Strange things started to occur. Someone was vacuuming in the hallway. I chalked that up to it being an evening class.
The lights kept flickering on and off.
People seemed to be moving around more than normal, getting up to throw away trash and sneezing loudly.
Someone even had an Aflak duck and kept making it go off, "AFLAK!"
The professor seemed to be going through the slides rapidly. I could barely keep up.
I was vigorously writing, trying to keep up.
"Did the professor just get faster?!" I thought.
I threw my pen on the table, crossed my arms, and sat back in my chair.
"What is going on?" I thought.
After a few more moments, the professor stopped. He looked at us and said, (People with ADHD) "It's not that they can't pay attention, it's that they pay attention to EVERYTHING."
My mind was blown. Everything I had ever been taught was that people with ADHD couldn't sit still and couldn't pay attention. This more nuanced understanding started me down a path of intrigue and curiosity.
Every person I encountered that had ADHD thereafter, I would ask a bazillion questions. I was so fascinated with how our brains could work so differently.
I even started coming up with a theory (back in like 2010) that people with ADHD came across as picky eaters because it was one sensory thing they could have more control over. Constantly having a barrage of sensory items overloading the system, they could at least control what was going in their mouths.
I seemed to start attracting ADHDers into my space. I became friends with them, lived with them, and even married one for a time. (He and I are still friends and you can even read about it if you want in my book, I Don't Hate My Ex-Husband).
Fast forward to 2020. I had just moved to Oregon from Ohio and was living with two roommates who have ADHD. One of them kept asking me when I was going to be doing my workshop on ADHD.
I didn't understand why she was so insistent on it at first. I DON'T have ADHD.
But then I started to realize how much I was teaching her about her OWN ADHD and even teaching a few of my other friends about theirs.
As I was really starting to contemplate supporting those with ADHD, I was still wrestling with my imposter syndrome when I was sitting with a friend of mine who is a nurse.
She said, "Jess, I can help treat your broken bone even though I have never had a broken bone."
In 2021, I hosted my first Unapologetically ADHD workshop and it was a success!
Ever since then, I dove head first into working with ADHDers.