🧩💡🔮Unlocking the Puzzle: My Journey to Seeking an ADHD Diagnosis


My entire life has been a series of multiple ruts I constantly have to dig myself out of 😰🕳️

For the first 25 years or so, I assumed my challenges were primarily due to adverse experiences growing up 🛣️👣, which included:

  • Moving repeatedly (including twice internationally) and living with different caregivers 🌍🏠
  • Multiple adverse childhood events such as language barriers, challenges with school after immigrating, and turbulent family life 🏫🪜🔦
  • My impulse control and emotional regulation developed much later than peers 😩📅
  • Experiencing depression by age 12 💔
  • Coping with crippling anxiety (both general and social), resulting in a never-ending fear of failure 🌪️

I thought I had the explanation for my dysfunction, and the only way to move forward is to constantly pushing myself to my limits to get past it 🧱🌱

In my mid-late 20s, things improved somewhat, but I was still in a rut. I was lost in life and struggled to figure out what my aspirations were 🚀🔮. Many peers seem to have it figured out, but I can’t envision my path beyond the immediate future 🛤️. 

I can’t seem to adhere to goals 🎯, and I constantly lacked the motivation to pursue my dreams, such as attending graduate school 🏫. At 28, I was uncertain of when or if I would ever be ready to make a decision and take a leap. I felt the pressure of time 🕰️, realizing that I couldn't remain in limbo forever.

📈 Things started to look up… 

  • Thankfully, the COVID pandemic 🦠😷 allowed me to work from home, which eliminated the lengthy commute 💼. I also embraced the opportunity to minimize socializing, which restored the peace in my life 🏞️. I felt more content and life felt less stressed 🍃🌞. 
  • In the first 6 months of 2022, I embarked on another initiative to sort out my life and discover myself. I got into a regular routine of healthier eating and exercise 🏃‍♂️, and I read more and reduced my social media addiction 📱. 

The exploration allowed me to gain a clearer understanding of myself and my future 🔮. I was hopeful that I would stay on track this time. Unfortunately, as always, my efforts didn’t last, and everything fell by the wayside 💥🔥. I was frustrated that I can’t maintain habits and can’t stay consistent 🎢. 

I couldn’t shake the sense that there were deep “personal flaws” so profound it was beyond my ability to fix 🔍🧩

  • Easy tasks (e.g. paying bills) can feel excruciatingly difficult 🚫
  • Despite having little going on (work, eat, sleep), I still manage to be chronically overwhelmed 🌊
  • My achievements were highly inconsistent, making it challenging to pursue my goals with confidence 🎓👨‍💻
  • My willpower is unpredictable, and I often need to fight against my own natural inclinations. I can’t command my body to act on my mind’s intention of achieving a goal 🔗⛓️

I stumbled on ADHD by chance:

  • In late 2022, I stumbled on Kristin Karter’s blog and list of ADHD symptoms (https://ihaveadhd.com/adult-adhd-symptoms/) while searching for ways to improve my focus 🧠🧩
  • When I read through it, I had an epiphany 💡🌟🤯. I was amazed by how much it resonates with me. I had always assumed everyone felt this way internally but apparently not.  
  • I asked my partner to check off the symptoms that apply to me. His response affirmed my suspicions 💡🤔. When I inquired if I had always been like this, I also got a firm yes. 
  • To challenge this, I Googled multiple ADHD symptom checkers, hoping to prove myself wrong. Despite excelling in school, maintaining a job, and being quiet/introverted 🌅, every test I took consistently pointed to ADHD 🔍. 
  • As I reflected on my younger years, it dawned on me that I had always felt this way and exhibited these traits 💭🤔. Even my grandmother believed I had ADHD when I was a little kid 🧩.
  • I realized that I had learned to mask from a young age 🤐. In social settings, I often felt as though I was pretending, never truly revealing my authentic self except with a few people close to me 🤫🔒. 

And so it began, the journey of seeking a diagnosis… 🗃️🔮👣

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