Starting over after 40 plus years old can be a challenge but it can be rewarding. Add in a newfound mental health diagnosis or learning disability and suddenly your life choices make so much sense. I have been unofficially diagnosed as having ADHD by a mental health provider. I still have some diagnostic tests to take to make it official but the questionnaire that I took during a session seems like it fits.
It’s been a few months since first receiving this diagnosis and I can tell you that I have gone through so many emotions. (BTW I am sorry that I fell off for a few months of chatting with you.) I was angry, sad, and joyful all at the same time. I was angry at myself because I feel like I may have missed an opportunity to learn about this while I was struggling through college. I can remember the tutor, who was a student, saying that I might need to be tested for a learning disability. My pride wouldn’t allow to me consider it. I thoughts that I just needed to focus more and learn better techniques. Ha! Close but not quite.
I was sad for the little girl, teenager, young woman, and adult who thought that something was wrong with me because I wasn’t like other people. Other women. Oh the years of depression over not being able to accomplish what I knew that I was smart enough to do because of a hidden diagnosis. Then came the joy that helped me to realize that there was nothing wrong with me in the sense that I had been thinking. I had been living undiagnosed without tools on how to live my best life.
After learning my diagnosis, I went down a rabbit hole of research learning about the disorder and what it meant. I found so many stories about women who were undiagnosed because it has been seen as a male disorder. Not to mention that little black girls could never be diagnosed to the point that little research existed for us before the millennium. I still would have missed being diagnosed based on what I found.
“I am normal” was a common theme in many of the blogs and videos that I came across in my research. I found my people. I no longer felt alone but now what? Do I get tested or not? Fortunately, the therapist that did the preliminary diagnosis allowed me the opportunity to sit with what this all means for me. Working on a new job that requires my attention to detail helped me to see just how important getting diagnosed is so that I can get the right tools to feel successful. Without the proper tools, I feel like a person who has a bank account without access.
My mental health journey has been quite interesting and usually has come with a level of reluctance for so many reasons but not on this part. I am ready to do what is necessary so that I can move confidently into the next part of my journey of starting over after 40. I almost feel like it’s safe to dream again because I now understand that there are tools available that I can apply to assist me to attain those dreams.
Ready to dream again. Ready to fly. Ready for a Fresh Start. What have you learned about yourself that you didn’t know when you began this journey? Are you ready to dream again? Are you ready to fly? Are you ready for your Fresh Start?