1- The road that led me here

2 years ago we turned our lives upside down and left a busy and strained life in Auckland for a smaller and calmer life in Rotorua. Making that move pushed re-set on my life, I inspired myself, and I felt more like myself than I had done in many years. I could never have predicted the series of events that would unfold from that one decision.

Motivated by the amazing nature walks we were discovering in the area, and my very energetic almost 2 year old at the time, I started a long journey that resulted in 25kg weight loss thanks to the help of Duromine (which I now know has a similar neurological impact to ADHD Meds). I remember thinking at the time that it was like being on a holiday from myself and my mind, was this what ‘normal’ people feel like?

Around 6 weeks after stopping the Duromine I started to realise that there was more going on. I could hardly believe just how much of a difference there was in my mind. I could not work properly, think properly, I felt like I could not function at all, after 9 months of clarity it felt like prison.

I went to my GP in tears terrified of going back to living like that.  She was kind enough to put me back on Duromine while I figured things out, and I was given a preliminary diagnosis of a compulsive eating disorder. I was lucky enough to get access to an amazing psychologist through the Rotorua public health system, and after 4 months of weekly appointments she raised the topic of ADHD with me. My initial reaction was “no I definitely don’t have that”. When I thought of ADHD I pictured a child being loud, disruptive, naughty and aggressive, none of which I felt applied to me. I did not give it another thought.

At my next appointment she presented me with the list of ADHD diagnosis criteria to go over.  I remember an almost surreal feeling as she read each one out and I ticked them off in my head. Almost every point on the list I could identify with, things that I thought were just flaws in my personality or things I never knew were not ‘normal’ to feel/experience. After that appointment I began to research, the more I read the more of myself, my life, who I am, made sense.

My biggest fear then became the thought of being told I did not have ADHD.

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