Embracing the Upside: 8 Ways My Life Improved Post Diagnosis

1. Finally understanding the reason behind my struggles 
  • Before diagnosis, I often did not feel in control but couldn’t understand why I struggled with certain things like drastic energy level fluctuations πŸ”
  • Understanding that there is a neurobiological cause is validating but also provided the much-needed explanations 🧩
  • Better understanding of myself and how I show up in the world, and better attuned to my my strengths and weaknesses 🌍
2. Acknowledging that it’s not my fault
  • Being liberated from the shackles of feeling like everything is always my fault 🧘‍♂️
  • Being able to cognitively acknowledge that having a neurological difference is not my fault 🧠
  • An easier time with self-compassion and reminding myself that the blame I received for symptoms I can’t control were undeserved πŸ’—
  • Knowing that I’m not broken, lazy, or stupid, I can reprocess my past experiences through the lens of ADHD πŸ‘️‍πŸ—¨️
3. Finding coping strategies that actually work for the neurodivergent brain
  • Finally knowing why many self-help books and podcasts designed for neurotypicals and don’t work for ADHDers 🚧
  • Accessing resources developed for the neurodivergent brain, and getting onboard with the trial and error process
  • Focusing on being persistent, not consistent πŸ”„
4. Access to medication
  • Being able to access medication has made a world of difference for my concentration, emotional regulation, impulse control, while I still get to preserve my creativity and hyperfocus! πŸ’Š
  • Having better executive function indirectly improved my anxiety symptoms πŸ”‘
5. Recognizing my limits and learning stay within it
  • In the past, I chronically pushed myself beyond my limits to function like a “normal” person, such as burning midnight oil catching up on work and school, leaving minimal little energy for my personal life ❌
  • Having growing awareness that living this way is not conducive to good physical and mental health πŸ”₯
  • Knowing my limits and feeling empowered to draw the line, even though my threshold for burnout may be much less than the average person ⚖️
6. Learning to get help for my struggles and seeking ways to accommodate myself 
  • Gradually learning to unmask (nothing wrong with fidgeting and doodling to stay focused in a work meeting with camera off!) 🎭
  • Not being afraid to ask for the level of support and guidance I need in order to set myself up for successπŸ™‹‍♀️
  • Avoid “shoulding” all over myself with neurotypical standards. It doesn’t matter how you got to the outcome, your way is totally valid! (e.g. Nothing wrong with needing a grocery list to remember 2 items from the grocery store!) πŸ“
7. No longer feeling alone
  • There is an amazing ADHD community out there on social media (e.g. Facebook groups) and many creators of podcasts, Youtube channels, and blogs who are there to journey with you πŸ‘£
  • The community is so supportive and being a part of them reminds me that I’m not alone πŸ€—
8. Feeling less stuck
  • I was spinning my wheels and not moving forward in life for many years - my goals never materialized and life slipped past me πŸŒ€
  • Now I feel unstuck and empowered to pursue the life I wanted, and have the confidence that I can indeed pursue my fullest potential πŸš€, and that I CAN thrive despite the challenges

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