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ADHD and me

21 March 2022

In support of neurodiversity celebration week, social worker Deb Solomon is sharing her story to help shine a light on the strengths and accomplishments of our neurodivergent workforce.

Deb-SolomonAs someone who has always been known for being the queen of the to-do list and having a folder for everything, it was a huge shock to be diagnosed with ADHD. My understanding was ADHD presented as hyperactivity, disruptive behaviour, all the things I am not. I was always the quiet girl daydreaming and staring out the window. I now know that is the classic female presentation!

During lockdown and working from home, the overwhelm became so huge that it paralysed me. I would sit staring at the screen for hours but unable to function. This led me to seeking a diagnosis. Having that explanation has been so liberating for me. But it has also been difficult. It has shown me how much I have masked over the years to “fit in” and having to un learn that is tough. I can understand why I do the things I do. I am not so hard on myself, I have thrown the word “should” away – after years of how I should do things, should act, I now just do me.

How does it feel to have ADHD? It depends. Some days I feel like my brain is so focused I can keep going for hours, but then someone will speak to me and it’s gone. Other days my executive functioning skills are so poor that I find it hard to get dressed. But one thing I know about neurodiverse people, we find ways, we are resourceful, we are amazingly resilient because we have to be. But if I can ask one thing, take some time to understand us, so each day isn’t such hard work, after all, neurodiversity is everyone.

Deb Solomon, social worker, Adult Social Care and Health.