I was diagnosed at 28 with ADHD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder after I sought psychiatric help for a near meltdown at my 9–5 engineering job (which was more like a 9:30 to 6, seven days a week job because I was so inefficient).
Shortly thereafter, my kindhearted bosses offered me a voluntary layoff spot because they knew I wasn’t happy. At the same moment — almost my coincidence — my parents offered me money to take a year off because they knew I wasn’t happy.
- I took the layoff.
- I started to understand that ADHD and GAD were my bugbears — I wasn’t just an unexplainable and irresponsible f-up.
- I started meds for both ADHD and GAD.
- And I started looking for work that was meaningful to me and that I could do as a self-employed person in charge of my own schedule.
Life quit being terrible. Life started to get better.
In the 23 years since my diagnoses, life has still been full of struggles as well as successes. But they have been struggles and successes unencumbered by the drag of undiagnosed and unmanaged ADHD.
I still have ADHD and it still has many mysteries. ADHD is still my companion, but now I know its name and we do our best to be friends.
We are sometimes awkward dance partners but we are no longer secret enemies.
I wrote this post in reply to a question on Quora.
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