An older woman has come to terms with her ADHD — and thrived in her career in spite of her challenges — but still wishes her family and friends weren’t so dismissive of the struggles that come with the disorder.
All of my life I believed that I had a learning disability. Finally, after I turned 60, I began hearing about ADHD in adults.
I started to educate myself about it. I have been seeing a therapist for many years because of major depressive disorder. I brought it up to him in one of my sessions, explained my “symptoms,” and asked him what he thought about my having adult ADHD. He agreed that what I was describing was indeed ADHD. I was relieved to know that there was a reason why I had felt “dumb” all these years and why my self-esteem was in the basement.
I am a successful estate agent. I passed my exam on the first try, and I have always been proud of that accomplishment, since my grades school were not great. Selling real estate is challenging, and it is stressful at times. It takes a lot of effort to keep tabs on all of the details. But I do it. I couldn’t live without sticky notes and a schedule written down in 10 different places.
When I try to explain my ADHD to my family, their eyes glaze over. They see me as they have always seen me: spacey, unable to focus on conversations, or to remember where I was going or why. I want to take them to the therapist and have him explain the reasons why I am the way I am. They judge me, instead of understanding that I have a disorder.