Finding out I have ADHD in my 20’s was both a relief and a daunting experience for many reasons.
I was able to understand why I worked in a different way to others, why I could so easily be distracted in school and having that information gave me the feeling that I could’ve amounted to more if I knew sooner and so many things would have been different in my personal life, career and self-image.
The Journey to Diagnosis
It’s no secret that men are more commonly diagnosed with most things and because of this fact, I was not suspected of having ADHD until I was almost 21 years old. I didn’t even suspect it until I watched multiple videos on neurodivergent traits in women and AFAB-identifying people and started to think the “for you” page really was for me. I decided to share my curiosities with my mother and close friends and we all thought it was a possibility and would be worth looking into with a psych. It took multiple months to get an appointment and a few more to get medication after diagnosis because of an ill-fitted psych. It’s very important to find a psych who is the right fit and is someone you feel comfortable sharing with to be able to reach the best outcome for you.
The Power of Cognitive Testing
With the cognitive tests, I was able to see my strengths and weaknesses in areas like memory, problem-solving, pattern and puzzle outcomes and creativity. Things started to make sense to me and the people around me once I was diagnosed. It even gave my mother the same questions about herself and with the luck of heredity, she was diagnosed too. This gave us a better understanding of each other and the opportunity to be more open and build the good relationship we have now.
I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of being neurodivergent and the like-minded people I’ve met along the way, I’m no longer so self-critical of my thought process and having that feeling of understanding myself for the first time and knowing I’m not too much for people or that I’m stupid.
Plus, the added comfort of my mother knowing what I’m going through due to her own personal experiences with the same struggles I have been facing my whole life gives me hope I will also be a success in a field that best suits my strengths associated with ADHD.
A New Beginning
With diagnosis comes the right help and medication, personally, I find that with my meds I can have the concentration I’ve always seemed to lack and my art has had the chance to develop in ways I never thought I had the talent to do; I have even finished paintings now and that is something I feel proud of no matter how small it may be.
Lilly Blackwood is an artist, writer and self-proclaimed movie continuity expert.
When not working, Lilly can be found playing with her cats Nimeuh & Lucifer and hanging out at her favourite club listening to 70’s hits (she was born in the wrong decade).