Episode #39: Finding Balance: ADHD and Mental Health with Olivia Wetter

Written by: Karenna Soto
The Fully Expressed Podcast
The Fully Expressed Podcast
Episode #39: Finding Balance: ADHD and Mental Health with Olivia Wetter

In this episode of the Fully Expressed Podcast, we continue our Mental Health Awareness Month series with a heartfelt conversation with my dear friend Olivia Wetter.

Olivia, a former school psychologist turned ADHD coach, shares her personal journey of being diagnosed with ADHD at 31 and the challenges she faced along the way. We dive deep into the world of ADHD, exploring its impact on emotional regulation, time management, and navigating the corporate and educational systems.

Olivia’s insights and experiences offer valuable perspectives on living authentically while managing mental health. Join us for an episode filled with wisdom, empathy, and practical advice for anyone navigating similar paths.

You can read the full podcast transcript for this episode below:

Welcome to the Fully Expressed podcast with Karenna, I am your podcast host, Karenna Soto.
And this is the show where we have conversations that invite you into living a life, fully express, creating relationships where you feel like your most authentic self and creating a career and professional life as your fullest authentic self as well.
And on today’s episode, we’re going to keep on the theme of Mental Health Awareness Month.
You know, the last couple episodes, we’ve been really talking about mental health.
The first episode that we had this month was around how to support your mental health by honorary capacity and how to optimize that through health and nutrition.
The second episode, we talked about how to support a loved one that is going through their mental health, but still staying true to your fullest express self.
Last week, we had Sharissa Sosa on the podcast to talk about what it was like to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder and embracing rage and how she has deepened her meditation practice to help her actually process and be with rage and how she has been able to find deeper accesses of like inner peace and inner harmony through her meditation practices.
And on today’s episode, we’re bringing in a sister of mine, her name is Olivia Wetter and Olivia and I met, what is it now?
Like three years ago, I feel like time is flying Olivia.
And I story is so sweet because I swear we’d had just, we were on our way to a retreat and she got put in my car and I was driving and the entire time that she was with me, she was sitting in the front, I think you were sitting in the front seat, right?
And as you’re sitting in the front seat, I’m like, oh my goodness, I want to be best friends with this girl.
Like we just connected so quickly on both like a fun level, but then also on such like a deep level, really, really quickly.
Olivia and I met at the same retreat that Nick and I met that Chris and I have met that Chris has also been on this podcast.
I feel like I’ve brought every book, that thing, but I’m so excited to have Olivia come on here because Olivia has so much to share.
Olivia has her degree in psychology.
She has worked and coached with women that are struggling with their A DH D and being near by divergent, she strongly believes in supporting mental health and has personally struggled with that, but just is such a great advocate and figure on standing on that online and throughout her life.
And so I knew it would be perfect to invite her onto the podcast during this month because we’re going to dive into all things, you know, transitioning from where you’re at to where you’re going, but also navigating mental health.
And how does that actually, how do you actually do that in this world today?
So I’m going to pass the baton over to her.
I’m gonna let her introduce herself, like, formally introduce herself because I can’t wait for you to hear from her.
Well, hi, thank you for having me.
I’m glad to be here, especially during, you know, mental mental health awareness month as you know, that’s like, so near and dear for me.
So just a little bit about me, you know, this is always like, I feel like always all over the place.
A DH D things, but I do have extensive education and experience working with, you know, all ages of like a DH D autism learning disabilities.
I was a school psychologist for like 10 years before transitioning into being an A DH D coach for women, which I did that for a little while and have retired both of those hats currently, but I do still continue to create content and I present on social media to share, you know, relatable, like real life things that women with a DH D have to navigate on a daily basis and things that are helpful for us.
I was diagnosed late, so I wasn’t diagnosed until I was like 31.
So there’s a lot that goes into that when you start to realize.
Wow, like all these things that I dealt with my whole life had so much connection to my A DH D I just had no idea and I just feel like it’s been an ongoing continuous journey for myself, especially with other co occurring mental health, things that I’ve had to navigate and just leaning into things that make sense for me as someone who’s neurodivergent versus trying to fit inside of this box that most of us have been conditioned to fit inside of that don’t really work for us.
And so, you know, I’ve, I’ve really been leaning into that and have transitioned into like, you know, I’m working for an agency and doing more marketing type of work now.
So, yeah, here we are.
No, I love that.
I would love to start kind of dive deeper into like, what was it like to being diagnosed with a DH D like that journey of like 31 years into life and saying like, oh, this is a diagnosis and what was it like to like look back at your life?
What was, what did that look like?
Yeah, there were a few components to that because before I got diagnosed, I had a little bit of like a oh, I think I might have this and this was before this was really even on social media.
But because of, you know, I was a school psychologist so I was around a lot of, kids that had a DH D and I’d be like, hm, you know, like there were certain things that just started to click and then I hit a really bad, like, clinical burnout and I was originally diagnosed with situational depression.
But, you know, they had put me on medication.
I know I’ve explained to you like, I had Serotonin syndrome when that happened.
So I had to get off of any antidepressant that I was on.
And I was like, there’s something else here and I remember going to my doctor and being like, I think that I might have a DH D like, what if this is what caused everything?
And they were like, well, actually that, that could be and they had referred me to a specialist and it took me a little while because I was moving from New York to California at that point.
So I waited till I got to California to start that process.
And when I finally got diagnosed, I was like, it was like a sigh of relief.
Like I knew it, you know, like it was almost like a validation piece of like, OK, I knew that this is what was going on with me.
But there was a huge part that, like, I went back, like, through all the parts of my life that you know, was related to, was related to anything that had to do with my A DH D and I was like, wow.
Had I only known, had my parents only known, had my teachers only known, had anyone known that, like, these things were part of my A DH D that I would have been better supported instead of, you know, and I don’t think that anyone intentionally necessarily, like, tried to make me feel at fault for anything or shame me for anything.
But I did get a lot of like negative reactions for things that were symptoms of my A DH D.
Like what I’ve always been someone that has like significant sensory issues.
So like, my sensitivity is like, I would have a lot of meltdowns when I was a kid because of those and I don’t think that my parents understood that at all.
So that was a huge thing.
I was more inattentive.
So a lot of the daydreaming in class, like, you know, I get called on in class and they think I was paying attention because I was staring blankly at them.
But I had no idea what my teachers were saying.
So I had a lot of anxiety because of that.
I never wanted to be called on because I didn’t really ever know what was going on.
And it was often in my report cards, like, you know, does well in class but doesn’t pay attention which this piece isn’t always necessarily talked about a lot.
I think it’s starting to be talked about a little bit more, but it’s very hard for people with a DH D women and men included to regulate their emotions because of, you know, a DH D isn’t just an attention, an issue with attention.
It’s a self regulation issue and part of self regulation is emotions and I didn’t understand this about myself.
So I always had these very intense emotions and reactions to those emotions.
And I was never taught how to deal with them properly.
So I was have a lot of, you know, these external reactions to what was going on internally to me and was often called like you’re so dramatic, you’re too sensitive like a lot of those things and, and that stayed with me as an adult.
So I was always really scared to like express when I was feeling anything that hurt me or made me mad or made me sad.
And so I kept it in which also wasn’t helpful because eventually I’d explode and it would come out, I would say like those were the main things for me.
And I had social anxiety which is linked very common for people with a DH D to also experience social anxiety.
I mean, you just shared like what it was like to like if you, let’s just say you had these things like how life could be different, but also how, because you didn’t have this awareness or the people around you, let’s just say the people that surrounded you, whether they were teachers or your parents or just adults in general, like if they only had these tool sets or this awareness that, that, that they could have potentially even supported you even better to a place where maybe you didn’t, wouldn’t have felt wrong for being too emotional or you wouldn’t have felt like there’s something bad with me or that I should be shameful for being too sensitive, right?
Like this like extra sounds like an extra dialogue or extra story that was created because unfortunately, the people in your life just didn’t have that education or have that perspective.
Is that fair?
Yeah, I would say that and it’s even interesting too because as an adult, like when I was in grad school specifically, so part of what some people can also struggle with when it comes to a DH D you know, you think of organization and you think of organization in terms of like your house.
But part of what my organizational difficulties and they still are is getting what’s in my head out on paper or even some times when I’m talking, which is kind of why I can circle talk, which I’m aware of.
But when I had to do report writing to be a school psychologist, that was a huge part of my job was writing these reports, right?
I had to do evaluations for students in special ed.
And I had to do reports and I remember my report writing teacher saying you are really bad writing basically.
And if you don’t get help, you’re gonna fail my class and you’re not going to graduate, it was like the last semester for me to graduate.
And I remember going home and just crying because I was like, I’m not gonna be able to do this and I knew I was struggling, but I just didn’t know why.
Like I had no idea.
Yeah, it’s like, I don’t know why this is so hard for me.
And I learned through that whole experience that I’m not someone that can sit and come up with some type of like writing format on my own.
I need to follow a template or it’s significantly hard for me to organize my thoughts at all and still true to this day.
So I always make sure I have something to follow.
Let’s talk about that a little bit more, right?
Because I feel like in our world today and you and I have talked about this so much, right?
Like the corporate world or the way that you go to school and the way that you do life is really set up in a certain way and that in that certain way and that structure is set up for the general population, I guess is the best way to say it or like the overarching like population but how did you navigate that piece?
Like knowing eventually, once you started to see the pieces, one maybe talk about the struggles of like corporate schooling, the schooling system, however, it was that they wanted you to fit into this way.
And what have you found in the most recent years?
Maybe like how you actually can show up and still pretty productive, still be successful but not necessarily following the quote unquote standard way of doing life.
And I’m using very generic terms because I’m trying to be generic and it’s difficult because our world is complicated.
But, yeah.
I mean, with, in regard to school and even like, work when I was in like a school just because I struggled a lot as a school psychologist and I never shared it with anyone.
Paperwork was really hard filing papers.
I had piles on my desk that made sense to me, but they were not organized piles and I hid a lot of it.
So I knew that if people knew I was struggling,, or at least, like, that’s how I felt internally.
They would think that I wasn’t capable of doing my job.
It was, it was a huge thing for me.
And again, like, mind you, I did not know I had a DH D at this point, I just knew that that’s how I functioned, didn’t know why I function that way.
And I, even when I was in meetings when we had to report things help.
I constantly had anxiety because I was like, I can’t, I’m not someone that could be put on the spot.
Like I, I need time to like, process my thoughts before things can come out most of the time.
And so I just always felt very inadequate honestly, like in those settings all the time, even though I was capable and I was showing up and I was doing and maybe other people weren’t viewing me that way.
I was viewing myself that way.
And it was a struggle because I always was like, maybe I’m not supposed to do this job, maybe I’m not supposed to be here.
And so that’s always been like a constant story that came up for me back then.
I didn’t really have the tools or awareness or know how to manage that.
If I could go back, I would have done a lot of things differently for myself and probably not felt as much shame.
And just been able to ask for things that I needed in the workplace for that, especially because given my job.
Right, like, right, we’re helping Children, you know, and teens and all of them with the same things that some of us adults also have and struggle with.
And I know that this isn’t a blanket thing in the corporate world where, oh, if you have a DH D they’re automatically gonna accommodate you and not in some way.
Try to, like, criticize you or penalize you because I know that that’s not true.
I’ve, I’ve had clients in the past where they couldn’t divulge that because it meant keeping their job or not.
And it’s really hard and I, I hope in the future as we move forward, those things can start to change more and more as people advocate and more awareness and understanding of certain things like a DH D autism and other things, right, that people struggle with that can impact their ability to show up in their job, the way that someone who doesn’t have that shows up.
Another thing that I especially now is like, I don’t compare myself to other people like I used to.
So that’s been a huge, like, ok, that person functions that way and that’s great and I love that for them, however, that same thing isn’t gonna work for me.
And so a lot of my last few years has been trial and error.
And I think this is kind of ongoing, you know, as, as life changes, as circumstances change of like what does help support me in my day to day or in my job, what I’m doing and what doesn’t and letting go of the things that don’t because I think too in the A DH D space and I’ve, I’ve had to, you know, work with my, when I was doing a DH D coaches, work with coaching, work with my clients on you know, hey, like, just because this is like an A DH D strategy that might help you, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen every single person with a DH D.
So if it doesn’t, don’t force it, try something else or do it a different way.
And I think that when we realize that it helps let go of that, like, oh, well, this is working for other people a DH D wise.
This is not working for me because then we can put ourselves back into that story of I’m not capable, you know, I’m never gonna be able to do this.
I’m never gonna be able to do that.
And I can just kind of continue that, that story that a lot of people with a DH D or neuro divergence just in general tend to tend to hold on to.
I’m so glad that you brought that up because I feel like that is something that, you know, the podcast is so set up to do is really inviting you into your fullest express self.
But it’s what is uniquely to you and you’re talking so much to like, there’s so many different tools and strategies out there and ways of doing life and blah, blah, blah.
And people are always going to say like this is what works for me.
But you’re basically saying like, hey, try what works for you, but giving yourself the permission to be like, this works for me.
And it works really well and I’m going to keep doing it and also being ok with, like, this doesn’t work for me and I’m ok with that, it’s like, truly finding your way.
And so, and when it comes to those with a DH D, what are, I guess some things that someone could try and be like, hey, this works for me or this doesn’t work for me.
Is there anything that comes to mind?
Like, just strategy wise as they live?
I know there’s like, just the idea of like doing things and testing them out and feeling them.
But are there specific things that you have noticed that help you or have had worked past clients or just in general?
Yes, that is a very, and it is a very good question because I feel like there are a lot of blanket things that can help.
I would like the thing with that and like answering that and like full of like a, hey, like X Y Z.
It just depends on like what someone is specifically struggling with their A DH D because it can be a multitude of things.
So it kind of just depends on like where they’re, I guess struggle or obstacle is and like, what are, hey, here are these like few things that you can do?
I will name like a couple of like the more common things that I think a lot of people with a DH D tend to struggle with.
, I think one of the biggest things would probably be time management.
Like, we often have a lot of time blindness.
So we aren’t always aware of like length of time or how much time is passing.
And so something that I constantly have to have and again, like this can look different, but like having time in front of my face in any way that I possibly can has been one of the most helpful things, whether it’s like blocks in certain places, timers on my phone, binders, those kind of things.
But again, like this is where OK, you have to customize this to a way that works for you.
And sometimes you might need to try something first and then tweak it as you go.
I think emotional regulation is probably a huge thing.
But again, this is, this is big on.
I think the biggest thing with that is like people with a DH D learning how to pause before anything else.
You know, there’s so, and you know, this too, there’s so many different coping tools to dealing with regulating our emotions when we’re, when we’re triggered.
I think the hardest thing with a DH D is the impulsiveness to react.
So if you can learn how to pause and like catch yourself in those moments, you know, where you’re like, OK, I’m being triggered and what are some things I can do to calm myself down whether it’s like deep breathing or, you know, distracting yourself for a little bit until you can actually, like, process what’s going on.
I think that is a huge thing for most people with a DH D.
I think that’s super helpful.
I mean, we can d like, I would love to delve into like, the emotional regulation a little bit more.
Like when you talk about emotions, what kind of emotions are we talking that get increased or are more intense?
Or you can be impulsive too?
I think anger like being mad, frustrated, even sadness, like, I think it’s more of like the unpleasant emotions but also can it can teeter to the more pleasant ones, right?
Like when we want to feel like that really intense, like euphoric feeling or we’re looking for that dopamine, you know, we can end up going towards things and doing things that might spike that those feelings, those elated feelings that we’re looking for that aren’t always the best, you know, like think of like sh unnecessary shopping sprees and like those kind of things.
But for, for me and I think for most people with a DH D that the the harder part is more of the unpleasant, like when you’re mad or someone triggers you in a way that maybe like hurts you or upsets you and very quick to just like kind of go off and it can cause a lot of, you know, relational difficulties and even whether it’s work, whether it’s partnership, whether it’s friendship because now we’re reacting out of that intensity of that lotion versus like, you know, what the situation actually is and what’s happening.
And I’ve been there before, I’ve gotten a lot better at, you know, noticing when I’m being triggered and, and processing it.
It doesn’t mean that the intensity isn’t there, it’s still there.
It’s just that, you know, I don’t react, I’m not as quick to react like I’m used to, but it, it can be really challenging because then you say things that you might not mean or, you know, it could go to the other side where you shut down and you isolate yourself and you feel like you can’t trust someone or, you know, you’re interpreting whatever they said or did in a completely different way that maybe they didn’t mean.
And I think conflict is really hard for a lot of people with a DH D which is really, what does the, if you’re open and going this far a far, what is like the internal dialogue or the internal experience feel like when you’re in that.
And my intention behind that question is one if anyone’s listening to this, I just experience that like I want to feel, but I also want to give someone also the tools of like, hey, this is what someone else is going through.
Like the context or the understanding behind that too, like with someone that has a DH D or that is going through any and it is maybe it just any intense reaction or emotional reaction.
What does that internal dialogue or internal experience feel like?
Yeah, I think a lot of the times on I’ll just try to like, generalize this as much as possible.
Like that people can tend to experience to, to some degree is like, depending on the, the context of the situation, it can feel a lot like, you know, this person thinks I’m lazy or this person thinks that I’m not capable or, you know, then it could start to switch to like I am lazy or I am stupid or I am, you know, a terrible partner or a terrible friend or you know, why is this person even friends with me?
And it could even turn into like, let’s just say something with work like I’m not capable of doing this job.
Like I’m fooling everyone.
Like a lot of it comes to from like that masking feeling.
So when we feel like, you know, someone sees a part of us that we were hiding, then it’s like that mask has come off and now we’re like, oh my gosh, like I’m a fraud and now this person sees this.
It’s a lot of like those more like internal dialogue of like feeling like an impostor or feeling wrong in some way, you know, and that could look different for everyone.
It’s just an example.
But now like Oh, this person hates me.
They don’t like me.
It’s a lot of those feelings, especially in more of a, like a relational dynamic and it can be hard for people with a DH D to maintain friendships or even like partners because they get so much in their head of how terrible they are and how people are better off without having them because of, you know, X Y and Z and a lot of it is tied to the challenges that come with their A DH D that, you know, they can tend to push people away, that those people aren’t necessarily trying to be pushed away.
Thank you for sharing that.
I know it can be hard to share.
I think that’s so important to share though too because you’re right.
It’s like, hey, I’m navigating this is happening externally.
I’m reacting in this way.
I’m also have this internal experience.
I’m double thinking about everything.
It sounds like I’m like like double thinking everything.
I’m also trying to prevent this from happening and I’m trying to find a way to show up in the world where no one can see that I have these quote unquote extra parts to my being or way of showing up.
And it sounds like a whole thing like a web of things that are happening all at once.
It’s very intertwined and you don’t realize it though in the moment, right?
Like as you’re going through this and in the real life experience, you’re not sitting there like un unless you get to that level of awareness where you can like, kind of pull yourself out or you have like safe people that can pull you out of it.
You know, like it’s very easy to get suffocated by and just like, absorbed and wrapped up in it where it does impact your external life.
And then you start to feel that very, like, lonely or feeling very alone in the world and like, no one understands you and that you’re, you know, this alien to everyone else because because of those parts and a lot of it is because so many of us and even those that were diagnosed, you know, as kids, right?
Because no one really taught anyone that was diagnosed as a child about their A DH D.
So they’re still learning as adults.
What that means for them is, you know, being so masked and putting on a front and having this persona.
I have it all together and I’m fine all the time when that might not be their reality.
So how have you found your way through that?
Like, how have you, like, kind of find your path until like, really finding your direction?
Like what are some things, some, some people or some tools or things that have allowed you to navigate that?
Like, truly be like, hey, I’m stuck in this.
Like, how do you get your, how do you reach out and say, hey, I need, I need assistance getting out of this.
What are the tools to help you get out of that or even the people?
Yeah, I mean, I think the biggest thing for me was ha is having safe, like supportive people around me.
I think that’s been the biggest game changer.
So I think having those safe, supportive people has been helpful because it is hard to ask for help.
I think that’s one of the most challenging things in the journey and I’ve come a long way with that, but I would be lying if I said that.
I, I don’t still struggle with that at times.
But I think for me, I’m fortunate enough to have people including you, you know, that know me enough to be like, why you let me check on Olivia, you know, like let me make sure she’s ok and like I do have people who are there and there are times where I can like reach out to like one person like, hey, this is what I’m experiencing.
And I think for me as a woman, my, my biggest things or my hardest points are, you know, because I have and I know that this is like a whole another topic with my premenstrual dysphoric disorder P MD D.
Those are my hardest moments where it’s hardest for me to pull myself out.
I think another thing that’s helpful let’s say for some reason, you don’t have those like, safe people or you just don’t feel that way in your current moment.
There’s a lot of validity around distraction, coping skills that are healthy.
So I know a lot of people are like, oh, you know, you, you wanna feel your feelings or you want to be in your feelings, but for someone with a DH D who’s already so in their feelings and feeling it too intensely and they don’t know how to get out of that distraction.
Strategies are probably going to be like your biggest friend and they call it like the formal, like, technical name of it is D BT.
But examples are like getting up and getting ice and putting it on your face or your neck, you know, taking a hot bath, like anything that can get you out of your head so that you can distract yourself from being too in it because when you’re already too in it, you know, like wanting to feel it or anything like that kind of just makes it worse.
And so that’s something that I’ve really been leaning more into, especially in the last like 88 or 12, like months is like having those distraction things that I know are helpful to me.
So, so glad you brought that up too because like, you can hear so much on social media and podcasts, like feel it get into it, dive deeper, process it and let’s say someone that doesn’t realize they have a DH D or they already have really intense emotions sometimes that’s not exactly what you need, right?
And so this kind of goes back to like the earlier in the podcast, especially when it comes to your mental health, like you are such a unique person and what your experiences does not mean every strategy out there meets that person, but it can be very difficult to, to listen because of that, right?
Like you’re talking to the fact that you already feel so much and if anything, you need to break the episode in a way, you gotta need to interrupt the pattern of what’s happening.
So you can come out of your free state or you come out of this like deep, deep emotional processing.
And you’re saying I actually do need to distract versus when you get here on social media or like podcast that you can read, they’re like, no stop distracting yourself, stop coping, go deeper, you know.
And it’s, it’s a huge thing because I think again, this goes back to like finding the things that work for you in certain moments.
So a lot of the journey is, is a lot of, of self awareness that like, you know, has to come into play in order to put these things into place.
And I think it changes sometimes too, right?
Like sometimes a hot bath isn’t gonna do it for me.
And like I need to go to the, the route of like, something cold or like going towards the I, you know, like, and I’m saying these things because these are the things that I primarily utilize for me.
But there’s so many different things, you know, there’s so many different tools or, or things that you can do that distract yourself.
And like, it could be something as simple as, like watching your favorite TV show.
And I know a lot of people are like, oh, you shouldn’t be doing that.
But if that gets someone like it, it’s not the, the most unhealthy thing.
And if that gets someone out of their, you know, in the intensity of what they’re feeling that could swallow them up then like, much better than like someone leaning towards like a substance or like something that actually is more unhealthy than that, you know.
And it, you’re talking to almost like there now you have so much self awareness, right?
And now you have this intuitive instinct of like, hey, I know what I need in this moment or I know what I need when this is happening for me.
But I think that’s also comes from experience like you’ve been doing this for years, right?
You dove deep into this for the last few years and you’ve also been very, very educated on this and you took the time to figure out what that is for you, which I think is another important thing for us to just take away in our daily thing of like, try the thing if it doesn’t work, that’s ok.
But then we could find something that works awesome.
Keep doing it and use it when you need to and just keep kind of only just like piling things on your tool belt as we start to come to an end.
I would love to know how has it been for you as someone that is neuro divergent is ad has a DH D but also is very multi, passionate, has so much depth to her, wants all the things in life.
How have you really stepped into like, truly in a way?
Like how do I say?
Like owning this?
I don’t know the way it’s like owning this, like making this a part of you but also feeling like you are fully stepping into your, like your most authentic self in this world.
Like how, what does that look like?
And where have, where are you planning on like taking that?
Like how has almost like falling in love with these parts of you too and bringing that to the world as a part of you?
Yeah, I think one of the hardest things and I think this, this can probably be true for a lot of people that are neurodivergent is changing like careers or what you do in the world, right?
Like I’ve transitioned so many times and it’s never been easy.
It’s it’s always been, you know, I went from like the schools leaving, being a school psychologist to the A DH D coaching and then, you know, leaving the A DH D coaching and going towards,, you know, what I’m doing now are just like, so different, like, more like social media marketing, still doing content creation, you know, and, and lifestyle stuff for people with a DH D.
But even transitioning from that was so hard because we are taught and told, you know, you’re only supposed to do one thing and you stick with that until you retire.
I, I remember like when I left school, my mom would always be like, this is what you’re doing for the rest of your life.
You’re retiring, doing this and like, I was so conditioned, like you went to school for this, you got these loans, like you can’t just leave this.
And so there’s always that like, there’s a lot, little bit of guilt and like you, you can feel really confused and I think a part of me is stepping and owning more of my neuro divergence is that like, it’s ok for me to change, it’s ok for me to move away from things.
It’s ok for it to be completely different from anything else I’ve ever done.
And even with like, where I live too, I mean, you know, that I’ve gone from like, place to place to place and like a huge part of my journey is like, well, where do I belong in the world?
You know, like, and I think that that’s like an ongoing thing for, I don’t, I wouldn’t say that I have all of that figured out, but I think that’s a huge part of it too is like, I don’t have it all together and I don’t have it all figured out.
And that’s ok.
Like I used to be one of those people that thought that I needed to like, have everything planned out.
And, you know, my life was gonna be like in this like periodic methodical way and it’s nothing like that and that’s ok because that is what feels good to me.
So I think for me leaning into the things that in those moments, like this is what I want, this feels good.
This is what I’m moving towards.
It’s ok for, for me to let go of X Y Z and move to this.
If this is what is lighting me up right now.
And I think that that’s huge for people with a DH D because we are an interest based nervous system, meaning like what we feel passionate about and what really interests us is the things that we really do need to, you know, embrace because if we don’t, I think that’s when life starts to feel less fulfilling.
Maybe like we start to feel more lost or frustrated or, you know, like whatever that feeling that might come up but I think that when we try to put ourselves in a box that we’re not supposed to be in, that’s when we struggle more than one where we’re like, hey, this is me, this is how I function and it’s OK for me to you lean into this.
Yeah, I, I also think like being your friend and like witnessing you, like, you’ve also done such a beautiful job of like also listening to the things that don’t fit.
Like, like, and when I say that like the aspects of a job, like the details that go into a position that you’ve stepped into or whatever that looks like, like, hey, like this no longer feels good to me.
It’s burning me out or it’s hitting my capacity or i it’s just somehow not fit fitting into my puzzle.
And like, I think you’ve beautifully done this like dance between life.
Like I didn’t get to know you as much as when you were a school psychologist.
But I remember you transitioning from that to coaching, coaching to where you are now.
And along the way you just listen to like, wow, this really excites me.
Like I get high off doing tasks, tasks ABC.
But then like tasks, I don’t know E and D are like the worst.
Like I cannot do those.
And like, you’ve come to a place of like really piecing together this beautiful career that supports you and the things that you really love to do also tasks that you’re like, oh, I didn’t realize that that was going to be something that I actually am really good at.
And I like and also tasks that are like stretchy in some ways because it’s a new job, right?
So like, you’re like, you’ve stepped in this beautiful molding almost of your professional career as you’ve learned about yourself, as you learned about a DH D and like, that’s what I also want to highlight this like journey that you’ve gone through because a you wanted to support your mental health in a lot of ways, right?
You wanted to support yourself as a woman, but you also wanted to feel good in this life.
So you didn’t feel boxed in.
And that’s a huge part too is like, I think a lot of us can pick up skills much quicker than we think we can.
At least this is what I’ve learned for myself on my own journey.
And, you know, being able to do that also allows us to be able to like switch and change things and still utilize like I’m still using psychology and some of the stuff that I’m doing right.
It’s just, it looks much different now.
And I think if we can like shift our perspective on things like that and let go of what we think like everything is supposed to look like for us like in the future and just like live in that like, hey, this is what I really like now and this is what’s working for me, then we get to, you know, find those things that we are good at and feel, feel good to us.
No, I totally agree from where we started in this podcast episode was really tackling like how the world sees you and how to work through that to where you’ve now taken this episode.
Just your own journey is like finding a way to create your space but not based on everyone else’s like data points or structure or how to do it.
It’s like so much more on like what does my body need?
What does my system need?
How does my internal world and my mental health need to be supported?
So I’m living a good life and I hope that more people can take that too because too many of us are living and forcing ourselves into that box and by forcing ourselves into that box, life starts to feel way heavier.
Maybe the underlining symptoms are still there.
But the intensity behind being in a box or the intensity of trying to fit in almost highlights everything even more in some ways.
Yeah, I, I would agree with that and I think it’s just important for people to, you know, re remind themselves of that and I know it’s hard, right?
Like in theory, it sounds a little bit easier.
But I think the more that you do that you get, like, desensitized in a way, not saying that there’s not gonna be uncomfortable feelings with it, but there is.
But if you just, like, keep pushing past that,, I do think it gets easier and I can say this too because I’ve forced things and, you know, I’ve been through two significant burnouts already and, you know, people with a DH D tend to go through the burnout cycle much more quicker and frequent than people that don’t have a DH D or, and even people with autism too can also like, go through this and it’s because we are trying to function in a way that we’re not supposed to, we might not realize it.
So it’s like, really honoring yourself, makes a huge difference even in terms of like, you know, how we feel on a day to day and preventing from being sucked into those burnout cycles.
Yeah, totally.
I’m with you.
, which, that’s a whole another topic and even like the P MD D thing, like, I would love for you to like, come and talk about that possibly soon.
I know you’re also a big advocate for this, but just wanna remind anyone that is listening to this episode that, hey, yeah, we talked about a lot of things here.
We talked a lot about the symptoms, but there’s nothing like working with a professional and making sure that you’re being treated uniquely to your diagnosis.
And I will also say, you know, as someone, for example, I’m a trauma informed somatic practitioner.
I got a new lens and I’m like, I don’t even know what a master psychologist can I do.
You know?
So all these people can treat you and look at you with your specific symptoms as much as you want to get into the ring and start saying like I have this or I have that because I think it could be easily to Google.
I just want to say for Mental Health Awareness Month, like work with a professional work with someone that is willing to be with you in your process and understand what you’re going through.
And lastly, if you’ve tried finding like a therapist or a coach or a psychologist or someone that is in their world and it didn’t work out, please don’t give up.
keep trying to find someone that works for you and that understands you.
And I think the last thing that I know Liv will probably agree with me is like in this world today, you got to advocate for yourself.
And one thing advocating for yourself is just give your best interest in asking a lot of questions for yourself.
So you also have a true understanding of what’s the best for you because at the end of the day, you get to decide that and you’re on board at that decision.
Is there anything else you want to add to that?
Because I know, you’ve been through this process before.
Yeah, I think to, like, a huge part because I know it could be hard, especially, like, just speaking of like, therapy, you know, a good resource for, you know, if you’re trying to find a therapist or, you know, the teacher insurance because I know sometimes the accessibility of things can be hard.
Psychology today dot com has been like, that’s how I found my, my current therapist and she’s like a blessing, right?
And you get to go through their profiles and see like, you know, what, what you’re looking for specifically, you know, I know some people are looking more for other things, but just for that specifically, it’s just like a really good resource that maybe not everyone knows about.
Like, I know I know about it, maybe, you know about it, but like, not sure if everyone else knows about it.
And also like, if you work with someone and it’s not a good fit, it’s ok to express that and switch providers.
I think a lot of us also feel guilty or we get like someone that’s not a good fit for us and then automatically are like, this isn’t going to work for me.
This is not helpful, you know, and it’s just sometimes it’s a matter of just finding the right provider for what you you need.
And, and also like that feeling safe with them is like a huge thing.
So I just wanted to it.
No, I love that.
Thank you for doing that because I think, yeah, it’s so important and my biggest thing is to don’t give up, like, don’t give up, you know, having I think personally, like having a space to be completely on a honest, vulnerable, completely unbiased opinion, a container where you can like, let everything out is probably one of the most healing things in general.
And then when someone actually sees you on that and can support you in that and the best way to like what you need in that moment like that is that is like life changing in a lot of ways.
And so it’s so special to find that spot, but don’t give up on trying to find that spot.
That’s like, really, I just feels like so many people get stuck on, like, I don’t even know where to start who to talk to get so overwhelmed.
There’s so many people out there, but just try because, I don’t know, I just don’t want to see so many people struggling, like internally struggling.
Like it brings tears to my eyes, like thinking about how many people in our world are internally struggling and they don’t feel heard, seen or understood.
Yeah, I agree.
And the same thing goes with like those that aren’t diagnosed with a DH D and might think that they have it.
A lot of women specifically get dismissed or told, oh, it’s just depression.
It’s just anxiety, you know, I’ve been there before, find a second opinion because no one should be, no one should be dismissing you.
They should be referring you to get an actual evaluation because that is the only way that anyone can tell if you actually have a DH D or not.
So, just again, it’s back to that, advocating for yourself as frustrating as it is as annoying as it is knowing what’s going on and getting the support that you need is just it, it does make a difference.
Well, thank you so much for coming onto the podcast and she your story and talking so much to a DH D and our divergent mental health, the process of just finding your way in this life because I think it’s, it’s all tied together.
So, yeah, it was such a blessing to have you, you’re so well spoken, so well educated, so well researched and also like so well experienced because you’re also going through this.
And I think I, I really think it’s gonna meet a lot of people.
So thank you.
Thank you for having me.

In this latest episode with Olivia Wetter, we covered:

  • Olivia’s transition from school psychologist to ADHD coach.
  • The relief and challenges of being diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood.
  • Tips on learning to pause and manage intense emotions.
  • Navigating these environments with ADHD.
  • Finding what works best for you.
  • The importance of distraction methods in managing emotional overload.
  • Embracing neurodivergence and evolving career paths.

About Olivia:

Olivia has an extensive education and experience working with thousands of individuals with ADHD as a former School Psychologist and ADHD Coach for over 10 years. While she has retired both of those hats, she continues to provide insight and resources for those with ADHD who need them, even if it is just a place to feel seen and validated.

Connect With Olivia:

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Karenna Soto

I’m an expert in communication, creating healthy professional and personal relaitonships, and in managing and overcoming anxiety with a knack for navigating difficult conversations both in personal and professional atmospheres. I am here to invite you into your fullest authentic expression and personal evolution.

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I know how debilitating it can feel to be stuck on the perpetual hamster wheel of a life that you don’t enjoy living. Sure, externally you’ve got it all together, but internally, it likely feels like you’re questioning E V E R Y T H I N G.

Can you relate?

It was when I felt disconnect with what I was doing, and with how I was showing up in my life that I realized the answers lied in how I was doing what I was doing that I decided I no longer wanted to keep living within the box of what I was told to be and decided to boldly express myself and stand for what truly mattered to me.

I have seen the power of fully expressing myself in my personal and professional life. Now I want to bring it to the masses, which is why I’ve created this podcast.

This podcast is my invitation to all people struggling to be fully expressed in life, relationships, and business. It’s for those who are wanting to feel A L I V E, connected, and in love with their life, relationships, and business.

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