Originally posted on 29 June 2015, in Lea's personal blog. Reposted with permission from the author.
When I was in kinder, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I was a rowdy kid that could not get along with her classmates and teachers. To be honest, the diagnosis shook me to my core, and it drove this compulsive need in me to please the people around me because my ADHD drove me away from other people. I was called weird, disgusting, friendless, and a loser many times. Fifteen years after the diagnosis, I am now done with school, and I have done so much in my life that the troublemaking, friendless kid that I once was is now reduced to a vague, incomprehensible memory. Whenever I tell people that I was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, they would get shocked because people do not see me that way now. They see me as an enthusiastic, opinionated, bright, warm and friendly person who is capable of doing great things in her life.
Even though I have achieved and grown so much after the diagnosis, there are times that I still feel like the five-year-old, newly diagnosed kid is very much alive in me. She reminds me that I will never succeed, and that all my achievements are just gate passes for public approval and acceptance. I have to be strong and not let that five-year-old take over my thoughts and feelings whenever things go sour. While it is okay to cry and be frustrated when things do not go my way, I should also focus on how to move forward, and tell myself that things will get better. I should not let my ADHD get in the way of living the best life I could possibly live, even if it can be difficult at times. I know that I have a bright future ahead of me and that my ADHD should not define who I am as a person because it is just a part of who I really am. Instead of treating my ADHD as a weakness that continues to damper me and prevent me from living a full life, I am going to start treating it instead as something that motivates me to become a better person.
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