I've got ADHD
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I recently got diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Inattentive Type.
I thought, as with many parts of my personal brand, it'd be good to wear it publicly, once telling the main people in my life. It's also a perfect time to share this, as it's ADHD Awareness Month.
I feel quite good about the diagnosis as it's helped give me language to describe certain things in my life that can be explained by ADHD, as well as giving me some things that can be more targeted to work with my neurodivergent brain.
I'll save talking about the whole process of being diagnosed for another day, as it's a bit of a lengthy post, but I'm glad that I was able to get an official diagnosis (privately).
What is it?
For those that haven't heard of it, the Inattentive ADHD Coalition has a good page on it, but the TL;DR is that it affects focus, memory and organisation.
In me, this means that my focus goes between a state of hyperfocus - where I can only really think of or work on the task at hand - to being completely unmotivated and finding it very tough to get started on the task. I also have periods of time where I feel I can/need to "brute force" focus, which can probably be tied to my need to always be productive, and may be some internalised Capitalism, but in which I probably should be resting, but instead I'm forcing myself to hack away on a project, or slowly write a poorly worded blog post.
Despite being only 28, my memory ain't great, both long-term and short-term. The number of times recently I'll open my phone to do something, or write something down before I forget, and then I see a notification, and 💨 the thought is gone, and it takes me a couple of minutes or so of backtracking my recent thoughts to try and find it. And in part, a reason I think I like blogumentation and using my site to i.e. like/bookmark posts so much is that I now need to just vaguely remember if I've seen or done it before, and then search my site, rather than try and remember across the whole internet.
My organisation and prioritisation skills are particularly poor in my home life, where I can subconsciously be unaware of / not care about mess in my office, literally 2 degrees to the right of where I'm looking right now, but instead think "oh yeah let me spend the evening writing 7 new blog posts" and that'll be fine. I'm currently looking at a better way to prioritise my many "backlogs" of work, where I've got house, personal project, blogging, catching up with friends, and other things as well, because right now I'm just muddling through it.
On the topic of catching up with friends, I've noticed that I'm very bad at remembering people if they're not visible to me. This was quite clear when we went back to the office at Capital One, when Covid was receding a little, and it was amazing to see how many people I used to chat to when I'd see them around the office, but going remote I'd lost that touch point for people. I see this as well with friends and family, finding it something that I need to manage to make sure I'm keeping in touch and on top of my chats.
In a lot of ways, I've felt like I'm just a bit shit at life up until this point, which has been a bit disheartening, but over the last couple of years I've been making my peace with it. I'm fortunate that I've been able to work on ways to manage certain aspects of it - without even knowing it was ADHD - but it's not perfect. Now I know that there is an explanation, I'm excited to be able to see what changes I can make
I'm looking forward to learning more things about me, ways I can manage it alongside my life, generally viewing my life through the lens of ADHD, and being a bit more forgiving to myself.
I'll be looking to update the manual of me soon, with some more specific ways of working improvements I've been considering.