In order to teach you how to empower yourself for massive personal growth, I actually have to make a few confessions.
First, this entire website and all of the content on it was developed with the intention of building an audience. Yep- I wanted all of you to like me and follow me and potentially buy products from me.
I’m being honest because most bloggers and experts don’t come out and say what their intentions are.
Second, I have experienced more personal growth, and learned more about ADHD in the last three years than I ever thought possible.
This has lead me to develop a program to help myself and others with managing the emotions that accompany ADHD.
If you do not wish to read any more about my ADHD journey, feel free to click away. Things are gonna get real.
ADHD is not a character flaw, ADHD is an invisible illness.
How do I know this?
Because, I have lived it. And researched it as well.
Looking back over my life a clear pattern emerges. In short, I have always known I was different and sought to hide that fact.
In order to appear “normal” I have:
Tried to look, talk, and dress like someone else
Invented excuses and stories about my actions
Lied by omission about my ADHD diagnosis and medications
Lied about my family/other relationships in my life
Disappointed myself and others
Abused my body through dieting, overeating, and a range of other things
I truly never believed that I would lead a full, “normal” life.
People like me don’t have normal lives. People like me are fat and stupid and living in their parent’s basement suffering in silence.
This is why I say ADHD is an invisible illness.
When we are in the thick of it, we cannot even make the connection between ADHD and our mental health struggles.
I remember it so clearly. The meltdown led to the revelation.
It was the Spring of 2011 and I was sitting on my bed nursing my son.
“I need help with this ADHD thing.” I said it out loud. Looking down at my baby, realizing that I couldn’t be the mother I wanted to be without addressing my ADHD.
My house was falling apart. There was dog hair everywhere, little food in the fridge, and piles of both clean and dirty laundry covered the furniture. I was totally overwhelmed.
All of this clutter was the external manifestation of my internal struggle.
The struggle that I had begun dealing with when I was ten, then pushed under the rug in my teens and twenties. Only to emerge again as a new mother.
With ADHD, you can’t just ignore it and hope it goes away.
A reintroduction to ADHD
After a visit to my doctor, I started journaling and thinking about how my life experiences had woven together with ADHD and my beliefs about myself. It was painful, but also enlightening to see the patterns.
Pulling out my therapy notes from years earlier, I was amazed at how far I had come. And then I was sad that I hadn’t put my therapy to better use.
I learned about metacognition. I studied CBT books.
And I stalked all manner of ADHD “expert.”
Creating support and education for women is my passion. But – I want to make people think. I want to make an impact.
I am still amazed how many women reach out to me with their own stories.
Unfortunately, most of the emails I get are confessionals from women who cannot discuss their struggles with anyone and feel that they are flawed beyond repair.
People do not openly discuss mental health. With something as invisible as ADHD, there is a lot of misunderstanding and sometimes deliberate misinformation.
If you want to feel empowered in all of this, it comes down to two things:
dealing with your personal sh-t.
this is how to empower yourself for massive personal growth
Feel Better Fast is a powerful, individualized system for managing ADHD emotions and feeling better about your life.
Truth: if you want to feel better, you have to be willing to help yourself because the stigma around ADHD is real and it’s not going anywhere.
There are six parts to my program.
1.Talking about ADHD
We have all been told to “work harder.” Others have been told that it’s all in our head and we are just lazy.
No wonder we have trouble asking for support, or even admitting that we live with ADHD.
Newsflash: ADHD is neurological. Not everyone has it. And it is not a character flaw.
You need to get comfortable explaining to people how ADHD affects you personally, so the first part of FBF is about education and ways to talk about ADHD.
2. ADHD and Depression
We all have formative moments in our lives that become memories. These memories are the ones that make your heart race because they are so emotionally charged.
THOSE are the memories that form our unconscious thought patterns which turn into core beliefs about ourselves. This is my post on core beliefs.
Many of these core beliefs are negative and we carry them with us for years in the form of repetitive negative thought patterns. FBF gives you a foundation for how to retrain your brain in healthy ways.
In FBF I use these painful memories to demonstrate what healing looks like, and how we can create new, healthier thought patterns.
3. ADHD and Shame
Why is everyone so ashamed? Everyone should read a little Brene Brown in my opinion.
You have to show respect to yourself or nobody is going to respect you.
If you feel shame about your body it will show up in how you look and how you treat your physical self.
If you feel shame about who you are as a person, how can you possibly receive love or support from other people?
As a young person I was so ashamed of who I was I felt I needed to invent things, or make up stories to explain myself.
Shame never disappears but we all need to practice being self-aware and able to see ourselves more clearly.
With ADHD you have to actively choose worthiness.
4. ADHD and Anxiety
Anxiety is inescapable in our modern world. Who doesn’t have anxiety?
Anxiety comes from all of the negative thought patterns that we have developed over the years, along with some neurochemical sciencey stuff I will not go into here.
There are so many things in life we have no control over, but yet we give ourselves anxiety over all of it.
We ruminate and replay conversations over and over in our heads, wishing we could take that back or say something else. We predict failure before it even happens and then fail to take action. We get stuck.
You don’t need to change yourself, you need tools to work with what you have.
You will grow as an ADHD woman, and feel more empowered, when you realize you are not a problem to be “fixed.”
5. ADHD and Relationships
Humans need each other. Relationships are messy, and ugly, and a little beautiful at the same time.
We are flawed and yet we expect other flawed humans to make us feel whole. How can we expect that from anyone?
With ADHD some of us become YES people and lack boundaries.
Others develop attachment styles that do not serve us. We are afraid of being rejected by our families, our partners, lovers, even children.
When our relationships don’t work out we assume it is something about us that caused the relationship to fail.
We need to acknowledge that ADHD affects every area of our lives.
6. The Emotional Action Plan
One of my dear friends who is a counselor, showed me something called a WRAP plan.
I immediately implemented this for myself by creating a list of ways I could practice self check-ins. Then I broke it down into weekly/monthly goals for others to use.
Creating and Emotional Action Plan is quite literally my favorite part of FBF.
Based on the WRAP concept, we sit down and hash it all out, and we make decisions ahead of time about what we need to do to stay emotionally balanced.
Having this in your back pocket will change your life. No joke.
FBF is not about fixing ADHD. (I have an article coming about this!)
FBF is about educating and empowering yourself to manage your emotions and feel better about your life.
It’s an education in YOU – a powerful, individualized system for managing ADHD emotions and feeling better about your life.
The path to massive personal growth is rocky, but together we can change the perception of ADHD women. We really are stronger together.