A couple of people with ADHD over the course of a few years had approached me and asked me how long I'd known about my ADHD for - they saw in me the same matching characteristics as they shared. Initially, I completely dismissed all of their hyperactivity talk until one of them pinned me down to a point and reckoned they knew the answers to all the confusion in my life.
One of them referred me to a place called DORE who affirmatively diagnosed me with ADHD and spent time with me explaining it all and diffusing the stigmas attached to ADHD.
I came to understand it a lot more and actually now I see more ADHD symptoms in others than I ever saw. I am usually bold enough now to ask people about their ADHD and about 8 times out of 10 I am right.
I now run my own Audiovisual Business - of this I am very proud. I am always super-enthusiastic, which people and clients love to lock into with me and so I establish relationships quickly. I take my clients on a journey - not just on a job - they love this about me.
When I get a concept of something, I really get the concept. I could explain it 100 times and because I instinctively spent the extra little bit of time learning every in and out of a concept, it puts me in the perfect ground to explain it to others.
Day to day, going from one conference to another, one rock gig to a classical quartet, I deal with a huge clientele of differing understandings and I can very quickly pull them onside like we've been friends for years! This is not an affliction - this is a skill that people would die for!
I was the UK product trainer for a company called D&M audiovisual for nearly 5 years, specializing in training dealerships in very top end AV gear and the diagnosis of it when it goes wrong.
Not that many since discovering that I have ADHD, as my mind had spent so long seeking and creating infra-structure, rules, regulations, pigeonholing everything throughout my life, creating not just organization but hyper organization.
Well, only really my wife now who is learning all the time, my unbelievable epic friends and the amazing fellowship in my church who are starting to understand it a bit.
My mum kind of refuses to accept that I have ADHD at all even though I see in her many of the characteristics that I suffer. I reckon she has an element of it too. I think her expectation is that if it were true it would have / should have been highlighted in primary school.
I had no assistance with my ADHD growing up. I struggled very much not to go completely crazy in school. I had NO help. No one would come and recognize what piece was not quite fitting into the jigsaw and no one to lend me a hand. So, I became stubborn, self-reliant and knew that when things went wrong in my head, I had to find the right. And so I became naturally systematic, methodical at my own speed, calculating, looking at the bigger picture and the end result before even determining the short term steps to get there.
Don't let the kettle steam up to blow.
Be interested in everything – don’t let anyone call you a Jack of all trades and a master of none.
Understand that you are not diseased - you are just different. ADHD will be your best friend on most days; you likely will have worked out by now how to make it work to your advantage. But please forgive it on the days when it will feel like the devil himself has crept up from hell to beat the tripe out of you.
On those bad days particularly if you are not on medication, find someone to talk to. Have a "buddy" to share with. When you hit that overwhelming flat spin out of control moment that we all get from time to time, do not let it take you down. Go outside and have a breather and then come back in and find your "buddy" and try and talk through your circumstances. Don't let the kettle steam up to blow.
I have release time in biking, snowboarding, drumming, music and other activities – make sure you make release time for yourself. Try not to be frustrated when people don’t understand what’s going on in your head. Go biking, running, release to the elements and don’t blast at your family or friends.
Be interested in everything – don’t let anyone call you a Jack of all trades and a master of none. It is not true, people. Because when they ask questions, you’ll have at least some experience in many fields of interest that they won’t go near – so be everything.
I and we are different from everyone, but I and we are the same as everyone at the same time. I don't do the meds, I do the hyper organization route. You may not need the meds either. Always evaluate your options carefully. With ADHD, constant evaluation is in your nature.
Jonny Weston from Belfast is 36, is happily married to Cheryl, has two cats (Kizzy and Cleo), is self employed, was brought up in a single parent family, is a Christian guy attending Willowfield Parish Church, and made a very rapid recovery from some pretty invasive and serious spinal surgery less than 3 years ago. He would tell you that having ADHD, being a hyper enthusiast about extreme sports, being inherently stubborn and tenacious were huuuuuge catalysts to getting him out to the gym within a week after the surgery.
He avidly lives from year to year waiting for the Northern Hemisphere to be covered in gorgeous white snow and religiously disappears to Switzerland, both to snowboard and spend half of a day chocolate shopping for his wife. When there Is no snow, there is dirt, mud and forests where you’ll often find him blasting around on his downhill mountain bike – only stopping to check how much riding time is left!
After 15 years of working full-time, he (and his wife) decided to return to try and study again and went to Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney Australia where inspiration for his own company started to grow. He now works as a Sound, AudioVisual and lighting engineer both in freelance capacity and through his own up and coming company www.equipeaudiovisual.com.