Poem: ADD Diagnosis

by Jessica Dixon
Artwork by Beth of A Bear With Pencils

That first conversation at work
“You aren’t concentrating, you seem so distracted”
In my head going… but this is normal
How to handle work when you aren’t going 100 miles an hour
That when there is nothing to do
You gaze, let your mind wander
If only for a moment or two

It took multiple meetings
Looking around at my colleagues
Realising they could tone it down, work slow without feeling frustration and wanting to let go

Thankfully at that time I was seeking help for my depression, had a woman in which I could
Then one day the words left her mouth
“What if it’s ADHD, it’s worth checking out?”

So off I went to my local GP
Completely unaware, of what it could all turn out to be
She gave me the referral begrudgingly
Some confusion in her eyes
To see a psychiatrist
See if I could get some clarification, some closure
To this big divide, that had only come about when my life had slowed down
Leaving me hurt, confused and constantly in doubt

Time off work, to be covered later
Workmates unaware of the steps I was taking
The road in which my life would soon be taking

So in my car I got
Across the bridge, to Ponsonby
Unsure of a lot
In to the doctor’s rooms, unsure of what to expect
To be greeted by a friendly receptionist
A woman at the front desk

I told her my name and into the waiting room I went
Before being called in by a man
Looking rather smart I did get
We sat and talked, briefly him and I
Discussing my name, my reasons for being there
Small talk at best
Before he simply cut to the chase
Began the test, the studying
To determine the outcome of the day

And so I sat there
Jaw almost to my ankles
As he said the words

“ADD, Bipolar type 2”

“That’s you”

I cried, looked at him completely in shock
“So does this mean I am crazy?”
I just didn’t know how to take it all in

Then came the basics

The pills, the follow up appointments, the research to be done
That it was all manageable in life
And even if I were to fall in love

I skipped work that afternoon and went straight to my mum
Telling her of the diagnosis
A moment forever in my blood

To see the relief broke my heart just a little
It wasn’t just work questioning my behaviour
Thinking I was weird after all

It’s still so hard
That I was 21 before a diagnosis could come up
That others had simply bad-mouthed me from afar
Not considered me for positions
Seen as flaky, a pushover for a start

But the relief that came
After spending years of trying to fit in
To realise that my forgetfulness
My lack of timing
The untidiness of my life
Was not through a lack of trying
But my brain
Too attacked and overwhelmed to cope with much at a time

That day changed the course of my life forever
Helping change the way I look at myself and others for that matter

Reminding me to be kind

For you never know what is going on behind

In someone’s mind.

About the Artist

Beth Belle
A Bear With Pencils

“As an artist, I draw as a way to heal, to feel human again, to celebrate the mundane and to connect with others who are struggling.  
Some days it feels like illness steals my hobbies, interests and personality away and all I can focus on is getting through.
I love connecting with others through my art who go through similar struggles”

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