adhd coach

ADHD and Me: Allowing Your Diagnosis To Help Or Hinder You

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*Disclaimer-I am not a Dr. nor a medical professional. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. Anything suggested in this message are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure. I worked with my health professional and so should you.

I've been on this path of investigating ADHD for about 7 years now. It started with me feeling extreme frustration with myself at my inability to "keep up and manage it all". I'd hit a tipping point in my life and there were a lot of little things that I did on a regular basis that I was just plain tired of doing. Things that slowed me down. Things that were exhausting. Things that I wondered if other people did. What was "normal"? I had no idea. Here is my journey for the 7 years that have followed.

After seeing a specialist and going through the evaluation process for ADHD, I was diagnosed ADHD Inattentive type. It honestly felt like a relief. I finally had an answer to my frustrations. The things that I did that didn't make sense to my husband, and that frustrated me, had a name. It was at least a place to start.

Now that I know what I'm dealing with, what's next?

As soon as I was diagnosed, the conversation with my Dr. turned to medications. It makes sense, medications are the primary method of treatment in the DSM-5 when one is diagnosed with ADHD.

I was open and curious and a little bit nervous. If meds helped me, I was all in. At the very least, I wanted a glimpse of what a "typical" day felt like in the life of someone that was not diagnosed with ADHD. In the past, I have had some uncomfortable reactions to medications and because of that, I rarely even take aspirin. This left me a little worried. What would meds do? How would I react to them? I was raised in a household that rarely used over the counter, let alone prescription medications. I was going to proceed with caution.

Because of my hesitancy with meds, I turned to Google to find out what else was available. I came upon ADHD Coaching and decided to find a coach. After searching terms like, "alternative treatments for ADHD", "ADHD in women", "what does Inattentive ADHD look like?", "ADHD Coaches Sacramento" and "natural therapies for ADHD", I decided a coach was my next step.

I found my coach, a local woman named Laurie Dupar (who just happens to be one of the best in the industry). She was not too far from me and I signed on for a 12-week package. I was all in.

Don't get me wrong, it was not inexpensive, and at the time I had no idea how I'd pay for it, but I was tired y'all. So, so, so ready for a change. After living for 40+ years with these lightweight struggles, I was going to shake things up and do something different, extravagant and for myself.

Coaching changed my life. I cannot say that enough. There were a few sessions that I remember thinking "I can't tell if anything is happening? I want her to give me more answers and tell me what to do differently." In her patient way, she did what she does best, coach. It was magical to me. Just having someone listen to me for 12 hours 1:1, that understood completely what I was experiencing was invaluable. I will be forever grateful to her.

Fast forward to now. I've formed some pretty strong opinions, not all of which will be popular.

It is my belief that like much of life, ADHD tendencies occur on a spectrum. Some of us are more severely affected than others. There are a few perspectives when looking at health, wellness, and wellbeing. If you are non-functioning in your everyday life, you should speak with your medical practitioner about testing, diagnosis, and treatment options available for ADHD.

For myself, while challenged by my "ADHD tendencies", for the most part, I am functioning in my everyday life. I've held down jobs. I've set goals and accomplished them (albeit with quite a bit of struggle at times). For me, a diagnosis of ADHD gave me context. It helped me to understand why I did some of the things that I did. For that I am grateful.

Personally, at this time, I've decided not to use medications as a treatment option. While I see that it is helpful for so many people, including some of my clients, the drawbacks outweighed the benefits, for me.

Once I decided to look at non-medication options, I decided if I'm not needing a prescription, it doesn't serve me to cling so tightly to the diagnosis. It was actually hindering me a bit. Because of my thoughts around what an ADHD diagnosis meant (for me).

I was thinking things like "of course this is harder for you, you have ADHD", or "you are always going to be time-challenged, you have ADHD", "organization will not be your thing, you know, you have that funky, fun brain wiring". I'm not denying any of those things, it just doesn't help me get to where I want to get to when I focus on them. Don't get me wrong, there are times when I totally embrace my ADHD. I know it is a large part of what makes me quirky, creative and kind. I'm thankful for the gift of it. But I don't want to let my mind tell myself that I am destined to repeat something that I want to change.

By seeing my attention challenges as a "tendency" rather than a sentencing, I am better able to move forward. Yes, I have ADHD, so what. Yes, things are at times more challenging, so what. What do I mean by so what?

So what NOW?! What's next? Where am I going from here?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Does your diagnosis help or hinder you? ~Shaun



101 Benefits of an ADHD Coach: Validation

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Have you ever felt like the odd one out? 

The one that just didn't fit in? 

Like maybe there was something wrong with you?

Like you were just different than the rest?

Have you ever started talking with someone that you just met and after spending just a little bit of time together, you feel like you just "got" each other?

It's as though you have shared similar paths at difference points in life. 

I hear this constantly from my coaching clients. In fact they've said one of the best parts of coaching is realizing that someone really "gets" them and has been in similar shoes.

Some people will describe it as "being able to complete anothers sentences". 

One client calls these moments that we have "twinning", meaning our matching "twin" tendencies are showing. I love that!

It can be a way of doing something, a way of being, or a way of thinking.

In coach lingo it is referred to as normalizing. 

When I describe a behavior, act or thought that is familiar to you, that you think is "not normal". 

When I then share how it's happened to me too. Or how it is very common with people that have ADHD tendencies. 

It can bring about an awareness that you are not the only one that does this.

It can trigger an aha moment, a realization, that you are in fact normal.

It is so validating to have someone speak your language and truly understand you. 

I know because I've worked with a coach myself and that's how I felt.

I've worked with clients and they've told me that's how it felt.

I'd love to work with you.

There's nothing wrong with you.

ADHD and Problem Solving: Everything Doesn't Have to Be Hard

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Do you consider yourself a creative problem solver? 

One tendency that is often associated with ADHD is that of being a non-conformist. The skill of "thinking outside of the box" if you will.

Why does this happen you ask?

Well, to start with, many people with ADHD tendencies aren't aware of the box to begin with. In part due to active imaginations, solutions to problems can seem limitless.

A box can feel so small, so restrictive. If there is no box, or we look outside of the box, it can be so much more interesting! 

If there is a solution to be found, many times if one looks outside of the box it is residing there, just waiting to be discovered.

Why all of this talk about out of the box thinking you ask?

I've noticed in myself, because I love abstract thinking, I gravitate towards challenges. I have a very positive approach to obstacles. In fact, they are pretty exciting to me. 

This can be a terrific thing when a solution is needed. Or when tenacity needs to be built. 


And this is a big but...

What if my thoughts about problem solving are actually drawing challenging situations to me?

What if I'm so focused on problem solving, I am skipping right over the things that I could be welcoming with open arms, no problem needed?

The things that could be easy.

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This is a picture of my Uncle B and I. In January I got to visit him in TX and we spent a whole day chatting and catching up. At some point in the conversation I said, "I see this pattern with myself where I love when something is new and I need to figure it out, but once I'm comfortable and have got it figured, I'm done. It loses it's luster." 

He then asked me "Are you a challenge chaser? Are you drawn to the challenge of something for challenges sake?"

It really made me think. I may have been. I don't want to be.

Hi I'm Shaun. I'm a recovering challenge chaser. Everything does not have to be hard. In fact, sometimes I just want it to be easy. 

My new thought? This can be a challenge or easy.

I think I'll choose easy, and hit the easy button.

Can you relate to this? Are you a creative problem solver or a challenge chaser? Leave a comment or better yet, hit the button below to book a free 30 minute consultation with me and let's talk ADHD tendencies and how coaching can help!