Friday, May 11, 2012

ADHD strengths

I was diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago, but obviously have had it my entire life. Looking back on things from my childhood, teens, and college, this became quite clear to me. However, college itself was shadowed by depression more than anything else. My hectic college schedule helped me "self-medicate." However, when I tried cube-jobs with long-term open-ended projects, me and my ADHD clashed head on and the depression came back and the shit all hit the fan.

The awesome follow-up to this story those of you who know me are familiar with is that after all this, I took what has been close to a year and a half between jobs to volunteer, study, work on crafts, get outdoors, play with cats, and find my balance. Through that I rediscovered my love for arts and crafts, animals, nature, volunteering, calm and peace, positive supportive people, and healthy eating and working out. And I found out something I wasn't aware of before: one of my strengths is teaching adults technology and teaching children nature things.

To start teaching, I needed a push from very supportive friends and coworkers to venture to try my hand at teaching kids on field trips at the nature center and to help clients at a therapeutic horse-back riding center, but I found that I absolutely love(d) doing this! In fact, because I have a childlike curiosity for the world and can completely relate to kids' energy levels, need for hydration and rest breaks, and need to be able to take a break from learning about habitats to go "hey look, a large snake!", I can channel the energy of even the most hyper group of kids. And I love doing so. I finish field trips so happy and energized!

This is so much going to become part of my career or hobbies in some way, shape, or form. I am going to be mentoring a high schooler for a year and I am really excited to pass on the things I have learned about how it is ok to be a bit more hyper and scattered and how it is ok to lose jobs, seek new ones, have shit happen, get through it, find balance, and work on relationships with friends and family as an ongoing process. And I am going to hold onto the life lessons I have learned even as I begin a new office job, albeit in a different field, employer, team, and geographic area than the one(s) that gave me challenges. This time around, I am going to rock at what I do, and even if I don't, nuts to the world. I like myself and other people like me and that is all that counts. ;-)