ADHD: From Scatterbrain to Superpower
My Mum used to say “Oh sweetie, you are a scatterbrain Jenny” but she loved me – just as I was. But when you’ve got a boss which writes on a flipchart publicly offensive names (which he did)! this is a completely different ballgame. I’ve been called names and shamed but It took me 51 years to learn I had ADHD – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and it was from that moment on that I realized – my Scatterbrain was in fact my Superpower.
I’ve always enjoyed having fun, and I’ve always been a little impulsive. I just thought it was all part of my creative nature, and I suppose it is. But when I was at school, I also struggled to concentrate and focus on anything I found boring.
My ADHD diagnosis explains my struggles and superpowers
Getting my ADHD diagnosis was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It explains everything; my strengths, my pain, and made sense of my difficulties. It has helped me not only to understand myself but proud of who I have become. ADHD might have a stigma, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best diagnosis anyone could have! The ADHD brain is the superbrain of the future.
Looking back at my own experience as a child and adult with ADHD – I have made a decision. I never want any child or adult to feel misunderstood and hidden. And as a result, I’m on a new mission to change this stigma to superpower.
We all have superpowers and we all have a right to shine.
The shame of the scatterbrain.
In August 2020 I was diagnosed with ADHD and in October 2020 started writing my book. Along with the pandemic and the worse personal breakdown of my life, I’m out the other side. My book is finished, published on Oct the 12th 2021. The Freedom Bus. From Adoption to True Self.
The little girl with ADHD is not only a published author but is also a successful business owner. And celebrating 12 years of Ltd business success. The Freedom Bus is a story of failure, brave, and adventure. It includes my experience as an adoptee with ADHD, but it’s really about a determined little girl who despite her difficulty has dared to discover herself.
When we dare to discover, we unlock our superpower
ADHD: From stigma to a superpower, authenticity is messy and the answer is in the pain. Here are some of the problems that I have faced and the superpowers that have emerged.
- I’m not good enough and I’m not the clever-The shame of not being good enough and not clever enough – being shamed by others too. It was hard to get academic success – when no one understood it was hard and lonely, but I persevered and never gave up.
- From scatterbrain to a superpower– The difficulties of trying to achieve something when my brain is going 100 miles an hour. Being frustrated because no one can keep up. My brain is brilliant, I just need to keep my conductor on a performance program (exec functioning) which is exactly where she is.
- Not feeling like you belong in a linear and left brain dominant system – This is why having my own business is brilliant and my role and superpowers are highly valued.
- Facing the issues of rejection and lack of understanding of Neurodiversity – The unseen difference
- Overwhelm and burnout and my brain never shutting off – I’m overwhelmed, irritable, and can’t keep up with myself
- Hiding and loneliness – I didn’t even know what I was hiding and that I had difficulties in some areas e.g. basic tasks in the house and organizing practical things that are boring.
- Deep shame for who I was and not even knowing I felt the shame as I’d split off from myself – I didn’t have a clue that most of my problems and potential was linked to my ADHD
How I’ve overcome struggles and unlocked ADHD superpowers
- I have stopped rejecting myself – Through writing my story, I have gained a depth of understanding of myself. Through connecting to my difficulties I have found compassion for myself
- I have connected to my true self – Through my connection with myself, I have found my true self. I have connected the parts of myself, and I have stopped splitting myself. This is a natural thing to do with shame and difficulty. We reject ourselves when we don’t understand ourselves.
- I feel safe to be myself – It is the separation from ourselves that stops us from becoming who we might be. When we feel safe to be ourselves we unleash superpowers we haven’t even seen.
- The importance of my ADHD diagnosis – Having a diagnosis of ADHD has given me an understanding of myself that has helped me become myself. When we have difficulty and difference it is the misunderstood difficulty that is the problem, not the condition itself
- Management & medication has given me a new lease of life and helped me beyond belief. I have a lot to say about this and the positives of medication when taken properly and managed with behavioral strategies. With a combined approach I have completely turned my life around
- The connection with my superpowers is my greatest gift – The explorer and entrepreneur traits, my grit, resilience, ideas, creativity, determination. What makes me brilliant at what I do and knowing the level of my capability is far greater than I ever thought.
- Identifying my superpowers of hyper-focus, creativity, connection, divergent thinking, risk-taking, thriving in chaos and uncertainty, and working at the speed of light. As with any overplayed strengths (this is what I like to call weaknesses)
- I have re-connected with my mission – And have a new idea.
By understanding my ADHD, I have just broken through another glass ceiling
At Feel Good Leadership, we coach executive leaders, managers, and teams to dare to discover themselves and unlock their superpower – form and nurture better relationships with team members – and allow ‘whole-brain’ thinking to create thriving workplaces. Please contact Jenny for a discovery call on how you or your leaders can develop a culture of trust and take a look at our 1:1 coaching program the Leadership burst to tap into potential and unlock leadership superpower.