Before my diagnosis, I was easily distracted. Now, I’m … easily distracted. Before my diagnosis I would sometimes say inappropriate things. I still do that.
Before my diagnosis I would get bored with long, drawn out, mind numbing presentations and slip off into my own world. I would spend long periods of time staring out the window and living in my head. I would misunderstand people who were speaking to me in my native tongue, English. I would falter and fumble when I was in social situations where I wasn’t sure of myself.
Well … not much. Okay, I’m more aware of what is happening. When I say or do something inappropriate, I no longer judge those who found it to be inappropriate, though they might judge me.
When someone is speaking English to me and I’m hearing Romulan, I’ve learned to ask if they could elaborate or restate what they were probably stating clearly, but was clearly not making it into my head.
As to staring out of windows, daydreaming, I still do that. Some of my best ideas come from that. But, I now recognize what’s happening, and I embrace it.
Admittedly, post diagnosis, I was eligible for a prescription, and I did get one. But after three years of being medicated, I was reduced to going on without the help of medication because of a slowly developing side effect, anxiety.
Nope. Prior to diagnosis, I thought someone with ADHD was someone who was clueless. Prior to diagnosis I thought everyone knew what it was like to be easily distracted. I thought everyone knew what it was like to be compelled to climb on anything that offered a hand or toe hold. I thought everyone saw the world in rainbow colors with a soundtrack playing in their heads and a calculator tallying up the different ways in which everything is connected to everything else.
So there are some things that have changed, but not really, and some things that haven’t changed, yet sort of have.
But there is one thing that has changed since my diagnosis and subsequent acquaintance with so many people with whom I share this diagnosis. I have become more forgiving. More forgiving of those who judge themselves harshly because of mental health issues. And more forgiving of those who judge others with mental health issues.
And most of all, more forgiving of myself. I’m no longer beating myself up over things I can’t help doing. Why? Because I have a diagnosis.
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Last reviewed: 31 Jan 2014