Being diagnosed with ADHD in my mid-thirties was a huge shock. I had always been successful, driven even. I had a degree, I had been beloved everywhere I had worked, and I even built my own small business. I thought there was no way I could have an attention disorder. But there it was. I not only significantly surpassed the diagnostic threshold, I had both hyperactivity and inattentive characteristics.
The more I read and researched post-diagnosis, the more I was able to make sense of my own experience. Why I could be so gifted in many ways but still be burning out almost constantly, working five times as hard as my peers to stay ahead. Why my friends would joke about me having my own time zone since I was almost always 5-15 minutes late to meet up with them. Why I could pass all of my tests but not manage to complete most of my homework. Why I didn’t want to stay in any job more than a year. Why I thought that there was no way I could handle the demands of being a mom.
I was fascinated by everything I was learning. I tend to deep dive when I have special interests and this topic blends some of my favorite subjects. I have always loved biology, especially neurobiology and neurochemistry. Even before the diagnosis I was taking online courses in neuroanatomy in the evenings for fun. I loved reading medical journal articles and studies on just about everything, but especially the brain and how it affects human experience. Oliver Sacks, the British neurologist, naturalist, and historian of science was one of my favorite authors.
So I picked up books, listened to expert podcasts, watched webinars, read medical journals on medication-management studies… It was my newest favorite deep dive. I didn’t do this for any purpose other than passion. I really love learning and as someone who owned their own dog-walking company and had about 8 hours a day to consume audio material, I totally binged.
I had no plans to use this information in the real world until I started working with an amazing ADHD coach. She planted the seed that this would be a great vocation for me, a place where I could help people thrive and grow. I didn’t think much about it until one summer I met two moms in two weeks with the same story. Each of them had a child that had been diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medication, but they really had no idea what else to do or what this meant for their child’s future. I was heartbroken for them, how nervous they were, thinking that this disorder was going to ruin their child’s life.
I found myself offering them perspective and guidance from my personal experience and the research I had done, and it seemed to help them immediately put the diagnosis in context and give them direction.
It was these two conversations that made me recognize that I was incredibly passionate about this subject, and that I already had some basic skills to share it with others in a way that could transform their lives. It had not occurred to me that there was such a disconnect between the resources that are out there on ADHD and the families and individuals who need access to them.
I love coaching because it combines so many of my favorite things. I get to geek out on the brain science stuff, but the real joy comes from forming deep and vulnerable connections with people. I also love the storytelling aspect of coaching. I help my clients change their narrative. We discard labels like “lazy”, “spacy” and “unmotivated”, and build a more accurate narrative around strengths, challenges, and experience.
I love hearing about my client’s roadblocks, really listening to every aspect of their struggle and then helping them find their way over it… or under it… or around it… or through it… Who knows what it will take for you, but we will find a way to get past it together.
“I can’t overstate how much Meredith has helped me learn to manage my ADHD and build better habits. Truly transformative.”– David S.