2021 graced with space for me to truly come home to myself for the first time in my life, when I was diagnosed with ADHD last year.

I’ve ummed & ahhed about whether to talk about this on these squares & then last week one of my friends spurred me on. She underscored what a privilege it is to have a diagnosis & holding this wisdom brings with it a sense of duty to talk about it, to raise awareness about ADHD & women and to destigmatise perceptions of what neurodiversity is.

30-40% of the population are thought to be neurodiverse & a much smaller percentage of those people know it. There is a huge disparity in ADHD diagnosis in men and women, because when I was at school, the stereotype of it being something boys had, assessed against a set of criteria developed about boys by men, means there is a generation of ‘lost girls’ thanks to patriarchy.

We are the day dreamers, the curious ‘but why’ questioners, the sensitive souls who want everyone to be happy, busy brains, always in a rush, so full of ideas, the trail of hobbies started and never finished, we hyperfocus (hello photography, light, nature, aurora, Iceland) the creatives, entrepreneurs, the bubbly one, deeply intuitive with a strong moral compass & so fascinated by people and life.

But also the ones that can spend a lot of life undiagnosed, constantly searching for why you can’t feel settled, always needing more, seeking dopamine and unaware that saying yes to impulsivity hits the dopamine spot for a fleeting moment, not connecting to what your body is telling you, spending periods in a state of stress and overwhelm, worried you’ve been misunderstood so over explain, chasing your tail for your bloody keys, phone, why is the TV remote in the fridge, perceived detachment because you read a whatsapp on the move and replied in your head, realising that the thrill of buying all the things for a dopamine dings sees you overwhelmed in a house full of stuff, are many of the facets of how ADHD shows up.

I feel lucky to have got to the stage of diagnosis, as it is a postcode lottery across the UK on how long you have to wait for the assessment. I feel like the diagnosis has been like being given the key to unlock an all seeing eye, because you reprocess and recontexualise everything and it has been a rather exquisite clarifying filter to run things through.

I only started to realise this about myself because of the other amazing women who are sharing about their experiences and so here I am, an ADHD woman, with this brilliant interest-based brain of mine, hoping that sharing my story might support others to understand their story more too.

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