After seeking support for my then 6 year old son, last year, I discovered that I too am neurodivergent, most likely ADHD with a sprinkling of dyslexia. Since then I have been on the most incredible discovery of self acceptance and realisation, full of "ah-ha" moments as to why I have struggled with certain things for so long , and why other things come very naturally to me.
I am still not sure which realisation hit me the most; that I have so much in common with some people, or that I am even more "different" to what I imagined I was, to most other people.
My struggles were not outwardly apparent to others. The anxiety I faced when having to get somewhere on time, the self-loathing when I was late. The mental overwhelm at not being able to prioritise tasks, and the frustration at my lack of organisation. The intensity of which I can focus on a subject that interests me, and the inner turmoil when having to devote time to something that does not engage me.
I was a really good kid at school and my grades were always excellent but sheesh did I have to work for it. My fear of failure was, and is, still immense. My standard of self is the highest bar that you can possibly imagine so recently, I have given my attention to gently lowering that bar, so I can fully embrace and accept who I am, and be rewarded with the realisation that right where I am is ok.
Understanding that I am neurodivergent has been one of the most profound realizations of my life. It has given me an explanation for so much. Understanding that my neurobiology has made some things harder, and some things easier, has brought a wave of self-forgiveness and compassion and my life feels richer, and easier, for it.
Since being on this journey I have been in contact with countless women whose journeys have been similar to mine; gaining understanding of their own neurobiology after seeking support for a child. Some have referred to it as the "generation of lost women"; those who have spent their lives feeling frustrated and confused by parts of themselves that felt so different, only to realise after years of self-management (or not!) that there is an explanation; they are neurologically wired to process information differently. Women who have learned to tone themselves down, to conform, to silence the creative side of themselves because of the overwhelming desire to "fit" into a society that is geared for left-brained thinkers.
But this is changing! There is a new wave of understanding of neurodivergency, with the realisation that neurodivergency is not a disorder, it is a difference. People talking about their experiences, and their gifts, and their ability to see the world in a whole new way.
Understanding that a proportion of our population are out of the box thinkers because they were never in the box!!
Diversity is fundamental to the survival of any species and we are FINALLY realising the positive implications of this with regard to neurodivergency. Organisations and institutions are realising that different minds mean different approaches and different solutions. If everyone thinks the same then big, impactive change cannot happen. When people have the confidence to be who they truly are, new lights can shine.
In addition to the realisation that we have gained for ourselves, the realisation for our children is profound. Knowing that we can reach into the tool box for different tools that we didn't know where there before, to allow us to nurture and encourage little minds so that they may have less days of confusion and overwhelm.