Hello! I’m Jasmine. I am a 32-year-old mom to a 17-month-old daughter. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD-Inattentive, literally like 6 weeks ago.
My experiences with school
As a kid I was in the gifted program but always did poorly. My backpack was a mess and I often lost my homework, if I even did it at all. I got in trouble constantly for talking and being a distraction. I remember always doing so poorly in standardized tests in school because I couldn’t sit and focus on such a long test so I would just fill the bubbles in randomly and then daydream.
In college, I got through classes by eating snacks and obsessively taking aesthetically pleasing notes because it helped keep me engaged with what was being taught. Procrastination was my specialty. I always told myself next time I would start earlier so I wouldn’t be stressed but night after night I’d find myself at midnight with a Redbull ready to take on my next all-nighter. For my senior thesis I had 6 months to work on my paper, I of course wrote it in a very panicked 2 week period right before it was due. My grades were okay and in 2018 I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration.
That year I became pregnant with my daughter. When she was born is when things with my ADHD got REAL. I really struggled when she was a baby. The things I struggled with were things I had always struggled with but now they were multiplied by 100. As I have now come to learn, parenting requires A LOT of executive function, and I had none.
Doing everything was hard.
I was lucky because from an early age my daughter slept really well. But I somehow always felt so exhausted. I couldn’t get myself to want to do anything. Taking care of myself and my daughter became so difficult.
In December 2019 I was put on Lexapro for postpartum depression. The medication helped with my strong feeling of overwhelm, but I still felt unmotivated and distracted. I had once described to my partner that I hated how messy my room was and that I wanted to clean it but I could never get myself to do it, and maybe I was just lazy. My room was a disaster, my car was a mess, my work life was struggling, and I still had no energy.
One day I came across a Facebook article that was talking about executive dysfunction and everything just clicked. I spent the next week reading everything I could about it and it all resonated with me so much. That’s when I began to suspect that I had ADHD. I read books, listened to podcasts and joined Facebook groups and everything that was mentioned about ADHD just felt like it was me. Everything felt as though I had written it myself. I had finally found my people and it felt good.
Then I began the process of getting a diagnosis. I spoke with a psychiatrist and told her everything I had been experiencing…and…she said I had anxiety and prescribed me anti-anxiety medication. I felt a bit discouraged and like I hadn’t really emphasized what I was experiencing. A week later she did a follow up and I told her that the anti-anxiety kind of worked, my mind was still in a million places but now I was less stressed about it being all over the place.
Finally…the right diagnosis
She then referred me to a nurse practitioner that specializes in ADHD. That is when I received my diagnoses and I was prescribed Adderall XR. I was concerned about starting a stimulant medication especially with my history of anxiety. However, the medication has been life changing. I actually have experienced less anxiety since taking the medication. Although I still have stress at work, it feels as though my mind is better able to process all the things I need to do.
Around the time of my diagnoses, I began working with an ADHD Coach. My coach has worked with me in different areas in which I have struggled in. I definitely recommend a coach to anyone that asks about one. My coach has been able to teach my techniques that work specifically with how I think. Social media has also been amazing for support. I’m part of a few Facebook and Reddit groups. But my Discord ADHD family is my biggest support. It’s amazing being able to share struggles and triumphs with this group of women. We have a channel dedicated to body doubling which has helped a lot of days when I am struggling to get work done.
Right now my main focus is finding more and more information that I find helpful and finding ways to share what I have learned with others. I’ve been active on twitter with the ADHD community and have also begun writing articles for things that have helped me. ADHD is hard but with the right community we can build and learn from each other.
ADHD Voices is a series dedicated to sharing the stories of folks like you and me who have ADHD. Posts in the series are written by guest authors, sharing windows into their lives and struggles, written by them, for you and me. If you’d like to share your story, please contact me on social media or through my email, ADHDsurprise @ gmail.com
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