Sorry in advance that this is a bit long!
I had a realization the other day. If you clicked on either of the links in my last post, you might realize what I am talking about. Just in case you were wondering—Rebecca is my middle name.
I was invited to present with Dr. Hodgson on “Parenting a child with ADHD.” Yes, I realize that I don’t actually have children, much less ones with ADHD. However, she asked me to speak so I could lend “personal experience” to the lecture. You see, I was diagnosed with ADHD just over a year ago. It isn’t something I have told many people, and I struggled about whether I should tell that audience. I realized however, that the reason I didn’t want to tell people is because I was afraid people would perceive me differently because I have a so-called “mental health diagnosis.”
Stereotypically, I don’t fit into the ADHD category. I’m not “hyper” and never have been. I just tend to lose focus easily, struggle with organization and time management, and other less “obvious” symptoms. I sometimes get distracted in conversations, not because I don’t want to pay attention, but because my mind gets excited about thinking about other things!!! Since being diagnosed, I have realized the full impact this has had on relationships, and have been working on being more “present” and more organized. I want to focus my career on research on ADHD, and how this can affect relationships and families (because it absolutely can!!!).
I didn’t want people to look at me differently because I have ADHD, but I realized that by telling my story, I can give people hope. It was wonderful to have people come up to me after the presentation and ask me questions about ADHD, and seek my advice (!?!). Although I didn’t get into the PhD program this year, it gave me the opportunity and motivation to spend a lot of time researching ADHD. I know I was supposed to apply to the PhD program this year—but maybe that was the reason! I know that I have been, and will continue to be lead and guided to what I am supposed to do, and where I am needed. Sometimes it’s a bit frustrating, because I am not on the “mommy track” right now, and it’s hard to see all of my friends have babies and know that I have been prompted to get a PhD! Feel free to check out my blog—where I will be sharing my story in much more depth (which is why I have chosen to use a pseudonym, it is after all, still the internet).
Thanks for being my friend!