From Flunky to Founder

From Flunky to Founder

 

Despite my many gifts that come by way of having ADHD Inattentive Type, I also have challenges. One challenge, in particular, has less to do with me and more to do with society. We’ve all heard the term seeing is believing. Well, the challenge that comes with having an invisible disability is that you can’t see it. When I was first diagnosed and started telling people I had ADHD, I was surprised and overwhelmed by the negative responses I received. Here I was, putting myself out there, being vulnerable and openly sharing my experience with others, only to be dismissed. At a time when I expected my anxiety and depression to get better, they got worse.

 

I kept finding myself in situations where it felt like I was trying to convince someone I had ADHD. In this process, I relived every shitty, humiliating experience I’d had, hoping to convince someone of something they knew little about. As horrible as this sounds, people want to see our suffering in order to understand.

 

 

Rather than go through the emotional roller coaster of repeatedly sharing my life story I chose to provide my High School and Graduate School transcripts. Undiagnosed, it took me four years to complete three years of high school, thirty-two attempts to earn the eighteen credits required to graduate including failing grade ten math four times. Compare that to being diagnosed and taking prescribed medication that gave my brain the jump start it needed to wake from a thirty-year slumber I was admitted to the Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology program at the University of New Brunswick on academic probation in 2010 and graduated at the top of my class the following year.

 

FHS Transcript
UNB Transcript

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My experience of failing so much for so long has paid off. Adversity is something I have learned to embrace and in order to become a successful entrepreneur, you’ll need to do the same!

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One thought on “From Flunky to Founder

  1. Your story touches my heart. Being vulnerable to someone sometimes makes that person feel uncomfortable. It seems we humans readily want to deal with things using a stick or some kind of emotional probing tool so as to not get our fingers dirty. Perhaps we have been personally burned, and so we are shy about it. But this approach comes across as sterile, insensitive, pokey and downright fearful. So “the sufferer” may accommodate, grow a hard shell and cover up their tender, insecure selves to endure the hen-pecks of a sometimes brutal and systematized mindset driven by efficiency. Never wanting to be wrong or take unnecessary risks it is tempting to offer low-investment criticism, tick the check-boxes and go home to a job well… ignored. Compassion means getting to the heart of something that seems icky, the humus of human experience which like the soft shelled crab, is always tender and painful. The appropriate approach is likely nuanced and accommodatingly gentle when genuine. It is exhausting work. It takes effort, but every so often we find that a precious jewel is inside just waiting to be plucked. That jewel is joyous, worth celebrating and it can change everything. Thanks for sharing Shawn 🙂

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