"I hope with ADHD Coaching, you can find the same awareness & self-compassion."
This week, one of my clients, Jennifer H is guest posting about her experience with 1:1 & Group Coaching.
I showed up to my first ADHD coaching session more than a little skeptical. I have been trying and failing, to break out of a long-standing pattern of overworking myself, followed by periods of extreme overwhelm and complete shutdown.
I would take on all of the projects and responsibilities that presented themselves to me, piling more onto my plate and refusing to say no when others tried to pass me their portions, too.
Eventually, my workdays would grow longer, and still had to make time for my family and activities that brought me joy and restoration. My nutrition, coping skills, and self-care practices would quickly go down the toilet, and I would finally collapse into my bed with migraines, hives from stress, and mental exhaustion with my doors locked, notifications silenced, and as much ability to perform as a banana slug.
I had little to no insight as to the cause of these patterns, and I often felt embarrassed and shameful about my perceived shortcomings, which led to a whole host of other negative behaviors and habits.
I lacked the compassion for myself that I felt for the rest of the world, and truly believe that the root of my problem was that I was lazy and undisciplined.
I knew there were other ways to live, but being in the middle of my overwork phase, I didn’t really believe I’d ever get out. And this is where I was when Mande convinced me to join her coaching program.
I was immediately resistant to using the label of ADHD, even though I was hugely disorganized, I had first-degree relatives with that diagnosis and even had multiple childhood teachers and counselors attempt to get ADHD-related services for me.
I was also very attached to a different diagnosis I have been given in childhood, obsessive-compulsive disorder, but that diagnosis was something that I had never told a soul in my adult life.
Although dramatically different, my OCD does have many of the same symptoms as ADHD, but I didn’t believe the two could occur together because of how different they are.
When I protest of it coaching would be a waste of her time, Mande stopped me with a single question, followed by a simple solution. “Didn’t you just say that you have ADHD symptoms?” My brain quietly began to list-
Terrible time management
Lack of follow-through
Underdeveloped executive functioning skills
High functioning anxiety
Regular depressive episodes
Crap. That’s a lot of symptoms for a disorder that I don’t have. (My brain’s immediate reaction to this awareness).
Her next words cut through my resistance like a warm knife through butter.
“Then it doesn’t matter if you really have ADHD, or something else. Coaching can help you manage those symptoms.”
I only had to commit to an hour once a week, and I still ended up rescheduling over half of my appointments because I couldn’t manage my time or workload appropriately.
She never made me feel bad about it, sensing that I was making myself feel bad enough already. She simply rescheduled me, but as I began to see the value in her coaching.
As I became less resistant to the ADHD label, I began to work harder at prioritizing my appointments despite the consuming demands of my work schedule. Simultaneously, as Mande‘s business grew, it became less easy for her to reschedule me, so I learned to reschedule less and less frequently.
After that job ended, money was tight, but I was so happy to breathe and have time again. I joined group coaching as a more affordable option. Up until this point I had never discussed my symptoms with anyone other than Mande, or a licensed therapist.
Even my family and my boyfriend were not aware of just how much I was suffering in silence with my symptoms. At my very first coaching call, I was shocked at this group of normal people who were just like me.
I told him how I felt like a little girl playing dress up in my mom‘s high heels, and that I was basically just winging it in life. To my surprise, everyone nodded in agreement, my experience was the same as theirs!
For the first time, I felt validated and truly seen. My ability to identify with these wonderful people strip through my shame, and I could gift myself the same compassion that I felt in my heart for them.
I was struck with the realization that isolation brings feelings of shame, and the cure for that is connection, which brings compassion.
Today, I have no trouble with the ADHD label. I am proud that I have the resiliency to keep rising up from the ashes of my disorders to rebuild again and again. I can sit in silence comfortably.
I can recognize resistance and downward spirals, and now sometimes I even catch them when they first start. I have compassion for this woman who is overcoming two very difficult and heavily stigmatized mental health disorders while navigating life as a single mother and business owner, and I am beyond grateful to ADHD Coaching for giving me the tools to change my relationship with myself.
It turns out that I no longer need to play dress up in my mother's high heels because my shoes fit just fine. I hope that with coaching you can find that same awareness and self-compassion
Coming soon, I'm rolling out The ADHD Academy!
This will be a membership with bingeable courses. I've already created courses on:
Getting Things Done
Better Relationship With Yourself & Others
Sleep for the Busy Brain
Organize Anything With Ease
Triple Your Time
Becoming the Boss of Your Brain
Serious Self Control
Plus workbooks to apply what you learn & bonuses. New courses are created every month & that's not all!
Weekly LIVE ADHD Coaching
Can't Attend? Catch the Replay
Be Part of a Like-Minded Community
Plus more to come. Pre-Launch Happens March 2023. There will be a special discounted price for those that sign up in March (founders) that they keep as long as they are members. Membership will open to everyone else April 2023.
You can click the logo below to open the page for all the details and to get on the waitlist.
Mande speaking now. I wanted to tell Jennifer to thank her for sharing her story not just with coaching but also with the symptoms she was dealing with. You are not alone, my friends! We can help make life easier for you with ADHD Coaching. Are you interested in private 1:1 ADHD Coaching? Then click the button below to book a consultation call.