I surprised myself with how honesty I answered the question “what would you say to your summer-before-freshman-in-high-school self?” : ADHD

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I’m 20 and I’m heading into my junior year in college. Today was my sister’s drive-thru-style high school graduation ceremony, so at dinner she asked the three siblings each a question.

To my sister, the middle child graduating from high school (recently diagnosed with GAD after realizing it had been a problem for years): “what advice you give to freshman you?”

Her response was that she would tell herself not to get so anxious (she said it jokingly, she knows that does nothing to help someone like herself) and to not be so concerned with having the same friend group all four years because better people come along every time the revolving door (of friends) spins

She asked my brother, the youngest, who just finished his first year in high school (and has been an absolute trooper in his battle with mental health, since my parents found him hurting himself back in November. He’s doing extremely well and has been for a while): “what would you say your 5th-grade self?”

His response was along the lines of: picking, from his personal goals, which one was the most important to him and sticking to it. He mentioned how he had an on-again-off-again interest in developing his YouTube channel, in developing himself into a competitive-minded Splatoon/Smash 4 player, among others.

And then she asked me. I was expecting her to ask me about my junior-in-high-school-self, right before I became medicated for my adhd. To my surprise, she asked about high school freshman year. I had an answer prepared for the former, not the latter, so I just threw something out there that was frighteningly honest:

“Brace yourself”

And after having a good laugh (even though I meant it whole-heartedly, I said it in a semi-joking manner) I revised my statement to be:

“Know yourself”

Know your disability. You don’t know as much as you think you do about it. I wish I taught myself what my disability was, before I became a frustrated sophomore in college who couldn’t get good grades for some haunting, mysterious reason. Diagnosed at 9, educated on it at 19.

Don’t waste your life thinking your ADHD isn’t your problem because you don’t know what your ADHD is. Please. I’m begging you.

This subreddit helps me accept myself and validates my feelings and experiences. The first time I read the posts in the “hot” category, I cried.

I love this sub and if I can help one person avoid the same mistake that I made, I will sleep a little easier every night.

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