Taking chemistry in college proved to be particularly challenging for me, as I had never encountered it before, unlike most of my classmates. I found myself falling behind and struggling to keep up. Fortunately, the university provided free tutoring sessions twice a week for students working on their chemistry homework. This tutor became my lifeline, helping me understand complex problems and ultimately allowing me to not only pass the course but excel and rank among the top students in the class.
During one of our tutoring sessions, I confided in her about my fear of navigating the rest of my pre-med curriculum without her support. Her wise response stuck with me: she assured me that there would always be resources available, I just had to seek them out, and I would find them.
In hindsight, her words were absolutely right. Over the years, I've reflected on the various resources I've utilized to conquer difficult tasks and projects. However, finding these resources isn't always straightforward for individuals with ADHD. We must recognize that having ADHD often entails relying on external support.
The first crucial step in accessing support is acknowledging that we need it. This recognition demands metacognition, which can be challenging for those of us with ADHD. Metacognition involves the ability to observe our thoughts and actions and accurately assess how they affect us and those around us. Without metacognitive skills, recognizing the need for help becomes an uphill battle.
Furthermore, the second step of locating and securing effective resources can be equally daunting for individuals with ADHD. Identifying where we need assistance, determining whom to turn to, and mustering the courage to ask for help can feel like an insurmountable task.
In the face of poor metacognition, negative self-talk, time management difficulties, anxiety, depression, and low motivation—all common challenges for individuals with ADHD—how can we hope to access the help we require?
Here are a few truths to hold onto:
We are each created for a purpose and equipped with the skills to fulfill it (Jeremiah 29:11).
Resources are available, just waiting to be discovered. Many successful individuals, including company CEOs, first responders, artists, journalists, and small business owners, also have ADHD, and they thrive, particularly when part of a supportive community. So, what are some of the resources that work for those of us with ADHD, and how can we find them? The first step is recognizing the need for support. To illustrate this point, let me share the story of how I found my support system, also known as Trish.
Several years ago, I moved from Memphis, TN, to Dallas, TX, due to my husband's job. Everything in this new city was foreign to me—our house, our kids' schools, the church, friends, neighborhood, and more. It was an overwhelming time, and I realized I needed help. Drawing from my college experience, I sought someone who could work alongside me, similar to my chemistry tutor, assisting with the technology and organization required to keep me on track. Given my lack of clerical skills and the numerous demands on my time in this new location, I decided to hire a personal assistant. This marks my first step.
The second step involved finding the right person—a daunting puzzle. I needed to pinpoint my exact requirements, locate someone with the necessary skills, and establish a working relationship with them. One of my biggest challenges was overcoming doubts about whether the right person even existed and if I could trust them.
To kickstart the process, I enlisted the help of a coach who guided me through each step. This coach became my first resource on the path to success. During coaching sessions, I confronted and challenged the negative narratives that were holding me back. I had to believe that there was someone out there who would be a good fit for me. I also had to learn how to search for a personal assistant effectively. I discovered that various websites provided names and resumes—yet another resource! However, I struggled to choose the right candidate. Finally, I reached out to my husband's assistant and asked for assistance in narrowing down my search to a couple of promising resumes. In the end, I found Trish, and the rest is history. We've been working together for five years now.
Did you notice all the resources that were available to me throughout my journey? Overcoming the challenges associated with ADHD wasn't easy, but the resources were there, just as my tutor had said, and they always will be.
If this was helpful share with a fellow ADHDer or Parent of an ADHDer.