THE TRUTH ABOUT MYSELF
MY SUCCESSFUL LIFE WITH ADHD
The tools that I have learned have helped me to successfully integrate my personal life with my career, without that overwhelmingly dizzying, horribly all-consuming anxious feeling of incompetency, confusion, guilt (that is the worst,) and self-doubt. Yes, indeed it can be done! I have created myself anew in the process.
I now use tools to handle the internal overwhelm and manage the chaos. Through many years of hard work and sheer will power, I have turned my inner critic into my inner best friend. I live the successful ADHD life. Even with my busy family life, and the mess that is constantly being created, here is only ever one layer of mess in my home…
My brain hasn’t changed. I still live from one self-made crisis to the next, and they are many… I now use the tools I have learned to laugh at myself, and move on. Quickly.
No inner torment.
I have nothing to hide. I am who I am, inside and out. No cover ups, no facade, no running away from myself. No hiding my mistakes from others…
A client told me the following that really summarises the challenges that ADHD women face,
“I am sick of my life, sick of being me, sick of surviving from one crisis to the next, sick of having my identity wound up with being organised and running a home; sick of not being able to move forward in my life and do something with my life because I am always tidying up.”
WOMEN WITH ADHD – IT’S REAL
ADHD in the UK is seen as “the naughty boy syndrome.” ADHD in women almost doesn’t exist. Oh, but it is so real! The symptoms of ADHD in women differ greatly from the ADHD symptoms in men.
The truth is that more girls than boys have ADD. Girls with ADD tend to display fewer external symptoms. Their difficulties are often missed or mistaken for other conditions such as anxiety and/or depression. Caregivers mistakenly assume that their problems will lessen over time.
Girls with undiagnosed ADD will usually suffer from low self-esteem and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and eating disorders. They are likely to suffer in school, in other social environments and in personal relationships well into their adult lives. Girls with ADD will often fall ‘under the radar’ as they are not physically disruptive. Many do not get diagnosed at all. These problems if untreated worsen over time.
Girls and women with ADHD are often tragically wrongly diagnosed with depression and anxiety instead of ADD/ADHD. These conditions may be present, however it is important to understand the ADD/ADHD is usually the dominant condition. In most cases the ADHD condition must be treated first. Mental health practitioners must fully investigate the subtle symptoms in girls. I have seen with my clients the tragic consequences of women not getting diagnosed early enough.
I hear variations of the same tragic story every day. My clients tell me that they have suffered from anxiety their entire lives. They have been on meds to manage their anxiety, with little change. Their doctors still tell them to take the meds… The meds are not the (whole) answer. Your brain is uniquely wired. You need specialist tools to support your brain.
If you are a women with ADHD please understand that the regular life tools will not work for you. You need specialist organising, and time management tools that are tailored to work with your ADHD brain.
Find out more about ADHD in my groundbreaking book here.
MY CAREER JOURNEY
I realised that getting organised was the root of my success. I searched high and low for the answers to my disorganised inner and outer chaos. I couldn’t find those answers anywhere. I read so many self-help books on decluttering and home organisation. They did not resonate with me, they actually made me feel worse.
One day I was reading a Jewish magazine, and I saw an advert for a professional organiser training program. I didn’t turn the page. My inner voice told me that even in my disorganised chaos, this is what I needed. I simply couldn’t explain it. I called up the company and impulsively signed up on the spot. This 5 session basic program was the springboard for my life change.
I started working as a professional organiser in my local Jewish community in North Manchester in 2012. I was the very first trained Jewish professional organiser in the UK Jewish communities here.
Everywhere I went I got comments like,
“Do you really sort out people’s mess?”
“Are women not embarrassed to call you?”
“You really make a business out of this?”
I did not let these comments, and worse, set me back. Over the coming years I learned that the women who had given me the worst comments were those that really needed my help the most…
I will be really honest with you. Contrary to what people may think setting up my organising business was the hardest thing I ever did. Being a pioneer is in my blood. I love it. And I hate it! The market does not understand what professional organising is, or the need for professional organising. The shame and stigma is the worst. A large part of my job is educating the public. This was not an easy thing to do.
I soldiered on by myself, with almost no advice and guidance. As I was a pioneer in this field I couldn’t find the right mentor for my needs.
I made so many mistakes. My business nearly folded up a few times, but I bravely held on. I tell my children, that if they see someone succeeding, they need to know that the success is a result of hard work and many mistakes…
It was so terribly lonely being a pioneer. The self-doubt was the worst.
With all the terribly difficult challenges I had in establishing my business, in 2 short years my business went from having no clients to 8 clients (2 hour sessions) per week. I was working flat out. With my family commitments I realised that I would not be able to sustain this long-term. At the same time I kept meeting past clients on the street, and they were all thanking me and told me that the organisation systems that we had set up together had stayed!
At the same time I had a realisation that most of my clients displayed similar patterns of behaviour and internal challenges. I read up about this and I realised I was looking at undiagnosed ADHD/ADD in women. I wanted to help my clients find their ADHD success. I looked further to help them. There was no training program in the UK, so I went further afield and discovered ADDCA, the ADD Coach Academy.
I signed up for training, and well, the rest is history. Sometime during the start of the program I realised the source of my inner chaos and overwhelm – undiagnosed ADHD. This was the epiphany that changed my life.
FOCUS WITH FAIGY
I graduated and founded Focus with Faigy in 2015. I didn’t realise how behind the UK ADHD market is from the USA. I went through many tough times. As a pioneer, my journey was exciting, but lonely and beyond frustrating. A pioneer educates. This is my mission. For this reason I am very active on social media.
I created the Focus Success Program. Find out more about it here.
Five years on I am still one of only a handful of certified ADHD coaches in the UK. ADHD coaching in the UK is a very new field. There may be some ADHD coaches who are not trained, some who have not completed their training, and even fewer who are certified. I am still the only certified ADHD coach in the Jewish community in the UK.
I now run two businesses, Focus with Faigy, the ADHD success coaching for professional mums with ADHD children, and the Organise Pro Inner Circle, an online professional organiser training program. Find out more about the Focus with Faigy here.
The two businesses run totally separately, but they are linked as women with ADHD who sign up for ADHD coaching, will also want help getting their homes organised…
ORGANISE YOUR HOME LIKE A PRO
I wanted to help as many women as I could. I wanted to make my tools affordable and reachable for as many women as possible. My expertise lies in being able to break down difficult concepts and make them super clear. In 2017 I bravely started to write my first book, called “Organise Your Home Like a Pro.” The entire book focuses on the science behind the clutter challenge and hands on tools how to part with clutter.
Over the next five years I plan to write a series of handbooks on different ADHD related topics. The tools will be clear, simple and focused.
I wrote this book to address the shame and stigma that often accompanies clutter. My clients have bravely faced their clutter and addressed their inner fears. It hasn’t been easy. I compiled my best decluttering tools in this slim and easy to read handbook.
In this book you will learn the science behind your clutter challenge and how to address this.This book will transform the way you view clutter forever.Have you tried many times to part with your clutter, but you just don’t know where to start?
Is your clutter preventing you from inviting friends and family over?
This book will show you how you can finally get to grips with your clutter.
You will learn the science behind your clutter challenge, you will learn the root causes of your clutter challenge and how to overcome it.
OWN YOUR ADHD – DISCOVER YOUR TRUE POTENTIAL
The idea for my second book, “Own Your ADHD – Discover Your True Potential” was born from a moment of intense frustration at the sheer ignorance about ADHD in the UK. I didn’t know it at the time, but I am the only ADHD coach in the UK to have written a book on ADHD so far.
I have lived with the challenges of ADHD overwhelm in in various forms for most of my life. I have had my dark times. I have searched long and hard for the answers. Searching for the right answers has been one of my most difficult life challenges. I believe that I have found the answers. I have created myself anew in the process. Where there was once darkness, frustration, and despair, now there is light, acceptance and hope. The organisation challenges are all still present, but I have learned to overcome them.
This book will show you how to harness your ADHD to help you reach your life goals. You will learn how to focus on your tasks and get more done in your life. You will learn how to manage your ADHD in a more balanced way.
This book demystifies your ADHD. Many chapters are accompanied with diagrams and charts to help you understand the topics. The ADHD facts are backed up by study sources. This book is packed full of practical and easy-to-implement ideas that will upgrade your life to the next level, whatever that means for you.
There is a handy detailed ADHD self-test and a strengths and challenges chart that will give you tools to understand yourself and empower your life.