ADHD and Me


I have a child who is so full of energy that it has taken us down the pathway of diagnosis for ADHD – and much to my surprise, I’m learning I’m likely the parent that gifted this to him. While I’ve never been clinically diagnosed, ADHD and me seem to be old friends and this revelation has been both helpful and a big tragic.

My son is still in elementary school, so luckily we are catching it with time to make some behavioral changes that may help him learn how to channel it, but my pathway is still not quite “solved.”

Let me explain what my Dr. Google diagnosed “ADHD and me” looks like.

Growing up, I was a good kid and a good student and always wanted to do my best. Early on in elementary school, I was placed in those “special programs” (ELO is what they were called when I was a kid) as I was done faster than others and needed something else to do. Thanks to a post from Tending Paths, a Facebook page by Katy Higgins Lee, MFT (marriage and family therapist), I realized that my “giftedness” also had some overlap with some ADHD behaviors that may have been missed. This inspiration and enlightenment came thanks to a Venn diagram that demonstrates the overlap between autism, ADHD and giftedness.

You see – there are things like being easily bored, learning in a non-linear manner, and thinking in metaphors or symbols that are things I do on an everyday basis. But there are other issues with regard to having a wide range of interests that I can’t focus on and needing movement and being fidgety when trying to focus.

Throughout school and into adulthood, I’d say I’ve managed some pretty big things, with the biggest being graduating with my Ph.D., buying and moving into a new house and birthing my twins all within a month. Of course, stress seemed appropriate, but looking back, there are things that happened in that time that likely were made more challenging by the fact that I’ve missed this important piece of myself in its understanding and its place.

And now, as an adultier-adult (I know, wtf), looking at trying to “solve” my son’s issues, I’m seeing other signs and symptoms creeping up that are making me realize a need to shift focus from just my son to myself. You see, ADHD and me (mixed with having COVID twice) looks like a few other not-so-fun issues:

  • Working memory issues
  • Craving novelty
  • Impulsiveness (such as with purchases)
  • Problems with saying no even with a plate that’s too full
  • Low frustration tolerance and a quick temper
  • Problems with following through and completing tasks

Another post that not only made me feel called out but also some solidarity with others was a recent post I saw that referred to Doom Boxes. A Doom Box, you see, is a magical box (or bag) with random stuff that you just can’t get to. Like when you clean the car or our Midwestern “junk drawer” and you put everything into one place and then say you’ll get to it, but never do. The Facebook page Our Neurodivergent Life shared some graphics that summed this up – and when I shared it on my page I was surprised at how many others had the same challenges.

While I think in some cases, we may be quick to label and diagnose, and certainly quick to medicate, I do see value in being able to describe and understand why some things may just not be the same for you. I think it is important to equip yourself with tools and strategies and bring others in your world into the mix, too.

ADHD and me is something that I’m coming to terms with – and seeking to schedule an appointment to confirm and evaluate. I have felt different than my other mom friends for a while, as I feel I do a lot, but also can’t keep up, and there’s no stop in sight. And for me, it’s about helping strengthen relationships that may have been strained through this, namely with my spouse, but also to help myself know where my focus should be, as I’ve been burning this candle from all sides for way too long.


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