Update: Based on reader feedback, I have updated our format to highlight one topic - Inspiration, Intention, or Action - for each email. I will continue to listen to your feedback on the new format, so let me know how you feel about it!
I wanted to kick off our new format with my personal story of how I started my ADHD journey and where I am now. This is not to say that I'm the most inspiring person you'll read about, but rather quite the opposite. I'm just a regular, average guy with regular struggles that are SO common among those of us with ADHD! I want everyone to know how common these struggles are and know that you're not alone! Read on below!
This picture is me in 2020. I felt lost, overwhelmed, and burnt out. I felt like I wasn't doing enough at home or in my relationship, and I was stressed to the max. I was getting nowhere with my life and my mental health, but I couldn't figure out why. I saw a video about ADHD and decided to talk to a therapist, who thought I should look in to it. The office would NOT treat me for ADHD without official testing, since so many people only try to get diagnosed so they can get medication.
I waited 8 months on a waiting list, saved as much money as possible, and finally I was able to pay almost $3000 to get the testing that my insurance would not cover and I was diagnosed with ADHD. You might think that would be upsetting, but for me it was exactly the opposite - I was so relieved and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted.
You see, I had spent the past 30 years thinking I was the problem. That all of these things I had failed at were my fault. You develop so much internalized guilt and shame, you feel like you're letting everyone down and failing miserably at life.
To finally know that something has been causing your issues, it's not your personality or laziness or a character flaw is SUCH a freeing feeling!!
So I started to learn everything I could, started taking meds, started working on strategies and coping skills and everything else I could find.
It wasn't an overnight change, but slowly and surely I started making progress. I'm nowhere near perfect but I'm so much better now than I was a few short years ago
I knew from there that I HAD to help other people not only figure out if they had ADHD, but then do something that I didn't see a lot of others doing at the time.
I wanted to give people tools to actually manage their symptoms, to shift their mindset from hopelessness to taking charge, actively managing their lives and routines.
To learn as they go how to live their lives on THEIR terms, not how everyone else thought they should, because just throwing pills at people and hoping for the best isn't the answer.
So I started The ADHD Project, and what happened really amazed me. So many people related to my experience, and were going through the same things!
Not only did I see that I wasn't alone, I got to help other people start their journey with ADHD.
That picture is me today, thriving, engaged, a homeowner, and above all HAPPY. I could not have done it without the support of our great community. Together we need to support each other, by teaching and learning from each other, and showing that it's possible to turn your life around.
To stop just surviving and start leading a life you love living each and every day.
To do something GREAT.
Thanks for reading,
The ADHD Project