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19 The Beginning Part 2

Updated: 4 days ago

Something quite unexpected happened recently, marking yet another defining point in my life. Just when I think I'm beginning to understand myself, something new shakes up everything I thought I knew. I'm profoundly grateful for these moments of self-discovery, knowing well that growth is a fundamental part of life. Yet, this time, my emotions have been particularly mixed. So, what is going on?

 

Since the beginning of my blog, I’ve concentrated on discussing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) — a natural focus since my initial writing intended to explain my diagnosis to friends and family. However, my journey has since taken a dramatic turn, expanding far beyond ASD to explore the broader spectrum of neurodiversity. It's been a privilege to engage with a global audience, through both my writing and also speaking endeavours. I have realized that whilst my job has been to educate the community, I have educated myself probably more than anyone else. So again, what is going on?

 

For a long time, I’ve felt that there was a missing piece in the puzzle of my identity. This lingering question is probably what has subconsciously propelled my deep dive into neurodiversity. This has led me to a thought process that maybe I also have ADHD?!

 

However, there has been so much going on in my life recently with university pressures, relationships, a period of general uncertainty and turmoil – basically a lot going on. Amidst all this, I have been fighting to keep my head above water, and so addressing ADHD has been brushed under the carpet.

 

As weird as it sounds, I have been scared to broach the topic. I mean what if it is me just being silly? Or needy? Or pick me? What if I am just making it all up? Admitting these fears hasn’t been easy. Even after my ASD diagnosis, I wrestled with imposter syndrome, doubting my own experiences: that I wasn’t autistic, that I was making it up. Despite knowing logically that these feelings weren’t true, there were days I felt like a fraud.

 

Similarly, the idea of also having ADHD was daunting, in the sense that I would feel doubly like a fraud, and that would be if I were even to be diagnosed with ADHD. I think this plays into something called rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD), a problem common amongst neurodivergent individuals that interferes with our ability to regulate emotional responses to feelings of failure and rejection, leading to amplified emotional pain to such stimuli.

 

However, an epiphany struck. What if my feelings of being overwhelmed and perpetually inadequate stemmed from having ADHD? I’m not suggesting that ADHD is the root of all my challenges, but perhaps it’s a significant piece I’ve been missing, crucial for understanding how to best support myself.

 

Thus, I made a pivotal, and personally challenging decision: to pursue an ADHD assessment. I kept this decision quiet, mainly out of fear.

 

Subsequently, I found out that I do indeed have ADHD. I feel like this revelation has once again reset my sense of self, compelling me to explore, experiment and delve deeper into what makes me, me. I have been feeling completely overwhelmed with the entirety of life. Not knowing where to start, where to go or where I want to end up. I have moments where my brain is circling so rapidly, I feel like I am caught in a tornado. So where do I go from here?

 

I decided to write this blog as a commitment to myself (I literally decided this and within 15 minutes it has been written and posted eek). I want to slowly, and comfortably explore this newfound diagnosis, and hopefully bring you all along with me on this very raw journey. I want to manage my expectations of being ok with the fact that I am still learning who I am. And I want to be ok with the fact that as much as I love being in control and knowing it all, I can’t just wake up and know it all.

 

So for my first step, my first baby step…

 

Hi, I am Nidhi and I am autistic and ADHD.

 

Thanks for reading,

Nidhi :)

 

 

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