That’s how long it’s taken me to write this post.
… because there wasn’t a deadline.
5 A Levels
Member of Mensa
5 professional qualifications
Senior roles from global corporates to local SMEs
… and none of these things helped me to understand it better
Back in 2013, the wonderful Nikki J Owen described me as “motivational, strong, driven and struck me at the time as being courageous. She spoke from her heart with great authenticity and integrity. She has an innate ability to lead and inspire others. An exceptional person.”
… and Nikki also uncovered the fact that I couldn’t say “I am good enough” – and I don’t mean I said it but didn’t believe it. I couldn’t physically bring myself even to form the words.
To the outside world, I appeared confident, caring, intelligent and achieving.
...and yet inside I felt broken.
At work, I drove myself to work too hard, give too much, care too much, feel too much.
...because the voice in my head told me I wasn’t good enough.
At home, I was a mess. Exhausted, disorganised, forgetful. I tried so hard to be the perfect wife and Mum.
...I wasn’t good enough.
A lifetime of trauma.
In early 2020, after 12 years together, and four years after our son was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD, my husband cautiously asked if I’d ever considered that I might have those things too.
...I’d never considered it.
Or rather, I’d considered it when our son was diagnosed, and dismissed it because I couldn’t relate to his struggles. My logical brain couldn’t understand the way his logical brain processes the world.
But something clicked and I started to research it. I found a novel by a woman diagnosed at a similar age. Within a few pages, I was in tears. She was me. And she described so many things that I’d never even realised were ‘things’.
I thought everyone’s brain worked the way mine did. Now I know that’s not true.
On 23 March 2020, I was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD.
I’ve spent the last 931 days processing that.
Today is #worldmentalhealthday and this month is #adhdawarenessmonth. Social media has been full of posts by women with ADHD, and I’ve read a lot of them. They talk about so many things I can relate to.
And I realised today that my Autism and ADHD make me who I am. My brain functions best when there’s a challenge and a deadline and that’s why I love being a business coach. Every day is different. I have to absorb information, process it on the spot and come up with suggestions and solutions to help my clients.
And after 2.5 years of having my own business, the feedback has been pretty positive.
So I’m taking a deep breath and sharing my story. I’m going to stop worrying about how others might judge me and get on with being authentically me.
Perhaps even a tiny step towards being able to say “I am good enough”.