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Picture this: You’re gazing into a mirror, and suddenly, it all makes sense. The scattered puzzle pieces of your life click together, revealing a vibrant picture of who you truly are: a neurodivergent woman, a late-diagnosed superhero, a force to be reckoned with.

For many of us, receiving a late diagnosis of ADHD or autism can feel like a revelation, a key that unlocks a hidden door to self-understanding. Suddenly, those quirks and challenges that always made you feel different, those moments when you felt like an outsider trying to fit in with the “neurotypical muggles,” they finally make sense.

But this newfound awareness can also be a double-edged sword. It’s both liberating and overwhelming, exciting and terrifying. You might be feeling a whirlwind of emotions – relief, validation, anger, grief, even a touch of imposter syndrome. It’s like being handed a Hogwarts acceptance letter after years of believing you were just a regular old human.

The Emotional Rollercoaster of Late Diagnosis

Getting a late diagnosis can feel like a confetti cannon exploded inside your head (and heart). Here’s a glimpse into the emotional rollercoaster many of us late-diagnosed neurodivergent moms experience:

  • Relief and Validation: It’s like finally finding the missing piece to your life puzzle. Things that never quite made sense suddenly click into place, and you realize that you’re not broken, just different. This can be incredibly validating and empowering, like finally being able to say, “See, I told you I wasn’t just being lazy/dramatic/weird!”
  • Grief and Anger: But hold on, mom, because this rollercoaster has a few unexpected twists and turns. You might also feel a sense of grief for the years you spent struggling in silence, wondering why you couldn’t just “be normal” like everyone else. You might feel angry at yourself for not realizing sooner, or at others who dismissed your struggles as character flaws or a lack of effort.
  • Confusion and Overwhelm: Late diagnosis can also feel like drinking from a firehose of information. Suddenly, you’re bombarded with new terms, diagnoses, and treatment options. It’s like trying to understand the rules of Quidditch while simultaneously learning to speak Parseltongue. It can be overwhelming, confusing, and even a little bit scary.
  • Excitement and Empowerment: But amidst all the chaos, there’s also a spark of excitement. A late diagnosis can be a catalyst for self-discovery and personal growth. It’s like finding a hidden door in your Hogwarts dormitory that leads to a secret room filled with untapped potential. You might feel empowered to learn more about yourself, connect with other neurodivergent individuals, and embrace your unique strengths and challenges.

Embrace the Colorful Chaos

Mom, remember: this emotional rollercoaster is a normal part of the journey. It’s okay to feel all the feels, to cry, to scream, to laugh, to question everything you thought you knew about yourself. Give yourself grace, allow yourself to process these emotions at your own pace, and don’t be afraid to seek support from friends, family, or professionals.

This is your time to shed the masks you’ve worn for so long and embrace your authentic neurodivergent self. You’re not alone, you’re not broken, and you have so much to offer the world. It’s time to unleash your inner magic and shine!

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.
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