When I was a kid, I had the highest test scores.
I didn't need to study to understand material. I understood everything instantly and taught myself advanced concepts by thinking about them. I wasn't tested for giftedness, but was often given higher level work. Despite all of that, I questioned whether I would move to the second grade. School just seemed hard. I day-dreamed through class and the kids in my class didn't like me. My best friend was someone who had an IEP and required medication during school. As an adult I learned that she was an ADHDer, too.
I hated the feeling of being rejected so much by my peers that I changed classes even though it meant leaving my best friend's class. My teachers always pulled me aside and tried to convince me to put in the effort that I gave them during school into my homework. I just couldn't remember anything from school the second I stepped off the school bus.
Looking back, I can see that this was my working memory deficit.
In fourth grade I was diagnosed.
The entire test seemed terrifying. They led me into an actual basement that was dark and asked me all kinds of questions. I didn't know why I was there because my mom had just said it was a regular doctor meeting. As I failed test after test I felt like something was wrong.
A few weeks later I was informed that I had ADHD, and my mom started pouring into the research. I used Adderall for a few years, but stopped taking it in middle school. I hated the way it made me feel jittery and I stopped being able to use my brain creatively. At the time, our options were limited, though so I just stopped and went about my life without treatment.
Fast forward to adulthood.
I was married right after high school, and I was struggling. I had forgotten all about my diagnosis, and we were moving every year. My life was in constant chaos, and I couldn't function well. I didn't know why work and home were both so hard. I needed help, but I didn't know what to do. During this time we had two kids and one of our moves sent us to Germany!
When we lived there things took a nosedive. Everything was different from driving, to going to the grocery store, to speaking, and I didn't (and still don't) speak much German. My son, G, who was 3 years old at the time was clearly gifted but not doing well in preschool behavior-wise. He wasn't diagnosed as he was too young according to the German psychologists so the teacher just constantly berated me at pick up. My daughter, S, was a newborn. We had a house cleaner who came by weekly and my husband was working nights at a job he hated. He was barely coping and wasn't able to pick up my slack as much as he had in the past. We came back to the states, and my anxiety was debilitating.
Pushed to my psychological limit and on the verge of a nervous breakdown I got treatment. I started to see a therapist and started medication. Life was getting better, and I was starting to build myself up. The chores weren't "done", but they were better. My husband was working from home and was able to help out more. My son was officially diagnosed and started medication. This was huge because his meds made us able to parent effectively with far less meltdowns.
And then we moved... We are still in the US, but our state is greatly lacking in mental healthcare, and I had to wait an entire year for my son to find a psychologist that could take him. Luckily his primary care continued medication and I dove straight into personal research on giftedness and ADHD. Now that my son has a whole team of medical professionals to help him on his journey, I've started to soak in what he's being taught. I've been able to see past the fog and really be able to show my husband with my actions that I appreciate everything he's done and continues to do for us. I now have enough tools (and the right help) to get to where I can concentrate on helping myself to a better mom, wife, and housewife.