My ADHD Journey — Part 2: Discovering My Adult ADHD Diagnosis

 In Dana's World

adult adhd diagnosisWelcome to part two of my of my ADHD journey which I’ve taken from an interview with Coach Sybil Kleinmiche. This week I’ll share how I got my adult ADHD diagnosis.

After our year of adventure traveling the world, Favorite Husband and I settled down in southern Oregon. It’s a beautiful place that spoke to our souls. I knew I couldn’t go back to my previous career in the corporate world, so I decided to become a professional organizer.

My New Career (With Undiagnosed ADHD)

Sounds like a crazy move for a chronically disorganized person, right? But I figured if I could teach myself how to be organized, then I could teach other people, too.

Even if I wanted to get a job in the corporate world, we lived in a rural area where there weren’t corporate jobs available. I knew I could no longer do work I hated. And, I especially didn’t want to work for someone else. The constraints of being an employee always got me in trouble.

Having to be some place precisely on time without the freedom or flexibility in my schedule didn’t work at all for me. I was always unhappy or not meeting expectations, usually both. Being too outspoken caused massive problems. Working for myself was the only solution that made sense. It also gave me hope… if I could just figure out how to get my stuff together.

My Adult ADHD Diagnosis ‘Ah-Ha’ Moment

I signed up for a National Professional Organizers Conference and, miraculously, this is what led me to realize I have ADHD. It’s a funny story!

My friend Linda Anderson, who is also a professional organizer turned ADHD coach, was sharing a room with me at the conference. She was sitting on the bed watching me pinball around the room, talking to myself, trying to get ready to go to the first session. She said, “Dana, have you ever heard of Attention Deficit Disorder?” I said I hadn’t. “You might want to look into it,” she quipped.

I immediately ordered Driven to Distraction by Dr. Ned Hallowell and I’m Not Lazy, Crazy or Stupid by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo. These were the days before Amazon, so I sat in the bookstore parking lot reading the books and taking the ‘Do You Have ADHD’ quiz. Within minutes, I was sobbing. Though it was unofficial, I had an adult ADHD diagnosis.

“My God! Finally! I knew what was going on, why everything has been so damn hard for me all these years!” I was always so well-intentioned, but continued to fail myself and everyone else. Now I finally knew the reason for that massive source of stress and shame in my life. It was an emotionally enlightening experience.

Discovering my adult ADHD diagnosis opened up a whole new world for me. I could finally start developing skills and tools to help get my stuff together. Stay tuned…Next week I’ll share just how I learned to live successfully after I got an adult ADHD diagnosis.

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