A few years ago, I challenged myself to do something scary. Really, really scary. I spoke about having ADHD and dyslexia in front of hundreds of people over two nights here in Bozeman where I live.
It was a PechaKucha talk meaning I had six minutes and 20 seconds to tell my story. I created a Powerpoint of 20 slides that played six seconds each behind me on stage at The Ellen Theatre. It was a powerful experience hearing people react to my words as I spoke, though as a nascent public speaker, I suppose I could learn to pause during the laughter. But as you’ll see, the prescribed format of the talk made that difficult. Next time (if I ever do a PechaKucha talk again), I’ll use fewer words to allow for those pauses.
Anyway, it was affirming to have folks — even people I didn't know — praise the presentation. More importantly, I was surprised and pleased to have several people thank me, themselves having been recently diagnosed or who had been struggling with these issues for years.
Some even sought me out for advice! Whoa! But I’m no expert. I’m just a person who experiences life and my curiosity compels me to learn more about it. That’s another positive aspect of ADHD, by the way.
If I think back on the days when I first started writing about ADHD, I realize how far I've come from that anxiety-ridden, depressed woman. Now, I feel strong, confident and capable. And I'm getting things done ... not despite, but BECAUSE I have ADHD.
Didn’t get that? Just watch the video.
Jodi Hausen is a freelance writer, reporter and photographer living in the mountain west of the U.S. She no longer feels stupid or insignificant.
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