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My ADHD diagnosis saved my life

My ADHD diagnosis was a bit of an accident, it's been eighteen months, and I can now see that it saved my life.

I had the autism diagnosis the year before and thought that was the end of it. I thought I was "fixed" and that everything was going to be okay.

It wasn't. During lockdown I was trying my best to home-school a young child and a teenager, I was struggling with not having any time alone, so stayed up until the early hours of the morning just to recharge the autistic part of me. The way I was thinking was bad, so bad I worried myself.

I was frustrated, annoyed, and pissed off that here I was, a grown ass women with two kids and a husband, but I was still struggling with my mental health.

There's been more than one sketchy moment for me and my whirling brain, we've been through a lot and I've hit rock bottom a few times, but this time it was building and coming at me faster than it ever had.

A few months after my autism diagnosis I spoke to a doctor on the phone, I told her how much I was struggling and she asked if I would like to have a call from a mental health nurse. I said sure why not?

That conversation led to the nurse sending me flyers/information in the post. You know the usual shit they send you, crisis line numbers, how to meditate, how to de-stress, I understand where their coming from and I appreciate the thought, but it drives me insane when I'm asked if I meditate!!! There was however information on ADHD in this pack.

This got my attention, but for all the wrong reasons at first. I was so angry and riled up that this person who spoke to me for all of ten minutes thought I had ADHD. I was pacing and swearing at this leaflet, I don't climb walls or run around relentlessly, but then I started to read it.

That's when I had a holy shit moment. That moment when you realise that this could actually be something. I kind of knew my autism wasn't the end of the story, but I didn't have a clue what was missing. So I brought it up with a different nurse, she specialised in autism and ADHD.

We spoke, and she said that it sounded like ADHD and that it would definitely be worth getting assessed, because there's medication that could help.

So I got my assessment and the diagnosis, the process of finding the right medication was slow and painful, and my experience with the mental health hospital was a shit show (most of the time), it made me want to run and hide. But I stuck with it and looking back I'd do it all again if I had to.

Life's not perfect, it's not meant to be, I have shit days and I have good days, which is normal. But what I do know is, that diagnosis and medication saved my life. I'm still trying to find my way but I'm no longer thinking of the really dark stuff, that used to haunt me each day.

Thank you to that nurse who sent me that information in the post, because without that leaflet, I doubt very much i'd be here typing this now.

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