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Mark Allan ADHD - My story

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markallan
markallan Community member Posts: 2 Listener
On 7th August 2021 I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). To be honest, I cannot really describe how I feel, what I do now have is an explanation for many of the paths my life has taken. 

It is a life full of piles of unpaid parking tickets, reminder emails from companies, promises made to people before dissolving into nothing. It has meant broken relationships, ruined friendships, lost jobs and cost me thousands of pounds in the process. 

It also has created me a tremendous amount of guilt, shame, anxiety and periods of depression. Having ADHD and be untreated, life is often an incredible struggle, the skills required to modulate behaviours, to organise and delegate towards a goal – everyday tasks become exhausting. 

I have spent years trying to mask my difficulties  giving the impression of “I’m coping”. 

Impulsivity, the 11 letters that have a lot to answer for in my life and explain so many of my actions over the years. All those random inboxes, text messages, shoot from the hip reactions, Instagram messages to those I admire, misunderstood comments on things I wanted to learn about, questioning people apparently I am not allowed to question. It’s ruined whole chapters of my life bought me to my knees and there have been times it has left me at rock bottom. 

It has lost me jobs, relationships, friendships, caused me unnessessary debt, stopped me from achieving and left me feeling a failure, simply unable to live the kind of life I have been wanting to live. 

Research has shown me those who have the disorder often excel in anything that interests them. The results when I am ‘Hyper-focussed’ on something can often be misunderstood that you are competent in all areas. From my learning about the condition, it seems that “you are so good at this, why cant you do that” is a common statement. 

This ability to hyper-focus has been the reason I have winged it for so many years, trying to
Find ways to overcome symptoms that have hindered me all my life. My experience was hindered by a great deal of ‘gate-keeping’ incompetant administration processes and without question a clear lack of belief in neurological conditions by every doctor I have seen in the practice, the irony is, nect door is the mental health team for the area. Sadly waiting lists can extend up to several years on the NHS and that I believe is a result of backward thinking by middle aged men in white suits all who probably have private healthcare as part of their job package.  

Following my diagnosis, each day I am gaining some further understanding as to how ADHD has coloured my life this far. Each day, what I once saw as my own failings, I now see as part of a clear pattern of behaviours I was locked into. 

I think in time their will be some reflection of lost opportunities, those I have fallen out with as a result of the condition, but the best news is there is also a great deal of hope. I feel as if I have been presented with a new beginning – a chance to start afresh and I am grabbing that bad boy with both hands.

For as long as I can remember, I feel as if I have been trapped on a treadmill, heading nowhere, exhausted and frustrated. I have done more for other people than most and have full adult life of creating opportunity, empowering people in my work and fixing people in my spare time and when I look back I have achieved quite alot for a lone ranger with a passion but it explains why I did not achieve what I actually wanted, it’s explains why I wasn’t quite getting there. 

I knew this though, I knew it a year ago when I had to go and complete my ADHD paperwork in the car park at my doctors due to Covid after they lost it for the third time! Right across the top of this paper quite clearly meant for a doctor to complete stated if this patient has ADHD and is unmedicated they will never reach their true potential” I never really told anybody that before, I look back and remember how I felt. I was so close to chucking the towel in, then I researched all the people before me that had ADHD and were successful and it gave me hope, I read the positives and reminded myself I had come this far, life will become so much easier. Now, for the first time, I feel as if I am going to be able to confidently move forward, after so many years - I have the answer!

From Monday I will no longer be posting on Facebook or Instagram and have decided that LinkedIn and YouTube will be my preferred social media platforms. For somebody that is impulsive, passionate have come to the point where social media is dangerous to my future. We are living in a world where one comment or status could destroy somebody’s reputation, I refuse to be drawn into toxic conversations with narrowminded and intelligent blinkered people. Impulsivity and social media has been very dangerous for me and at times probably detrimental to my character. However I know me better than anyone and I know I have a good a heart, I have been as confused about my behaviour and feelings as some people have over the years to, the amount of times people have said “you are not who I thought you were closing “because I have exploded after letting everything build up. People misunderstand me, they think I am this happy smiley friendly person. They are right however I am also the person that Will have no issue telling you if I am not happy with something and unfortunately it’s like a kettle and once the kettle boils the shock I think of the character change gives people a realisation that I am not who they thought I was however I am no longer going to be apologetic for their false perception of me. I would rather help anyone than harm them. The last 24 hours of posting on personal social media that I will leave for everybody that is friends with me to look at. Tomorrow morning the line gets drawn and I move forward to learn how to deal with my own brain and anyone who wishes to follow can on my YouTube channel.

For those who won’t bother, those I have actually managed to offend and to people that tried to discredit me. Thank you for being a part of my life, teaching me very valuable lessons. Lessons that will stay with me for the rest of my life. The time has come for me to let it go, close that door and move forward using my personality, my experience and skills to make a positive difference to the things that I am passionate about. We are not here forever and I have wasted enough time, this is my second life and I cannot wait to live every single moment of it!

Comments

  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks for sharing your story @markallan :) It's good to hear that you finally feel as though you have the answers you were looking for, and that you can move in a positive direction now. Getting a new diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming at times, but it can also give you peace of mind and a way to move forwards. We look forward to having you on the community!

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • cat_hug
    cat_hug Community member Posts: 161 Pioneering
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    Hi @markallan,
    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this. I really hope you see my reply as I see it was 2021 when you posted this.
    I have a son who is now 25. As a child, I always suspected he had ADHD, but during the 9o's, it seemed like every parent with a spirited child was jumping on the bandwagon and/or getting their kids dosed up with pretty heavy-duty pharmacologic remedies.  As a person with Narcolepsy myself, Im aware of the long term effects of central nervous system stimulants (which are also used to treat ADHD, as they have the opposite effect in kids.

    However, as my son grew older, I noticed the same traits he had as a child, were still prevalent as an adult. He managed to do a degree and get a 2.1 from a top university, but only beacause of his love of science. yet I could ask him a dozen times a day, please wash up your dishes, or pick up the towels off the bathroom floor and he never does. Its caused so many arguments (as I'm also OCD and literally cannot bear mess and dishes being left).
    If he has a deadline, he leaves it to the last minute. Jumps from one thing to another, can never find anything (ie Ma, where did you put this, or where's that)
    Hes a wonderful caring intelligent and interesting human being but its impossible to have a conversation with him as he simply cannot seem to listen.

    If I try to interject (as in normal dialogue) he gets annoyed at the interruption as he loses his train of thought. Ive come to realize that all of these behaviors are most likely due to him being undiagnosed with adult ADHD. So for months, I've been on his case about getting the ball rolling and seeing a GP. He's finally done this and is now awaiting a letter of referral. I understand however it can take up to 2 years. Unfortunately, at age 17, he also began to have grand mal seizures and has to take meds for epilepsy.

    People have fallen out with him because he's hopeless at replying to messages and keeping up communicating (other than with his girlfiend and 3 close friends who all started at nursery school together, went through primary school and high school together and off to their various universities and still keep in touch.

    Only the people closest to him know not to take it personally. He genuinely just forgets unless theres a specific need to contact you at a specific time.

    So much of what you say resonated because you described my son to a tee! Especially the part about being super focused in stuff he is interested in.

    He would get detention in English class for being disruptive, but gained the top award in sciences at high school. Took music GCSE and managed to wing it and even taught himself how to play Beethovens moonlight sonata on piano, and played in front of the whole school and parents for the A Level music students showcase concert, despite being unable to read one note of music. 

    His bedroom and immediate surroundings are like a scene from the battle of the somme! yet his is brilliant but cannot organise the most simple aspects of his life.  (ie planning ahead to do his washing, until he literally has no clean socks left and then asks me at midnight, could I put a wash load on for his 6 am shift start!

    Him with his difficulties and me with mine, I think God must have been having a good laugh when he paired a child with ADHD, with a narcoleptic Mother (with OCD! Lol) 

    I just wanted to say thank you for your very frank post and it opened my eyes, as I honestly do wonder if my son is simply being lazy or disrespectful or taking the P*** when I come home to find another sink full of unwashed pots and pans and towels left on the bathroom floor.

    Im hoping and praying that when he does get a diagnosis and proper treatment, he can live the life that he deserves to live and to his fullest potential.

    Youve given me hope on behalf of my wonderful, yet so annoying _ could- strangle-him, son... who is a total man-child! ( I say this with genuine affection).

    Best wishes and good luck Matty

    CatXX

  • cat_hug
    cat_hug Community member Posts: 161 Pioneering
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    OMG, My apologies, MARK not Matty :-( @markallan
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