Life was so messy and topsy-turvy before my ADHD diagnosis, these days I make a conscious effort to notice how (and when) things have changed for the better. Otherwise, I might just notice the places where I’m still messy, still awkward, still completely incapable of assembling small furniture or a batch of cookies in under 15 hours.
And that would just be depressing.
If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD as an adult – don’t despair! Things do (and will) get better. Just give it some time. And effort. And chocolate.
Here are a few signposts along the way to – perhaps not recovery – but to living better with ADHD.
1 ) You’ve decided it’s more fun to play guitar than to get your heart broken by someone else who does.
2 ) You start noticing that your house is actually neater than some of your friends’ homes.
You start noticing that your house is actually neater than some of your friends’ homes.
3 ) You still have friends.
4 ) You’re no longer late for social dates or work. Or at least you rarely arrive late and if you do, it’s because you were unavoidably detained (code for still haven’t got a handle on the hyperfocus and/or transitions) or you got lost (code for still directionally challenged).
5 ) You’ve started using a kitchen timer regularly. (Not for cooking, for achieving signpost #4)
6 ) You’re so comfortable with your diagnosis, you mention it in conversation without even thinking about it (and no, I’m not talking about impulsive blurting you regret later; you casually mention it because you’ve regained your self-confidence, another signpost!).
7 ) You’re so comfortable with your ADHDness, you can joke about it and instantly recognize yourself in the ADHD jokes someone else from the tribe makes.
8 ) You no longer have to sheepishly return to the store where you impulsively purchased the 98% purple spandex-and-daisy-patterned outfit that would look better on a 5-year-old and that you shouldn’t have bought in the first place. Or you look good in it now. (In which case, your treatment is still working because you’ve successfully battled co-morbid obesity as a result of your ADHD treatment! Good for you.)
9 ) You’ve read to the end of this blog post and noticed that there are 9 – not 7 – signs listed. Excellent!
So there you have it. Keep looking for the positives; minimize, or better – joke about – the challenges; and keep doing your best. And do let us know what signposts you’ve noticed along with way in your ADHD treatment.
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Last reviewed: 14 May 2013