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  • shaninottingham

My ADHD - or attention diverting higgledy diggledy

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

So I am neurodivergent, apparently. Diagnosed. As an adult.

My husband has often told me that I just see the world differently, and he and I have been together for over 30 years, so he would know me better than I know myself sometimes. He is a lovely guy, but not not a 'creative' . He is kind, honest, stable, hard working, level headed, sure footed, emotionally even keeled, the oil on troubled waters. My opposite in many ways.

He has told me often in the last few years that he is bamboozled by how my mind works, how I perceive things, see links, patterns, how ideas dance in and out of my brain. He sees it as the gift it is, and patiently accepts and works with the not so great things that this ADHD thing entails. The lack of time management, the overwhelm, the higgledy diggledy of mess in my head, the tsunami of THINGS that invade and threaten to blacken out or subsume the light.

When things get too much, the inevitable ( for me) linked friends of ADHD - depression and anxiety - play together and they can make functioning just that much harder. I am lucky though - I have many supports around me, and know the signs now. They rarely get a chance to hang out together anymore. Not having quality time anyways.

In recent times this trio has gained more attention and time in the media and the reality of how commonplace they are has come to the fore. I actually almost feel like trend-setter, having been on this ride for a LONG time, living through the ups and downs, twists, turns, excitement, dizzying heights and lows and the boring ordinary bits too. I tell you this because this is no jumping on the band wagon thing.

I was however only diagnosed with the ADHD about 5 years ago, as a grown up adulty person. Not going to lie, it was a shock. It took awhile to sink in and accept it. And to work on strategies to live with it, accept it, announce it, thrive with it.

In the last 12 months I found myself sitting in the office of a specialist doctor, getting a diagnosis for another family member. Although we were there for them , and NOT me, the words they spoke tore through me, ripped through my gut, made my head buzz. I could not stop the tears from leaking down the side of my face, as I heard what having ADHD meant, how it might appear and might affect how you function in society. Oh my Lordy it resonated. I so wish I had known these things earlier in my life, it might have made such a difference. Maybe.

No point wishing - my journey is my own, it is what it is. I am not upset also because more and more I see the ADHD as kind of like a superpower. When hubby asks what it is like, what I have tried to explain that is though it can be exhausting, it is also thrilling. When it works, when I harness it, ideas burst about, hyper focus becomes like a magic state of being. I see potential everywhere. I see beauty everywhere too. My ADHD informs my art practice, shapes it, directs it. It gives it a way of processing but also provides a lens for how I see the world, then reflects it back at me. Both subject and therapy. Which is not a bad thing at all really.

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