‘My earliest memories of struggling to concentrate were as a child when my mother would help me read. She had to cover the picture as otherwise, I would just look at the image and make up a story, which seemed much more fun and interesting than trying to work out how to learn to read.
At school, I ran around a lot and disturbed others as I wanted to play or do anything apart from my homework. When it came to exams, I read the questions too quickly, panicked when I realised I couldn’t answer them, and then sat and fidgeted, or looked out the window for the rest of the exam. Sometimes, I simply just made up an answer that I thought might work or that I enjoyed writing about.
The teachers always said I was perfectly capable - I just needed to apply myself (which I simply couldn’t do) and they wouldn’t let me do less than 10 O-levels.
I managed to scrape through, passing almost half of them, but my parents and I realised I still wasn’t going to apply myself to do A-levels, so I was sent off to secretarial college. Once again everything seemed more exciting than studying.
When I got a secretarial job (down to my zest for life and can-do attitude) I somehow settled down, worked hard and was quickly promoted. Then I heard about a job at the charity Business in the Community which sounded fantastic and that’s how my career started.
In my second role working for the charity, I was lucky that for the whole 15 years I worked there, they saw my potential and gave me the freedom to think for myself rather than micro-manage me – which is challenging for people with ADHD.