I was 36 when I was finally diagnosed with ADHD after a cluster of problems and crises came to a crescendo and I nearly tipped out of control. I had yet again disappeared down the rabbit hole of drinking heavily, smoking, out of control spending... thrill-seeking.
I felt so much shame, guilt, self loathing... I felt I was no good for my lovely best friend Liz - my wife and mother to my 3 gorgeous girls. I've always been a good Dad i've no doubt of that but when that thought creeps in of 'they'd be better off without me' this is a big red flag.
I followed the same pattern for a good while - go to work, kiss the family goodbye, start drinking at lunch, text to say i'll be out late again, end up out way too late putting things in my body shouldn't be and ending up in crazy scenarios, venues, dangerous places... i'd go home like a ghost and wake up in crippling anxiety and shame.
One week in Summer 2019, it all came to a head. I had a series of panic attacks every day and by the end of the week I was at work, a shell of my usual self, sitting with a lovely friend who was my mental health first aider at the time who just said "whatever it takes i'm getting you in front of a psychiatrist ASAP".
The rest of my life i'd been treated with anxiety and depression and for the previous 5 years was on anti-depressants which sent me spiralling out of control.
So this Psych looks me up and down, studies my records, school reports, the previous NHS reports on me, does a couple other questionnaires with me and then right there he says - "You've clearly got ADHD".
Like a lens looking back over my life and things making so much more sense - the anxiety, extreme sensitivity at times, feeling easily overwhelmed/triggered, flying off the handle, couldn't sit still, but also creative, musician, singer and love making people laugh - especially when we shouldn't be!
Now i'm either banging on about this neuro-inclusion lark so much, to anyone who wants to hear on LinkedIn or public speaking gigs, which are the requests for are on the rise - it seems people are up for hearing it all!
..and THIS my friends, NeuroCandy - my brain child and delicious side passion is an extension of wanting all neuro-types to feel accepted in this world, live in the mould they want to be in and my god if they want - FIDGET!
About Jack Ellis & the Speakers Collective
Jack Ellis is a member of the Speakers Collective, founder of NeuroCandy and talks about living with ADHD and Neurodiversity at work.
The Speakers Collective is a Social Enterprise. We work together with a shared commitment to challenge stigma, facilitate important conversations and promote learning on a variety of social issues. Please do contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8123 8250 with any enquiries.