Neurodivergent Brain, Diagnosed with ADHD in my 40s

woman with ADHD doing silly face while eating cupcake

What does Neurodiverse mean?

Health Harvard describes it as the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one “right” way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits.

The word neurodiversity refers to the diversity of all people, but it is often used in the context of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as other neurological or developmental conditions such as ADHD 

And what is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. 

Do I have ADHD?

I am 44 and 10 days ago I was diagnosed with ADHD.
It was both a relief and a validation that my struggles had a reason.
ADH what ? is that not boys who can’t sit still?
…..that was my perception too as an ex-teacher.
So let’s backtrack …
4 years ago I went to see a hypnotherapist for recuring anxiety. She asked me lots of questions to figure out what triggered my anxiety and how I managed it. after a little while the questions started being strange. I finally asked her where she was trying to go and that’s the first time the light bulb went on.
She told me that while she was not qualified to do diagnosis, what I was describing looked a lot like ADHD. She suggested a few books and proceeded to do the hypnotherapy session.
I bought one of the books….
…and started reading. I was saying OMG but that’s me, OMG me again … and me….and me….
Do you mean not everyone struggle in this way?
little girl with ADHD with pigtails sitting on a sofa
Forever I was pegged as the forgetful, always late, disorganised, messy and with my head in the clouds girl…since as long I could remember.
I spent most of my secondary school years looking out the window.
When i first got a flat, I struggled so much with house chores, it was not just a messy room anymore…it was a total mega overwhelming mess.
When I had exams/essays due, I would procastinate and not sleep for a week ….. and the list goes on.
But I masked a lot of my struggles and carried on. I could more or less get on with it even if at times anxiety and overwhelm flared up.

Becoming a mum highlighted my struggles.

mixed race family
When I became a mum, the struggles multiplied by 100.
I would struggle to deal with meals and house chores combined with the lack of sleep.
My anxiety went through the roof.
But when I first reched out to health visitors and doctors, they said it was normal anxiety and isolation from being abroad from family.
When I had my second, they labelled it postnatal depression. When after the third depressive relapse I got fed up to be brushed off with antidepressants and CBT. Ultimately it was not working long term.
So I reached out to a hypnotherapist. And she is the one who suggested I look into ADHD.
After the first light bulb, I kept it in mind but was still in denial, that surely a 40 year old woman wouldn’t have gone through life without being diagnosed if it was true.
And finally, through the self-development work I did with One of many, with groups I joined and an amazing friend who kicked my butt to go to the GP….I was finally diagnosed …. 4 years after that first spark.
Through these 4 years I have had so many emotions, but also now so much relief to understand many things that are associated with ADHD, like dispraxya which could explain me walking into doors/corners….I have many bruises to attest of this.
Ultimately, a lot of my struggles now make sense now.
And it means I can slowly understand myself better, take breaks when I recognise the signs of overwhelm, put coping strategies in place to help. For this the coaches I worked with in the last 2 years were instrumental in helping me gain clarity and move forward in a constructive way.
And most importantly, slowly accept that I am not the lazy, messy incapable of coping with to do lists person that I thought I was.
Becoming more me in my own way.
This is why I decided to become a coach myself, I gained so much from the work I did with my coaches that I wanted to empower all the mothers I have met throughout the last 12 years in my work and all the mothers I will meet in the next decade.
mother kissing her baby black and white

Can I be a good mother with ADHD?

Of course!
All mums struggle at times, but when you start from a place of love, you won’t go wrong. It might look messy, crazy…but it can also be so much fun. Your amazing brain might be able to find unique, creative solutions for challenges your child might face. 
Learn to know yourself to put in place things or have people to help you where/when you need it. 
Learn to appreciate the beautiful gifts your brain brings to motherhood and find ways to minimise the challenges.

Survival tips for mums with ADHD

  1. Learn about ADHD from Tik tok, books, ADD website, Facebook group
  2. Understand your main challenges and gifts
  3. Don’t do it alone! Create a support network.
  4. Set routines that help you (to eat, exercise, rest…)
  5. Prioritise yourself in areas that make a difference to your mental health
  6. Give yourself a Break…. your children need a good enough mum not Supermum. from 

I don't know where to start...

Do you struggle or feel lost?
Do you often feel overwhelmed? 
Do you feel like your life has lost the excitement and colors it used to have?
I can also help you, you can read more about it here.
Please feel free to book a FREE 30-minute curiosity call.

Curiosity calls are just a chat to see what challenges you have and how I can help you. There is no obligation after that and I will refer you to other services if I think it would work better for you.

Woman Life Coach sitting at a desk journaling

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