A number of people have asked me about my own ADHD so I thought I’d compile a list of ways it affects me on a daily basis!
– Struggling to focus on anything I don’t enjoy: School was okay most of the time as I LOVE learning (and lessons were only an hour), but put me in a boring meeting or on a boring phone call, and it’s almost physically painful to pay attention.
– Daydreaming when I should be listening: This does tend to annoy people as I will zone out of conversations if I am not interested. I tend to find I only really pay attention if I can get really involved in the conversation, as listening without input for more than a few minutes is difficult for me (I found this in the classroom, too).
– Impulsive actions and choices: I make decisions very quickly and often fail to think through the consequences. When I was at school, I was incredibly impulsive when starting a task and was often reprimanded for this. In my adult life, my impulsiveness has caused me a number of problems, but I can thank it for my business – I set this up in 2012 on impulse because I was bored!
– Crippling RSD: Criticism has been and always will be physically and mentally painful. It hurts so much when I am criticised by someone I care about and I cannot put it into words how it makes me feel inside.
– The feeling of overwhelm: My emotions are so strong and I can quickly become overwhelmed by any emotion. If I am excited, I will feel like flying and if I am sad, I may cry so much I become dehydrated. I tend to get overwhelmed by tasks I feel I cannot do well such as reading maps, putting up flatpack furniture or solving algebraic equations!
– Oversharing everything: Linked to my impulsiveness, I tend to blurt out everything and am likely to tell a stranger my entire life story. I will then feel guilty for sharing my precious information and can easily become withdrawn – until I share it all again and the cycle continues!
– Having SO many hobbies and interests: I don’t stick at anything for very long, so I tend to be a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. Although I am always determined to stick to a hobby, it doesn’t take long before I get bored and start something new!
– Imposter syndrome: Even though my business is very successful, I still often feel like an imposter and struggle to recognise all that I have achieved. I do constantly question myself, but actually feel this has benefitted my business to some extent as I keep improving it.
– Chronic perfectionism: When I was a child, I was chaotic and untidy, but my most useful (not necessarily the most healthy) coping mechanism is definitely perfectionism. I am incredibly tidy and punctual and people think I am organised, but under this mask, I am still a chaotic, untidy child.
– Struggling with admin: When I got an admin job after school, I was sacked within two weeks due to my mood swings and disorganisation and I still struggle with most admin. My creative, wild brain finds the boring and repetitive tasks painful, although my perfectionism forces me to do them!
– Overthinking absolutely everything: I judge myself for pretty much everything I say and do, even though this usually causes me pain. For years, I have struggled with friendships and relationships because my overactive brain puts two and two together and gets five!
– Being told I have no common sense: I got this all through my childhood and still get it in my adult life. I tend to tackle things in an illogical manner, am still unsure of my left and right (without prompts) and can be uncoordinated if nervous.
– Being uncontrollably passionate: If I love something, I will dedicate my all to it and I struggle to push the off switch even when I know I am starting to get overwhelmed. My business, Bedford Tutor & Moonbow Coaching, is my life and I have never had any problems with focusing on this part of my life!
– Being loud and hyperactive: When I was younger, people thought I was on drugs and I still get asked questions about why I seem to have limitless energy. As I have grown older, I find my hyperactivity exists more in my brain and I can thank ADHD for much of my success in art and creative writing!
– Getting awful anxiety: I have suffered with anxiety since I was a child and it’s definitely exacerbated by ADHD. If I am nervous, I may suffer panic attacks, although everyday situations don’t cause me anxiety like they used to – I have developed coping mechanisms to control this as I have got older.