I’ve struggled with ADHD from a young age, like many, I had a hard time staying focused and often felt overwhelmed. It was only recently that I learned about the trauma associated with living with ADHD, something that has shaped my life in more ways than I even knew.
Growing up, my closest friends were always those who experienced similar difficulties to me. We shared common practices such as taking lots of breaks so that our minds could rest and unwind. Although these coping mechanisms helped us deal in the moment, they eventually became our crutch – we relied on them too often to get through the day.
Increasingly frustrated at not being able to function “like everyone else”, I slowly began to believe that it was all my fault. This depression set in more deeply then before and I found myself unable to move forward with anything I tried. All of this culminated in self-inflicted guilt – blaming myself for having ADHD instead of seeing it as something beyond my control – like an invisible weight on my shoulders.
Counseling ended up being a lifeline during this difficult period. In talking through my experiences it became clear just how much trauma was actually present in my daily life due to the emotional burden of living with ADHD. We discussed various techniques for overcoming these fears and recognizing it isn’t all down to me alone: finally beginning to give myself compassion and understanding instead of beating myself up for not fitting society’s definition of normalcy or success.
My journey with ADHD is ongoing - some days are better than others - but now I have the tools to understand and cope when days aren’t going so well. Recognizing the trauma associated with living with ADHD opened up a whole new world of understanding and compassion for myself; allowing me to accept things out of my control and make peace with the parts that define me most honestly.