Jo, thank you for reposting this. This is my first time reading it and it is such a beautiful, heartfelt, vulnerable piece of writing. And one that resonates deeply.
I know I am definitely neurodivergent but never had any "official" tests. What I have found in the last year and a half is that turning to astrology has helped me accept these "weird and quirky" parts of me. Like you, I never really stick with one thing for too long. In my natal chart, I see that as my Gemini energy. And once I discovered the Gene Keys (based on the ancient I Ching modality) I went a layer deeper and found that I am meant to live my life that way. Not sure if you're familiar with the Gene Keys but I am something called 3rd Line in my sphere of Life's Work. That means I am meant to test out lots of different things and simply follow whatever lights me up. It can look and feel chaotic but it can also be the most wonderful, delightful, exciting way through life. Depends on your vantage point.
Either way, it made me think of maybe you having a dominant 3rd Line energy somewhere too. And I hope this is not overstepping any boundaries or taking value away from your ADD. I've found, for me, it has all been part of self-acceptance. I believe this is something we all strive for, whatever label we choose to do it through. :)
I actually wept reading this. Not just because it's just a gorgeously moving piece of writing, but because it's so sharply, wearily familiar to me. In my own experience it was so damned difficult to get a diagnosis, despite having lifelong Very Obvious Things. I was second-guessed the whole way: "oh but you have a PhD so you can't have ADHD" (*brain actually explodes*). My own daughter was diagnosed when she was 13, and I look at my mother who has possibly one of the most extreme cases of it, (let alone a long line of women in my family - it seems to be the women only in my family - on my Irish side). It has had major impacts upon lives and livelihoods.
Like you - ADD here, but I was a little more hyperactive as a child, (possibly because school made me feel so anxious, and also because I wanted to do my Projects ; ).
Anyway, I relate to pretty much everything you've described, and feel that it's a problem mainly because we're of the system within which we're enmeshed. Untethered creative thinking doesn't "fit" well with linear productivity and time-keeping. Or admin - ahem.
The one true thing - my deep and abiding passion that I have been able to stick with, (for 40 plus years) is astrology. Everything else has been so hard to maintain, and I have so many interests/trainings/quals that I'm actually embarrassed to state them because it feels like a trail of evidence revealing all my failures, or things I've just let go because I lost interest.
My daughter and I use "hacks" rather than medication, (I respect others choice it is to do so, but we can't - it messes us up).
"Messy, feral, inconsistent, sometimes coping, but trying always to live" - yes indeed. And we often have devoted, generous hearts and a sensitivity that's worthy of nourishment.
Apologies for the too-long, passionate comment. This one goes very deep for me. Thankyou for writing all of it. x
Oh how deeply this touched me! I am 64 and your words resonate so deeply. I have always thought something was wrong with me. I never really fit in I always felt the square peg in the round hole. Add my hyper sensitivity and need for solace solitude and quiet to reboot. I have so many genius plans, heck I’m even working on a PhD but doubtful I’ll have the ability to see the dissertation thru...I don’t plan that far ahead... You have liberated me as well...here us ti new discoveries and beginnings!