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If I Could Time Travel, This Would Be the 3 Advice I Give To My Younger Self

Updated: Apr 9

About 5% of the US population had ADHD, yet so many of us lacked a comprehensive understanding of it. Most of us have the general misconception of the person is hyperactive, but that is just one aspect of it. For me, I originally thought ADHD could be treated with medication, my spouse attending therapy sessions and I could just sit back and not do a thing.

That was so wrong of me. If I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice the moment I found out about my spouse's ADHD, here are 3 advice I would give younger self:

1. Really Learn ADHD

When my husband was finally diagnosed with ADHD, he was already in his late twenties. He had almost 30 years to learn ways to cover his symptoms and behaviors. If I would have really focus on learning more about ADHD, I would be able to read his cues better and take the more appropriate action. For example, he hates when I make more than 3 stops when we run arrands, he gets annoy and leads to frustration for both. While I learn to stop taking him on arrands or limiting my stops to 3, it wasn't until many years later my light bulb light up as this relates to ADHD and more than 3 stop stresses him out. If I really know ADHD earlier, I would have read his behavior better and be more understanding.

2. ADHD Spouse Must Seek Treatment Continuously

This one is super important as for the 1st 10 years of my marriage, I let my husband go on and off of treatment at his discretion because I thought he knows what best for him. In retrospect, when he was on treatment, those roller coasters of depression and anxiety were better managed and I was less stressed. I never considered him staying on treatment continuously was good for us. So if I connected the dots between treatment and couple's stress earlier, I would never let him go off of treatment as that is the boundary that we must adhere to.

3. Self Care and Support for Myself

Living with a spouse with ADHD is very taxing on the non-ADHD spouse. You have to play therapist, cheerleader and a caretaker all in one. It could be both mentally and physically exhausting. If you don't learn to take care of yourself and refill your tank on a frequent basis, you could experience burnout (yes, I have been there many times). Make sure you pick a hobby or an activity that you can default to that could refuel your tank when you are tapped out. It is super important to strong supportive network around you with other non-ADHD spouses or therapists, as they can help you analyze better on any situations you are going through with your ADHD spouse.

For those who are starting your journey with your ADHD spouse, I hope my 3 advice helps you with a smooth relationship. If you are like me who have been in an ADHD marriage for some time, what would your 3 advice be to your younger self if you could go back time? Leave me a comment below.

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