected on how my personality had played out in my life, both the good and the bad and I thought about my parents and how the way I was brought up had made me the person I had become.

I thought about how I had never felt accepted, I had always felt odd, different, the odd-ball, a bit out there, awkward, geeky, away with the fairies, dreaming, lacking in focus, over thinking, over talking….a dreamer but one with an inner sense to be accepted for who I was.

I reflected on decisions I had made and why I had made them

I reflected on how I had beaten myself up mentally all my life when I couldn’t fix people – I felt it was my role in life, to fix everyone. I knew that was not healthy or feasible, but I wanted to know why I felt like that. I would feel frustrated when people didn’t want to be happy. I wanted them to be and that included myself.

In 2014 I started to do the work on myself to calm my frazzled brain

I had counselling & hypnotherapy
And then I had CBT
And lots of Reiki
And more hypnotherapy
And Landmark

And bit by bit, I started to feel better…but it was going to take some time….

First off, I started reading – my first book was The Power, and then I read The Secret

I then read all of Louise Hay’s books and healed my inner child and cried a river! I came to realise how much I loved my parents despite my less than ordinary childhood.

Next I read all of Eckhart Tolle’s books and understood my Monkey Chatter brain

I read to myself the Hoponono prayer over and over until I forgave myself and others I felt had wronged me

I had Reiki to push out the negative energy and fixations I had on various things and events

I learned to sit quietly with no noise and meditate even if that meant silence

I downloaded Audible and played it to myself all the time with my headphones in and listened to over 30 books

I learned mindfulness to focus on one thing at a time until it was done before moving onto the next thing (I even cook mindfully, chopping vegetables with utter focus)

I learned to cut down on the sugar and the booze

I learned to go to bed early and not sit in bed on Facebook until midnight

I learned to set boundaries with those who sucked my energy

I disengaged from friends who did not necessarily have good plans for me

I stopped shopping to seek perfection
I learned to forgive others
I did Numerology on myself to see who I was and was to become
I did Myers Briggs to see who I am
I did Enneagram to see who I am
I learned that my addictions were a symptom of my mental pain, shopping, eating, drinking, running or whatever

And then when I was starting to feel better, I still thought something was not right…I didn’t seem to be like others. I had a 100 mile an hour brain and was always in a state of frenzy. I would be late to events, miss events, turn up at the wrong location, leave car doors open, leave labels in clothing, lose things….what on earth was wrong with me? I was driving myself crazy.

My friend recommended I read Richard Grannon – a psychologist who specialises in Narcissism.

He talked about Dr Pete Walker, an American psychologist who has a book; CPTSD from Surviving to Thriving and I read Dr Gabor Mate and suddenly, the penny dropped…I had ADHD. I looked up the symptoms, over-talking, over thinking, talking over others, the need to please, excitability, lack of focus, monkey-chatter brain, procrastination, worrying, stressing, anxiety, depression, exhaustion (combined with bouts of hyper energy), not living in the moment. It all fell into place.

In 2020 I got the diagnosis I had been longing for. I had ADHD confirmed by Psychiatry UK. Just 20/30% – a relief as it was not enough to tip my life into real chaos.

And I felt at peace because no longer did I beat myself up every-time I did something hare-brained. Now I just smile and think whoops there’s my ADHD. I focus on the good bits and eliminate the negatives. Yes, I have bad days, wobbly days and I feel ‘out of sorts’ but I recognise and acknowledge them and sleep.

My diagnosis has helped me feel stronger, better and more confident than I have ever felt. I don’t mind being different, it’s great to be different and my ADHD comes with many benefits; lots of energy, a happy personality (generally) and an amazing hyper focus skill which, when used correctly, is quite incredible.

I eat well because it manages my symptoms, I exercise and I balance partying with chill out time and self care. I surround myself with people who love me as I am, as I love them as they are. Most of them have ADHD anyway, we just laugh about our funny little ways and we support each other. A day out is quite a chore with our ADHD brains but between us we manage to get to the right location on time (sort of) and we are always really happy if we manage to find the tickets too!

I have given up the need to be perfect and I have given up the shopping. I don’t need to be perfect. The world is not perfect. No-one is perfect.

I have learned the skill of saying No, when I mean No and not yes! Phew 🙂

And finally, I have found it easy to laugh at my ways and accept I have good and bad traits, just like everyone. We are all a reflection of our upbringings, both the bad and the good. Finding out who you are is one of the greatest gifts you can give to others because it is only then that you truly see, we are all fighting a battle of one sort or another. Once you see yourself clearly, you see others clearly too and your tolerance to them will improve!

I decluttered myself from trauma to healing and came to know myself.

Once I knew myself I returned to my old self.

And at long last, I found peace.