I have been a little pre-occupied with my brain lately. Getting older and the changes that go along with that making my “normal” struggles more pronounced. I have always been easily distracted. My husband calls if the “squirrel syndrome”. If you have seen the animated movie UP you will understand. In addition to my squirrel moments, working and long term memory have never been a strength for me. This along with my approaching big 50 and family history of dementia have got me a little anxious about my brain.
I read Fast Minds first and must say it was life changing for me. I know that sounds cliche and little overly dramatic, but it was. As a teacher I am well versed in ADHD symptoms and supports. Even with all my experience I failed to turn that experience and expertise inward and take a good look at myself. Reading Fast Minds forced me to take an honest look at my behaviors and struggles. Ultimately leading me to seek a professional consult despite being embarrassed by my age and experience. That initial consultation, as well as follow ups, allowed me to see myself with a new lens.
My initial thought was who goes to seek help for ADHD at 50! Well, turns out, it isn’t so uncommon. I have spent the last 20+ years focused on caring for others and my newly empty nest have brought my personal struggles to the forefront. According to my therapist and doctor the onset menopause and children leaving home are just the types of transitions that cause women to recognize difficulties and seek support.
As I am beginning to unpack my life and take a contemplative look at my tendencies I am finding out I have been dismissing and downplaying a lot over the years. It is interesting to me how easy it is to get caught up in day to day life and caring for others that we actual miss seeing things in ourselves that we work so hard to help others with. Although I wish I had realized this much sooner and sought support much earlier I am not sad. I am excited for the possibilities that await me as I move into this new phase of my life with a new approach to caring for myself as well as others.
The only constant in life is change. Embrace it, Explore it, and Celebrate it!
*If you are interested in cognitive health I recommend reading Fast Minds and Brain Food.