As I shared in part 1, we ultimately received the ADHD diagnosis, but we walked out of our psychiatrist’s office with nothing but a 1-page fact sheet on ADHD and some referrals to clinics for therapy. Gee, thanks.
We felt just as lost as before. So naturally, like so many other lost parents I spent time “Googling it up” (as one of my kids likes to say) and ultimately ended up with fewer answers and even more questions. I was experiencing significant WebMD induced panic.
In spite of this panic, however, I really still was confident in the beginning that I’d figure this thing out. I thought the road to a better life for our family was just a matter of finding the right doctor, the right therapy, and the right treatment protocol.
Boy, was I naive.
What we found in reality, was that good ADHD clinics and doctors were hard to find, harder to get into, and even harder to afford.
- Waiting lists were long.
- Appointments were rushed.
- Bills kept piling up, and I was missing work. A lot.
I spent incredible amounts of time in the car running my child around to appointments that I wasn’t sure were even worth the time or money.
My child’s ADHD symptoms didn’t seem to be getting any better, and my head was spinning with all the contradictory – and frankly useless – advice I was getting from all sides.
Everything seemed hard. I felt frustrated, helpless and stressed.
We had a diagnosis, my son went to many doctor appointments, but still my family was in a place of serious struggle. My son was struggling in ALL ways because of his ADHD, and I was blaming myself for all of it.
I knew my son deserved better, and I shed a lot of tears because I was coming to genuinely believe that I didn’t have what it took to be the parent he deserved. Ever feel this way?
One day everything turned around for us when I received the name of an “ADHD coach.” This so-called “ADHD coach” came highly recommended by a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend. I didn’t know what an ADHD coach was, but I was desperate. I made an appointment.
A week later I was standing in her office. The moment I shook her hand and she looked me in the eye, I knew that she and I together would turn our sad ship of a family around.
Our coach’s strategy was different than anything I had experienced in the past … She was 100% focused on our son’s improvement, but she was doing so by empowering ME.
Finally!!! I had someone on MY side!!
- I needed to know everything I could about ADHD. She taught me.
- I needed to change my mindset from one of what is wrong, to what could be right. She showed me.
- I needed to learn a whole bunch of new techniques to use with my kiddo that would work even with the idiosyncrasies of ADHD. She gave them to me.
Most importantly, she highlighted the power I never knew I possessed all along to shape and guide my child along his ADHD journey.
She instilled hope within me and started to give me the tools to make serious changes with my son.
After spending years angry, confused, and completely embarrassed.
I finally had hope.
I finally KNEW that even though it wasn’t going to be easy, I COULD BE THE PARENT MY CHILD DESERVED.
I AM what he needs.
And all of it – from my confidence, to my new knowledge, to my new parenting skills – began to pay off over time!
As I began to get better at parenting, my son began to get better, too!
He started to be able to advocate for himself better.
He was able to manage his big, ADHD-fueled emotions. He began to learn how to manage his other ADHD symptoms more effectively.
But most importantly, our RELATIONSHIP – our parent-child / mother-son relationship – began to heal, deepen, and thrive. We started to bond in really incredible, life-changing, life-affirming ways that had been impossible before.
Our story doesn’t end there, though! In the part 3 of this blog series, I will share how things are today, what I learned through this journey, and how that can impact YOUR family.