My wise marketing guru and I were pouring over statistics the other day to see which of my posts and blogs drew more attention, than others. It turns out my mention of my ADHD client who had recently had a baby, gained a lot of interest. We thought it might be nice for me to expand on the subject and to talk about how it plays a part in the ‘declutter story’ not only for me, but for many of my clients.
I encounter more and more clients with symptoms of this largely misunderstood mental health condition. It is a condition I am drawn to as frankly speaking, people with ADHD are normally fun, uplifting, vital and fast paced but often, it comes with the inability to focus and this can lead to clutter. Something I know all about.
So, what is ADHD and why is it being talked about more openly now?
The mental health condition, ADHD, has been around for a long while, but it was back in the day mostly associated with and attached to only the naughty boys you may recall from your schooldays. In fact, in the 1970’s in particular, the label was put on every young boy who misbehaved. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. In layman terms, they were the boys who did not behave in class, would regularly be thrown out of class and basically, were difficult to teach. In fact, the term ‘thick’ may have been applied as they lacked academic skills. Records indicate that Einstein and Sir Winston Churchill, both had signs of ADHD. Strangely, neither did too badly in their lives! I now believe that someone who is not necessarily be classed as academic is not doomed to failure. In fact, far from it, ADHD is commonly known as ‘Fast Brain’ in the USA and who would not want a fast brain?
ADHD in women is more commonly being diagnosed. Not only diagnosed but diagnosed much later in life. In fact, there is commonly a confusion between the symptoms and menopause, but many experts now believe that menopause can make ADHD symptoms worse, symptoms that were probably previously masked and hidden.
Rightly or wrongly, women are really good at hiding what is really going on. We are good at putting on a good show and acting like everything is in order, when, in fact, everything is in chaos. I recall as a child, I seemed to be a star pupil, in as much as I was quiet (when studying) and seemed engrossed. I was, it’s called Hyper focus. However, what I was actually doing was masking what was really going on. I was quite simply, staring out of the window, dreaming and zoning out. I struggled to pay attention even though I would try my darndest.
ADHD, if not managed properly, can be pretty hard to live with. As any mental health challenge is. Many common symptoms of ADHD, that you may recognise, are:
Bouncing around like Tigger
Interrupting people when they are speaking to you
High anxiety in relationships
Low self esteem
Difficulty paying attention
Drawn to anything that sparkles J
Can become more vulnerable when there is a crisis
Runs on high adrenaline
The list is endless but, in my view, the good points outweigh the bad over and over again. However, doctors are being encouraged to understand how the symptoms of ADHD affect women far worse then men –
Most people with ADHD (mostly women) I encounter have the most amazing personalities. Full of love and life, their empathetic traits are heart-warming. In fact, I can honestly say, those with the traits of ADHD are quite simply, inspirational. People with ADHD could never be described as ‘normal’ but, who would want to be normal? Life is for living and the cup is almost always half full for those with these traits. Many people with ADHD are also spiritual or leaning towards a more spiritual nature and have a deep insight into others. Think butterflies, bright colours, sparkles and fairy lights adorning a home!
Like any mental health challenge, this personality type can struggle with having an orderly life. Which is where I come in. Having been diagnosed with ADHD myself just a few months ago, the final ‘answer’ to my life-long question of “Who on earth am I”; gave me the chance to fully reflect back on my life. I recognised that, as a child, I was away with the fairies, happily skipping around the garden, chatting away to anyone who would listen. I was uncoordinated and could never climb a rope or even dance in time, struggling to keep up with the routine. I think the word you use is distracted. I was attracted to anything sparkly and wanted to be (in no particular order), a journalist, a receptionist in a hotel, a hairdresser, a beauty therapist, a nurse, a policewoman and a Secretary. I could not make my mind up and probably wanted to be all of these in one life-time!
I eventually chose to become a Secretary/PA and worked my way up from a small solicitor’s office in my home town in Cornwall to PA to five board directors of a major Rock & Roll company.
As an adult, I would lose keys, my purse, my handbag and even brand-new coats! My energy would know, no bounds, and I was never a stranger to hard work but that would come at a price. Crash and burn. Even Tigger needs to eat well, sleep well and look after himself in order to be fighting fit! The hyperfocus side of ADHD was used to good use. I focus so much I am totally in the moment and engrossed when I have something to deal with that requires my full attention.
However, ADHD symptoms can, if not kept in check, rule the roost and cause your life to become a complete and utter disaster. If you do everything at high speed, and juggle 10 plates at once, something more than a plate, is bound to drop!
Which is why, in 2020, I come to where I am in my life. I keep myself calm and organised and on top of my life, by following a golden set of rules.
I exercise regularly – almost daily
I avoid sugar at all costs
I drink 3 litres of water a day
I often sit in my living room with no music and just a lit candle to keep me company
I have learned to slow down my monkey chatter brain so I can think more clearly and with more structure. No crazy, left-field decisions.
I recognise my symptoms and I now know how to manage them whilst embracing the positive aspects, of which there are heaps.
I am lucky enough to have what I call ‘superpowers’ as I have both ADHD and OCD and the OCD keeps me organised. As a PA and an ex-business owner, I used the hyperfocus skill of ADHD to help me learn, not only to study skincare science but latterly to study psychology papers. I would love to do a psychology degree, if time will ever allow.
Many of my clients with ADHD struggle with disorder in their home lives. What seems logical to them, can appear as chaotic and random to others. That is why I am good at creating systems that can be deemed logical to both parties.
Of course, there is a link between childhood and ADHD also, but that is a subject for another day.
When I meet a client with ADHD, I recognise them immediately and know that with my own knowledge of the condition, I can help them be where they want to be. As obtuse as it may sound, my condition helps me, help my clients, as I can get into their brains and help them get out of theirs!
And if you feel you have the condition and want to chat, please feel free to contact me on email@example.com – we are in great company – Richard Branson, Justin Timberlake, Mel Robbins, Jim Carey, the list is endless and those are just the ones who are diagnosed. A diagnosis is just the beginning of your amazing life, not the end.
The Lifestyle Concept
Helping you find inner harmony through decluttering