ADHD, God and Your Career

Written by Fabiola Contreras

Living with undiagnosed ADHD can create a downward spiral of unwanted side-effects and emotions. The negative aspects of the disorder can cause you to come off as lazy, disconnected and irresponsible, when in reality, you are doing your absolute best to complete daily tasks. At times, these emotions can manifest themselves in feelings of shame and guilt. 

At thirty years old, after struggling with lifelong anxiety and depression, I was finally diagnosed with ADHD, and everything in my life suddenly made so much sense. The lack of drive and motivation regardless of desire, the hyper focus periods, all the highs and all the lows. The first steps for me were acknowledgment and acceptance, and once I was officially diagnosed, I was able to do just that. Finding out that there is a legitimate reason for the way I felt and the way I lived my life, which seemed unorthodox to some and made me feel like garbage at times, was the first step toward healing. 

Next, I homed in on my relationship with God. I became more intentional with my prayer, became more involved with my church and suddenly, things started falling into place. I learned to practice grace and forgiveness toward myself, which is so important. 

You are not all the mistakes you made nor are you all the things you never got around to doing because of ADHD. You are an intentional result of God’s work and you have a purpose.

Developing my relationship with God, accepting my shortcomings and being gentler with myself gave way to profound changes in my life, my career, my parenting methods and my outlook on the future. I acknowledged my weaknesses and realized the career path I was following was not my calling; I stopped forcing myself to do a job that made me so unhappy, for something so insignificant as a paycheck. Living with ADHD means knowing that there will be slumps when you absolutely cannot bring yourself to do a certain job, regardless of how well you would perform if you really buckled down. ADHD paralysis will make tasks seem impossible to complete and cause you to feel overwhelmed, which is precisely what was happening at my job. 

I decided to take the necessity out of it, I prayed on it, and I parted ways with my $55k/year job. I found that with ADHD, it is important to find pleasure in what you’re doing; this will make it easier to get started on things you would otherwise procrastinate. I took the plunge and I followed my life-long dream of being a writer. Finding something I am truly passionate about and then pursuing it as a career, for me, has been a key step to removing avoidance from the equation. 

Of course, it is not always possible to just quit your job, as a single parent, I know this firsthand. I was not in a financial position to become an unemployed aspiring writer, however, mentally, I was also not in a place where I could afford to continue on this path to misery and self-destruction. My mental health, my time with my son, my happiness and so many other factors outweighed any negative outcomes that could come from this decision. 

I have been blessed, God has carved a path for me, and I haven’t lacked anything that I’ve needed thus far. It is not an easy path; it’s one with many obstacles just like any other. I am working daily to combat the negative aspects of this diagnosis, which of course, is easier once you know it’s there. I continue searching for ways to make the days exciting and have something to look forward to each day. Again, it is so much easier to do this when you are passionate about your work. 

I encourage anyone out there who is struggling to find their place in the world, especially living with ADHD, to follow your dreams. You have probably heard that before and are thinking it’s easier said than done, and I agree. Sometimes, like in my case, you aren’t even really sure those dreams are. If that’s the case, close your eyes and think about that thing, that one thing that makes you so happy, that comes naturally to you and that you can stay up all night doing, that thing that comes to mind every time it’s time to look for a new job. No matter how unrealistic it may seem, because that is what writing was to me; an unrealistic career that wouldn’t pay the bills and would be almost impossible to achieve success in. Follow that unrealistic goal, listen to that tiny voice that has been dying to speak out all this time. Go to church, for all you know, that message will tell you exactly what you’ve been waiting to hear. Pray on it, God has a way of answering prayers that can pleasantly surprise you. 

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Written by Fabiola Contreras

Is a single mother of one son, from Kern County, California. She loves to write and share with others who may relate and find comfort knowing they are not alone

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