365 Days of ADHD: Reintroducing Me to My Neurodivergent Self

How I’m learning to do life with a new perspective.

Dylan M. Austin


On a bright orangey-yellow background, a person wearing a shirt of similar color holds their hands out to the sides, open palms up in a casual posture. Over their head is a brown cardboard box with a winking smiley face on it.
© Can Stock Photo / ra2studio

Although I’ve lived for thirty years with this brain in my head, for only one of those years have I known it to be the ADHD model.

I’m learning how to be alive all over again. That’s not to say I was much of an expert before, but I managed. Now, I’m re-learning what it means to do everything from chores to… learning. Like exploring a new language or adjusting to life with glasses, a lot of things make more sense now, but it’s all a period of adjustment, and I’m still figuring it out.

I’m open with friends (and the internet) about many things ripe for commentary. I’m a gay, non-monogamous, opinionated, recovering alcoholic vegan socialist with a back catalog of mental health crises and suicidal ideation. So, with all of this in mind, why did I find it so hard to accept that I might have ADHD?

A neverending stream of TikToks and social media ads first inspired me to talk about ADHD openly.

I wrote about this in November, an article with more engagement than anything else I’ve ever written about myself. The purpose of that article was to express how I related “coming out” with ADHD to that of coming out as gay when I was eleven, and which was harder.

Nearing the finish line of my 20s, I felt it was time to share my early thoughts on what ADHD treatment had done for my life. One year after diagnosis, I feel more enlightened and self-aware than ever.

I used to look at the education system, our workforce, the common thread of parenting issues we experienced, and the government, seeing individual failings, with a few connections. (Boomers. It’s mostly Boomers.) As a neurodivergent person with a clearer mind, I see all the ways these things connect (besides Boomers).

The System Has Failed Us



Dylan M. Austin

Copy and content writer in Seattle. Sometimes satirical, sometimes sincere. Run-on mixed metaphor. Gay, autistic dog dad with ADHD (and too many plants).