My Story: Emy

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

When I was a child, the doctors never considered I had ADHD. After educating myself in recent years, I discovered it's a lot less diagnosed in women as often, it's a lot less visible, or at least doesn't always display in hyperactivity but more in inattentiveness and depression (certainly the case for me). I was just very aware I was different in my teenage years.

While I became very good at internalizing a lot of my pain, I found I was utterly unable to have any level of control over my emotions.

Aged 12 and onwards, things started to become a lot more visible at home. Chaotic mood swings, bouts of depressions, outbursts of frustration, skipping school, self-harm, forgetting everything, extreme clumsiness, poor sleep, low self-esteem, and the list goes on. I was the loudest person in the room, but the loneliest person in my head.

From an outsiders point of view, I had plenty of friends, but the truth is a lot of people were interested in me because I was labeled as "the naughty kid". I would do anything people asked me to do – be it dares, favours or things that were going to get me in further trouble. I may have been chaotic, but I was stupid but at that time and I was so desperate to be a part of something other than my head.

After countless trips to my doctor and after being told it was puberty/depression/ anxiety and just plain disobedience I learned how to get by.

A lot of the time I felt I couldn't cope. When people ask me to explain what it feels like I always say the same thing. It's like my brain has been turned up to a 100, and the volume button has broken and cannot ever be turned down.

Now as a 28-year-old woman, some things never change. I am incredibly forgetful. I have to be reminded to do most things.

Clumsiness is a real talent of mine, and I often think that's because my brain is always elsewhere rather than focussing on the task at hand. I am very twitchy in social situations that either excites me or I feel anxious about.

I simply cannot regulate the sound of my voice, I am getting better at that but my mum often tells me to stop shouting! Bouts of crippling depression and my mind "crashing" when it's exhausted of constantly working overtime.

I finally got diagnosed with Cyclothymia (Bipolar) and ADD when I was 28.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I've started using timetables, so I don't forget important deadlines or get easily distracted. Taking much-needed medication rather than seeing that as failing. Learning how to not let my emotions get in the way of Day to day life. Trying to stick to a routine (still working on that one).

Who has been there for you? How?

My mom. I simply would not "be" without her. Someone who would move mountains to make sure I was happy and safe.

My dad, who has endured a lot of madness and chaos along the way. I have lots of people who care and lots of people who seem to enjoy my company regardless of whether they know my story or not, and I'll always be grateful for those people.

A lot of the time I felt I couldn't cope. When people ask me to explain what it feels like I always say the same thing. It's like my brain has been turned up to a 100, and the volume button has broken and cannot ever be turned down.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Being part of a young band of singers and musicians, managing a winning regional competition and performing at the O2 arena.

My love for music has brought me many exciting opportunities and lots of experiences through work and play, though they may seem small to others have been significant accomplishments for me and have played a big part of my journey.

I am also proud of myself for getting this far on this blog – even if I have been distracted about 100 times haha.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Being part of a young band of singers and musicians, managing a winning regional competition and performing at the O2 arena.

My love for music has brought me many exciting opportunities and lots of experiences through work and play, though they may seem small to others have been significant accomplishments for me and have played a big part of my journey.

I am also proud of myself for getting this far on this blog – even if I have been distracted about 100 times haha.

I am proud of myself.

I am proud of myself.

What's your advice to someone else living with ADHD?

Be heard. I didn't get any form of diagnosis or help until I was 27 years old. I spent too long taking no for an answer.

Share your stories! Help each other! Educate yourself on the condition because it makes you realize how complicated and interesting your brain is.

Tap into the things you love and run with it. Stop focussing on the things that hold you back and start concentrating on the things that make you unique, and once you do that the doors begin to open.

Share your stories, help each other, [and] educate yourself.

Is there anything else we should know?

The positives of having an overactive brain. I have a hyperfocus for music. It is my life. I am a self-taught musician, teach music in a school to children, play in bands, write poetry, perform spoken word, teach instrumental lessons to children, manage groups, and the list goes on!

I am hugely passionate about things and the people I believe in. I love to help and love to make a difference.

A crazy imagination! Having ADHD or any other condition for that matter can be a beautiful thing at times. Sometimes it's just a little difficult to see why.

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