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Last week I was diagnosed with ADHD

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I was diagnosed with ADHD

Last week I was diagnosed with ADHD.

It was no surprise, I’d known of my neuro-divergence for a long time. I just wasn’t sure of the particular flavour.

I felt odd as a kid. I questioned why everyone else seemed to do things differently. Why I seemed to react differently. Why some of my relationships imploded.

I remember being severely bullied and being so confused by it.

I remember my extremes, my risk taking … with drugs, sex, anything.
I remember being at huge raves in the 90s and having to lock myself in a loo as my senses were on overdrive.

I did this at nightclubs too.

I remember hating parties, making all the excuses to go home early I thought this was simply because I was an introvert, I am, but it wasn’t.
Nobody knew any of this, I was an expert at hiding my discomfort. But these coping strategies and masking made me ill.

I was always ill. Now I know it was the stress created by ADHD.

As an entrepreneur, my superpowers really came into their own. People asked why I could do things they couldn’t. How I could juggle so many projects, thoughts, ideas. See the big picture strategy and every single piece of the puzzle to make it happen.

But even with all this, still it was a shock to the system to get the diagnosis.

So many emotions, so many questions, so much frustration at the lack of knowledge and support in this area (the NHS waitlist for testing is YEARS, even then it’s often misdiagnosed as it shows up differently in girls and women).

I feel extremely thankful I can afford to do this privately, but that’s not the answer. I REALLY want to do something about this. But that’s for later, I need to focus on me for now as I adapt.

I’ve not spoken about it much as I needed to process in private. I also had two live workshops this week and I needed to show up and serve.
Some amazing humans reached out to help me, to let me know it can be similar to the grieving process. I didn’t get that at first, but now I do.

And it really is.

I’m grieving an old identity and all the things from my past I had to cope with. Im sending love to young Gemma who struggled so much internally, who shared none of that with anyone as she felt ashamed, embarrassed, confused.

Some people have said they’re ‘sorry’ I have ADHD. Please don’t. This isn’t some nasty disease to feel sorry for. I’m proud of it, I own it. For all the negative things associated with this, I truly believe my ADHD has been a positive in my life and will continue to be.

And today, I start taking meds. This is a conscious choice, and although they’re not right for all, it’s right for me, right now.

I’ve spoken a lot about my health issues over the last two years. Well, it’s all linking up. Talking with my psychiatrist it became clear that ADHD has created stress in my body since childhood. Combine that with childhood trauma and my MO has been chronic stress for most of my life – without me even realising.

This has created chronic gut health issues that have caused so many issues over the last two years. I’ve been operating at about 40%

[Not bad for someone who grew a business over 30% in the last year and created over £500k in sales … just imagine me at 100%!].

Plus, peri-menopause has accentuated my ADHD – which is how I’ve actually noticed it (this is common – something else I’ve learnt). My subconscious masks and coping strategies were so good I’d never have known, until now.

But I also would never have known if the brave souls in this entrepreneur world hadn’t openly shared their journeys with ADHD and other neuro conditions (in my head this lot are like the avengers!). I won’t name you all, but you know who you are. I salute each and every one of you.

[To those who think ADHD is a trend and people are just jumping on it … sit down. This is so so common in our world and talking about it creates awareness that really fucking matters. This changes lives.]

So … like them … I’m now sharing my story and my journey with this.

Not because I want this to define me (as someone said to me last week), but because this IS me and if I’m sharing ‘me’ here and on social in all my authentic, vulnerable beauty, then this is an important part of that.

And if my sharing helps just one person, then I’m here for it.

I have a journey ahead, I’m working on healing my gut right now, will be working on healing and resetting my nervous system after years of it being in chronic stress, and as a team we’re rethinking how we do business to better support me as we scale – because I still have big goals and dreams, even more so now.

My team are fucking amazing and are already on this after I got the diagnosis – asking me how they can help. I couldn’t function without them. We knew this before, but we know it even more now!
So as I lie here in bed writing this, checking in on my body as the meds are making me feel a bit queasy and odd, I’m both crying and smiling. With relief, with pride and with hope for the next phase of me with this diagnosis and knowledge.

All I can say is … watch out world!



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