top of page


ADHD-focused life coaching feels more like a calling than a job for me. I was diagnosed in my 50s, so the impact of living with unrecognised ADHD on school and university studies, on career choice and work, on finances, relationships with family of origin, friendships, on marriage and family life (including ADHD children), and on mental health, aren't just subjects of academic or professional interest to me: they have been sources of raw pain, bafflement, frustration, rage and despair for me personally. At the same time my ADHD brain and personality have been a recurrent source of delight, entertainment, insight, and profound satisfaction. Thanks to ADHD coaching, at last I now understand a good deal about the subtle and wide-ranging ways in which my neurological tribe are unusual, and I am always expanding my repertoire of skills for living authentically, successfully and happily in a world that was not designed for people like me, nor by people like me, but where, with skill and support, we can nevertheless have the life we deserve.


I grew up in an era when, in the words of the late, great Sir Ken Robinson, ADHD “hadn’t been invented” - it “wasn’t an available condition”*. My life until I was diagnosed in my 50s looked pretty typical for someone who was masking the condition and attempting to pass as neurotypical. Despite my attention wandering frequently in class, and doing all my revision at the last moment, I got into a good university, where I read many books and attended many lectures, some of them even related to my degree subject.


Life seemed endlessly rich and promising, and I daydreamed about ninety-nine brilliant futures. I didn’t apply for any jobs though, as that would have entailed throwing away ninety-eight other lives that I also wanted and couldn’t decide between. 


I eventually applied for the Foreign Office, because it was then thought to be a job from which one could slide easily into something else that actually appealed, if and when I discovered it. So yes: I applied for a job precisely because it was one I didn’t really want to do… A surprisingly common pattern among ADHDers, it turns out. I did well, but burnt out just when my career would have taken off. Next I made TV and radio programmes for the BBC, but again, one day I just couldn’t do it any more. I suffered clinical depression (the condition that most commonly co-occurs with ADHD; anxiety and ASD follow close behind) and I used to drink too much** (there’s a strong correlation between ADHD and addiction).


The frustration and feeling of spinning my wheels got stronger and more pervasive, and the sparkle and joy of life wore thinner and grew tawdry.


Diagnosis began to lift the fog, and coaching showed me the way forward. Meanwhile I have grown appalled at what is inflicted on young ADHDers as they grow up, by an education system that is desperately trying to deal with problems far greater than its almost total, harmful disregard for neurological minorities, and also, sadly, by many kind, caring, loving, well-meaning parents who are doing their best, but are as in the dark as most professionals, and finally by a society that - but no, I’ll get down off my soapbox.


I’ll just add that the best people to help me were ADHDers who had experienced the frictions of coming up against the norms, attitudes, beliefs and prejudices of general society, and had responded by finding out extraordinary amounts about themselves, and about how to live better and to help others to do the same. And I find it deeply rewarding to have the chance to do for others what was so generously done for me.


*Sir Ken Robinson, TED Talk: “Do schools kill creativity?” 

**In other words, I used to drink at all. ADHD often doesn’t mix well with alcohol. On the other hand, many of us seem to be first-rate barrack-room lawyers, who can argue this point with ourselves on appeal for years. Luckily, each one of us only needs to do what is right and possible for us in the day.

bottom of page