Living with severe untreated Adhd.

For 49 years I have lived with one of the hardest things. Untreated Adhd. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 49 and then I have spent three months syr with my mental health.

To the point that I August, I contemplated suicide or at least harming myself. Thankfully my Gp called me the Sunday before the August Bank Holiday.

They were so helpful and spoke with me for around 30 minutes. They saved my life. The outcome of this was a referral back so I can at least try medication. This week I had an assessment to see what my needs are.

For the first time I was completely honest, I told them of my struggles and how close I came to suicide.

Back in July I was referred to the local talking Therapies team. I’m still waiting it has been almost three months.

So I have had to struggle with mental health issues, coming to terms with a life changing diagnosis and the debilitating affects of severe untreated Adhd.

Struggling with my emotions

The one thing that I am really struggling with at the moment, is deal with strong emotions. since getting diagnosed with ADHD, I have found that I am unable to deal with the depth of the feelings.

I have also been struggling with focusing on my job. Without any support or help, I feel that I have been diagnosed then just left to rot.

Two months on and no medication, no therapy and feeling completely let down by the system. i was given a care plan, that would be a mixture of medication and therapy. Instead, I have nothing.

I have another six weeks to wait for medication and a twelve week wait for cbt.

Adhd and me

About a month ago, I was diagnosed with ADHD (combined type). I thought that it would make things easier. It hasn’t really, I’m still working out my feelings.

Adhd is more debilitating than people think. Because I don’t produce enough dopamine I have trouble with starting simple, everyday tasks most people take for granted.

If a task isn’t a challenge or interesting to me, I get bored very quickly. The impact is that there are times when, I lose focus. Getting that focus back can be an issue.

During my assessment, I stated that I didn’t want medication. However now I realise that it would actually help, along with therapy to give me the tools to help me.

As things stand, I’m currently waiting for medication but have to sort out my blood pressure.

I’m optimistic that I can get this under control in a way that doesn’t change who I am.

Along with my autism diagnosis, I feel that I am more complete as a person.

I was told that autism and adhd are just like something that I have. That isn’t true, they are part of my identity.

My mental health

Over the last few months, I have really struggled with my mental health. I have had to fight some very thoughts. Back in January, I reached a low point.

This recent lockdown, has taken its toll. I’ve struggled to cope with the isolation. Loneliness has also been a hard thing to take.

There have been days where I regretted getting the autism diagnosis. It seems that autistic people have been really hard hit by the pandemic.

I have also been on ano diagnosis journey, one for adhd. I have now been diagnosed with combined adhd and am waiting for medication. However, I can’t get that until, my blood pressure is under control.

Two steps forward, one step back.

So even though I’ve made progress, the specter of bur is still here. Since lockdown has eased, I have been more active. Meeting with friends, but the down side is my energy levels fluctuate more.

I feel that I’m expected to go out and be myself or the old version. Since diagnosis I have been pretty much isolated.

I’m having to start over,as if I was just diagnosed. I’m struggling with the sensory changes and being around people is hard.

Coming out of burnout #ActuallyAutistic

Over the last few weeks, I’ve started the reco of autistic burnout. I still feel that I could slip back at any time. With lockdown easing and more places being open, I realise that I have to start engaging with others.

I’m having to take baby steps. I am aware that now I have to take care of myself. It’s as though, I’ve had to start from scratch. In relation my diagnosis, I’ve had over a year of isolation and now I have to learn to engage in person.

Burnout #ActuallyAutistic

The last few months I have been expierencing extreme burnout. For me it has caused masive meltdowns and doubting myself. I am realising the almost fifty years of masking. This means I have been trying to fit in.

One of the biggest things I am struggling, is being social. Even in a virtual world, it is becoming increasingly hard to socialise. The problem is because I am burnt out, my energy levels are so low. Also I have had an issue with maintaining my emotions.

My meltdowns have been more regular of late, these leave me exhausted and irritable. I feel that I am constantly fighting myself everyday.

This part of my journey, has to be the hardest part. As I write this, I have started a new part of my journey, my GP has referred me for an ADHD assessment, hopefully this will help me understand myself.

Burnout is not a nice thing to be dealing with. It is, sadly all too common. One of the things that society can do is be paitent with late diagnosed autistics. We have lived a long time trying to fit in

Awareness or acceptance

Every year for one week, everyone becomes an autism expert. Lighting up blue and getting their puzzle pieces out.

Both of these are symbols of a hate organisation “Autism $peaks”. An organisation that wants to cure autism.

Even though I was on diagnosed a year ago, I have always been autistic. The one thing I have noticed, the only thing some charities want to do is help neurotypical parents with neurodiverse children. They support ABA, which is nothing less than conversation therapy. The same as gay conversion therapy.

There seems to be very little acceptance of autistic people. People tend to infantalise us, talk down to us.

Autism isn’t just for a few days a year, we live with it for a lifetime. It’s time to treat all autistics as the humans we are.

Time for acceptance and ditching the blue and puzzle piece.

One year on #ActuallyAutistic

This time a year, we lived in a different world. We could go out without masks and no “social distancing.

These things weren’t on my mind, I was still grieving for my mum and waiting for confirmation either way.

Well on 24th March 2020, I got the call confirming my diagnosis. Even though I thought it would confirm that I was autistic, it still came as a shock.

Initially, felt numb and then a sense of relief that I hadn’t been wrong. As the weeks and months went on, I found that there was a lot of anger and resentment.

I struggled to overcome the feelings of not being good enough or even able. There were days, when I just wished that I hadn’t been through the whole process. I got to the point where, I considered the ultimate option.

I have found that, I’m still learning about my neuro type. Which is a great as I am connecting to other autists.

Where am I at now? I’m in a place where I’m beginning to see my worth and embrace who I truly am.

So, what next. To be honest, I am taking every day as it comes.

Boundaries and abuse

Boundaries have been a weakness of mine for years. Some of my boundaries have been too strong and some have been weak.

Let me start with the biggest issue,  people pleasing.  I have always struggled to say no. This causes a lot of problems, mainly people just expecting you to always say yes. Even when you don’t want to.  It also becomes an unhealthy coping strategy.  From my experience,  there have been times when it has left me vulnerable and caused stress.

I now see that being autistic, has contributed to this. Trying to fit in with the neurotypical people.

The next issue comes with closing myself off to others.  This has hurt both myself and my family and friends.

So now I’m trying to build healthy boundaries. By starting to say no, when needed and to try and trust others.

The last few weeks I have made progress, because I am starting to understand myself better and accepting my autistic self, as who I am.