The Epiphany of a Diagnosis
I went to my appointment with my personal trainer and talked to her about the bootcamp she invited me to that previous Saturday. She runs her "gym" out of her garage so she limits the amount of people that are in her bootcamp. Also, most of her clients are women and she offered me the spot of a woman who wasn't going to be there. I told her that I noticed that most of the other women at the bootcamp really just wanted to talk. I noticed that they took longer breaks between sets because they were talking about all the things. She laughed and then asked me if I ever thought I had ADD or ADHD. I was shocked that she asked that. No, I never thought I had either of those. I told her that and she said that I should look into it because I always fidget between sets and that I am always ready to move on to the next thing. She said I didn't know how to rest.
I thought about what she said. I remember once telling a guy I dated that I had a hard time focusing at work and he offered me his ADD/ADHD medication. I didn't take it but maybe he saw that I had some ADD/ADHD tendencies too. So I started to research ADD/ADHD in adults and in women. It turns out that a lot women are diagnosed later in life because they don't exhibit the same symptoms as men with ADD/ADHD. I found that many women are daydreamers, they lose personal items and deal with constant procrastination by putting off tasks that they don't want to do. I realized that I have found coping mechanisms for some of those symptoms. When I am in a lecture about something I find boring or challenging, I take a copious amount of notes. I never go back to them, unless it's for an actual class with a grade, but I take notes so that my mind doesn't wander during the lecture. I bought Apple AirTags because I am notorious for losing items like my keys and purse in the house.
Procrastination and putting off hard tasks are things that I have never learned to cope with. I have tried to just tell myself just do it, just get it done but I learned that people with ADD/ADHD tend to put off what they deem as "difficult tasks." Despite all my best efforts to hype myself up to get it done, I don't do them. It maybe easy for someone without ADD/ADHD to do but it's a struggle for those who have ADD/ADHD. A difficult task for me is doing online schoolwork. I get so anxious about doing discussions or submitting papers that I push them off until I need to get them done or worse, I don't to them at all which results in me failing out. But I know that I can't continue having these feelings about online classes because that seems to be the way the world is headed. I have an Army class where the first phase is all online. I need this phase to continue on and I especially need to get this done because my rank requires it.
I also read that people with undiagnosed ADD/ADHD tend to develop depression and anxiety. I was treated for depression quite a few times in my life. I learned that sometimes depression can be a result of all the things that ADD/ADHD prevented the person from doing. It's easy to just think I was a failure because I couldn't do things that I needed to. I never asked myself "why couldn't I get these things done?" I always just thought it was because I was depressed, suffered from low self-esteem thinking I was stupid and lazy, and just all the negative thoughts I believed. I thought I lacked discipline but I think my brain chemistry and coping habits were preventing me from getting things done.
After taking many online assessments for ADD/ADHD, I decided to go to the doctor to get a diagnosis. I got one and I do have ADD. The doctor recommended some medication which I have been on for almost two weeks. The doctor said it would take about two weeks to see if the medication is working. I think it has made a difference. I don't know if it's like the placebo effect where I think the diagnosis has made me more inclined to make the changes rather than the medication helping me. But whatever it is I think that I will stay on the medication for awhile. I have spent the first forty years of my life scraping by and only doing things that I enjoy well.
I have been listening to a lot of podcasts about goal setting with the emphasis on fitness. But I think the lessons learned from listening to these podcasts will be applicable for my life my with ADD. I think I can use the techniques that they mention for getting to the gym for other things as well. These podcasts tell me that I should prioritize my fitness and well being. I think this will help me with gym stuff and I can use this technique to other things that are important to me. Writing is important so I will make time each day to do some sort of writing. Finishing the online Army class is important so I will make sure to get that gets done by the given due dates. I think the mixture of behavior changes and medication will help me improve my quality of life.
I don't like telling people about the things I go through because I am of the school of thought where oversharing is a sign of weakness. I am slowly learning that sometimes what I think is oversharing isn't really oversharing. By telling people some things about me, I think it helps people understand why I do the things that I do. When I was diagnosed with depression, I only told a handful of people. I still have not told many people about my ADD diagnosis but I know it will help me in the long run. I think it will be a start in changing the way I do things.