My Story: Vickie Nokes

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

As a child, my mother was told often that I was given too much sugar.

My teachers had problems keeping me in my seat, I had problems taking tests because I couldn't concentrate with a room full of other students, I had to read the questions over and over to try to comprehend what I was reading, and I was just so fidgety (even bored) just sitting there quietly.

Eventually, I was put in a class for "slow learners." Later on, I ended up quitting high school and spent many years going from job to job just trying to fit in and earn a living.

Unfortunately, it wasn't until I had my children and my boys were both diagnosed with ADHD that I realized they were just like me. They both seemed to go through the same struggles I had, and they would be on the same path as I was.

It wasn't until I found a job for a small pool company that I was able to work through a lot of my challenges with ADHD because I was in a small office alone for most of the day. I had very few distractions and was able to work at my own pace. If I got bored with one thing, I could move on to something else and so on.

My symptoms started to get much worse as I reached about 50 years old. My thoughts won't stop invading my brain, at times making it hard to even function from day to day. Invading my sleep is the worst, only getting three to four hours of sleep a night making it even harder to get through each day.

Who has been there for you? How?

Lifestyle changes I have had to make include searching for years to find a job where I would be allowed to work through all of my "quirks" – as my mother called them.

Also over the years, I learned to wear myself out in the evening to help with sleeping (this only works from time to time). The problems have gotten worse lately, so I am still trying to find ways to deal with them. Reading everything I can on the subject – books (when I can stay focused), the internet, etc.

I still lay in bed at night with my thoughts, going over and over in my head, my brain on overload sometimes until morning. It's draining.

Who has been there for you? How?

My mother, my kids, and my husband have always stood by me. How? Patience, I guess. They often have to try and figure out what I just can't.

I'm not dumb or slow, in fact, I am very bright. I just don't always know how to slow down enough to let it shine through. But my family have always been my biggest supporters. Without them, I would be lost most of the time.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Accomplishments, well my children mostly. They are bright, happy, healthy and honest humans that are always there for me, each other and anyone who needs them. (At least I did something right).

I can't think of any others, maybe that I am still here fighting day to day, living, and trying to figure out this disease.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Accomplishments, well my children mostly. They are bright, happy, healthy and honest humans that are always there for me, each other and anyone who needs them. (At least I did something right).

I can't think of any others, maybe that I am still here fighting day to day, living, and trying to figure out this disease.

I am still here ... trying to figure out [ADHD].

I am still here ... trying to figure out [ADHD].

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

I can only say not to give up and be honest with others so they can try to understand why you do certain things or act a certain way. I, myself, am trying to figure it all out.

Be honest with others.

Is there anything else we should know?

I'm smart and I sometimes just need that extra push in the right direction. I'm a hard worker and very creative.

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