A view into my life with ADHD & anxiety.
to the person reading this right now, welcome to this blog/diary/thoughts-thing that I’m still trying to figure out what to call. I mean is it a blog? I honestly don’t know, but what I do know is that I’m doing this for two reasons. Firstly, it helps me to write down my thoughts and reflect on them. Also I hope to be able to help someone by either gaining an understanding of what it’s like to struggle with ADHD and anxiety or if you’re someone struggling the way I do, I want to tell you that you’re not alone and someone understands what you’re going through. Honestly no matter who this is going to benefit it’s just a great feeling knowing that my words may help in some way. And if not then I’m definitely benefiting from doing this as it helps to clear my own mind.
So first, some little background facts about me. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 17 years old and just last year, I found out I was struggling with anxiety as well. I’m neither studying or working, but that’s a whole other story for another time.
So, what is it like being a 20-year-old girl with ADHD and anxiety? I can tell you that it’s definitely not easy – actually it’s an everyday struggle.The past few years for me has been hard but has led me to grow. 2019 was overall an alright year for me. But as we all know the pandemic hit in early spring of 2020 and let me tell you, right when it hit my mental health went downhill. I would like to get more into what I have gone through with my struggles and what I have learned from them and (hopefully) it can help you too in some way.
When Denmark went into lockdown, it really affected me. Way more than I thought it would. I mean neither one of us had really experienced something like this before, so I guess you could say it was normal how it affected me. With an ADHD brain like mine and whoever else feels the same way, it was mentally challenging. I know it’s affected everyone differently, but for now I’m just gonna give some examples/explanations for how it hit me personally.
It was actually starting to get a little better for me just before lockdown. I had found something I wanted to try out to move my life in a better direction, and to this day I have one specific person to thank. One day in January or February I came across thinking of this substitute teacher I once had in school who had a big impact on my life when I was younger. So one day I took the chance of reaching out to him. But getting to the point of actually doing it was a mess for my brain! My head was spinning over and over again with “what if’s” and creating worst-case scenarios. I talked it through with two of my friends at the time and eventually I wrote him a casual message. Waiting for his response was hard for me. I was constantly overthinking and I slept really bad.
Thankfully, he did answer and we texted back and forth for a while. He gave me some ideas which led to the idea that I came up with just before lockdown. I am honestly so grateful this day today that I reached out to him because it sure made me try take a step out of my comfort zone. Even though it was a rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts it was all worth it. I don’t know if I’m ever going to hear from him again but that’s alright.
The thing I was gonna try out was this volunteer thing at a culture house with concerts and I was just about to start it up but then lockdown happened. On top of that I was also going on vacation to an island to celebrate my birthday. This island has a special place in my heart and I had for once planned something for my birthday which I rarely do since I don’t have any friends. But due to the lockdown the celebrating had to be cancelled. It hit pretty hard, I cried for days (of course not nonstop) as I kept getting reminded of it all the time on tv and socials.
I hit a dark place to be honest and the thoughts took over more than they should have. Looking back, even though it took me to a really dark place and I was really struggling good things came out of it after all. Yeah we’re still in a pandemic but I have actually personally grown much more this past year than I have the previous years. I have realized that those awful times has made me grow and learn. If you think about it, haven’t you experienced some good things as well despite the pandemic?
In the beginning of the first lockdown I had this friend whom I met through a fandom for this artist and we were very close. As you know by now, things started going downhill when lockdown happened. It was a hard time for me. At the same time, her grandpa got sick (cancer) and not long after he passed away. After that everything went downhill.
Things escalated as other people got involved (which I now know was not a good idea) and I definitely regret talking to others who I thought were my friends about it all. Things got so bad that I had to leave my account on Twitter and make a new one as so many knew who I was because of it all. Unfortunately some of those people involved wouldn’t seem to leave me alone as they soon after I had blocked them all everywhere started saying I was trying to get them suspended – which I in fact never did and they didn’t even have any proof of it either, just because they didn’t understand I blocked everyone involved or friends with them. The point is yes, I definitely messed up some things in that situation no doubt about that – could I have taken distance from everyone when I was feeling that way? Yes indeed I could have, but in some way I’m actually glad it happened because it made me see how so many I thought were my friends actually wasn’t and so it made me realize how toxic they all actually were to be around.
Looking back, I see now that we should have taken a break for a while. She actually suggested this, but I was so out of my mind I couldn’t see that. Basically, my brain was really messed up with thoughts and I was in a really negative place.
This had such an impact on my mental health that I ended up turning off my phone for over 2 weeks (honestly lost count how long) and when I say off, I mean completely off. I threw it away somewhere in the house and didn’t look at it for so long.
But fact is I think I really needed for that to happen. I learned some new places to go for walks in nature and the biggest thing of all is that I discovered this artist whom later has helped me in ways I never thought was possible.
Conflicts and overthinking thoughts don’t go well in friendship when you have ADHD, but maybe you already know that because you’ve been through it on your own? If you try to look at the positive things that you possibly got out of it afterwards, because sometimes you don’t always see it right away, I mean I couldn’t. It’s first now over a year later that I can see what that situation did for me. I may have lost my friend but before things got bad she was the one who helped me not being scared of walking around in my neighbourhood and actually go out walking away from our house.
Truth be told it was extremely hard to get on the other side of it all, but to come back to the artist that has helped me a lot is the reason for why I even managed to get out again and nowadays I just love going out for walks listening to music on my own.
Sometimes we need to go through some hell to be able to succeed with things we thought would never be possible. It definitely was hell of a rollercoaster emotions and thoughts, but I got through it and if I can so can you! It’s not easy maintaining friendships when you have ADHD & anxiety. I hope my story can contribute with something useful. Hopefully there is a lot more to come.
Anyway, be yourself and don’t ever let someone decide what you should do because it’s your life and your dreams!
Stay safe x