WiSP Radio blogCAST

blogCAST – Living with ADHD – Tara Campbell

Tara Campbell

Tara Campbell is a Canadian runner and writer based in Omaha, NE. After more than a decade away from the sport she is making a comeback to competition while navigating life with ADHD.

Listen to Tara narrate her blog:

And read the full story:

I am a runner, and I am a writer. I also have ADHD, but I didn’t always know it. I spent a great deal of my life trapped in the chaos and confusion of my mind. Until, one day, I made the decision to change my life.

On a bitterly cold and isolated morning, in the midst of a reporting posting in the near Arctic, I listened as my soul begged to be set free. I had heard these calls before, smashing and crashing about, attempting to break entry into the rapidly streaming thoughts of my mind, but to no avail – not until this day.

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I left my hockey career behind and began searching for something to turn my attention to, eventually landing on journalism.

On this day, the message finally broke through and I surrendered; making the decision to leave my Northern posting, and my career as a daily news reporter. I was scared, and unsure, but knew it was time rediscover the athlete within, and embrace the writer who I had found along the way.

In 1998, I won the first-ever Canadian University Women’s Hockey Championship with Concordia University in Montreal. My first year at university was a great success on the ice, but off it I struggled immensely to keep up academically. I had reached out for help, but by my second year I had lost all hope of being able to fix what had been a lifelong problem.

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I left my hockey career behind and began searching for something to turn my attention to, eventually landing on journalism. Over the course of many years away from sport I wanted to return several times but was too stubborn to admit I had regret over leaving, so I forged on – determined to succeed.

As I checked off my career goals, every marker of success left me increasingly unfulfilled and restless. My life had become solely about the thrill of the chase. I knew this because even with the success of being a managing editor of two daily newspapers for three years, and now a reporter for The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) – I still wasn’t at peace.

My life is now filled with more vulnerability and joy than I’ve ever known.

As I sat in my Northern accommodations exhausted from years of battling my mind, I entered my final act – let the mask drop and stepped off the stage I had been on for too long. Over the course of 48 hours I made a few tear-filled phone calls, took countless deep breaths, and garnered the courage to let go of who I thought I should be and started moving towards the person I am.

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It’s been a year and a half since making the decision to leave the daily news business, and just over a year since being diagnosed with ADHD. As I started to learn and understand the impact of ADHD on my life I faced many changes and challenges. It was very difficult at times – grief, anger and fear have all been a part of the process – but it’s been worth every one of the uncomfortable, scary and painful moments.

My life is now filled with more vulnerability and joy than I’ve ever known. My days are spent focused on running and writing. I still struggle at times, but the difference now is I’m confident I will always emerge – true to myself.

In 1998, I was at the height of my ice-hockey career, playing with the Concordia University Stingers in Montreal, Quebec. I was coming off a massive rookie season where our team won the first-ever Canadian collegiate women’s hockey national championship and I also had some personal success on the ice, including leading the team’s rookie goal scorers. I was doing what I loved to do at the level I had dreamed of doing it at.

Yet, through all of this I was struggling. I couldn’t keep up academically, and I was having difficulty following drills and plays at practice. Hauntingly familiar doubts and confusion were pinging around in my mind: What is wrong with me? Why can’t I keep up? Why am I always the one who doesn’t understand? Am I stupid?

There would be no more worries about what I was doing wrong because when it came to sports I got it right.

I had been here so many times in my life that the struggle had become the norm. As a child I left teachers frustrated with my messy, scattered ways. My failure to follow what seemed, to them, as simple directions left me feeling inadequate and misunderstood. I tried very hard to do things properly, from answering math questions correctly, to keeping my glue contained to a neat spot in art class, but it was all a monstrous battle. As I looked around at my peers, sailing along, I became very aware I was the odd one out.

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My mind drifted in class as I sat fidgeting; anxiously awaiting the arrival of recess, and then lunch hour when I could escape the room’s entrapping walls and be free to play. There would be no more worries about what I was doing wrong because when it came to sports I got it right. Whether it was road hockey, soccer, running, baseball, whatever it was, I excelled at it. In those moments of play and competition I found peace within myself. It was fleeting though, as the bell would inevitably always ring.

Back in the classroom my struggle continued. Very little of what the teachers said made sense to me – likely because a lot of what they were saying wasn’t getting through my speeding, easily distracted mind. Still, I kept trying, but the harder I tried the more overwhelmed I became; my self-worth hanging in the balance between recess and after-school sports.

Throughout elementary school and high school I continued to squeak by academically, and excel athletically – sport was my saving grace.

I was a quiet, well behaved child, who clung to moments of play and struggled in the classroom – the prototype of a young girl with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but nobody saw it. I spent time with the school’s learning assistant, went through tests to check for learning disabilities and nothing came up. I don’t think ADHD was even on the radar of the adults surrounding me…and this doesn’t seem to be unusual.

Girls who have ADHD often miss out on a diagnoses because the misconception among teachers, coaches, and parents tends to be that children with ADHD are mostly boys, bouncing off the walls, disrupting classes, and continually misbehaving. Meanwhile, the reality is the majority of girls with ADHD do all they can to act in accordance with what’s expected of them. The hyperactivity component of ADHD, in my case, played out chaotically within the confines of my mind, and in more subtle physical musings such as squirming and fidgeting. My personal favourite was chewing the top of my pens until they were crunchy and oozing ink. Nothing in my hands stood much chance of survival as I sought the physical stimulation my mind so desperately craved.

Throughout elementary school and high school I continued to squeak by academically, and excel athletically – sport was my saving grace. It gave my hyper-focused mind something to dig into, and that’s exactly what I did. Just days after my fourteenth birthday I left home in Ladner, B.C. to attend boarding school at the hockey-centric Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. There I was able to explore and nurture my athletic abilities, and feel the same peace as I did as a young child playing at lunch hour. I tried to brush aside my doubts and fears about my lacking academic performance as best as I could, but the pattern of success in sport and barely getting by in the classroom continued. And, as patterns often do, it followed me right to university where I could no longer escape the reality of my struggle.

By my second year at Concordia University I was facing academic probation. Scared, confused, and sidelined by multiple concussions, I knew it was time to ask for help to fix what I thought was a very broken mind. What unfolded in months following would end up leading me on a 15-year-long chase for that ever-elusive peace within the chaos of my own mind.

I remember being hooked up to an EEG and watching as waves streamed wildly across a monitor

With my feet firmly beneath me, my heart pounding within me, and my father walking beside me, I entered the office of a family friend and psychiatrist. I was 20-years-old and had one hope: Let there be an answer.

Weeks before this appointment in Vancouver, while still at university in Montreal, I reached out to my parents to ask for help in figuring out why I was continuing to struggle with school. My first year of playing collegiate hockey was a success, but I was constantly scrambling to keep up with complicated drills and plays; and in the classroom I was failing. Years and years of just squeaking by was catching up to me, and frustration with my own mind was reaching a climax.

My dad, in his supportive ways, had an appointment set up for me when I returned home for the Christmas break. As we sat down with the psychiatrist I had no idea what to expect, but I remember feeling hopeful. I also remember the outcome, but most of the details of the session are lost in my mind, likely having never landed amongst the chaos.

I recall being asked questions, but not what the questions were, or how I answered them. Most clearly, I remember being hooked up to an EEG and watching as waves streamed wildly across a monitor; the psychiatrist asking me to slow down my breathing in an attempt to slow down my mind. It only spun faster and faster and into a negative spiral. Once I’m in this state I have a very difficult time gaining back control. My thoughts become extremely intense and I become trapped in them. It’s akin to a storm moving in on my mind, the violent winds slashing through, twisting my thoughts and shaking my foundation, the walls collapsing around me.

As our session came to an end we sat down to hear the psychiatrist’s assessment. He explained I had symptoms of ADHD but he wasn’t going to diagnose me because he didn’t want me to be labeled. I remember thinking that’s odd but I trusted him, as did my father. I left that day with a few coping strategies, but without the comprehensive plan to guide me through and to a better understanding of myself and how my unique mind works.

After returning to university to finish my second year I continued to fail my classes. I was also sidelined from hockey because of concussions. The combination of not being able to play, and not understanding why I was still faltering academically, left me feeling hopeless. My hyper-focused ADHD mind didn’t know how to sort through what felt like an insurmountable mess. I was fixated on all that was going wrong, and I couldn’t see how I was going to make it better. I left university, my teammates, and my hockey career behind.

Tara Campbell Racing in Saskatoon

Tara Campbell Racing in Saskatoon

This part of my life, like so many others, plays back with very little clarity. As I search my mind for the images, words and emotions, I am left with only fragments, whispers, and tingles. I wonder to myself: How many moments have I lost over the years in the recesses of my overly-active mind? I don’t know, I never will, but I do know I hold tightly to the moments that found their way through the clutter and managed to stick to my slippery mind.

I needed to slow down, take deep breaths, and assess how I was feeling, but I didn’t know how – my mind wasn’t wired to do that.

I hold onto these memories because now they inform me. They are the pieces to a puzzle I’ve been putting together my entire life – with corners bent and edges curled from years of trying to make them fit into places they didn’t. Why, I asked myself? Was it such a battle to slow down and take my time and put the pieces together? Why was I so restless? What was I searching for or running from? There was a time in my life I didn’t believe I would ever find the answers to these questions.

In the years following my departure from hockey I searched for something to replace what I had lost, eventually finding journalism. In it I found some semblance of what I had known as an athlete; setting goals and working hard to reach for them – but it came at a price. I was constantly struggling, overwhelmed by too much information coming at me too quickly; too many distractions and too many people. In many ways it felt like school all over again.

For 35 years I had been struggling with undiagnosed ADHD.

Still I kept pushing on, determined not to fail. I found ways to cope, isolating myself from others, using all of my focus and energy to keep up with the demands of the day. I was always on the lookout for something new, another city, another reporting position, another challenge to distract my restless, weary mind. It was exhausting.

I needed to slow down, take deep breaths, and assess how I was feeling, but I didn’t know how – my mind wasn’t wired to do that. I just kept pushing, until one day I couldn’t push any more. I was 35-years-old reporting in the far north of Canada on the day I surrendered. Months later I finally receive an ADHD diagnoses and slowly I began to learn how to calm the storm within my mind.

I arrived at the Saskatoon International Airport with an exhausted mind, pouring heart, and fragile, yet relenting optimism. No more than 48-hours earlier I was in the far north of Canada in the midst of a reporting posting, when I made the decision to surrender to a battle I didn’t need to be fighting.

…no amount of hiding, denying or self-medicating drinks were enough to remedy the pain of my struggle. I knew I had to surrender.

For 35 years I had been struggling with undiagnosed ADHD. Capable, strong, clever, and determined, I forged my way to a successful career in journalism – all the while vaguely aware, but unable to articulate a restlessness within. And through it all I was losing myself in the madness of my mind; running away from everything, and everyone I loved.

In my early 20’s, I left behind a cherished hockey career, stifled my athletic identity and clawed away at a career in daily news. Along the way I denied myself love in protection of the small semblance of order I had created within the larger mess of my mind. I was locked in this state of being and insistent on not to letting anyone tinker around with my delicate formula.

The few relationships I had through the years were tattered at best. At the age of 29, I told my family and friends I am gay – something I had known deep within since I was a child. Coming out allowed me to reconcile some of the restlessness I had been feeling my entire life, but it was only a fraction of the equation, as ADHD remained the common denominator.

TaraCampbell_TrainingSaskI was fortunate to have good people in my life along the way; people who loved me, but who I inevitably hurt in my skittish ways. I didn’t have the capacity to ride through the emotions, accept the ups and the downs, or commit to the intimacy that is required in a long-lasting relationship. I merely held on as long as I could, before my impulsive tendencies ushered me away.

I began to wonder if I was built to be in a relationship; a painful prospect I coped with by telling myself that I didn’t really need that in my life. The problem was, that was a lie – one that would eventually be exposed by the very person there, waiting for me, when I arrived at the Saskatoon airport – my partner, Candace Bloomquist.

Candace is one of the people I ran from, numerous times, over the years. Far more than that though, she is the one person in my life who was strong enough and brave enough to stand up to me at a time when I needed to hear the truth. When we first met she saw my fierce passion for life and my unwavering determination to achieve what I set out to do. It is a part of me she was immediately drawn to. It’s also a fundamental part of who I am as a person with ADHD; I process and execute with great intensity – and I never want to change this about myself. However, it does have to be kept in check. When focused in the wrong direction my intensity can turn from being highly productive, to absolutely destructive. It has the ability to, and did, ravage pieces of my life I will never be able to fit back together.

Thankfully, though, I’ve discovered that with a lot of dirty, hard work and the proper supports, those pieces most importantly always find their way back into place – and Candace is one of those pieces. I drove her out of my life on more than one occasion; the final time came while I was when I was up north reporting. Years spent pushing my career forward while simultaneously pushing back important pieces of myself were taking a massive toll. I could feel I was on the verge of surrendering to it all – and that was exactly what I needed to do, but I wasn’t ready to do it.

The prospect of shaking the already-shifting foundation beneath me was far too overwhelming. So, I kept pushing on and my mind kept spinning around and around, and my thoughts kept getting more and more out of control – and then – I panicked. And I did what I had always done when I felt my ailing construction under threat – I tried to isolate myself, which meant saying goodbye to Candace.

With this act of compassion and display of unconditional love I knew, in that moment, it was safe to stop running and possible to start finding my way home.

It was an act of desperation; one final attempt to hold onto the familiar, single-minded force I had built around me. Except this time no amount of hiding, denying or self-medicating drinks were enough to remedy the pain of my struggle. I knew I had to surrender.

When I reached for the phone to call Candace to tell her I was coming back to Saskatoon, all I could do was hope my reckless ways hadn’t destroyed every single bit of our relationship. I rang and she was there – thank God she was there. Her voice offered calm to the storm pacing through my mind – it always has, she always has. Her thorough Ph.D mind, her NCAA-Div. I basketball-playing drive, and her inherent courage to always strive for the best in herself and others – was a gift I had not yet been ready to fully receive.

Tara Campbell

Tara Campbell

As my tears dropped to my hand, then to my phone, I told Candace of my exhausted mind and saddened soul. She very easily, and rightfully could have hung up, but she didn’t. Instead, she graciously and lovingly said she would be there to pick me up at the airport the next day. With this act of compassion and display of unconditional love I knew, in that moment, it was safe to stop running and possible to start finding my way home.

When I arrived in Saskatoon, I knew Candace would be there at the airport, but that was it. I didn’t know if she would ever completely let me back into her life. This uncertainty, coupled with the quake of my upheaval still rumbling within, could have been enough to cripple me on the spot, but it didn’t. I knew, somewhere in the recesses of myself, that everything was eventually going to be okay; and I proceeded through the shifting glass doors of the Saskatoon International Airport. Within seconds I felt the city’s cold, yet comforting air slide across my unprotected hands. Gripping my bags, packed only hours before, I clenched tightly, fully aware that unfamiliar terrain lie ahead.

My partner, Candace, who long suspected I had Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) had been reading about the disorder while I was away reporting in the near-arctic. It was a tumultuous time in our relationship. I had pulled away from her while up there, only to return a short time later in the midst of surrendering to a lifelong battle with undiagnosed ADHD.

It was waking up to my first day back from the North. Hours earlier I had said goodbye to the daily news business, packed my bags and was on my way home to Saskatoon; determined to rediscover the parts of myself I had lost along the way, in the clutter and chaos of my mind. Somewhere, hiding in the mess of it all, was a free-spirited athlete, with an unabashed passion for life; and I was going to find her.

I’m crazy to think I can change my life this drastically at the age of 35

I didn’t know exactly how I was going to do this, but I knew I was committed to trying, no matter how scary, heartbreaking or painful the journey may be. So, where was I going to begin? Where does anyone begin to rebuild, to rediscover? There was no roadmap, no description set steps, and no guarantee I would be successful – all I could do was follow my passion and trust it to lead the way.

The one sure place I knew to start was to run. Running has always been the place, the movement, the calmness in which I have felt most connected to myself, the world, and all that may lie beyond it. As a child it was my reprieve, as much of what came naturally for others was foreign to me. Whether it was a cerebral endeavour such as school work or a more spirited one like sorting through my intense emotions, I was often overwhelmed.

For a long time I thought this would somehow change and that I would grow out of it, but this mind of mine followed me all the way into adulthood and as surely as the prairie sun rises, I woke on that first day back in Saskatoon vulnerable to its ever-preying ways.

Within hours it had pounced, and was thrashing about, ripping apart my mind apart with this negative narrative: “I’m crazy to think I can change my life this drastically at the age of 35; I’ve damaged my relationship with Candace beyond repair; who walks away from a career they worked so hard to build; my running dreams are too lofty; what am doing with this writing.”

Attacks like this came often during my first few months back. It was disappointing, confusing and at times angering. Why wouldn’t it all just go away, and leave me alone? I wanted to be able to fully embrace the authenticity and joy I felt entering into my life, but I couldn’t. I was constantly aware that without a moment’s notice and without any logical reason it could all be swallowed up by my very own mind. The situation was breaking my heart, but I wasn’t letting it break my spirit. Determined to fight for the life I wanted, I remained optimistic.

There was so much to be grateful for. I had a loving, smart, compassionate partner, supporting me along the way, I had an experienced, understanding, committed coach, leading me on my running journey, and, through it all, I had the ability to write and this laid the foundation. From this place of truth and strength I knew I was capable of whatever I put my hyper-focused mind to but first I would have to come to terms with the very disorder that gifted me with that atypical mind.

Fearful of the stigma of an ADHD diagnoses and too stubborn to give in, I forged ahead, insisting I could manage on my own. A missed diagnoses in my early twenties by a psychiatrist who didn’t believe in labels left me to believe I could and should be able to overcome my challenges without comprehensive treatment. I had told myself this for so long that I deeply believed it and wasn’t going to let anyone, including Candace, tell me otherwise. Despite her consistent nudges towards exploring the possibility of a diagnoses, I insisted I was okay. Until one night when I wasn’t.

As I was restlessly laying in bed, familiar tears began to fall as frustration and confusion charged through my body. My mind had pounced yet again, the negative narrative had grabbed hold and it wasn’t releasing its grip. In desperation I reached over the side of the bed, picked up one of Candace’s ADHD books and I started to read.

In typical fashion, I opened the book somewhere near the middle. Reading from start to finish always struck me as boring – something I learned to accept. My eyes honed in on a paragraph and I began to read. I read about the unique workings of an ADHD mind and about its constant need for stimulation – whether driving fast, picking fights with a partner, or making simple, boring tasks more difficult – like starting a book from the middle perhaps! Whatever funky order I was reading that book in one thing was clear – I was reading about myself.

Beyond my countless speeding tickets and car accident, past the many times I had instigated unnecessary arguments with Candace, it seemed I related to almost every part of that book. It was helping me make sense of behaviors I always thought to be weird, like my inability to sit and write for more than twenty minutes at a time, my need to get up and walk when it’s obvious I should be sitting, my scattered forgetfulness, frustrating clumsiness, my fidgeting hands, my getting up to use the bathroom excessively as a student, and my gnawing through packs of gum as a reporter who was forced to sit and write copy. The ADHD mind will always find a way to be stimulated – even if it’s harmful.

As I continued to read, I recognized the destructive patterns that had been controlling my life – my need to run from one job to the next, my inability to withstand a lasting relationship, my tendency to convince myself I was happy just for a moment’s peace, and all the self-medicating that came along with it – whether it was caffeine or alcohol.

As the words continued lifting from the pages, so too was my spirit lifting. Suddenly, the potential of a diagnoses no longer felt like a failure, but rather a possible answer. In the weeks following, I made the decision to start the process of a diagnoses. It was a decision to go deeper into facing my struggle, and it was a decision to set myself free.\\Scatterbrained, weird, loner, stupid, conceited; I’ve been described as all of these. I’ve also been described as, focused, clever, determined, creative, intense, and compassionate. These conflicting descriptors have often left me feeling confused and misunderstood.

I was ready to fall if I had to, ready to admit I had made some bad decisions, ready to push back my pride, quiet my ego, and look beyond the immediate gratification I received every day as a news reporter.

As a child, navigating life with undiagnosed Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was often overwhelming, and as an adult it only became increasingly messy. For many years I tried to escape myself, and I managed to survive by doing so, but inevitably, survival wasn’t enough. I wanted to live wholly, reach beyond the narrow definition of myself I had created and embrace my passions, my gifts.

At the age of 35, this meant leaving behind a successful career in the daily news business and, in many ways, starting from scratch; to create a life nourished by my passion to run and to write. It may sound daunting, but with the proper ingredients making something from scratch can be a rich, creative, rewarding experience; culminating in something of quality to feed your soul and share with others. The key is gathering the right ingredients, no matter how difficult they may be to find, or reach – and being patient in putting it all together.

Courage – the first ingredient

When I made the decision to leave behind my career, I didn’t know I had ADHD. So, it’s not accurate to say in that decisive, life-changing moment, I made the decision to confront the disorder – that came later. What I did in that moment actually took far more courage than that – I was making the decision to do whatever it was going to take to redirect the course of my life to get it in line with who I fully am. I didn’t know exactly what it was going to look like, how I was going to make it happen, or how people would react to this drastic change, but I didn’t let any of this stop me. And in doing so I opened myself up to an uncomfortable level of vulnerability.

Vulnerability – the second ingredient

I was ready to fall if I had to, ready to admit I had made some bad decisions, ready to push back my pride, quiet my ego, and look beyond the immediate gratification I received every day as a news reporter. I was willing to expose all of who I am and let go of the image of myself I had created. Was it a risk? I suppose it could be viewed as one being I left behind a so-called safe career, but I didn’t see another choice. I felt completely, and entirely pulled to make this change; it was a feeling I found resting, quietly beneath the chaos of my mind. I believed my willingness to be vulnerable, and face whatever I had to face, was going to allow me to emerge wholly.

Faith – the third ingredient

In that chilling moment, when I made the decision pick up my life and change it, I clung tightly to the faith I had in my passions, my gifts. Though I had silenced these gifts for a long time, I believed they were still within me. My athleticism, I was confident never left me, and my ability to write, which I had discovered along the way, I knew I had another dimension to uncover. This faith, though it may seem a bit self-indulgent, is far from it. By embracing my gifts, I am not only nourishing my own soul, but I’m bringing into the world the person I was built to be; and in turn offering myself in service and support of others.

Support – the fourth ingredient

We all have gifts to share, but so often there is something holding us back from living the life we were designed to live. For me, this “something” was ADHD.

It wasn’t enough to simply say I was ready for change; I had to be willing to confront the disorder and put in the hard work to make lasting change. This started with opening myself up to the possibility of a diagnoses – and in doing so I witnessed the beauty of others sharing their gifts and passions. During the time of my diagnoses, and the many months of working out a comprehensive treatment plan, I relied greatly on the support and service of others.

From my medical doctor who made the initial diagnoses, to my psychiatrist who made the final diagnoses, and my ADHD coach who talked through the whole process, and beyond with me. Each of these professionals played a critical role in helping me gain control of my mind. As they were sharing their gifts with me, in turn I was building the capacity to serve others with my own gifts.

With every stride I am living wholly – and there’s nothing more precious to me than that.

I committed myself to weekly visits with my ADHD coach, where we spent countless hours working to dismantle the negative narrative my hyper-focused, stimulus-craving mind had become addicted to. On the medication side of treatment, my psychiatrist played an important role in prescribing and working with me to find the proper medication. This helped relieve my mind of its ever-spinning ways, and gave me the opportunity to start rewiring some of the more destructive patterns I had developed. Medication alone, however, would not have been effective. The support I received from my ADHD coach helped me understand my mind, its tendencies, its downfalls, its strengths, and provided me with the tools and the place to sort through the emotions connected with the diagnoses and the new life I was making. These conversations, and the strategies I learned, proved critical in allowing me to harness the best of my unique mind, and make long-lasting change.

Candace, who patiently, wisely, and compassionately walked, talked and held me through the grief, doubt, and confusion of the diagnoses, and its aftermath. She was there to celebrate the small victories, and helped quell my impulsive ways with a humble reminder of the bigger picture and wholly-lived, awakened life I was creating. There were others too, like my running coach, who skillfully, and thoughtfully adapted my training through some of the tougher times, and who subtly reminded me not to give up on myself. Then there was my mother, who sat on the phone, thousands of miles away, as Candace asked her pages of questions about me as a child, which would then be submitted back to my psychiatrist to be used in the assessment, and eventual diagnoses of ADHD. My mother is one part of my very loving and supportive family. For all of these people, and their gifts, I will forever be grateful.

Gratitude – the final ingredient

I’ve often been asked if I listen to music when I run, and the answer is no, I don’t. I find it to be a distraction from moments I want to experience to their fullest. Whether I’m checking in on how my body feels, or giving a nod to nature’s majestic ways, I’m always tuned into how fortunate I am to be doing what I love to do. With every stride I am living wholly – and there’s nothing more precious to me than that. For so long I lived as a fraction of who I am; to now to be living fully as I am, leaves me wanting nothing more than to experience each moment as purely and as deeply as I can. Whether I’m on a run, walking our dog Skylar, or spending time with family, I am present and grateful for this beautiful life – a life created from scratch. It wasn’t easy to make, at times I failed, and there are times I still fail. But even so, I will always choose this life over any prepackaged convenient alternative, because this is a life made whole, using the finest ingredients, and put together with a lot of love.

*Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

 

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