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05th Mar 2021

As an adult with ADHD this is what I wish I could tell my childhood self

I remember as a teen hearing Tyra Banks say “never dull your shine for somebody else”.

It always stuck with me and if you have something that makes you different I hope it sticks with you too.

Even before I was diagnosed with ADHD I knew my brain worked differently from the other kids. My perception of the world around me just wasn’t the same.

This never bothered me but it seemed to bother other people. I would be told I was too weird, too spacey, too bookish, too talkative, too awkward, just too different.

Eventually I would also be told I was ‘too quiet’ as I began to withdraw into myself and tried to avoid taking to people so I wouldn’t ‘bother’ them.

It was within my first couple of years at Primary School that I began to dull my shine and it too a long time to get it fully back.

When people think of ADHD they often think about it in a negative light but even though there are sometimes downsides like a lack of concentration (I’m the biggest daydreamer going) there’s a lot of positives too and this is what you should hang onto.

Because you think outside of the box you’ll probably be more creative, even outside of creative subjects. You’ll always be able to think of a new way to do or approach something in a way no one else can.

With a mind that’s constantly asking questions you’ll amass a great deal of knowledge on various subjects and if Who Wants to be a Millionaire was still a thing (is it still a thing?) you’d definitely be a ‘phone a friend’.

Your energy and love for life will bring you on many adventures and your creativity will probably mean you’ll have a very unique sense of style. Just don’t let that sense of style lead you to cut your own fringe, like I did in the photo below.

Growing up a lot of people told me that what made me different were bad things, that I should water myself down to be more like everyone else.

In reality what makes us different makes us special and our uniqueness is something we should hang tight too, not throw away.

Your brain is wired differently and that’s ok. You have a spark and a shine that is all your own and no matter what anyone might tell you, it’s a good thing.

As someone now in her 30s, trust me – you’ll regret the chances you didn’t take because you were trying to please other people, but you’ll never regret being yourself.