Why I’m Like This: A Comedy of Errors

From Job Hopper to Finding My Focus Uncovering the Truth Behind My ADHD Diagnosis

With over 25 jobs under my belt, I always thought of myself as careless and flaky. However, a recent diagnosis of ADHD shed light on the reasons behind my behavior.

By Nicole Nadler

headshot of nicole nadler Courtesy of Nicole Nadler

Greetings, fashion aficionados! Gather ’round, for I have a tale of woe and charm bracelets that will make your heart skip a beat. Picture this: a beauty lover like myself, adorned with a lovely heirloom charm bracelet passed down from my dear departed granddad. The sentimental value? Immeasurable! But alas, my friends, fate had other plans.

Now, let me set the stage for this dramatic moment. It had only been a month since I first laid eyes on this treasure when disaster struck. I was innocently washing my hands and, in a blink of an eye, the bracelet vanished into thin air. Gone! Vanished without a trace! When my exasperated dad, who happened to be my granddad’s son, confronted me with questions like “Why would you do that? How could you lose it?” I could only offer one pitiful response: “I don’t know.”

Oh, the frustration! The inability to articulate the inexplicable! Believe me, dear readers, I lacked the eloquence to explain my plight. That fateful day, twenty years ago, marked the beginning of a long and arduous journey, plagued by the nagging question: “Why am I like this?”

You see, I’ve always carried a negative self-perception. Careless, irresponsible, flaky, untrustworthy — these were the labels others deemed appropriate. But deep down, I knew the truth. I cared, oh how I cared! And trust, well, I could be trusted with gems as precious as the rarest diamonds. Alas, there was a cruel clash between the world’s perception of me, the undeniable evidence of my forgetful behavior, and my inner self.

Losing things? A talent I possess. I currently own six pairs of glasses, a testament to my incredible ability to misplace them on a regular basis. And don’t even get me started on cellphones! Twenty devices have fallen victim to my klutzy grasp.

Now, here’s where things get truly fashionably late. Lateness, my dear friends, is my arch-nemesis. I’ve been suspended from school for tardiness, lost more jobs than I can count due to my perpetual lack of punctuality, and have a knack for disrupting workplace harmony with my impromptu brain bubble inquiries. “Let’s wait,” they say. “Let’s ask later, in a hushed tone.” But alas, I am incapable of such restraint.

Train schedules and weddings have felt the crushing weight of my unfashionable arrival. Oh, the shame! I once delayed my departure because, dear readers, nail painting seemed like a paramount task. Truly laughable, don’t you think? People laughed, but their sighs and eye rolls signaled a lack of faith in my seriousness.

Ah, but it was in the hallowed halls of university where the full catastrophe unfolded. My first taste of independence sent shockwaves through my being. While others effortlessly embraced responsibility, I found myself drowning in confusion. Simple tasks eluded me, and paranoia wracked my fragile mind as I assumed my friends loathed my existence. However, those same individuals are still by my side today, a testament to the enduring power of friendship.

It was in 2011 that a revelation struck, my dear fashion-lovers. My younger brother received the diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As I delved deeper into the mysteries of my own mind, I stumbled upon an article during lockdown. It spoke of a woman, like myself, who discovered her late ADHD diagnosis. The similarities were uncanny, my friends, as if the words leaped from the page and danced in front of my eyes. It was a life-changing moment.

But, you see, I found myself doubting. Was I simply seeking attention or offering excuses? The answer lay in official diagnosis, and two years ago, I ventured forth and received my validation. My symptoms, different from my brother’s outward physical hyperactivity, manifested as a turbulent whirlwind within my mind.

Medication, my friends, became an integral part of my ADHD journey. Oh, the stories I heard! Friends with ADHD hailed their little pills as life-transforming miracles. Alas, my relationship with medication has had its ups and downs. While it aids in focus, I’ve been known to focus on the wrong things, like conjuring up elaborate gourmet dishes instead of meeting deadlines. Fear not! I shall embark on a new medication adventure soon.

Of all the wonders on this tumultuous path, it is knowledge, awareness, and therapy that have proven most impactful. In the comforting arms of my ADHD-specialized therapist, I have unraveled the mysteries of my being. Those character flaws I once believed to possess? Merely a checklist of common ADHD symptoms. The process of untelling myself these falsehoods has begun, and let me tell you, dear readers, it feels like shedding a cumbersome cocoon.

As I bid you adieu, my fellow fashion enthusiasts, take solace in this tale of triumph and mishaps. To those who yearn for understanding, to those who resonate with my journey, know that you are not alone. Seek knowledge, embrace yourself, and never let the world dim your vibrant light. May you stride with confidence, clad in both fashion and self-acceptance.

Stay fabulous, my friends!