Roxie & Moira discuss how being part of an ADHD community increases their self-worth and joy, and are big pieces of their ADHD Friendly Lifestyle.
ADHD Coach Roxie Martin shares her decades-long journey to diagnosis at 50, and what it was like for her as a new mom with a suspicion of having ADHD. Her desperation led her to self-acceptance and then giving back as a coach. Moira and Roxie both speak about how transformative understanding their ADHD has been as late-diagnosed women, and now coaches.
Topics discussed in this episode:
Moira shares how group coaching played a pivotal role in her journey with ADHD 02:19
- Going deep to learn about ADHD was one of the best things she ever did
- was hopeful that it would help me with my newly diagnosed ADHD,
- require a significant amount of time and commitment to questioning grow and change
- easier to follow through and do things when I feel connected with and a responsibility to others in the group coaching
- the group helped me clarify my dreams and bring them to life.
Roxie Martin shares her story 07:05
- how being a severe introvert and 50 years old made her hesitate to join group coaching
- she realized that so couldn’t do it on her own anymore and was desperate for change
- Roxie backs up and shares her struggles when she left high school, tried to find her way personally, and then as a mom which led to powdered donuts, alcoholism and depression
- Roxie tried so many things to try and help herself, including sobriety, counselling, increasing her own knowledge, helping others, and seeking an ADHD diagnosis—in her effort to be successful the clinician misunderstood her impulsivity as not related to ADHD.
- Her young adult daughter’s diagnosis led to Roxie getting the diagnosis 20 years later
- Roxie was worried if she would feel at home and comfortable within the ADHD community—and she found it “so easy” to be there
Moira and Roxie discuss the amazingness of a group of people with ADHD 17:10
- The diversity, the interests, the personalities are so interesting from all walks of life
- We also see others as a mirror into ourselves and that helps us be compassionate
Journey to becoming a coach 21:01
- Roxie discusses how coming from a family that had challenges left her feeling ill equipped to make adult decisions, manage life and led to her developing the problem-solving skills and communicate for herself out of necessity
- Helping people and understanding issues came naturally to her, and was always something she gravitated towards
- Roxie gives the multitude of examples of how she has supported, guided and coached people over the years, leading to her coaching certification
- Moira and Roxie share the highlights of helping and witnessing people transfer during Coaching groups
What is an ADHD Friendly Lifestyle to Roxie? 29:07
- Roxie defines her lifestyle as what she is doing day to day and how she is experiencing life
- Flexible, resilient, intentional and curious in relative balance
- This allows her to be present and engaged positively even when things are not going well or easily
- She tries for this all the time, knowing that sometimes things will go off the rails
- Curiosity is the biggest piece she tries to hold on to
- Resiliency is related too if she remembers that the idea is not for things to go perfectly, and she doesn’t get stuck in beating herself up
- This mindset really helps with her expectations for the rest of her family too
Moira Maybin 00:07
Today I’m lucky to be joined by coach Roxie Martin, as we talk about her path to acceptance and understanding of her ADHD, and how she is now living an ADHD friendly lifestyle that works for her. Welcome to the ADHD friendly lifestyle. This is the place to practice putting on our own oxygen mask so we can breathe and make it possible to show up in our own lives without guilt or shame. I’m your host, Moira Maybin, a woman, Mom, educator, and I have late diagnosed ADHD. We can have an ADHD friendly lifestyle that includes more time with our strengths and passions. Less with our challenges has ways to adjust what and how we do things to suit us better and expand the ways and places that ADHD is understood and accepted. I suspect many of us have asked the same questions I did. Why is life so hard? Why does it seem easier for literally everyone else? There are things that I wish I had known about my ADHD sooner that are allowing me to make different decisions to make my life better and more ADHD friendly. And I want to share them with you. I finally understand that to live well. My lifestyle is not negotiable. It has to work for me. It has to be healthy. And yep, it’s got to be ADHD friendly. I want to thank you for choosing this podcast. It is a labor of love for me, and I have been touched deeply by the emails and reviews sharing how my words are helping you. Please take the time to review, share and subscribe to the podcast on the player of your choice. Going to be experimenting with a few different things on upcoming episodes, to try and see if there are ways that I can get this to fit better in my life. Make it a little bit more ADHD friendly for me. At the beginning of every episode, I say there are things that I wish I had known about my ADHD sooner that are allowing me to make different decisions to make my life better and that I want to share them with you. Okay, let’s get started.
Moira Maybin 02:19
Welcome, Roxie. I’m really excited to have you here on the show today.
Thanks, Moira. Thanks for asking.
So, I met you at my first, was I? Was it the Philadelphia Chadd conference? Philadelphia. Yep. So, my second Chadd conference. And I knew I knew you were a good egg. But also, I knew that our friend Emily that we had in common together meant that we would click but I just right, yeah, I just remember meeting you and just being able to have those conversations right away about what we wanted out of life, what our challenges are our hopes and our dreams. And so
Roxie Martin 06:35
yeah, we said hi. And then we went there at the escalator for like an hour. Right. And everybody else was leaving to go to dinner. I remember.
Moira Maybin 06:44
Yeah. So. So yeah. . And I just wanted to give you the opportunity to let our listeners know, what you’d like to share about your journey. so far.
Roxie Martin 07:05
Okay. Well, it’s been a whirlwind in some respects, it’s been really challenging in all the best ways I came, to art because I had hit so many walls, trying to get my life under control to get some things managed. And I had done as much as I could do on my own. And that was a really big deal for me because I’m a severe introvert, I was really scared about doing anything group-related. So, you have to know like, I was really desperate if I was willing, at that point, to get out of my little vacuum of information. And, and, and put me in a position to have to be around a bunch of people that I’d never met before. But I did it and, and it was easy because I stepped into a room of people who got me. I felt like we just clicked right away. I always say that. People with ADHD just don’t have the time or energy for bullshit. So, you just get right into the good stuff. And nobody’s trying to put on a facade. I just, I don’t know anything about having everybody in that same place. was just really it being easy to just dive into the good stuff like me and you at the escalator?
Moira Maybin 08:49
Yeah, I was going to ask you, where was that in diagnosis for you? Did you have a diagnosis at that point? Had you known for that long?
Roxie Martin 08:59
So, I’d known officially for a couple of years. The truth is when I was A young mom, I knew something was off I really had a hard time getting any kind of motivation at all. And so, with my first kid, I would just be overwhelmed at the thought of going to a park one because the energy to cuz small talk with Park moms just was not my jam at all. And so, what I would default to would be closing the blinds so nobody walking by my apartment window could see me and then turning on like, I don’t know soap operas or Oprah or something at the time, and then just hanging out in this little like mushroomy cave with my kid and I knew that wasn’t good and as hard as I tried to Get some kind of structure I couldn’t. And so, I would call myself, instead of a stay-at-home mom, I would just be like, I’m just a stay-at-home me, I’m not actually getting anything done. This isn’t really great for my kid. And I’m not sure what to do to get out of it. And so. So, what I did at first was buy box wine and eat powdered sugar donuts in my car when my husband got home from work. And I decided that probably was an inefficient solution to the problem. And so, I started doing a bunch of reading, and the ADHD stuff just hit ticked every box. And so, I’m reading through all of the things and I’m like, yep, that’s me. But then I would also go now, but it’s not me, I was a really compliant child. I was a really good student. I would say all these other things about my history in school that would make me think that I wasn’t I didn’t, I was disqualified. So, then I decided, well, what are the boxes that I am able to tick off pretty consistently. So, then I decided, well, I’m, you know, maybe I’m an alcoholic, maybe I’m depressed. And it was easier to like, look at those things as being the problem than the ADHD because, in my mind, I still was tying the ADHD symptoms to a character defect, right? So, it was like, you’re just lazy, you’re not trying hard enough, you’re unfocused, you know. And then it didn’t help that I had people in my life, who were not ADHD, who were in that same season with small children who were killing the game. Like I tell the story, I had a friend My she was the one I was looking to, to kind of figure out how to do this thing. And she was the one who was like writing down which boobs she was using to nurse her baby. And she had a log next to her. Her beautiful little glider chair. And, and she would like to feed her kid at the exact same time every day. And you know, the snacks were on a schedule. She did all the things her house was perfectly clean. She never had a dish in the sink. And I’m like, oh, okay, well, how do you do that? And then she told me how to do it. And I would, I would think, well, that’s easy. That makes sense. That’s practical. And then I would go home and try it. And I would be bored out of my mind. Like, it felt like it took forever to do those things. And it just wasn’t working for me. So. So I’m like, oh, it’s definitely a character defect because she can do it. And I just can’t because I’m bored. And I’m not willing to put in the time. So, I got treated for depression. And I quit drinking. And that’s great. But it didn’t solve the problem, like the problems of motivation, the problems of really just seeing 500 bubbles of options. equidistant you know, as my, my way to prioritize, like, none of that changed. And so, I knew, but I ignored it. And then it was 20 years later that my daughter was in school, and she got tested. And they wanted to have us take the test as well. So, the test results come back, and they tell my daughter, well, you’ve got you to know, anxiety and you’ve got mild ADHD presenting here. But will you tell your mom to call me right away? And that’s how I got diagnosed. And so, I didn’t officially get diagnosed until I was 50. Right?
Moira Maybin 13:25
Yeah. And how did you feel at that time about getting that diagnosis? Because I know, for me that I noticed was a relief. And I know for a lot of people it’s not.
Roxie Martin 13:34
Yeah, so um, it was? Well, I guess I should back up and say that at that 30-year point, I did do one thing before I decided not to lean into the ADHD part. And that was I was willing to go take a test to see, but I was so scared that I was going to flunk the test that I made myself impulsive. Like I would you know when you’re supposed to watch the dot and wait to do things. I was such a jackass that I tried to make the results happen so that I would get the diagnosis I want. I was so scared; I wouldn’t pass the test. So, I just started hitting buttons. And then when, when he came when the results came back, he goes, well, you don’t have ADHD, you’re just really impulsive. And I didn’t want to admit that I had cheated.
Moira Maybin 14:20
And so then how much is that into that whole gender conformity of like, I’m going to try and meet the grade I’m going to try and do what I need to do. I had a similar experience, though on medication where I it was it was an attention task and attention to details. And it was all these symbols that were variations on like, PS DS, cues, and dots and lines and there was a certain there was like three or four particular patterns I was looking for and I had to scan these lines and even on medication even in a test environment. me trying to do this I’m doing it. And that’s something that is like, so super boring for me. And I get I’m starting to get through it. And all of a sudden, I’m thinking about the book that I’m reading and the storyline on that, and I pull myself back. And then I think a little bit more, and I think, oh, my God, this is awful to do. Can you imagine marking it, but I wonder if they have like, an overlay for it? And, and then I was like, what are you doing? Come back, you’re just paying attention to this. And then I was thinking about telling the examiner about this at the end, like how I would share it with them. And so yeah, it was just even in that situation, when I wanted to perform. But I think just like you, then there was there’s judgment about that. Right? Yeah, we judge. So, um, so you made the decision to connect with Eric, you did so bad for the introvert. Like, I’m going to go into a group situation. Mm-hmm. And that was Yeah,
Roxie Martin 15:58
to go. At least, at least. And I, I remember that conversation, where I was, he was talking to me about the things that were great about the group. And I was saying, yep, that all sounds wonderful. And then I remember saying to him, but are you sure I’m not too old? I literally remember saying, are you sure I’m not too old for this, like, I’m afraid that, like, I’m not going to have anything to contribute or that people aren’t going to relate to me, or I’m going to be, I’m just going to feel awkward. I guess I had that feeling. The same feeling that I’ve had, when I think about going back to school, it’s just I don’t want to be, I don’t want to be awkward and be that guy. I just, I just hated the thought of it. So, he kept saying, No, you’re fine, you’re fine. And, and the truth is, as soon as I got into the group, I, really, I was fine. Every everybody’s amazing. And all kinds of different sort of stages of life. And, and nobody with ADHD gets old. We I don’t think we just there’s a part of us that just doesn’t ever grow up. And, and I love that I love that
Moira Maybin 17:10
part of us. That is always, I think, interested in other people. And yeah, I think like, I’ve never met a more interesting group of people, every season, when I meet a new group of people, or when we do the registration events, we you know, we get to first meet people or see their videos. I’m just, I’m so amazed at, you know, what people offer of themselves. And yet I’m someone so there’s, you know, there’ll be people who like, oh, I can play the harp their people who are very visible talents. And that still strikes in me a bit of an inferiority complex because I, my greatest gifts are not something that is very easy. Like, I’m not an artist, I’m not a musician. And it took me a long time. But it was this repetition of seeing this in different people to make me realize that, you know, what my creativity is in how I interact with ideas. And yes, my, my gifts are in how I see people. And so, I think, you know, I’m just thinking for anybody listening to this, if you could feel you know, if you’re saying, oh, everybody’s incredible, I can’t do that. We’re all people with ADHD. And I think that’s one of the things that we come to this group looking for. Really some salvation. Yeah, of ourselves. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And, and seeing other people’s differences. I think it helps us understand our special uniqueness.
Roxie Martin 18:47
Yeah, I think I think I think so too. I think we see so much of ourselves in each other in in some ways. And then we see all of these attributes that we, we maybe don’t possess, but we admire so much. So, I know for me, it was really healing to see some of like, my, my idiocy syntheses represented in these people, because I see them and I’m like, you are adorable. Like, you’re just adorable. And then it kind of made me have to look at Well if I think they’re adorable, then why is it that you know, I want to beat the crap out of myself for these things like do I want to punch them because they have this issue? I never do. And, and I think that that was one of the surprise gifts of becoming part of the coaching group is I didn’t know. I didn’t know to be proud. That’s what it was like coming into ArC. Having all those people that I thought were awesome with the same struggles that I had, and was being reflected back and it changed the way that I saw myself. It’s changed the way that I viewed my history and I started to feel special. Pride around some things that before I had only felt sort of shame and guilt and confusion, and I didn’t expect that, you know, I thought that I was like, we all say this, I thought you were gonna teach me how to plan and you know, keep my house clean, and, you know, like future goals, set, whatever. And that’s all wonderful. And it helps a lot. But it was the self-esteem piece, that I needed to be able to have this like foundation and floor that says, hey, I deserve to have some good things. And also, I’m capable of having those things. If I, do it my way if I do it in a way that works for me, instead of trying to become this other person and do it their way, because I see them successful. And so, it just bridged it bridged a gap I didn’t even know existed.
Moira Maybin 20:49
And so then in that time, you’ve become a certified coat. Yeah, a little bit more. Yes, yes.
Roxie Martin 21:01
So, this is another full circle kind of thing I always wanted to be, originally, I’d thought I was going to go to school and be like a psychologist or a therapist, I had always been very one on one relational, I had also come from a very jacked up family that had really poor communication. And I learned how to communicate, and how to problem solve as a survival tool, and as a way to mediate my crazy family dynamic, their stuff, and, and so it started out kind of broken. But it was also something that I felt really naturally gifted, that I felt like I could see, I could always see both sides of the equation. And I wanted to do something useful with that. The problem was, I was never taught anything about what it looked like to leave high school and go to college, neither of my parents talked to me about it, I had no idea. And I was really scared. And I also didn’t know that I had ADHD. And so, I thought, maybe I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was. Because I got into college, and they’re trying to tell me, they’re telling me to write all these notes. And they’re telling me that I have things do three months from now. And I’m somehow supposed to just make it happen. And so, I had no ability to prioritize, and no ability to manage my time. And I’m out of high school, I’m drinking, I’m dating, I’m doing all these bright and shiny things. And I couldn’t buckle down, I couldn’t buckle down. And so, I thought, oh, I just suck at this, and I quit. And, and that was sort of the end of that little dream. And by the time, I started to feel like I could revisit some of those things that I wanted. I had kids, you know, I had a My life already sorted of well in place. So. So I kept trying to figure out how to make it happen. And then the years kept passing. And I’m like, well, I don’t even know what to do with this. So, I studied on my own, I took, you know, whatever classes I could take on, you know, the platforms that were available online, but I never got a degree or anything. The other things that happened, were like I would do sponsoring for different, like 12 step things, I was super heavily involved for most of my life in, in ministry, and like lay counseling, and all those kinds of things. So, I was sort of able to do some things, not all the things and then I became a hairstylist and doing hair for like 15 years. And that was great. I loved it. But what I loved about it was the one-on-one with my clients. And then it was kind of wacky because they would start to want to have these really in-depth conversations and, and sometimes want to talk outside of our time together in the salon and I realized like I love the idea of this, but this isn’t the place for that yet. I can’t actually talk to them about some of this stuff they want to talk about, and I wish that I could have it would have been really great. So, the more I started doing, like coaching with Eric and doing the admin stuff, the more I wanted to be doing that when they were in my chair, you know, it’s like I don’t really even care about your air anymore, right? Yeah. So, at some point, I just I started doing less and less hair, and then more and more admitting and then and then going through the coaching program and I realized that that really did kind of tick off all the boxes, because I had the opportunity to have that more intimate connection, because you know, like, with our groups, we go there fast. And we really do just have this 10-week, amazing journey together, this experience is incredible. And so, I’ve always liked to be the one connecting people, I don’t need to be in the middle of it all. But I really like bringing people together and seeing them
Roxie Martin 25:34
sort of, like step into their purpose for lack of a better word. That is, that’s where that’s like my most happy place ever. So, to get to do this in these groups, and watch their, you know, watch their ups and downs. And, and watch all of the things that they learn and realize, like that being able to, to witness that I honestly can’t think of anything that I’ve done. That’s been more rewarding than this. Because you
Moira Maybin 26:03
get that a little bit as a teacher in the classroom, but it’s a much slower process. Yeah. And because this is adults because it’s intense because it’s, you can see it week by week, how people are changing, and it’s just, you know, there’s that period of discomfort. There’s the period where the shine comes off. Yeah, there’s this, you know, vulnerability and blossoming and leaning in and it’s just, yeah, it just fills my heart up. Yeah. So much. We’re so lucky. Like, we are right, we’re so lucky. Yeah, we are, we are. And then at the same time, it’s also this is the environment, that also helps me be the version of me that I want to be right. Because it’s reinforcing. It’s reinforcing my values. Right? So
Roxie Martin 26:52
yeah, it’s like, I always tell people it is its sort of my, it’s my ADHD management plan too, and something I like about the groups so much that I wasn’t able to experience in the les counseling stuff or, or any of the other things is that I get to be around people who are so unique. They’re so diverse. Everybody’s not. We’re all part of the same team. But we’re not like, no one’s in a, you know, like the club. It’s not a click. Yeah, it’s wonderful. There’s so much to learn. People are bringing all kinds of different experiences and pieces of their culture, it’s, it’s all the things and I and that’s um, that’s something I just couldn’t I didn’t get that anywhere else. I don’t know, I’ve always just wanted to be a part of all of the things. I don’t want to be around a bunch of people who think exactly as I do, who believe exactly like I do, because I can’t learn anything if I’m just hearing what I already think and think I know. So, I get even in these groups, even though we’re all here for ADHD, we’re all here for the same reason. I also get to hear about pieces and aspects of their life and things that interest them, which make me better and more. Oh, my gosh, we talked about Emily, our mutual friend, how much have I learned from that girl? We’re, we’re still in an accountability team from Season 13. When we went through arc together, and the women that I get to see every Sunday morning, we have a young artist, we have a songwriter who is a little bit further ahead in life than me and then we’ve got our Afro-jazz teaching math professor in Emily. And it’s just so cool. And they have they’ve taught me so much from their unique perspective on where they are placed in a sort of in space and time that I will be forever grateful.
Moira Maybin 28:59
So, I am curious, what is an ADHD friendly lifestyle? mean to you?
Roxie Martin 29:07
That is a great question. And I’m not sure that I have a great answer. I think lifestyle actually kind of throws me What does that mean like lifestyle? That’s just the stuff I do in a day. Is that the way that I set up my environment? Is it all the things is it whatever I want it to be?
Moira Maybin 29:32
I think it’s a version of How are you feeling?
Roxie Martin 29:39
All right, so when I think about the lifestyle, I guess my first thought is to just think about like a mood or a vibe, like what’s the ADHD sort of vibe that I want to be experiencing on the day to day I’ll go with that and it is flex wool, and resilient and intentional and curious, when I have all of those sorts of in relative balance, I make pretty good choices. And I’m present and engaged in a positive way, even when things don’t necessarily go well or easily. So, I guess the lifestyle is, is keeping those things in play all the time? Does that answer the question?
Moira Maybin 30:48
If you’d that’s a very thoughtful answer all the time or enough of the time,
Roxie Martin 30:55
all the time, meaning it’s always the goal. Like those are the, like, the constants that you know, those are the things that are most important. So yeah, sometimes it all goes off the rails, and none of them are in play. But I think the ideal, but I, I really do try to hold on to the Curiosity piece. And the resilience piece, like those, was kind of drilled into me in the best possible way. So those I come back pretty quickly, if I’m curious, and if I remember that the idea is not for it to go perfectly smoothly in a forward, you know, on the forward path, but then I’m like, I’m able to reach a course correct. Then I still end up doing better, I just don’t get stuck as long in beating myself up over the stuff that doesn’t go well. So, I end up being more productive when I’m adopting that mindset. And, and I also think it helps me, with my expectations for the rest of my family. Just Yeah, yeah. And I think that’s something that’s pretty both those things are relatively consistent. That’s awesome.
Moira Maybin Thank you very much, Roxie.
Thanks, Moira. It was fun hanging out with you.
Moira Maybin 33:38
I hope you enjoyed today’s show. This is the place for the late-diagnosed, women, moms, professionals, those who want to understand ADHD, be heard, and know they are not alone. The ADHD Friendly Lifestyle is for those of us who are done with trying harder and want healthy, sustainable lives that pay attention to our own particular needs and challenges with ADHD. We want to have the capacity to pursue our goals, dreams, and passions with more joy and ease and have tomorrow be a more ADHD Friendly Day.
I’d love to know your thoughts about today’s episode and appreciate questions you’d like to hear on the show too. All questions will be anonymous, respected, and appreciated. And I can’t wait to continue this conversation with you. To get in touch you can check out my website ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com, email Moira@ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com or comment below on this podcast. Please remember, I am not a doctor, The information presented in this podcast does not replace the individual recommendations from your health care providers.
You can help, by subscribing to the ADHD Friendly Lifestyle on Apple Podcast, or the podcast player of your choice. You can also help spread the word by sharing the podcast with the people in your life, and by taking the time to rate and review.
Thanks for listening. Stay tuned for the next episode as we work together to build our ADHD Friendly Lifestyles See ya later…