By Rick Green:
Were you ‘recently diagnosed with ADHD?’ You’re probably still in a bit of a state of shock. (I was off-kilter for at least a year. Maybe longer. Actually, I kind of still am. Just not as much.)
Here’s the good news. In our PBS documentary,
ADD & Loving It?!, author and ADHD specialist Edward ‘Ned’ Hallowell MD, told us
“This is a good news diagnosis.”
I remember at the time we interviewed him, I was nodding. It had been 7 or 8 years since I was diagnosed. Had he told me that after I was first diagnosed I would have snorted in disdain. However, at that point, making a documentary about ADHD, life was good. My ADHD was well managed. Heck, there were moments when some aspects of my ADHD felt like a gift.
But it sure didn’t in those weeks and months after I was first diagnosed. And it may not feel like it is to you. Not yet. And not by a long shot. You may be going through what most of us experience: anger, regret, denial, sadness, overwhelm, fear. Perhaps you are unsure who to trust or what to believe, shaken to your core, and at points numb with shock.
I’m not going to diminish what you’re going through. It was a tornado for me. (And yes, we have a video on how to get through it.)
My whole life felt uncertain. Everything I knew about myself was up for grabs. Where did I end and my ADHD begin? I had no idea.
So many negative beliefs I had about myself might actually be ‘symptoms of a neurodevelopmental disorder?’
“What?!” Mind blown.
Been There – Done That
Wherever you are at, I want you to know it gets better. Eventually. But it takes something. Obviously if you do nothing, nothing changes.
Perhaps you’ve already had an inkling of some positive feelings: perhaps relief at the idea that, “Now I have a chance.”
The uncertainty of not knowing how much of my struggles were simply the fallout of an “Executive Function Disorder” was kind of exciting. “Maybe there’s a reason for my failures, a better explanation that I’m weak or stupid or self-absorbed.” (Wouldn’t that be nice!)
But I suspect that things are about to improve for you in countless ways. Ways you cannot imagine. I know this because it was true for me. And for countless others.
Yes, There is Hope
Now that you have a proper diagnosis life will get better. Or should I say life can get better, if you take on your ADHD. And get educated. And start finding answers.
For example, a Facebook friend recently wrote, “There are about 5 people I credit with dramatically improving my life. Rick Green is among them. We have never met, but his work on ADHD has given me hope and answers. I’m not stupid, just different. Thanks again, Rick.”
This kind of personal transformation, which hundreds of thousands of people have experienced, happens one person at a time. And it only happens if someone is open to hearing the messages and willing to see themselves as different. Rather than ‘stupid.’ Or ‘weird, broken, flakey, spaced out, damaged, lazy, weak-willed, or a failure.’
Several times I cried with relief. I hated having it. But I was so glad someone had figured out what was going on.
It’s Okay to be Upset. (How Could You Not Be?)
So, yes, as you know, the diagnosis is disorienting. “How could everyone have missed this? What if I AM lazy? How do I know for sure? Where do I get reliable information? What do I do next?”
That feeling of being lost, unsure, not knowing is why I created TotallyADD.com. Having tools to start with was the reason we created “Your Personal ADHD Starter Kit.” (A collection of 5 videos for those early days, which can last several years.) It’s what I wish I had when I was first diagnosed.
And if your one of those people who can’t afford to get diagnosed, or is waiting to get diagnosed, and officially confirm what you are certain is true, the collection will save you a ton of time, money, and grief.
Your Personal ADHD Starter Kit explains what ADHD is, what it all means, and what you can do about it. Starting today.
Because the key is to start.