‘You’ll learn one day that you’re not broken, just different.’

14 year old Romy Gordon discovered that she had ADHD in 2021

after spending much of her childhood feeling not accepted and isolated.

Here she pens a letter to every girl who are feeling lost in

finding their true-self, with lesson for us all.

Words by Romy Gordon

I was born on 25 November 2007, my parents were thrilled with their new daughter. Years passed and whilst there were red flags my parents didn’t know they were looking for a flag, red or otherwise. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 13 years old, in 2021.

I don’t blame anyone for not picking up on anything before now, or at least I don’t anymore. The word ADHD stands for, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Some people categorise ADHD into a couple of branches. I imagine the people who categorised it had neurotypical brains.

There is inattentive ADHD, hyperactive ADHD, or ADHD combined type.

My diagnosis falls within the inattentive ADHD category. That means rush hour is happening inside my mind a lot of the time. A multitude of thoughts pushing past each other causing chaos. Receiving a diagnosis didn’t feel that I had found the missing puzzle piece because the puzzle piece was always there. It’s just that girls & women go undiagnosed for years.

You see, us females are incredible at camouflaging. What is camouflaging? Camouflaging occurs when a person covers up their symptoms by copying peoples behaviour who don’t have the same diagnosis as themselves. Anyone who camouflages to fit in with the rest of the world deserves a OSCAR. How does camouflaging relate to ADHD you ask? Well it means that as a neurodiverse person living in a world designed for a neurotypical people it can be challenging when you feel like you’re an ‘outsider’. There could be many reasons why a person feels they have to hide who they are. It could be to avoid being stigmatised, to fit in socially or to feel accepted like everyone else.

I have no doubt that neurotypicals camouflage at times, however the majority of people who are neurodivergent tend to camouflage on a day to day basis. Sometimes without even realising it and that is why females go undiagnosed for many years. The rate is higher in ADHD diagnoses for males than females which suggest the reasons for this difference.

Now, coming from a person who has ADHD & does camouflage like a chameleon, I can tell you now if we want the world to be a inclusive environment for the neurodiverse community then we have to stand our ground and show our true colours. No matter how difficult the journey will be.

When a chameleon camouflages it's still there just hidden. That’s me like me along with many others. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people feel the need to fall back into their own shadow. I know many people who feel uncomfortable, ashamed & embarrassed about who they are. I wish for anyone who feels like this to embrace, love & accept themselves. Let me remind you, how can you expect other people to accept you if you can’t do it yourself. The moment you realise you are a strong, intelligent human being the world that surrounds you will begin to flourish.

It’s taken a while for me to accept who I am. It didn’t just happen over night not to mention it won’t happen over night for you either. Consistency is key. Once you grab your determination & not let anyone snatch it of you the wonders are indescribable.