Your life has always been chaotic. You’ve had a lot of issues with your life. You may have dealt with abuse as a child, bullying in school, and teachers who simply told you “you didn’t try hard enough”. Maybe you’ve bounced from job to job, from relationship to relationship, or have constantly doubted yourself and your emotions go nuclear when you’ve felt rejected or criticized.
If you’re over 35, you may have grown up in a household where yelling and spankings were normal. If your parents, relatives, even caregivers thought you were being too loud, disruptive, or disrespectful, the most likely outcome was a belt. Your parents or relatives may have been overly critical and spoke down to you. Nothing you did seemed to be enough. Even your teachers belittled your achievements as flukes of luck.
Maybe for some of you, it was significantly worse because your parents also suffered from different mental illnesses, addictions, and even ADHD themselves. Often their anger was taken out on the nearest cause of frustration, which might have been you, your siblings, or your other parent.
This continued through school, with the bullying that you dealt with from your peers, the judgment and rejection of your effort from teachers, and an inability to grasp social norms and understandings. You lived your life wearing an albatross of shame and sense of failure that everyone seems to keep adding to.
You find yourself surrounded by a society that is confusing and overwhelming. You may have tended to desperately seek attention and acceptance, wearing various masks to fit in, over sharing, or being an interruption to those around you. You may have developed strong people-pleasing habits, which are then taken advantage of by people who have the propensity to abuse your nature. Marriages are a struggle, unable to focus, unable to remember things, losing things, constantly being criticized, and lashing out when the negativity gets to be too much.
You find yourself in jobs that you are constantly unsatisfied with, suffering from boredom, under bosses who abused your people-pleasing nature, and peers who overburden you with the tasks that they didn’t want to do. You may have bounced from job to job, never able to make it past a few months or a year. Even if you found a job that you enjoyed, eventually you got to a point where you become more sedentary, or you lost the job, and your boredom caused you to self-sabotage and destruct.
Your life seems to get worse and worse. The frustrations pile up on you. The anger, the emotional turmoil, the inability to manage daily tasks, the sense of failure, that your accomplishments are not good enough. Rejection or criticism of any type can set you off into irate explosions of anger, or make you retreat into a depressing sense of loss and pain.
Then one day you learn about ADHD, maybe you read about it, like you’re reading this blog now. Perhaps one of your kids is diagnosed with ADHD. Maybe you hear about it from a video on YouTube or TikTok. Maybe one of your friends tells you about it. Maybe you were diagnosed with it as a child, but thought you grew out of it.
So how do we manage ADHD? We do this by figuring ourselves out. We may have suspected that something was wrong, but to truly find out if it's ADHD, we need to work with a psychiatrist. Unfortunately, some psychiatrists may be hesitant to test you as an adult, but don’t take no for an answer. More adults have ADHD than people believe. You can also use the IDRLabs testing tool below to give you a basis for what to talk to your doctor about what you are going through.
Once you’ve gotten tested by a psychiatrist and have your diagnosis, you can then go forward with the next steps. It’s important to find a therapist who can help you deal with trauma. When you have ADHD, you don't have the same ability as neurotypical people to be introspective honestly about yourself. A lifetime of Imposter Syndrome and Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria have sabotaged your ability to be objective. Therefore, a therapist is extremely important. They can give you the feedback you need to determine what is good about you, and what are things that ADHD gives you issues with. You’ll learn how to self-advocate and find the accommodations that you need so that you’re able to be successful.
Another thing that you will need is Support. This is key to moving forward with ADHD. Your environment has to be changed so that you can have a safe place to vent. To ask questions about negative thoughts and help you process them. Friends, family, or even an online support group where you can get the support that you need.
Another tool is using an ADHD Life Coach, such as myself. I can help you with developing positive habits, defining goals, and with ongoing accountability. We will work together to build an environment around yourself that will let you thrive, how to develop relationships that give you safety, that do not trigger your RSD, and that encourage you instead of denigrate you.
Click the link below to schedule a Free Discovery Session to see how we can work together to Create Order From Your Chaos.