Life has a funny way of unveiling its mysteries just when you think you've got it all figured out. It was in my 40s that I embarked on a journey of self-discovery that would forever change the way I saw myself and the world around me. Little did I know that the answers I had been seeking for decades would come in the form of two diagnoses: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
As a child, I was often described as "quirky" or "different." I excelled in certain subjects while struggling to maintain focus in others. Social interactions felt like a complex dance that everyone else seemed to know the steps to, leaving me stumbling and feeling out of sync. I carried a sense of not fitting in, of being an observer in a world that spoke a language I struggled to fully grasp.
As the years went by, I developed coping mechanisms to navigate a world that felt overwhelming. I meticulously organized my surroundings, created rigid routines, and immersed myself in solitary activities where I could hyperfocus. Yet, something still felt amiss. There was a persistent feeling that I was wearing a mask, trying to fit into a mold that wasn't quite right for me.
It wasn't until my 40s that I decided to seek answers. The process of pursuing a diagnosis was both nerve-wracking and liberating. Would I be dismissed as an adult seeking attention for something I had managed to hide for so long? Or would I finally receive the validation that had eluded me all these years? The journey felt like a leap of faith, a leap that I needed to take for my own understanding.
The diagnoses of ADHD and Autism were revelations that transformed my perception of self. The ADHD diagnosis explained the constant whirlwind of thoughts that had made focusing on tasks a Herculean effort. The tendency to lose track of time, the bursts of energy followed by crashes of exhaustion – they all made sense within the framework of ADHD.
The Autism diagnosis was equally enlightening. Suddenly, the struggles with social cues, the intense need for predictability, and the sensory sensitivities had a name. Autism wasn't something to be feared; it was a facet of my identity that contributed to my unique way of experiencing the world. It was a reminder that I wasn't broken; I was beautifully different.
With these diagnoses came a sense of relief – the relief of knowing that I wasn't alone in my struggles, that there were others who shared similar experiences. But more importantly, the diagnoses gave me permission to embrace myself fully. I began the complicated (but rewarding) journey of discovering ways in which I was masking and how I could unmask and be authentically me, quirks and all.
The impact of these diagnoses rippled through every aspect of my life. I began to approach challenges with a newfound understanding of my cognitive patterns. I explored strategies tailored to my ADHD and Autism, finding ways to harness their strengths while mitigating their challenges. Instead of being sources of shame, my diagnoses became sources of empowerment.
Social interactions became less daunting as I learned to communicate my needs and boundaries. I sought out communities of individuals with similar experiences, fostering connections that were rooted in empathy and shared understanding. The once-overwhelming world began to feel navigable, a landscape that I could explore at my own pace.
As I reflect on this journey, I am struck by the resilience of the human spirit. The ability to adapt, learn, and grow is a testament to our capacity for self-discovery. Being diagnosed with ADHD and Autism in my 40s wasn't just a diagnosis; it was an awakening. It was an invitation to live authentically, to embrace neurodiversity, and to celebrate the beautiful mosaic of humanity in all its forms.
Mindy Amita Aisling
Life Coaching for Big-Hearted Overthinkers & Entreprenerds
🐲Own Your Weird
🌎 Change Your World
⬇️ DIY Courses
Mindy Amita Aisling, is a professionally trained and board-certified leadership, authenticity, and entrepreneur coach.
Mindy exceeds all requirements set forth by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) for Master Coach certification.
Mindy is also a licensed mediator, communications coach, and conflict resolution practicer. As a mediator, she has worked both in private practice and as a court appointment mediator at her local county courthouse.
Through her innovative approach, she assists clients in examining their limiting beliefs, questioning their assumptions about how the world works, and releasing the notion that they are anything less than perfect. As a result, individuals who work with Mindy cultivate the ability to stand firm in their beliefs, live authentically and decisively, and discover an experience of life that is easy and graceful.
In 2021, Mindy founded How to Be Human and Entreprenerd. These programs have enabled her to share her wisdom and knowledge with a broader audience in service of her vision of helping others live authentic lives This, in turn, has empowered more individuals to lead their most TRUE and COURAGEOUS lives.
When she is not working, Mindy can be found playing outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, creating art, spending time with friends & family, or with her nose deep in a book.
You can sign up for her newsletter here.
ICF Certified Life Coach
Affordable Online Life Coaching