Jess Keogh: The trouble with relaxation [Top 10 Replay]

Oct 09, 2023


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Welcome back to my special Top 10 Replay series, where I’m re-releasing 10 interviews that really stood out to me and have stayed with me in some particular way — either because of the topic, or the conversation, or the feedback I received from listeners. For various reasons, I’ve chosen 10 episodes that I feel deserve a replay — so maybe you missed this one the first time around you’ll get a chance to hear it, or if you listened to it when it originally aired, I hope you’ll enjoy listening to it again. 

This week I’m re-releasing my interview with Jess Keogh, which originally aired as Episode 33 in May of 2021. This episode was still early in the podcast, and Jess was the first guest I had on my show who sought a diagnosis as a result of my podcast and my Instagram account. I was so thrilled and touched (and honestly a little scared) by this revelation, and Jess so beautifully and eloquently described the adult diagnosis experience as a woman. She’s so lovely and funny and we had a ton of laughs, so this episode has really stayed with me and I feel it deserves a replay.

So I’d like to offer a sincere thanks to Jess for sharing her story and for the positive mark she’s left on me (and hopefully some of you listeners as well). She’s a tough woman to track down, but I sincerely hope she is doing well down in Sydney or wherever she hangs her hat nowadays!



Jess Keogh 0:00
Even things like organizing social plans and stuff like oh yeah, let's do this. Let's do this tomorrow. We'll meet up then. And then tomorrow comes in future jazz as like, Why did I make? I actually hate doing things?

Katy Weber 0:17
Hello, and welcome to the women and ADHD podcast. I'm your host, Katy Weber. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 45. And it completely turned my world upside down. I've been looking back at so much of my life, school, jobs, my relationships, all of it with this new lens, and it has been nothing short of overwhelming I quickly discovered I was not the only woman to have this experience. And now I interview other women who liked me discovered in adulthood they have ADHD and are finally feeling like they understand who they are and how to best lean into their strengths, both professionally and personally. Welcome to the eighth installment of my special top 10 Replay series where I am re releasing 10 interviews that are really stood out to me and really stayed with me in some particular way, either because of the topic or the conversation or maybe the feedback I received from listeners for one reason or another. I have chosen these 10 episodes that I feel deserve a replay. Perhaps you missed this one the first time around now you'll get a chance to hear it or if you did listen to it when it originally aired. I hope you will enjoy listening to it again. This week I am re releasing my interview with Jess cue, which originally aired as episode 33 In May of 2021. This interview was still quite early in the podcast and Jess was the first guest I had on my show who actually sought her ADHD diagnosis as a result of my podcast and my Instagram account. I was so thrilled and touched and honestly a little scared at this revelation, but just so beautifully and eloquently described the adult diagnosis experience as a woman. She's just so lovely and funny and we had a ton of laughs so it's no surprise this episode has stayed with me over the years, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Also, I would like to offer a sincere thanks to Jess for sharing her story and for the positive mark. She's left on me and hopefully some of you listeners as well. I'll admit she is a tough woman to track down. So I sincerely hope she is doing well in Sydney or wherever it is. She hangs her hat nowadays. Okay, so as part of my top 10 Replay series I give you episode 33 with Jess Q. Jess is the founder of the body positive a counseling practice built on the principles of unconditional self acceptance and body positivity. Jess is a qualified mental health and counseling professional with a degree in Psychological Science and a bachelor's degree in communications. This is a really special episode for me as you will soon find out Jess and I talk all about her own hunch that she might have ADHD and how that came about. And we also talk about how her ADHD has shown up for her in her life. And in her career. Now at the time of our conversation, she had not yet been diagnosed, but she has since been officially diagnosed with ADHD and is now on medication. And she recently wrote to me to say Katie, I just cannot believe how my life has changed. Now that I'm medicated, I cannot tell you how much easier life is. Thank you so much for playing a huge part in creating this awareness for me, and actually being the catalyst for getting diagnosed. So yeah, that felt awesome to hear just as such an amazing soul. And we basically laugh our way through this whole interviews. So I hope you find it entertaining as well. Enjoy. Are you excited? Are you nervous?

Jess Keogh 3:42
I'm so excited. I'm so excited. I keep holding myself back from messaging you things that pop up like, oh my god, Katie, this happened. Does this mean I've got ADHD?

Katy Weber 3:53
I know right? I feel like I'm your midwife. Your ADHD midwife.

Jess Keogh 3:58
Totally, totally up to my boundaries, Jess boundary.

Katy Weber 4:04
Okay, so full disclosure, before we get started. Jess is a body positive counselor and coach and I interviewed her along with my co host, Melissa Celerio on my other podcast, hello body. And so we had started following each other, I guess like, you know, leading up to that interview. You know, as I started posting more and more on my Instagram account about ADHD, Jess was like liking all of my Instagram posts about Amy. And I had said to Alyssa, I was like, I think we need to chat about this. And so when we did finally connect, I think it's safe to say we live on opposite sides of the planet, but we are basically the same person is that correct?

Jess Keogh 4:51
100% and also the introversion stuff that you post as well. I'm like yeah, that's me.

Katy Weber 4:56
Right? Yeah. So after we recorded the the Hello body podcast, I said, Jess, I have to get you on to my women and ADHD podcast, because I want to hear all about this kind of real time discovery that you've been going through, because this is all fairly new to you. Yeah. I mean, it's still fairly new to me. I joke about the fact that like, I've only been diagnosed for six months in human years, but like in ADHD years, six months is is like the equivalent of a decade, given how much you research. So 100% Yeah, right. Yeah, yeah. So it is amazing. Like, once those connections start happening, and once those light bulbs start going off, you just like, you go into hyperspeed. And then you're like, do I have ADHD? Like, yeah, this is clearly a sign that you have ADHD, or focused?

Jess Keogh 5:47
Absolutely. And you don't want to like, I don't want to over identify with it be like, Oh, that's me. That's me. It just makes so much sense. Like, it's just like, everything's falling into place.

Katy Weber 5:58
I know. And there is that fear. I think a lot of the women I talked to sort of had that feeling of kind of like, you know, maybe I'm making too much out of this. Maybe I'm looking for an answer. But at the same time, like, it really feels like all of these seemingly random anomalies in your life can be traced back to this one explanation. And it's overwhelming. It's

Jess Keogh 6:22
so overwhelming. And it's like, wow, like, maybe it isn't just because I can't be a proper adult. And like, keep my room clean. Like, maybe there's something there. Particularly since I'm constantly trying to be neat and tidy. And it just doesn't work. I just

Katy Weber 6:40
myself. Yeah, right. Yeah. Okay, so. So let's just get started with what I like to ask all of my guests at the very beginning, which is kind of what first made you start to think that you had ADHD? And where are you in this diagnosis journey?

Jess Keogh 6:58
Sure. So look, until recently, I didn't really know much about ADHD. So you know, even after completing a whole psych degree and studying and working in mental health for years, I'm only just grasping what ADHD actually is. I always connected adhd with, you know, visions of a young child, and generally a boy if I'm going to stereotype who who couldn't sit still and who had difficulties concentrating and talking in class and disrupting people. So I guess the short answer is that I've only recently had a very strong inkling that my symptoms were ADHD that have been previously diagnosed as depression. And most recently, you know, a potential bipolar two diagnosis. I did speak with my psychiatrist about two years ago about the potential of me having ADHD. And he actually suggested that I try medication, because he's sort of identified with the things that I was telling him as well. You know, but we were but we were tossing up between is this ADHD? Or is this sort of like a rapid cycling bipolar two disorder, what's going on? And he's like, Well, let's just give ADHD medication a try. And I got, I got cold feet, and I sort of didn't want to do it. I don't know why I just didn't want me to change. You know, I didn't want to lose my spark, or I don't know, I don't know what I was afraid of. I just didn't want my ups and my impulsivity and hyper focus and all that to go because, you know, in most of the pilots, quite enjoyable and productive.

Katy Weber 8:30
And I used to think it was like, it was the only thing I had going for. I didn't want to do that. I felt Yeah, I was terrified. I mean, I was terrified of medication, because I thought it was gonna I was thought I was going to feel like I'd be on cocaine, you know, like, that's kind of how I assumed it would be, you know, stimulant would be and I was like, that is one thing. I do not need

Jess Keogh 8:51
exactly, it. That's exactly right. And yeah, I didn't want that part of me to go because exactly, I was like, I really like that part of me. So I just stuck with my medication that was an antidepressant, which, which has been helping me with any of the down periods I've had really, really well. So I just kind of left it and I tried to manage my way through the symptoms, which you know, is, you know, I'm really quite impulsive, as I've said, find it really, really hard to relax, I hate relaxing, but I have to force myself to relax. You know, that relationship sensitivity which thanks to you, and I forget, he was talking to about rejection sensitive dysphoria, but I relate to that a lot. You know, boredom can become really painful for me like it's actually painful. I hate it so much. That lack of organization despite constant I'm constantly trying different organization systems. I'm constantly doing a new to do list or a new diary or a new planning system, and just chopping and changing to try and find something that works, but I get a it's fun for a few days. And then I'm like, Oh, this is boring. I'll just drop it and then I'm done. CHAOS again. And you know, starting hobbies with Viggo, you know, study, I remember I started surfing and I'm like, Oh, I can't wait, I'm going to be a surfer. And then you just drop it like a hot potato when it's, you know, becomes a bit boring or you don't really resonate with it as much as you thought you would.

Katy Weber 10:18
Do. You've already spent, you know, hundreds of dollars. Oh, yeah, I

Jess Keogh 10:21
bought a wetsuit. I bought a proper wetsuit because it was winter, I got a problem born. It's ridiculous. And I guess, you know, my favorite favorite symptom that I'm identifying with is that hyperfocus, which allows me to be really productive in a say of luck. My disorganization? Is that makes sense?

Katy Weber 10:41
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it really? Yeah. It felt it feels like that. Those are the moments when I am on fire. Yeah. And, and I'm so interested when I hear women who were either diagnosed or were convinced that they had bipolar two, because that is what I thought I had as well. Because you go through that pendulum swing, with such intensity from hyperfocus to then the depression and lethargy and this sort of feeling of like, just like, absolute piece of shit.

Jess Keogh 11:14
Absolutely, absolutely. And I think you, I forget who you're talking to. I've listened to I've actually binged all your podcasts. But you're speaking to someone about what was it? Depression due to lack of stimulation or something? And I was like, Ah, I so get that. i. So i So hear that. Like, when I'm not stimulated. And when I'm bored, I'm depressed. Like, it's just, it's so interesting hearing all these things. And you

Katy Weber 11:43
go from like, zero to 102. It's not like, it's not like, you're sort of like, Oh, I'm mildly depressed or mildly bored. You go to like, Oh, my God, I can't stand like when you even when you were like, I hate relaxing. I'm like, Yeah, exactly. Like, who says that? But yeah, it's really fascinating. Why that it like, why relax, relaxation is so difficult. It's stressful, I think is interesting. Yeah, it

Jess Keogh 12:08
is relaxation is stressful. And that's the opposite of what it should be. But I guess, I guess what really opened my eyes, was speaking to my colleague at work. So he asked me what I was doing after work. And I said, I'm gonna go home, and I'm going to try and relax, because I hate relaxing, but I need to force myself to do it. And he sort of sarcastically said, I have no idea what that feels like. And he sort of shared with me his late diagnosis of ADHD, only a year prior, and how it completely changed his life. And we got talking about symptoms. And I was like, Oh, my God, this guy's may, you know, he's describing my situation. And then Katie, I must say, you know, a whole heap of what you were posting on Instagram, as you said before, was really resonating with me. And I was just like, I didn't even know these symptoms were ADHD related. I had no idea. When you talk about the hyperfocus, I thought, because I could hyper focus, and I could really accelerate things and get things done when I wanted to. And when I was interested, I thought that meant I didn't have ADHD. I excelled at uni, because I love the content so much. And I got so absorbed in it. But you know, I'd sit there for hours studying or working on assignments, not going to the bathroom, forgetting to eat. We're ignoring my family, because I was just so focused, and just so in the moment, but then on the other hand, subjects like statistics, which I had to do for psychology, I just couldn't do it. And it would make me so tired. And I'd get so upset, because it was like, there was this deficit that I wasn't interested in, and my brain just could not organize the learning it had to do around that subject. So

Katy Weber 13:49
yeah. And when I recently went back to look at my report cards, it I mean, it was so funny, like, you know, the my report cards were either D's and F's or a plus, you know, like, I got an A plus every semester in French. And the French teacher was always like, yeah, like, we're wonderful job and, because the and, and the other thing was fascinating to me was the absences, like in high school, my geography class that I always failed. I had like 35 absences per semester, and then French I had no absence. So it's just like, it's really like a light switch. You know, you're either like so on, or just like, Nope, can't do it.

Jess Keogh 14:29
Exactly. It's so interesting. I was the same with school with with high school, I found my HSC because I liked one subject at school, and that was English, and I got a high distinction. And then the rest, I was like, not hate it failed. Just couldn't do it.

Katy Weber 14:46
And I think that that is, you know, I've just learned so much about why we beat up on ourselves because we sort of have, you know, not only are people telling us our whole lives, just do it, just do it. Just Be more just figure it out. Yeah. But I think we also in our younger years, or even as adults, we don't really necessarily know what is going to be interesting and what isn't. And so I feel like there's that sense of disconnection to where it's like, well, why can't I do statistics? You know, like I should be. I'm a smart person. Like, that's the thing. The other thing too, which is sort of like, I'm a smart person, why didn't I know this? Why can't I figure this out? Like you even said, like, I, you know, you have all these advanced like degrees? Like, how did I not know this? How did this never occur to me until now? And there's that sense of, like, constant confusion as to who you are and why you're such this puzzle?

Jess Keogh 15:41
Absolutely. Absolutely. And when you try and figure it out, it's like there's a block there that you just can't get past it. Sorry. It's so bizarre.

Katy Weber 15:50
So we're so I'm sorry, where are you in your diagnosis journey? Have you been officially diagnosed? Are you still quite high?

Jess Keogh 15:55
So yes, long story short, I've just discovered all this stuff about myself. So I've got an appointment with my psychiatrist in a couple of weeks. And I'm going to talk to him about this revelation. And you know, next steps and maybe trying medication, or maybe seeing what options I have. Yeah, I'm yeah, I'm not sure. Obviously what he'll say, but you know, we'll go from there.

Katy Weber 16:19
Are you worried that he's gonna say, No,

Jess Keogh 16:22
I'm kind of I'm worried a little bit because it would explain so many things that I actually genuinely struggle with, like things that just make life really difficult, like my lack of organization. Like, all the things that I try really hard at, that I just can't get, like, keeping the house tidy. So my husband doesn't get annoyed at me.

Katy Weber 16:49
Yeah, that's a huge thing. Yeah. And why

Jess Keogh 16:52
is it so hard? You know, I absolutely love having a neat house. And neat and tidy organized. I love it. But I just I'm so bad at it. I just can't do it.

Katy Weber 17:03
Well, you're bad at it. Because it's a boring, terrible job. Like, why is that something that you feel like you even need to be good at? That's the other thing I think like as women, we have this enormous amount of pressure to be homemakers. And then if you take one minute to objectively look at what this task is, you're like, of course, I'm terrible at this.

Jess Keogh 17:21
This is not bringing me towards my goals. I do not want to be

Katy Weber 17:25
right. But yeah, I read an article recently about how important it is for the ADHD brain to have minimalism and tidiness in the home and like why we all love Marie Kondo. And there's that disconnect, like, I just need to throw everything out and start fresh. And like when I was younger, in my 20s, I moved every two years and it was great. I loved purging. I loved getting rid of everything, and always hated unpacking. But now like, as I'm older, we have kids, and we're more settled. We've lived in this house now for 10 years, and it is driving me bonkers. Just like thinking about the attic and thinking about the clutter. And I'm I'm so overwhelmed. I don't and like I keep saying to my husband, I'm like, I just want to get a dumpster and just throw everything out and start fresh.

Jess Keogh 18:12
Yeah, you should do that.

Katy Weber 18:16
I want to live in a trailer basically, like I want to like that's my dream is to is to just like get a tiny house and have one coffee mug and just like keep keep moving. Oh, by the way, style would be so

Jess Keogh 18:27

Katy Weber 18:32
Anyway, we're Oh, so yeah, I was gonna ask you about the whole doctor visit because I personally like when I was having my intake appointment. Like I brought all of these tests and all of these self assessments. And I went, I like came armed with all this paperwork, because I was terrified that she was going to say no, this isn't this isn't what you have. And then something that I felt so keenly, like, this was everything. This explained everything. And if it wasn't ADHD, I was I didn't know what I was going to do. And, and so I showed up, like, just absolute and I also was worried I was going to forget everything. That's what I'm worried about happened. Yeah. And so I showed up with all this paperwork. And I like was like, Yeah, I just want you to know that these tests. I did these tests that I did, like so earnestly trying to explain everything to her. And she was basically like you had me at hello, like, look at you with your tests. Of course you have. But I made her say it out loud, too. That was the other thing I made before I left the office. I said you have to tell me out loud that I have ADHD and what type it is because if you don't, and it's just sort of assumed I'm going to leave here thinking I've misconstrued or I misunderstood like it's so important for us to like have that labeling and to have that diagnosis

Jess Keogh 19:50
that definite that definite answer.

Katy Weber 19:52
Right but yet at the same time, I don't think a doctor's diagnosis is really the end goal. Like I don't think that's the beginning of your Journey, I think your own diagnosis is really the beginning of your journey because you start, you identify with it so strongly that then you start to think, Okay, now, what do I do? You know, do I want medication? Do I not what's working? What's not working? Oh, look at all of these things that I sort of already intuitively do anyway, you know, like, I say this all the time, but I feel like the diagnosis is half of the treatment. Yes. Yeah, like, so many. So many of my guests say, like, Oh, I'm not officially diagnosed. Is that okay? And I'm just like, girl, you know, what I said? Yeah, I know, right? And

Jess Keogh 20:41

Katy Weber 20:45
Yeah. And I feel like that is so unfortunate, and yet so obvious as to why people with ADHD feel like they need to get that diagnosis. And because we have so little self trust, but at the same time, like we, we know ourselves so well, that by the time we get to the doctor's office with all of our paperwork, like, it's so clear, yeah, exactly,

Jess Keogh 21:07
exactly. So no, I definitely hear that I'm like, I'm nervous for my appointment. Because I'm like, what if he says, No, you're just really disorganized? All you really

Katy Weber 21:18
are everybody. This is every I mean, that's the thing with motherhood, too. Oh, all mothers struggle, you know, like that feeling of like, oh, you're, you're exaggerating this, and it's really not that bad. And I think that's something that so many of us dealt with, especially mothers who were misdiagnosed with depression, or not even I don't know, if it's a misdiagnosis. But you know, for so many of us who are treated with depression and anxiety from from postpartum and that feeling again of like, is it really that bad? Or am I just over inflating it? And exactly, am I even struggling? You know, is this normal?

Jess Keogh 21:53
All that questioning and as you say, that lack of trust because, you know, we change our mind on things and drop things like a hot potato. So it's like, it's future Jess going to feel this way, you know, is, do I trust myself to it's so it's so interesting, how we just

Katy Weber 22:13
absolutely, and I love, you know, the idea of like, present, present just a future just I talk that way all the time with my kids and my husband. And I wonder, like, I feel that very fragmented that way, too. Because it's like, am I setting myself up for success? Or is tomorrow me going to be really angry with what I have chosen to do with my time right now? But again, that feeling of like, I don't trust myself, and I yeah, like you said, like, my interests, and my direction could change on a dime. And I have no idea what's going to spark it or why or how I'm going to pivot but yeah,

Jess Keogh 22:49
exactly. Exactly. It's so interesting. Even things like organizing social plans and stuff like, oh, yeah, let's do this. Let's do this. Tomorrow. We'll meet up then. And then tomorrow comes in future jazz is like, Why did I make I actually hate doing things?

Katy Weber 23:06
Right, the age old question, Am I an introvert or an extrovert? I have no idea. 100%

Jess Keogh 23:10
Because sometimes I'm like, I'm 100% an extrovert. I'm so motivated. I'm so into being around people, I get energy from it. And then other times, I'm like, I'm so drained from people, I need to just go into my room and watch Netflix for like, three weeks,

Katy Weber 23:26
right? Yeah, I know, this is why I hate personality tests in general, because I feel like personality tests are always like, would you describe yourself as highly organized? Or would you describe yourself as a chaotic mess, and I'm like, I am both at all times.

Jess Keogh 23:41
At work, I'm the most organized person at home, I'm the most disorganized person like I just can't choose.

Katy Weber 23:50
I met my husband, we moved in together when I was 27. So I spent like, five or six years, living alone. And I was incredibly tidy and organized when I lived alone. But I because I was like, you know, I knew that if I left dishes in the dish in the sink, I would never get to them. So I would like wash my dish as soon as I used it, and put it would put it away. And I was like almost thought I had OCD because I I also would like when I would unpack from when I would move all the time I would unpack my books, and I would like have everything be alphabetized by author's last name. And I've seen people with ADHD like you look at their bookshelf and they have like everything color coded or like there's ways in which we get like super hyper organized. But then when I moved in with my husband, and he started putting books, he was combining all of our books together for the first time and he was putting them on the shelf and he was putting them like willy nilly, not even like in the same direction like some of the letters were facing one way and some of the letters were facing the other way. And I just like I couldn't take it right. I was like you feel that pain. I was like, I don't know what to do with this. I Just give up and I gave you know, and I've never I'm like, I will never look at the books. You know, like you just shut down.

Jess Keogh 25:08
It's so funny because you're you do you do get hung up on that sort of staff. And then your partner's, like, how can you be hung up on this stuff? When you leave all your crap every? Like, I just can't? Yeah.

Katy Weber 25:23
But it's like you said, it's like that feeling of constantly being in a state of organizing, even though or eat or because we feel so chaotic. I mean, it is. It's just like it's, you know, like they say with kids like shoveling snow in a snowstorm. Well, no, I don't know to involve me, Australia. But like, Have you heard that phrase before? Have you heard that? shoveling snow in a snowstorm?

Jess Keogh 25:53
Is it like shoveling deck chairs on the Titanic? Shuffling? Probably?

Katy Weber 25:57
Yeah, probably the same idea. Right? Which basically, like, what's the freaking point? You know, and right. And so you throw babies into the mix, and then you're just like, Yeah, forget it. I can't. I can't. I've done. I give up.

Jess Keogh 26:10
Yeah, yeah, totally, totally.

Katy Weber 26:13
So looking back at your own childhood? What are some things about growing up that you look back and think, Oh, yes, of course, that was ADHD. How did nobody? I don't nobody? No,

Jess Keogh 26:24
nobody? No, um, I guess, definitely my report cards. You know, a lot of them were creative, but needs to focus has potential but needs to focus easily distracted, needs more attention to detail, that sort of stuff. So definitely, that also just really getting quiet. I guess, not upset, but just just really agitated about being bored. Like, I remember my mom saying chess, you're going to have to sometimes get used to being by yourself and, and not not having things to constantly do, but I just found that so, so painful. And when I would get bored, I would feel really even as a child, I'd feel really depressed. And just really like, what's wrong with me? I? I just can't stand not having stimulation. I guess that that's what it was. Yeah. Yeah. So I guess the report cards, the pain from boredom, more of my symptoms, I think emerged, I think they were the main things just thinking that I couldn't do things, and having difficulty doing things, particularly things like maths and just thinking I was really dumb, but then excelling in things like English, like just things just not really adding up for me. And, and because of that, I just wouldn't try. And I'd just be like, what's the point? I'm really bad at this, I'm not even going to try because there was some sort of blockage there in my brain or something that I just couldn't organize my mind to do certain things like maths. And then I guess, you know, as I've gotten older, it's been sort of the impulsivity and the hyperfocus. That sort of taken over in terms of symptoms.

Katy Weber 28:05
Yeah, I think I remember when I first took the self test, I was so surprised at the ways in which because, you know, I originally took an adult ADHD self test from attitude magazine, that was for men and women, and I didn't, I didn't score, I think I scored like a 66% or something. But there were a lot, you know, because there were a lot of questions about physical hyperactivity that I didn't relate to. I was like, feeling jittery and stuff. But then when I took the woman, one, it was so much more about impulsive shopping or seeing the checkbook, you know, things like, yeah, where I was like, oh, okay, I see this now. And then they were asking things like, Do you hate the idea of spontaneously having people come over to your house? Like,

Jess Keogh 28:54
Oh, yeah. Because I'm the same. I'm like, I love being stimulated. But then if someone pops over unexpected, I'm like, Can this please not be happening right now? Or if my husband invites people over that also, and says, coming over this afternoon? I'm like, Why? Why did you do?

Katy Weber 29:10
Right? I think it has a lot to do with, like, masking, you know, and this idea that you can kind of, you have this public persona of being together and if somebody finds out that you're a hot mess, yeah, then then that would be disastrous. Like I feel like we all kind of have this feeling like we don't quite know how we're holding it all together, but we just holding it all together. And so whenever you throw something into the mix, if it's a baby, or you know, something like you get into a fender bender or something and then all of a sudden you're just like, No, I can't handle it, like you feel like you are, you know, at the very, very top of the cup, and any kind of bump the water is going to start to overflow.

Jess Keogh 29:56
Yes, that's

Katy Weber 29:58
right. So that's like you having somebody come over and having your house maybe be a disaster or your oil, it's disgusting or whatever, you know, you're just like, oh my god, it's the end of the world. Yeah. But in my mind, I remember my doctor asking me to about traffic, she was like, you know, because I was like, I'm not hyperactive. I don't know what you're talking about. And then she asked me, like, what, you know, how do you feel when you're stuck in traffic? And I'm like, I want to read the steering wheel out of the dashboard. I realize like, oh, right, like, rage is actually a form of hyperactivity. If, and kind of like a, it's almost like a combination of hyperactivity and impulsivity in a way. So yeah, I was like, Yeah, I've got a little bit of that quick to rage ish. I always had that. When I was a kid. Yeah. What are some moments in your life where you feel like, looking back? Do you think you know that your symptoms were strongest? Or, you know, because I know, for so many of us, it was like, Yeah, I pretty much managed and then I had a baby and everything fell apart.

Jess Keogh 31:08
That's interesting, actually, because I feel like ever since having children, I feel like my symptoms have become more at the forefront. So one example that really sticks out to me, which is I actually thought this was a symptom of bipolar. One day, I used to have these big ideas, or I still have these big ideas. And you know, one day I decided I'd come off maternity leave, I've gone back to work, and I decided I want to take over my boss's business. So back in another lifetime, I worked in public relations, and I was an account director in a small agency, which I loved. And I had been my going on, I was like, I want my own business. And I wanted them in there. And you know, to my colleague, who's who's now one of my best friends, and I decided, you know, we could do this, we could run this business together, it'd be amazing. We do our own hours, we'd run it the way we wanted. So at the time, my boss was actually a little bit complacent simply about her business. So it wasn't a completely far out idea. She sort of kept talking about how she was kind of over it was thinking of shutting it down. So I was like, Yes, I'm doing this. I'm gonna make this business mind. So mind you, I was also working part time for her. I was working part time for her. I was studying psych full time. And I had a baby that was like, what, four months. So where this business was going to fit in? I'm not sure it just was, I was going to make it work. So so the night that I had this big epiphany, I was gonna take over the business, I couldn't sleep. I got up at 4am because I wasn't sleeping and I started texting my family, I was gonna do these. I walk to my parents house, who are about an hour's walk away to tell them because it was too early to call them. It was actually like, it was like that scene in Silver Linings Playbook where Bradley Cooper has a revelation and he wakes up his parents in the middle of the night. It was hilarious. But they'll but they're used to those sorts of antics, so it was okay. And then, and then for the rest of the weekend, I put together my pitch, I did a big keynote presentation. I hyper focused the whole weekend on that. It was awesome. The pitch was awesome. The presentation was awesome. Monday morning came and my friend was like, Jess, do you think we should just think about this a little bit more. And I was like, No, this is happening today. The thought of putting that off was painful to me. Like there is no way I'm putting this off. We're doing it right now. And we did the presentation. And my boss was like, Um, can I think about this? And so eventually, she said no, that she wanted to keep the business and then I dropped it like a hot potato. I was like, okay, cool. Next Id you know, what was that? But I guess you know, there's there's other smaller signs, like, I've got probably, literally 100 books on my Kindle that I've started that I haven't finished, you know, I'm always doing courses. I'm doing my postgrads site studies at the moment, but I'm also finishing my Intuitive Eating certification and starting another course in weight management psychology and trying to do another booster business course. Like it's just I've always got things on the go. And there's always one relatively big thing happening. And if there isn't something happening, I need something to be happening.

Katy Weber 34:19
Yeah. I know. It's dizzying when you think about all of the different, you know, not only just like the different careers that we've had over the years. Oh, yeah. But also that's it. Yeah, that saved like, I feel like I am always in the middle of getting some sort of certification. Or, you know, or, like, you know, last week I was like, you know, I hired this business coach who's helping me really just sort of stay on point and like her job is to remind me to just do one thing, you know, just do one thing and everything else gets to go on this list. And like, you know, I had to call her last week and be like, so I exit then we made a merch site this week.

Jess Keogh 35:04
Oh my god, you find those T shirts and stuff. I know.

Katy Weber 35:07
And I just was like, I just kind of fell down this all right, I had this idea. And I was like, I can't not run with it. Like, I have to do it. And then you know, whatever happens happens. And then I emerged at the end there was like, oh, no, now I have to tell my business coach that I spent all this time doing this.

Jess Keogh 35:24
But a that is awesome. And they are reckon that's where all the good ideas come from when you just go, Oh, this is my idea. I'm gonna push through it. I'm gonna say it to the end. And then if it's if it's crap, then cool. I'll move on to the next one. Like, we don't have those attachments to ideas like other people do. Like,

Katy Weber 35:42
you want to point. Right? Yeah, we just we're just throwing shit against the wall. And whatever sticks.

Unknown Speaker 35:48

Katy Weber 35:51
That's true. And you know, the one thing good thing about having grit like, that is like you said, like, if it doesn't work out, you just move on whatever fine, like I have. I don't dwell on anything. I don't dwell on relationships. I don't like i i can ruminate for weeks about something. But like, I don't dwell there's a difference. You know what I mean?

Jess Keogh 36:11
Yes, definitely. Yeah. And I think that moves on quickly.

Katy Weber 36:17
Yeah. Yeah, I know. And it's such an emotional roller coaster because like, we talked about this, and it's like, yes, like, you know, we're talking about this. I'm like, Yeah, this is the superpower part of ADHD. And I understand why people are always talking about how it's a superpower. And I love it. I love everything about it. And then you're like, oh, but then there's the grief. And then there's how much I struggle yet. And what do I do with all that?

Jess Keogh 36:41
It's so true. It's so true. And just the contrast between your productive self and your switched on self. And then the other self that's, that is a bit disorganized, and that can't figure some things out. Like there's just that disconnect between the two selves that I find hard. It's a, it's a bit of a roller coaster.

Katy Weber 37:02
And also, not only that, but then realizing that the excitement, the thrill is in creating things. And so once they are created, once they are completed, you're no longer interested, you move on, right? Oh, my God. Right. And it's so frustrating, because I just sort of made this connection recently, where I'm like, no wonder we all have such terrible self esteem. We don't take any time to appreciate anything we've done because that is not exciting to us. It's the it's the chase, and the creation. That is exciting. But then the minute it's done, and somebody's like you did a good job, and you're like, Yeah, whatever. You're moving on.

Jess Keogh 37:43
You've just and you've just spoken to my thoughts. Like that is so true. You've hit the nail on the head with that. I will do something on my one of my best friends will go Oh, my gorgeous. That's awesome. I'm like, Yeah, next thing, whatever. Right. We recently sold our house, and everyone's like, Oh, that's amazing. I'm like, Yeah, we're gonna we're gonna buy one. It's like, I don't care. What's the next thing?

Katy Weber 38:07
And it's the same. Yeah, I think it's the same thing with just general compliments. You know, like, somebody can tell me I'm a good mom over and over and over again, I'm not going to believe them. until I figure out like, I think I'm a good mom. But I, you know, it's like something about people's compliments mean nothing to me. There's just like, this mental block. That's actually really interesting. Yeah. I think it's the fact that to be honest, it's more exciting to be depressed, like, it's more exciting to be what's the word like, angsty, you know, that it's not exciting to us to be fulfilled?

Jess Keogh 38:47
It's yeah, it's just that stimulation, whether it's slight, whether it's good, or whether it's bad, it's that stimulation for us. That is rewarding, I guess.

Katy Weber 38:58
So I also want to talk to you about dieting, because, you know, we've we've, we share so much in our work about our own history with dieting and body image and I feel like I again, like had so many light bulbs about, about dieting, you know, and then all or nothing mentality and, and why I did what I did over the years, and why diets appeal so much yes, to our brains, and that idea of like, oh my goodness, my whole life is out of control. The one thing that's going to fix everything is if I start weighing and tracking and counting, and you know, working on losing weight and all of that stuff. And so I'm curious now looking back with an ADHD lens, you know, what, how do you feel about your own history with your body image and kind of what revelations are you?

Jess Keogh 39:47
I feel like it I feel like a lot of it could be explained by this. I feel like I was. I can't actually remember when I wasn't on a diet or a diet plan or something. I write something out or track my food or have some sort of control over what I was doing with my body. Because it gave me that sense of control in in so much chaos, I think. I also think, because I did struggle a lot with binging a lot. And I, I'm wondering if that was because I couldn't handle boredom, you know, and things like eating in the car and things like that when you're driving. You know, I used to do that a lot. Because I can't be like, I'm in the car. This is so freakin boring. I can't just be in the car. What else can I be doing? And now I listen to podcasts and do things like I don't know, I drink as much water as I can or whatever. There always has to be some goal while I'm doing something. But eating and that, I guess, the dopamine rush you get from binging and that I think that explains a lot of that as well and that I needed to be stimulated and I couldn't just be sitting there driving. I had to be getting hit a dopamine somewhere. Does that make sense?

Katy Weber 41:06
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, when I'm when I'm long distance driving by myself, I always have to have usually I'll buy the biggest bag of baby carrots I can find. And, and a couple bags of popcorn because I need to constantly be eating. And I need to constantly be crunching. And I sort of always thought it was like to keep me focused, you know, to keep me awake and to keep me focused on the road. But if I had anything more substantial, like I would get so like, my stomach would hurt. So I was like, I need to find something that's empty enough that I can continue eating it throughout this six hour car ride without feeling like I'm gonna puke. That's so

Jess Keogh 41:42
interesting. That's so funny. Because I went through a stage I've had many stages where I, where I was like I'm gonna do in Australia, we have this thing called crunchy and sip the kids at recess at that sort of morning tea where they have to bring vegetables or fruit to school. And they there's a set time for them to edit to increase their nutrients. So I was like, I'm gonna do crunch and sip in My Cause I'm just gonna vegetables, I'm just going to hate some vegetables to keep me from getting bored. And that lasted literally a day. And then.

Katy Weber 42:16
But it is interesting to looking at it through this new lens and looking at dopamine and how food and dopamine what that plays in our lives, especially as dieters because I always felt like binging was a symptom of the deprivation of dieting. Right. And that was sort of what I believed that was what I taught my clients and I still do to a certain degree. But I also realize I'm also much more in tune with kind of like, what when am I eating and why, like, I noticed, since we've been doing so much remote learning that like as soon as I get off of a call or a zoom call or anything that's like really socially intense, I immediately go eat food. And and I was like, That's right. Well, I was like, No, I think it's really calming. I mean, I think that is you know, food is a really simple, easy way to boost your dopamine and get that calming feeling. Yeah. And so I often wonder because I was a nighttime binder, that I think that there's something about food just like alcohol that you'd like, you're like, This is a great way for me to calm down my brain. But then at the same time, because you're a dieter, if you start eating food and you know you shouldn't, then your brain starts getting ramped up with all the guilt and shame. And then it just becomes like you're on this hamster wheel of like, I'm trying to calm myself down. So I'm going to eat more. Yeah, there's no sort of like that reptilian part of you that wants to calm yourself down. And then there's the diet part of you that's like, this is a terrible thing to do. I'm getting all worked up over it. So I don't know what I think anymore. Honestly, I have no idea because I feel like the concept of binge eating, especially since I known I now know how common it is for women who have ADHD. And I feel like there are so many factors at work. I mean, you think about just the inattentive nests with which we eat, right? So I've really had to reevaluate intuitive eating. And sort of what I've struggled with with intuitive eating because I've really have struggled in in secret for all of these years as being a body positive being Hayes, really sort of politically and philosophically really, really aligning with anti diet philosophies, but at the same time, always feeling like I was a failure at intuitive eating because I can't tune into my hunger and fullness in a way that like I still felt like I was doing it badly, you know, and I realized, you know, that's sort of the catch 22 with intuitive You can't do it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But I also sort of felt like I wasn't happy. And that was something that I really struggled with for a long time, which was like, I'm, I feel like I've supposedly found this freedom. I wrote a book about freedom, but I feel free. And and so like, I just feel like this diagnosis has thrown everything up in the air. And then like, I'm, I'm reevaluating so much, but I'm especially reevaluating, like, why do we binge eat? Like, what is the dopamine? Is it stimulation? Is it all of the above? Is it deprivation? Is it all like, there's, I don't frickin know. Like, there's too many factors I see.

Jess Keogh 45:38
With, I feel like if you're dieting, you have got that deprivation and you are going to be in jail. That's just what's going to happen, because that's what happens with restriction that's gonna happen. But then I think as you say, there's a lot more other things at play. Like, for me, I would, the propensity for me to binge would be huge, because I'd be restricting. So that was a huge part of my life. Now, I've stopped the restricting. I wouldn't say that I would binge anymore, I would maybe eat because I'm bored, though. So I wouldn't necessarily be binging and starting tomorrow, because that's what grew from my deprivation. It's more, I'm really bored, I need to do something, I'm going to eat something. And, you know, sometimes I catch myself and go, really hungry. Just what else can we do to occupy our brain? But sometimes I'm just like, Yeah, whatever, I'll just say something. You know what I mean? Like not putting too much pressure on it.

Katy Weber 46:36
That's a really good distinction. I shouldn't even be calling it binge eating. Because it's true. Like I often say that, you know, binge eating is more about how you feel while you're eating than it is waiting. And so I very quickly when I left dieting, I stopped binge eating because I no longer felt guilt, and I no longer felt like I needed to wake up the next morning and start fresh. Like you said, the binge eating was not was gone in that sense of like, oh my god, I can't stop myself. I'm so out of control. I feel terrible about myself. I was stopped. Yes. But there was this feeling of like, I I like to eat beyond fullness. Because I like how it feels, you know, like there's something about meeting fullness that feels good. And why does that feel good? And what is that? And then I have to unpack all of the sort of underlying societal guilt and shame with that, you know, like, and, and, you know, all of the messages that you receive over your life as a woman that you're sort of like, oh, well screw that. I'm going to do it anyway. And but then, but then at the same time being like, Well, yeah, but I also feel terrible. unpacking all of that sense of like, okay, what am I doing? That's is this for my health? Is this for my size? You know, all of those questions that you have to ask yourself in diet recovery anyway. Now I'm like, Oh, I'm overthinking frickin everything. Yeah, I know, because that's what we do.

Jess Keogh 47:57
Yeah, we do. We do. And it's really hard to deliver a straight answer, because there's bringing in all these factors. And it's just like,

Katy Weber 48:05
Oh, yeah. And then you did like Google ADHD, nutrition. And it's a, it's a mess. Because all of a sudden, now you're getting all of this, you know, all of this information about how your what vitamins and supplements you're supposed to take and how you're supposed to do this and avoid sugar and all this other stuff. And I'm like, you know, you don't, I don't want to get pulled into the diet mentality of like, oh, I have to do all of these things. And I have to do 150% or nothing. Yeah, exactly. Right. really appeals to that diet or mindset does.

Jess Keogh 48:35
And I think we can also trick ourselves into going, Oh, this is a this is the sort of thing we should follow for ADHD brains. Okay, I'm gonna do that, when really, it's probably because we're sort of focused on wanting to get back into that diet mentality. Because, you know, that's where our brain goes all the time. And it's hard to sort of get away from that.

Katy Weber 48:54
Yeah, or just, you know, to fight the chaos like, this is what is this is finally the solution to all of my problems. You know, this is how we always feel about things, we get so excited. And so it's like, Oh, my goodness, you know, fish oil is suddenly going to be the thing that kind of figures out everything, you know, and living on this planet long enough to know that okay, this is not going to be the solution to all of my problems. But at the same time, you know, I also like to geek out about the science of certain supplements and what they might do for my brain. Yeah. Oh, my God, it's exhausting.

Jess Keogh 49:30
thing, isn't it? It's

Katy Weber 49:36
golf. Yeah, I know. And I see so many women in ADHD Facebook groups who are struggling so much with dieting and body image and binge eating and desperately wanting to lose weight and then it's like, you get 80 answers from other ADHD women and it's who are just like, oh, well, have you tried melatonin? Oh, have you tried? You know, you have to do this. Oh, you need to end To read fast, you need to do this and it's like, oh, I paleo or keto. That's the other one was like, oh, that's gonna solve everything. And you're just like, oh my god, this is like, Ah, it's like, yeah, it's just so tiring and exhausting. But I also sort of feel like, it's still a puzzle to be figured out. Like, I still like I can't stay away, you know? Great. Absolutely. As I still feel like, I'm fascinated by solving this puzzle. Yes.

Jess Keogh 50:30
And I guess that's difficult when there aren't, you know, specific answers. We can't find the specific answers. So we constantly want to try and find them.

Katy Weber 50:41
Right, yeah, I think that that's why Yeah, that's why our personalities are so driven to solving puzzles, because nothing is more of a confusing puzzle than ourselves.

Jess Keogh 50:51
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So true.

Katy Weber 50:56
Now, I asked my guests, if they could rename ADHD to something else, what would you call it? I'm not sure how, if you feel like you've got an answer for this, because I feel like it's so new for you. I do. I do you do.

Jess Keogh 51:09
I'm studying for my test.

Katy Weber 51:13
Cramming for sure. Yeah,

Jess Keogh 51:16
I have come up with dynamic attention and activity spectrum, because I don't want to call it a disorder, because I think that promotes stigma. And that makes people shy away from getting a diagnosis. And you know, it is dynamic. And it does have to do with attention and activity. And it is a spectrum. So there's my outside dynamic attention and an activity spectrum.

Katy Weber 51:39
I love that. And I love the fact that you chose spectrum. And I was like, oh, I should have known, of course, you've got your psych background. Because I think that's something that has been really eye opening to me on my own ADHD journey, which is just the connection with all of the different neuro divergent brains and diagnoses and how much they overlap, you know, and how I feel like I am part of this much bigger, diverse community that includes autism spectrum, and do you know that there's like, I feel like there's so many different thinkers, and we all kind of fall into this jumbled mess. Yes. But I just like that, you know, I think spectrum is such a great word for it. And I love that we all kind of are finding our place somewhere within that large spectrum.

Jess Keogh 52:32
Yes, yeah. And it looks different, I guess, for so many people. So you can't really pigeonhole what it looks like. It's, it's different.

Katy Weber 52:40
Right? And I also, I wonder when I tell people, because I'm so open about it. Now, you know, when I tell people like, Yes, I was diagnosed with ADHD, I'm curious, like, what do they think that means? You know, because I had so many misconceptions in the beginning. And, and so I'm always wondering, like, do they, they obviously have no idea what I'm talking about. And they don't have two hours to listen. And on and on about executive function and hyper focus and emotional regulation and RSD. Like, you know, so what are they? How are they just like, well, you don't seem hyper to me? Yeah.

Jess Keogh 53:16
I'm so with you on that. Because obviously, I've been giving this to everyone now that I've diagnosed myself. And I'm like, what do people think? And a lot of the answers I get back is, what do you think of that? And I'm like, I don't have an hour and a half to explain to you why, believe me. Google it. And then I also think are always think our people will think that I'm over exaggerating, or just throwing a diagnosis around, you know, I often think that, but

Katy Weber 53:49
or the everybody has, you know, everybody's a little ADHD. It's because of our phones.

Jess Keogh 53:55
That's what my mom says to me. She's like, anxious. Everyone's a little bit like that. I'm like, No, Mom, that's not it.

Katy Weber 54:02
I know, right? Yeah. Do you think your spouse has it? Are you are you like over analyzing everybody in your life?

Jess Keogh 54:08
Yes, I am. I'm diagnosing several people. But my husband definitely does not have it. Although he can't relax at all. But yeah, I don't think he has it. Alright, so

Katy Weber 54:20
let's talk a little bit about where people can find you because you do such amazing work. And I highly recommend anybody if you're, if you've gotten through this episode, go listen to just on the Hello body podcast, I will actually put a link to it because that's another fantastic conversation where we get into a lot more detail about what you do, which is amazing. But quickly here like Where can people find you and yes, and reach out to you.

Jess Keogh 54:48
So probably three Instagrams the best bit and my handles at the body positive AU.

Katy Weber 54:54
I love talking with you.

Jess Keogh 54:57
Thank you so much, and thanks for opening my eyes up Up to this potential thing that I've been living with,

Katy Weber 55:03
it warms the cockles of my heart because like so much of our own diagnosis is that feeling of like, oh my goodness, I feel like a lot of women might be struggling with this. And I had no idea because I had no idea. And so there's such a huge advocacy element to wanting to spread the word and wanting to explain this in a way because nobody ever explained it to me, I didn't understand that we all seem to have the same misconceptions about it. And once you sort of make those connections, there's that desperate feeling of like, I want to help as many people as possible. So it's very rewarding to me that I can actually talk to you and feel like I'm like your sponsor. Yeah.

Jess Keogh 55:46
My sponsors are definitely.

Katy Weber 55:56
There you have it. Thank you for listening. And I really hope you enjoyed this episode of the women and ADHD podcast. If you'd like to find out more about me and my coaching programs, head over to women and If you're a woman who was diagnosed with ADHD and you'd like to apply to be a guest on this podcast, visit women and guest and you can find that link in the episode show notes. Also, you know, we ADHD ears crave feedback. And I would really appreciate hearing from you the listener, please take a moment to leave me a review on Apple podcasts or audible. And if that feels like too much, and I totally get it. Please just take a few seconds right now to give me a five star rating or share this episode on your own social media to help reach more women who maybe have yet to discover and lean into this gift of nerd of urgency. And they may be struggling and they don't even know why. I'll see you next week when I interview another amazing woman who discovered she's not lazy or crazy or broken. But she has ADHD and she's now on the path to understanding her neurodivergent mind and finally using this gift to her advantage. Take her till that