I hope you all enjoyed the Easter weekend. For me, Easter is kind of a transitional time that reminds me of spring and the promise of new beginnings.
This year, as we transition from one season to another and one quarter to the next we are also beginning to transition to the Atlantic bubble and a wider vaccine rollout. As a result we have restarted our in-person meetings on Wednesday evenings, in addition to continuing our online meetings. In the last quarter alone we have had 17 new people attend a peer support group meeting. It’s always exciting to meet and help new people!!
Our effort to support parents is also well underway. This began with a survey that was distributed widely on social media and resulted in 40+ parents sharing their unique perspective and challenges with ADHD. We are currently reviewing the data, and the programs we deliver this season will be based on the information we received.
By far the biggest event of the Winter was kicking off our Founders Campaign with a screening of “ADD & Loving It?!” at City Cinema in Charlottetown. We had a fabulous day with 19 people coming out to support us in person, and over a dozen more joining in for the online viewing. The documentary was enlightening and there was some great discussion at our Q&A Afterwards.
Our Founders Campaign is our first real fundraising effort. The movie screening and opening our webshop are just the beginning! Between now and October (ADHD Awareness month) we will be hosting a variety of events and other fun things. Check our website for more information and new developments.
Our next event will be a Zoom presentation by ADHD coach Keith Gelhorn, on April 14th at 7:30pm. This is the first of what we hope will be many guest speakers on a variety of topics. We hope you can join us!
Also, if you are interested in supporting our organization please check out the merch store, make a donation, or contact us about volunteer opportunities. It is with community help we will grow and better help the community.
President ADHD PEI
If you are interested in becoming a member of our community peer support network please reach out to us on Facebook or at our website www.ADHDPEI.ca.
GUEST SPEAKER KEITH GELHORN:
There will be no support group meeting Wednesday, April 14th as we will be hosting ADHD Coach Keith Gelhorn from ADDvocacy.org. Check our EVENT calendar for more details!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOUNDER'S CAMPAIGN:
Learn about the Founders Campaign and our progress HERE.
Please refer to our EVENT calendar for details about upcoming special events during the campaign.
OUR MOVIE SCREENING WAS A GREAT SUCCESS!
On March 27th we hosted two simultaneous screenings of the documentary "ADD & Loving It?!" thanks to support and collaboration with TotallyADD.com.
An in-person screening was held at City Cinema in Charlottetown, PEI followed by a Q&A session with ADHD PEI founder Sandy Slade and board member Shelley Hansen, while board member Katie manned the merch table. For those who could not make the City Cinema screening we held a free online screening of the documentary at the same time. Board member Pam ran the online viewing and there was a great conversation in the chat!
Thank you to everyone who came out to support us, we hope to see you at our next fun event!
Weekly Support Group Meetings
Our regular support group meetings will continue every Wednesday evening at 7:30pm Atlantic Time. Occasional special events may take place in lieu of a regular meeting. These will be posted on the Events page on our website (and Facebook page).
IN-PERSON ADULT ADHD SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS: WEDNESDAYS 7:30pm-9:00pm
178 Fitzroy Street (CMHA), Charlottetown
Our in-person meetings have restarted and take place on Wednesdays from 7:30pm-9:00pm Atlantic Time. All COVID social distancing guidelines are observed at these meetings. If you are able to give us a heads up that you are coming it is appreciated but not mandatory.
ONLINE (ZOOM) ADULT ADHD PEER SUPPORT MEETINGS:
WEDNESDAYS 7:30pm-9:00pm Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9720415025
Meeting ID: 972-041-5025
If you cannot or don't wish to attend an in-person meeting do not fear! Our regular Wednesday online peer support group meetings will continue on Zoom. If you haven't used Zoom before you can check it out here. The first time you join a meeting you may be prompted to download some software, after that Zoom will be able to launch from your computer when you click a meeting link.
ONLINE (FACEBOOK) PARENTS SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS: MONDAYS 8:00pm-10:00pm
Facebook: Shelley's Room on the ADHD PEI Support Group page
Our NEW support group for parents is being spearheaded by Shelley based on all of the input from our Parents Support Group Survey. Shelley's Room will be open for discussions, questions, strategies and anything that will help us help each other. Feel free to drop in and out as your evening schedule allows. - Note that you must be a member of the Facebook Group (ADHD PEI Support Group) to access Shelley's Room.
- Note that the day/time of this Room may change based on the needs of the group. If this happens updated information will be available on the EVENTS page on our website.
How ADHD has touched me
“If you’re searching for that one person who will change
your life...look in the mirror.”
I first heard about ADHD in 1994 when my friend's sister was doing her psychology degree. It never occurred to me that it was something I had because there was nothing "hyper" about me, I was pretty inactive and lethargic (and overweight).
I knew that ADHD existed, but I always did well in school and didn't identify with what I thought ADHD was. Even after going through the diagnosis process and treatment with my son 5 years ago did not I think it was affecting me. I was too busy blaming the television he was put in front by his dad while I was at work, or the foods he was eating despite the fact that I fed him very well. I was holding out hope that what I was seeing, what he was experiencing, was something he would grow out of. I also didn't fully consider the impact on my son’s well-being.
Only last year, when I was taking courses to prepare to go back to school and barely able to read a paragraph of a text without getting distracted with something in the environment or the thoughts in my head, did I finally consider that I might have ADHD. For so long I had thought I was just another busy, stressed out, depressed, hormonal mom with too much on her plate and no time for self care.
I brought it up with my nurse practitioner who said she didn't know much about adult ADHD but to tell her what was going on at home. This led back down the rabbit hole of diagnosing and treating for anxiety and depression, a treatment path that had previously been unsuccessful. This time was no different, and as I struggled with finding the right medications and doses, I still had unanswered questions and was getting progressively more frustrated.
Finally I learned about Dr. Wong through a friend and requested a referral. After a waiting period of several months I finally met Dr. Wong. On our initial visit he spent two hours asking me questions and taking notes while I told my story. By the end of our time together I was able to understand and accept myself in a way I never could before. Although there were still going to be bumps in the road to finding the right medication and dose, the journey of forgiveness had begun. I immersed myself in learning more about ADHD and used it to look at life through a new lens, not only for myself but also as a mother and a teacher.
I told one of the instructors in my program about my diagnosis and she asked if I was getting support, which made me realize the importance of support beyond just getting a diagnosis and access to medication. So I searched ADHD on Facebook and found the ADHD PEI adult support group. Being a classic ENFP helper/fixer I was happy to share from my reading and research, anything I could find that might be helpful to others like me. It wasn’t long before I was contacted by Sandy Slade (founder of ADHD PEI) who wished to meet with me. In Sandy I found not only someone who talks as much as me (maybe even more?), but also someone with the same passion to advocate for people struggling to make sense of their ADHD brain.
I have many goals for my work as an ADHD advocate, but I also know the effects ADHD has on my executive functioning (those mental skills necessary to see my goals through). My abilities may not always keep up with my intentions, but having ADHD PEI as a source of support, accountability and my sense of responsibility to its members enables me to stay motivated and determined.
Although my experience with ADHD is rich, my journey is just beginning. The single most valuable tool in my toolbox has been information; learning about ADHD by reading, researching, observing and supporting others helps me manage my symptoms. I am lucky to have found a medication and dose that enable me to stay motivated and I have learned other things that work for me are exercise (particularly belly dancing and classes with UFIT, inc.), eating a balanced diet, bullet journaling, yoga, meditation, and a number of other things in the self-care wheelhouse. My next step will be to find an ADHD Coach to help with my never ending “to-do list”, organization, all things executive function related, and to keep me accountable!
I know I am a better mother and teacher for having put time and effort into myself and I hope that others can also find ways to take charge of their ADHD instead of letting it take charge of them.
Some books that we frequently recommend to adults who have recently been diagnosed with ADHD:
REGULAR RESOURCE LIST:
Our regular list of local and online resources can be found on our website HERE.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a stress and disruption for everyone, but for those of us with ADHD there are some particular reasons it may be difficult to cope. We've assembled a collection of external resources that we think may be helpful to you: