Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) makes college harder. Two-point-nine, 2.9 was my GPA when I graduated from the local community college in the Winter of 2016 with a then three-week-old baby and three-year-old toddler. But I didn't care because "Cs still get degrees," and I already spent five years at that school. So how did I go from a failing teen skipping class every Tuesday and Thursday to the straight-A student on the academic Dean's List eight years later? The answer to my success with ADHD in college may surprise you, and none of it included stimulant medication.
At some point in every adult with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder's (ADHD) life, there comes a time when she needs to pay it forward. Friday, I had the opportunity to pay forward my history with this disorder to an adult ADHD newbie, a person freshly diagnosed. He was four months post-diagnosis and, he reported, sought help due to some issues at work with attention. At 30, having been diagnosed over 10 years ago, I feel it is my duty to pay it forward and to let newbies in on any insights I might possess that took me years to learn. What should every newbie know - and what should we diagnosed in years past let them in on?
I've got my computer tuned to one of those fun websites that let's you watch a ton of television and I'm watching season four of Top Chef. There is one person on this season that has got me wondering how we, those of us with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), look to others. I have zero idea whether he has adult ADHD, but it sure does seem like it. What do I mean by that?
When I say "being on time," I also mean "not missing appointments." Not to brag, but I'm superb at being on time. In fact, I'm just about always early for appointments that I keep. Please notice the last few words to that sentence: that I keep. I am not good at using that calendar I talked about last week. Sometimes I'll write down when an appointment is going to happen, but I do not do a good job of referring back to my calendar to see what events are upcoming. This is why New Year's Resolutions exist, I suppose.
This month, I wanted to share some experiences about conferences! I love conferences and look forward to the opportunities to travel around the country to enjoy some time with other ADHD coaches and entrepreneurs, increase awareness of ADHD challenges, and finally meet some of my long distance clients face-to-face. It’s sort of like the social season of 19th century London, when the movers and shakers gather together in the city for debutante balls, elaborate dinners and spectacular galas. They can be both exhilarating and exhausting.
My favorite radio stations are playing carols, greeting cards are arriving in my mailbox and more and more houses are twinkling as I drive home at night. It’s official – the holidays are here. I’ve been thinking about the holidays and how to write a blog about best tips to survive and enjoy them if you or a loved one has ADHD. Then I started reminiscing about past seasons with my children and decided to go a different route. To celebrate the joys that ADHD can bring this time of year:
When you’re living with ADHD (in yourself or a loved one), every day can feel like a struggle. And when you find something that works to make everyday life run just a little bit smoother, that one tip can be a lifesaver! And if that tip was shared with you by someone else, you feel eternally grateful for their time and generosity. Over the next two blog posts, I’m going to talk about 3 ways you can pay it forward, and bring a little bit of happiness to the lives of others with ADHD.
For people with ADHD, a familiar strategy to get things done is to be very clear about their goals, break them down into smaller pieces, and complete those smaller pieces in order to carry out the goal. Weekly we plan for what needs to be accomplished. Daily we check and check off our to do lists for what we accomplish and breathe a sigh of relief when we can look back and see that indeed we have moved forward and made progress. Completing these steps helps create the structure and organization that minimizes the common challenges of disorganization, distraction, procrastination, etc. This path of a goal, whether it’s a goal set for your personal, professional or academic life, is generally seen as having four steps: 1) assess the situation, 2) set goals for how you want it to be, 3) take steps to achieve the goals, and 4) achieve the goals (completion). After Step 4, most people return to Step 1 armed with the question: “OK, what’s next?”
I’m a good goal setter. I see it as a way to challenge myself and keep things interesting. A bit like playing a game and figuring out which hoops I need to jump through to get to the prize. Sometimes I stick to these new resolutions…too often I don’t. I always have the best intentions, but I confess I haven’t always gone past this initial phase into taking the steps needed for success. This year I made a promise that it would be different. This time, I’d reach the prize.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead I believe we all dream of making a positive difference in the world. I am lucky enough to say that one of my dreams is about to come true. In about two weeks, The ADHD Awareness Book Project: 365 Ways to Succeed with ADHD will be published! As an ADHD Life Coach, I help people living with ADHD understand their disorder, reduce their challenges, get things done and find hope. For the past nine years, I have individually done my best. However, having worked in the mental health field for over 25 years, I also know that, proportionately, not that much has changed in the overall awareness of ADHD. I meet clients every day from age seven to