Living Fully Expressed with ADHD: Lessons from Olivia Wetter

Hello, it’s Karenna! In episode 39, we delve into the nuanced and deeply personal world of neurodiversity, focusing specifically on ADHD.

Joining me is Olivia Wetter, a remarkable woman whose journey through late ADHD diagnosis and her subsequent career transitions offers invaluable insights into living authentically.

This episode, part of our ongoing theme for Mental Health Awareness Month, highlights the complexities of ADHD and how understanding and embracing neurodiversity can lead to a more fulfilling and expressive life.

Understanding ADHD: Olivia’s Journey

Olivia’s story begins with a sense of confusion and misalignment that many with undiagnosed ADHD experience. Diagnosed at 31, Olivia reflects on her childhood and early adulthood with a mix of frustration and revelation. The late diagnosis brought clarity to lifelong challenges such as sensory issues, inattentiveness, and emotional regulation difficulties. Olivia shares how these symptoms, misunderstood and unrecognized by those around her, led to feelings of inadequacy and social anxiety.

Her professional journey, from a school psychologist to an ADHD coach and now a social media marketer, underscores the importance of adapting one’s career to better fit individual strengths and needs. Olivia’s path is a testament to the power of self-awareness and the willingness to embrace change.

Embracing Neurodiversity in Everyday Life

Living with ADHD involves more than managing symptoms; it’s about understanding and leveraging one’s unique way of thinking. Olivia discusses the importance of developing personalized strategies to handle daily tasks and emotional challenges. For instance, she emphasizes the necessity of having time management tools readily visible, such as timers and clocks, to combat time blindness—a common ADHD trait.

Moreover, Olivia highlights the crucial skill of emotional regulation, noting that ADHD often involves intense emotional responses. She advocates for techniques that allow a pause before reacting, such as deep breathing or distraction, which can help manage impulsivity and prevent relational conflicts.

Overcoming Societal Expectations and Finding Fulfillment

One of the significant challenges Olivia faced was fitting into societal expectations, particularly in professional settings. She shares candidly about the struggles of adhering to traditional organizational methods and the resulting burnout. Her transition from a school psychologist to an ADHD coach, and now to her current role, illustrates the need for neurodivergent individuals to seek environments that align with their unique capabilities and passions.

Olivia’s story encourages others to reject the one-size-fits-all approach and instead pursue paths that genuinely resonate with them. She emphasizes the importance of not comparing oneself to neurotypical standards and finding joy in personal achievements, however unconventional they might be.

Building a Supportive Network

A recurring theme in our conversation is the critical role of a supportive community. Olivia stresses the importance of having friends, family, and colleagues who understand and accommodate her needs. She also highlights the value of professional support, such as therapists and ADHD coaches, who can provide tailored strategies and interventions.

For those without immediate access to a supportive network, Olivia suggests utilizing online resources and communities where they can find understanding and encouragement. She also underscores the need for continuous advocacy, both for oneself and within broader societal contexts, to ensure better recognition and support for neurodiverse individuals.

Olivia Wetter’s journey is a powerful reminder of the importance of understanding and embracing neurodiversity. Her experiences with ADHD and her ability to navigate various career paths provide a roadmap for others facing similar challenges. This episode of The Fully Expressed Podcast aims to inspire and equip listeners with the knowledge and tools to live authentically and resiliently, despite societal pressures and personal hurdles.

Whether you are neurodivergent yourself or seeking to support someone who is, Olivia’s insights offer valuable lessons in empathy, self-awareness, and the relentless pursuit of a life that feels true to oneself. Remember, the path to a fully expressed life is unique for each individual, and embracing your differences is the first step toward finding your own version of success and fulfillment.

Join us next week as we continue to explore mental health topics, bringing in experts and personal stories that shed light on the diverse experiences of navigating life’s challenges. Let’s keep the conversation going and support each other in our journeys towards mental wellness and authentic living.

Listen to the full episode for the full story.

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