“Not Your Typical Woman”
(I can hear some of the men from my church laughing and saying, “Ain’t that they truth?!” 😂 so glad I have had these “uncles” to tease me throughout my life.)
In the last year, I learned what it means to be neurotypical vs. neurodivergent. I am the latter.
In some way, I’ve always known that ADHD was part of my life, but until recently I didn’t really realize or validate the impact it has on my life. When I was young, my parents didn’t seek diagnosis, because that would have been detrimental in the 90’s. They didn’t want me stigmatized. I’m incredibly thankful for that.
Fortunately/unfortunately, I was able to fly under the radar at school, because I was a girl. I had a strong desire to please others and to fit in. I’m also smart and curious, so I hyperfocused on school and got excellent grades. I’m a master at “masking” who I really am.
Throughout school and college I struggled with anxiety and depression, but I still didn’t fully understand that my brain doesn’t work like a “typical” person’s, so life is harder for me.
It’s wasn’t until marriage and motherhood that being “scatterbrained” (my family’s endearing term) really became very difficult.
I continued to seek answers to why I was struggling so hard, and I decided to look into ADHD.
Oh. My. Word.
It effects every part of life. It is responsible for depression and anxiety. It causes self-esteem issues (because I can never quite manage what I think should be able to manage).
My mind never stops. Since I was young I’ve been told not to think so much, as if I have any control over that. I overthink everything, and my brain has a tendency to fixate on the negative.
ADHD has caused spiritual struggles, because I overthink and struggle to stay focused on reading and praying.
I’m scattered and forgetful. I will forget your name as soon as it comes out of your mouth. I have to do very strict routines for getting myself ready for the day, or I will definitely miss important steps. I have to have systems to make sure I don’t lose the important things I need for life.
I get “stress paralyzed” often as a mother. Executive dysfunction is hard.
I’m deeply emotional and struggle to regulate, especially when I’m in the midst of sensory overload.
I am inconsistent, even with things I WANT to do daily.
I have social anxiety, and some of that stems from my inability to stay in a conversation. Crowds overwhelm me. Sensory issues are a real thing.
✨BUT✨ ADHD has a beautiful side.
I’m infinitely curious, I get fixated on subjects and hyperfocus until I could teach a class.
I am quirky and will make you feel like you can be you.
I’m deeply compassionate, I understand people who struggle (especially with neurodivergence).
I am very creative, and I can find my way around problems…because I’ve been doing that my whole life.
While ADHD has caused me to struggle, I wouldn’t trade it. Since I’ve learned what it is and how to work with it, not against it, I’m growing in self-acceptance. I love being quirky and curious. I think life without ADHD would be boring.
I designed this shirt, because art is how I process life. The rainbow infinity symbol is for all neurodiversity (including ADHD, autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, sensory processing disorder, and more).
I want to be part of the movement to embrace neurodiversity. We might be messy, but we also make the world interesting and beautiful ❤️
If you are not a typical person either, give me a shout! ❤️