Adult ADHD and Confidence: Believe in Yourself!

Confidence with Adult ADHD can be like climbing a mountain (like the one I took a photo of recently), but it comes with time and self-awareness! - Jeff Emmerson

Confidence with Adult ADHD can be like climbing a mountain (like the one I took a photo of recently), but it comes with time and self-awareness! – Jeff Emmerson

By Jeff Emmerson

OK, friends: Adult ADHD and confidence…here we go. A topic that needs desperate attention to be sure. Let me first say that at the age of thirty-seven, I’m really just starting to feel truly confident in who I am from an identity perspective. Identity is such a massive factor ofo self-confidence, and finally being diagnosed at the age of thirty-five has opened my eyes and is truly setting me free as years are passing. Sure, it’s far from easy with this condition, but let me tell you 600% that adult ADHD and confidence ARE absolutely possible and doable! There’s a puzzle we need to gradually piece together as we get older through self-insight and the desire to figure ourselves out. If you or someone you know is in denial about reaching deeper to uncover the challenges getting in their way, then the road will be hard, long and extremely frustrating. Once I opened up, accepted myself and sought knowledge on adult ADHD, my life began to change, bit by bit, and now I’m well on my way with a true sense of self. Nothing could be more important as I see it. Everything starts with our sense of self.

It takes patience with each baby step we take, but the journey is truly our reward, and sometimes it just takes a change in the way we look at life. Yes, we’ll have to be aware (every single day) of our emotional moods, our outlook, and that can quickly change when life throws new challenges our way. That said, surrounding yourself with supportive friends and people is another tool for developing self-esteem, a stronger feeling of purpose, and helping you find your own way in the world, as opposed to “what others say you should do.” The moment I stopped trying to please others and started being true to myself was, ironically, the very moment I began to feel at peace in my life, and started to make progress toward my dreams. It’s funny how adult ADHD and confidence can seem worlds apart, yet with the slightest change in perspective, be right there, as close as the deepest of friends.

That’s proof that we can do great things, whatever your goals are. Simply enjoying a life of more peace, joy and purpose is the greatest victory of all for those of us with adult ADHD, so remember to be gentle on yourself in this journey! I remind myself of that all the time, especially when I’m in public during moments when others don’t seem very nice. We’re all on our own path in this life, so remember not to take things too seriously all the time, hanging on what others think. That has been a tough one for me, but I’m learning, growing, and working hard at following my heart through this blog, my up-coming memoir, and making friends all over the world. That’s what I call true success, and no, it doesn’t have to be pretty. It’s STILL success. Heck – in this world, nothing is a fairytale, and no success is without hardship and challenges. The sooner we all accept that and carry on with true purpose come rain or shine, the sooner we’re on the true path to a live fully lived. Period.

…Better later than never, as Daryl Hall of the music group Hall & Oates said during the concert in August, 2006 – the night my up-coming memoir was born out of creative, emotional inspiration. Don’t worry: it’s all explained in the book. :)

Adult ADHD and Self-Care: Your Daily Responsibility

Self-care for adults with ADHD is extremely important. We have to constantly be in tune with our behaviors to be successful in life. - Jeff Emmerson

Self-care for adults with ADHD is extremely important. We have to constantly be in tune with our behaviors to be successful in life. – Jeff Emmerson

By Jeff Emmerson

Firstly, I realize that yesterday’s post on the dangers of adult ADHD Medications seemed rather alarmist and not yet 100% proven – yes, I get that. My intention was to make people aware of the potential side effects and dangers of abuse when it comes to these drugs. Their misuse is very real, and that includes adults with ADHD! We are known to self-medicate, remember, and NO, my doctors did NOT tell me about how powerful drugs like Ritalin and Adderall are! Yes, each of us need to find that out for ourselves, but physicians need to take a moment and at least caution us into what the main potential side effects and dangers are. NEVER assume that “everyone already knows” like a reader did yesterday. That’s a bad assumption. And as far as hitting a few nerves with yesterday’s post: I AM RAISING AWARENESS. Period. Not everyone will like every post! Some might be controversial, but again – I live with this condition, and I am always trying to educate people on the reality of adult ADHD! Even those who say “ADHD doesn’t exist.” Perhaps adult ADHD isn’t yet a proven root cause. I get that, but the specific symptoms can have any acronym you want – they are real! That’s what we know 200% for sure through research, and I know it well through my own life experience.

Today’s post is about adult ADHD and self-care being our individual responsibility every single day. I don’t think there could be a more powerful realization for those who live with this condition. Whether you’re the inattentive type (formerly known as “ADD”), the hyperactive/impulsive type, or somewhere in between like I am, the symptoms we deal with on a daily basis can be frighteningly intense, depending what’s going on in our lives. While we might have patterns of being creative, funny and passionate people, the challenging aspects like disorganized thinking, a racing mind, self-worth that’s severely lacking due to past mistakes and the inability to stick with things (to name a few) really need to be looked at under a microscope (so to speak) and analyzed by each of us. I say this because as I sit here at 5:32am on a Sunday morning before work, typing away, I’ve got a packed 2014 daytimer to my right – and it has repeatedly saved me “from myself.” It’s a prime example of a tool I use to keep my racing thoughts of what I need to do each day organized, structured, and out of my head so that I can sleep better, which in turn helps me function better, getting out of my own way and furthering my way to success with this blog, and in other areas of my life.

That may all seem simple to implement, but millions upon millions aren’t even diagnosed yet, so they are doing the best they can to fend for themselves, sort of like I did for the first thirty-five years of my life. Eventually the damn symptoms and resulting behaviours broke me, as others will empathize with who know these often-vicious symptoms.

Some like to sugar-coat adult ADHD, but my head isn’t in the clouds. YES, there are great points to it, but the struggle outweighs any good that can come from it unless we keep raising awareness, getting intimate with our individual symptoms, and stop being afraid to BE WHO WE ARE! – Just do it wisely in the world and society we live in, I say. That’s how we unlock the door to making the most of our talents and preventing self-sabotage and destruction. Adult ADHD and self-care are a marriage we all need to seek, especially with the pace of the world these days. We can easily get lost if we aren’t careful. These symptoms are incredibly real, and incredibly intense at times. It is what it is. Let’s have the courage to face it head-on and live on purpose. No one said it had to be pretty, my friends. We weren’t given a handbook on how to deal with life as adults with ADHD. That’s for damn sure. A pill bottle that can make us or destroy us through side-effects, sure, we’ve got that, and that’s a start. Therapy, mindfulness, self-insight and other tools for coping are just as important as any medication you’ll ever take, however.