How Does ADHD Affect A Person's Daily Life?

Journey living with an Adult ADHD. This is how being diagnosed with ADHD turns your world upside down.

Back in 2013, I knew something was wrong. I understood that depression was a thing; and that I needed help. But how to ask for it was harder. When I moved from Texas to California for a job, my priority was to find a new doctor. I needed to tell someone that my mind was broken. 

symptoms of ADHD

And soon I found that doctor, he placed me into counseling to talk my way through depression. Soon after that, the counselor added Anxiety too. It began to make sense; the inability to make clear decisions, hemming and hawing. Going to the grocery store became a major life event; I would spiral over whether or not to bring my own bags or when I should go to the store, to begin with. 

For the next 6 years, I would spend time with different counselors, therapists, and medications. All with just a small amount of success. I felt bored on the job, unable to effectively work without distracting my own brain. I had resorted to playing old history documentaries in the background during the workday so I could do the mundane basic tasks of desk work. 

I knew this wasn't normal. But the doctors said that the medication was working. So why didn't feel like it? By January of 2019, I had realized that California became too expensive to live in and decided to leave for Arizona. 

My parents lived in Arizona, it seemed if I was at least near family maybe just maybe it would help. I found a job in Phoenix at a billboard advertising company. I had my own office, it seemed like I was finally breaking into something new in an unfulfilling career. But it was not to be.

The job wasn't hard, but the manager was. One moment she'd be patient and kind, and understanding that this was a new realm of learning for me. And then would be overbearing, and condescending. Going behind my work and altering it. The stress this caused seemed to increase every week. 

I had begun seeing both a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist. In May of 2019, after describing how I was using old videos online to distract me in order to do my job, the psychologist asked me if I had ever been tested for ADHD. I said no, I knew what it was, but assumed that it was something boys got and not girls. 

She then asked me a series of questions. Suddenly it all made sense. My inability to sit still long enough to write. How hard it was for me to focus on tasks that had little to no interest for me. And then she connected it all for me. ADHD and Anxiety are comorbid disorders. For some, having both not only can happen, but one can make the other feel and seem worse. 

Now I understand that these last 6 or 7 years I had been treated for symptoms of a bigger problem. And as a result, it now made sense why I never felt like anything was working. My medications changed, but my insecurities on my job did not. After months of constant up and down, inconsistencies of support from my boss, I quit.

Today, living back in my home state of Ohio I am finally beginning to get the help I need; and learning to live with ADHD as an adult. It's odd, like learning who you are all over again; connecting the dots that you assumed made you weird or different. 

I understand that my mind is not broken, nor was it ever broken. But, I understand now that my mind is a place of wild imagination, filled with so many ideas and information, that gathering myself long enough to put together a cohesive piece of writing is at times daunting. 

I still struggle with the time management part of my writing and know that I get ahead of myself when I sit to brainstorm about what to write about next. Yet, there are moments in time where I will get the inspiration to write, and the text flows easily and fluid. By the time I come out of the inspiration, what lays before me I don't even recognize. 

People search their whole lives looking for what they should or shouldn't do with themselves; looking for a talent to take them to a place of satisfaction. I know my place is with writing. What lays before me now, is getting to that place without losing the focus that ADHD distracts. 

In some ways, I have to re-learn all I ever thought about my life through the spectrum that ADHD has put in front of me. Some of this is so clear and obvious. Others are still shrouded in shadows, making it frustrating for me to understand why I do the things I do, and why I can't seem to break that cycle. 

One thing is for sure, it will be a process. And as long as I can, I will continue to work to understand not only myself but others who suffer from this as well.

Denise is a writer who uses history to explain current events. While the subject or event may change; she makes history relevant for all

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