Kerry Mead: It wasn’t depression, it was ADHD [Top 10 Replay with Bonus Update]Aug 21, 2023
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Welcome to my Top 10 Replay series, featuring my favorite past episodes!
After reaching the milestone of 150 interviews with women with ADHD, I've been reflecting back on this anthology and decided I'd like to re-release some of the interviews that have stayed close to my heart in some particular way — either because of the topic, or the vulnerability of the conversation, or some particular nuggets of wisdom that have deeply affected my way of thinking.
I’ve chosen 10 episodes that I feel deserve a replay — in the hopes that 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!
First up, my interview with @kerry_689 , which originally aired as Episode 21 in March of 2021. I think the reason why this conversation has stayed with me so much is because of how raw and openly we spoke about the trials of being a mom with ADHD, especially during the pandemic and lockdown. I found it incredibly validating and healing, as did many listeners!
At the end of this re-released episode, Kerry gives us an update on how she’s doing, how her kids are doing, how her Master’s is going, whether she’s still writing that book. We also get into it again about the NHS in the UK and the current state of ADHD diagnoses.
Kerry Mead 0:00
still got to make the most of the time you have left and get as much out of that as you can, haven't you and we're also be a bit kinder on yourself if you do need a bit of downtime because at the end of the day, we are neurodivergent people trying to negotiate a neurotypical world. It's still tougher, even even with the drugs, you know.
Katy Weber 0:27
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 like 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 beginning of a very special series I put together you know, after recently reaching the milestone of 150 interviews with women with ADHD, I started reflecting back on this anthology and wanted to rerelease some of the interviews that have really stayed with me in some particular way, either because of the topic or the vulnerability of the conversation, or perhaps some particular nuggets of wisdom that have deeply affected my way of thinking. So I've chosen 10 episodes that I feel deserve a replay. So perhaps you missed this one the first time around, now you'll get a chance to hear it, or if you listen to it when it originally aired, I hope you'll enjoy listening to it again. So with that I present to you the first in this series my interview with Carrie Meade, which originally aired back in March of 2021. I think the reason why this conversation has stayed with me so much is because of how raw and openly we spoke about the trials of being moms with ADHD, especially during the pandemic and lockdown I had first reached out to Carrie after reading a piece she wrote for the everyday magazine on her depression growing up and how that diagnosis defined her until she discovered she had ADHD. I so deeply related to that piece and was so grateful to have this opportunity to discuss a diagnosis of depression with somebody who just really got it after choosing this interview to be part of the series. I asked Carrie if she could give us an update on how she's doing, how her kids are doing, how her Master's is going whether she's still writing that book. We also get into it again about the NHS in the UK and the current state of ADHD diagnoses. It was so great to catch up with her and you'll get to hear that new update from Carrie at the end of this episode, so stay tuned. Okay, so here as part of my top 10 replays I give you episode 21 With Carrie me. In this episode, I have the pleasure of interviewing Carrie Meade Carrie is a music obsessive book obsessive social butterfly and escaper of responsibilities. Carrie has attention deficit disorder. She's a full time single parent, and a registered carer to her oldest child who is autistic, when she isn't busy with all of that. Carrie is a writer and a music editor. She writes about parenting and neurodiversity, politics, relationships and all of that other stuff too. I reached out to Carrie for this interview after stumbling upon a really powerful essay she wrote for the everyday magazine in the UK, the article was entitled, I don't have depression, I have attention deficit disorder, the frequent misdiagnosis of women. And there's a link to that article in the show notes, I highly recommend you read it. I was really struck by the piece I so related to her experience, especially as a woman who was misdiagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety for more than 20 years prior to my own ADHD diagnosis, Carrie and I talk about being mothers and the struggles that we've faced with the domestic duties and the guilt and feelings of being a failure. We also talk about how easy it is for mothers to put the work in when it comes to our kids but not necessarily for ourselves. Carrie is from the UK. And so we talk a bit about the National Health Service, the NHS, and some of the current hurdles to getting an ADHD diagnosis right now the waitlist can be yours for some people. So I found that really interesting, and I hope you do too. And before we get started, I have to warn you for the first time with one of my interviews, I got so excited to start talking to Carrie that I forgot to hit record at the beginning. Frankly, I'm surprised this doesn't happen to me more often. So I wanted to let you know that this episode starts about five minutes or so into our conversation and Carrie is telling me about her son Sam's diagnosis with autism and how that awareness led to the beginning of her own journey and her realization of her own neurodiverse mind. So it starts rather abruptly and that is why I really apologize for this. You Enjoy.
Kerry Mead 5:01
So it took us two years to get a diagnosis. And I learned a lot about neuro diversity in that time. So I came into this realization about myself already being quite active in the neuro diverse community, and having a lot of research myself, but it's funny. I never, ever would have thought 10 years ago that I was neurodiverse at all. I would have laughed if someone had said that to me. So it's been a journey.
Katy Weber 5:35
What were some of your own symptoms that led you to think that this was something you related to?
Kerry Mead 5:41
I think for me, it was when I had my daughter, she's nine now. But she started growing up. Everyone is always said, right from the very start of her life, how much she is like me, she looks like me, apparently, fat, we're very, very similar characters, even as toddlers. And as she started growing up, I started to notice in her that I thought that she may have a DD or ADHD symptoms. And I was then faced with the realization that if she did, because we were so similar, there was a strong chance I did. So I actually came to it through my daughter, mainly, which has been a really interesting journey. And she's actually, she's waiting for assessment at the moment. And we've got her appointment next Monday, to see a pediatrician for the first time. And I've told her that we're on the same journey together. And she feels really, really positive about it. And will actually actively tell people, me and my mum both have ADHD.
Katy Weber 6:54
That's wonderful. So
Kerry Mead 6:57
yeah, it is, and I've always always had my son as well, I've always tried to instill a sense of pride in their near in his neurodiversity. That was one of the main things I wanted to do, I did not want to let it destroy his confidence in himself. So I need to do that myself now. For myself.
Katy Weber 7:18
And so how long ago was this, that kind of the light bulb went off that you could have ADHD and then started looking into it for your daughter? How long has that process been going on?
Kerry Mead 7:27
With my daughter, I started having, I started thinking she may do when she was around five years old. But our lives at the time were very, very different for what they are. Now they're a lot more difficult. My son when he was younger, he was really, really struggling with his mental health. He wasn't getting on in mainstream school. He was suspended constantly, he was very violent. We had social workers involved. And it felt like I didn't have the energy to even think about looking into Ruby's ADHD. I physically didn't have the energy. I'm a single mom as well. And I've been single since Sam was three and Ruby was a baby. So it kind of got put on the back burner. I couldn't even consider thinking about it. For myself. I was very much like a lot of moms, I need to look after the kids first. But then I started meeting people from neuro diverse community through my son because I used to go to support groups. And a lot of parents were in the same boat as me through their children. They were beginning to realize that they were undiagnosed for autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, themselves, you know, things like that. And I began to notice that it was almost like you attract neurodiverse people to you, if you are new, a diverse, and I began learning loads, I used to laugh a lot about the fact that I had traits. And then one of my very closest friends whose daughter went to school was Sam, and has now herself got a diagnosis of ADHD and PDA. Her mom became one of my very close friends. She sat me down one day, and she said, I go for a diagnosis of ADHD, Carrie, you need to do the same. And I kind of brushed it aside, because it felt like I wasn't important enough to actually bother going through that process. And then, just a year ago, I had a cancer scare. I went into hospital, I had to take to his tummy. I had a very large tumor removed from my ovary. And I thought at one point that I was going to die of cancer. And then I had a month of recovery on the sofa. And then literally the day after I first managed to get out of the house, we went into lockdown in the UK because of Coronavirus. So I was kind of forced into this space where I had a lot of time to reconsider my life and realize its value. And to realize that I was worth pursuing that diagnosis. And it was worth me actually doing it so that I could change my life because I don't think I'd realized until I had that time to stop actually how much undiagnosed ADHD or ADD, I don't know which I am yeah, I think I probably more add, had affected my whole life. And I had space and time to go through that grieving process. And to realize it and realize that I didn't have to carry on making the same mistakes or living life in the same way. So it's been very, very recent. For me, it's only been in 2020, really, that I've embraced it, that I've realized that I deserve a diagnosis. And I deserve to learn how to live my life differently. So
Katy Weber 11:15
that's well said, and I think something that I certainly relate to, I'm sure a lot of women mothers relate to that, you know, I've interviewed some women who have young children, you know, my kids are 13, and nine. And so I'm, I have a lot of gratitude that I feel like I'm just starting to focus on my own mental health on a level that I wasn't able to, you can't, yeah, and you have no balls of need, clinging to you all the time, you know, and so I just like, I feel so much for women who have the younger children, and are going through that, like we said, like just feeling like you, you have to put yourself last it's not even like, you're making that conscious choice sometimes like it really feels like a survival method, you know, putting yourself last and I'm like getting all choked up, because I just like I remember that feeling so strongly. And I think, you know, you talk about this, I guess we'll just do you know, talk about the article that you had written? Was it in September? Yeah, the article about I don't have depression, I have ADD, and it's obviously it got a lot of attention. It was why I read it and reached out to you immediately, because I just like so viscerally related to it, in terms of that feeling like, you know, not only looking back at your whole life and seeing things through this different lens, but also seeing that like glimmer of hope, for the first time. And sort of really feeling like my life is starting a new in a way that is really, really difficult to articulate. And I think you did such a great job of questioning. So many of us have gone through a lifetime of depression and anxiety. And it's been kind of that's the shelf that a lot of these feelings have been put on. Yeah. And to then look back and say like, it bothers me when people talk about comorbidity, when it talks about depression and anxiety as a comorbidity of ADHD because I just don't feel like that's how it feels to me. You know, I feel like the medical community, the mental health community looks at depression and anxiety as like, a chronic physical condition on its own. And, and they don't we they treat it like it's a condition as opposed to it being a symptom of something else.
Kerry Mead 13:33
And totally agree, right? Yeah.
Katy Weber 13:36
So when I was healthcare, when I was going through my health coaching, training, they talked about this the thumbtack method, or you know, and the fact that the medical community will look at, you know, if you go to a doctor, and you have a thumbtack and your ass, and you're like, My ass hurts, I don't know why the doctor will give you painkillers and send you home. And then you know, it's up to you to figure out where the pain is coming from, and then how to remove the thumbtack. And that's how it sort of felt like when I had this ADHD diagnosis where I suddenly had the power to sort of look back at my own my own lifetime of depression and anxiety in this wet like I felt suddenly like oh my goodness, I can actually do something about this as opposed to constantly feeling like I was just tripping over this just cycle of always going back to the same place.
Kerry Mead 14:27
Yeah, I know. And, and I used to view it as a weakness in myself somehow that why do I struggle so much with life? When other people don't? Why do you why do I keep getting depressed? Why do I keep getting stress and anxiety symptoms? Why is the medication not helping as well? I always felt like it didn't really help that much. I mean, I've I was last on antidepressants. She only came off them in the summer for five years. And they did help at first because I was I was on the verge of a breakdown when I started taking them. But I never actually felt like they did what they were meant to do.
Katy Weber 15:16
I always felt like if I'm this bed on medication, imagine how bad it will be off medication. That was what I always when I felt like they weren't working.
Kerry Mead 15:25
Yeah, I used to feel that I used to feel as well, like I wasn't really depressed, as the textbook said I should be I wasn't suffering from anxiety is the textbooks. The GP said I should be they always felt like something a little bit off. And now that I've realized that the anxiety, depression, panic attacks, the stress were a symptom of masking a symptom of not understanding myself, I can see now why I always felt like a little bit of a fraud saying that I was I had depression or I have anxiety. It's been a massive revelation. It's been and I'm not saying I'm cured. Now we've ever, ever having periods in my life where my mental health isn't so good. I mean, obviously, the pandemic is meant I've got a quite a low point at the moment. But I think that I will be much better prepared and able to deal with them now because I know their route. And I have another toolkit for how to make my life feel better winches approaching it as a neurodiverse person, Bobby, just a person who can't cope with life,
Katy Weber 16:39
right? So yeah, absolutely. And then I think about what a benefit, I will be as a mother to my two children, not only as just a happier person who doesn't carry around all the shame and guilt that I felt like I brought to every situation and always was in this default of like, Oh, I'm a terrible person. I'm a terrible mother, you know, like I can, the difference in my own self talk, just in the last few months has been radical. And so I think about NATO, not only does that make me a better partner, a better mother, but then like, you know, both of my children, neither of them is diagnosed yet, just because I'm so newly diagnosed. And also the pandemic, I'm like, I'm not interested, you know, the battery of Tet. Like there doesn't seem a sense of urgency to it, because I sort of feel like, I'm able to help them and view situations in a way that is going to be helpful no matter what, whether they're diagnosed or not. And so I'm just sort of seeing, like, all that I'm bringing to the table now for the first time, whereas I never used to be able to see you that
Kerry Mead 17:42
tightly. Yeah, I mean, I was, I mean, I was one of those children, that was considered really, really gifted at school as well. So I had this extra layer of shame around how how I had managed not to actually achieve much with it. Yes. That actually starting to work through that. And getting rid of that has made me so much less bitter, happier, lighter, freer, just realizing that yeah, I was gifted, I'm still gifted, but the reason I could never show up that I could never actually get my work in that I always did the minimum amount possible. The reason why I actually got nearly kicked off my degree course, and nearly kicked out of college was because that I was at fault so that I'm not a bad person. I know why now, and that is really, really helping me with with my life now. As soon Yep, my house is an absolute tip. But it's not because I'm lazy, or incapable. Sometimes I do lose my rag. So I didn't know what that means. So I lose my temper with my children. But that doesn't. That doesn't mean I'm a bad mother. That means that I'm under pressure that I'm new, a diverse that of course, parenting when you're neurodiverse especially parented to neurodiverse children is quite a lot of hard work
Katy Weber 19:10
as a single parent. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that grace. Having that grace with yourself is just a it's like, such a sigh of release. And it's funny because, you know, there's these things that I feel like should have occurred to me a long time ago, like my house is a disaster. And I and I don't mop my kitchen floor. It doesn't make me a morally corrupt person. Like I just don't give a crap like I've Okay. Carry so much guilt around that.
Unknown Speaker 19:43
Kerry Mead 19:45
The thing that I've been exploring a little recently in my thoughts is that not only is it an ADHD issue for women, with these feelings of guilt and failure around how well they keep their hacks and how well They parent, it's a feminist issue. You know, it's so much of what we are told, we should be doing as a woman gives us our worth, and women who are neurodiverse often struggle with being able to do those things. So we're constantly telling ourselves that we're not proper women, if we have piles and piles of laundry in the corner of the bedroom, because we forgot to put them away, or we couldn't face putting them away, you know that we've struggled just with managing all of the household admin, and all of the emotional load, we tell ourselves that we're failures, but also with them become failures, it's women. Which I think I'm not saying that men don't struggle with these issues. But I think the women with ADHD, it is a lot worse because so much of our self worth is based around how good a mum you are, how well you keep your home, how well you look after your husband or your partner. And I think that that puts so much more stress and pressure on neurodiverse women than maybe our male counterparts put on themselves and be often society in general.
Katy Weber 21:16
And why so many of us kind of lost our shit when when locked down happened. Because we had this house of cards, really, I mean, we had this house of cards, and we were just keeping it together. And then all of a sudden, a wind came in and blew it all down. And we're just like, I give up. I don't know, like I am done.
Kerry Mead 21:36
Yeah, I know. I know. It's Oh, my God. So the craziness of last March and April. Yeah, I mean, for the heist just went to pot, everybody else is saying about all the DIY projects, they're getting, oh, they're gonna take the time to decorate the living room or paint the garden fences. And I'm just there literally, we've we've yet seen it No, come home to the House of Cards, it's just about to collapse, the house immediately got more disgusting, more disorganized, because the children were home all the time. And I also had to become a teacher, which really, really is not my not my career choice, and never has been.
Katy Weber 22:19
Yeah, I have an interesting point earlier about being a childhood being gifted and feeling as though you had you know, I always talk about like, my report cards and how it always said, I wasn't living up to my potential, and feeling really resentful, even at the time sort of feeling like, if I have this potential, nobody's nobody's articulating what that potential is to me. So how can you see it? What is it? And? And no, for you to accuse me of not reaching this potential? How can I even reach it if I don't even see it? And so you were saying, like, as a child who had who was labeled as gifted, and I was too, like, there's a sense of like, the fact that you've been you've been bestowed these gifts, and you have chosen to squander them. And right, yeah, and so you're so you feel that sense of responsibility that you've chosen to squander these things, you know, that it's like the the responsibility has been placed on you, and yet you don't know what to do with it, or what these things are, you can't even see them. And I think that really kind of brings forward especially as women when you started talking about women and the perfectionism and and mother a, you know, there is this sense of, I think that not only this perfectionism, but I think there's also this like sense that you are in control, even though you've you're at the wheel, even though you've never driven before. You know and feeling like somehow you're you're not only do you have these enormous responsibilities, but you're intentionally squandering them. Yeah. Not even not even feeling like you've prepared you know why we always have these I never studied for the test dreams.
Kerry Mead 23:53
Yeah, I mean, it's, it's been, it's been a huge player in my life, just the sense of failure. And yeah, thank you for saying that. This feeling of of having having squandered my life in some way. I'm single mum, I don't work at the moment, really, more than about 10 hours a week. I'd say I do a lot of writing for myself.
Katy Weber 24:16
That's there's paid work. And then there's what you're doing, which is, yeah.
Kerry Mead 24:21
Yeah. I'm a registered care of my son. I sometimes wonder whether I ever be able to work a full time job again, because I don't feel like I could actually fit that in. Maybe once I got a diagnosis. I'm on medication, it might be different, but I do feel like I've squandered a lot of the chances I've had in life and that brings up a lot of feelings of shame that I, I'm still working through I'm still struggling with. I just always remember when I was at primary school, so I would have been about eight or nine there was a really popular TV program in the UK at the time called This Is Your Life. And it was basically it was like a surprise party for a very famous person towards the end of their life. So they to go and like sneak up on an actor or something like that when they're coming out of the theater and they pull out this big red book and say, Come with us to the studio, this is your life, we're going to bring all these people with no new all for your life and basically have a big party to say how great you are on live TV. And I got a report card that said, if there is a student that I've ever taught, who was going to end up on this is your life. It's Carrie. And I know that it was meant it was came from a really heartfelt positive place but that has haunted me you should have ended up obviously to your life, it's haunted me and I still It makes me feel now like a failure like I have squandered everything and it is added this layer as well of like, feeling like I need to be perfect at everything, which has been a massive struggle for my life as well. And that into that whole rejection sensitivity dysmorphia. You know, as far Yeah,
Katy Weber 26:15
yeah. Yeah, sorry,
Kerry Mead 26:16
this this. dysphoria, sorry.
Katy Weber 26:22
There's a lot of terminology to to acquaint yourself with when you're in the first community. Yeah, you know, the other thing I was reminded of with your essay, was, I really related to that moment when you were lying awake in bed, thinking you were dying, and going and going to your mom and saying, you know, I think I've died. And I was curious. I was like, I wonder because I've certainly felt that I still do. I mean, I certainly my mind goes there. When I'm lying awake at night, I wake up in the middle of the night, I have a headache. And clearly I have a blood clot and I'm about to have a stroke. And who do I call first. And I don't even know where my checkbook is, you know, it's like, I don't know where my passport is how it could just, it goes from there. And I like him to be like curious if there's a connection between ADHD and hypochondria, because it makes sense in that same idea of like, all the things we've talked about in terms of feeling like confused feeling like you've been betrayed by your brain, you know, betrayed by your body betrayed by your thoughts? I'm sure I don't know, I have no, I'm just thinking that off the top of my head. But I wonder if there is if that's a similar phenomenon?
Kerry Mead 27:37
Yeah, I think I think the thing is, because I wouldn't say that those feelings are thinking that I was going to die. But coming from so much hypochondria, they were more fun having severe panic attacks, and actually feeling like I couldn't breathe. I've never say I've been a hypochondriac. But it's funny, I was having a discussion with another woman who's going through the same process as US at the moment. She's in her late 40s. And she's, she's coming to terms with the fact that she is neurodiverse. I'm going to be interviewing her for my book, but I'll come on to that in a while. And she definitely sees itself as being a hypochondriac. And I feel it. It ties in so much of anxiety. It ties in so much with maybe feeling too much, being very in your head, being very self aware, aware of what's going on your body. But maybe you're a typical people don't necessarily struggle with so much. So I think it's really interesting question whether the two are linked. I don't know the answer. But it'd be interesting to see if anybody else does if anybody else has looked into that, because I think it could be a distinct possibility because, you know, ADHD people are very anxious. They're also quite a few neurotypical people, they, you know, they have sensory processing issues, they feel things that maybe other people don't notice going on, you know,
Katy Weber 29:16
definitely. Yeah. So I grew up in Canada. So I grew up with federalized federalized health care and public health care. Yeah. And I've been but I've been living in the US for 20 years. And don't get me started on the US medical system. I mean, it's even now to see so many people who are here struggling because you know, you have to it's a cost it's a cost analysis. Every time you do anything, we're going to healthcare you know, you have to decide am I going to pay for to see my primary care physician am I going to pay my I have, we have insurance, we have great insurance but I when I my doctor prescribed Vyvanse and with my insurance, it's costing $50 a month for me to get that I mean, that is really cosmetic for a lot of people and So you need the fact that you're always taking your mental health, your mental health has a price tag, and your health has a price tag on it in the US. Yeah. So I'm curious to talk to me and talk to our North American listeners about the NHS and why is it taking so long? Or why is this process so long? And so many people in the UK seem to be in the situation that you're in?
Kerry Mead 30:23
Yeah. So when, in my local authority area for the NHS, before the pandemic, it was a three year wait to see a psychiatrist for the in that adult ADHD tin. It's now at four years. So I was only referred in September. I can't wait four years. You know, the thought of it is crazy. But I mean, why are we in that situation? It's really complicated. It's a really complicated situation. It's a lot to do with the NHS is on its knees. It's been driven there. We've got a very conservative, right wing government, we have done for quite some time. It doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon. And one of the things that this government keeps telling us is that it isn't going to sell off the NHS. But I think a lot of us know that it is probably going to happen, and they're trying to dismantle it. This might sound a little bit like conspiracy theories. I'm not a conspiracy theorist. But it's, it's well accepted that we are seeing the death of the NHS at the moment is being run into the grind. It gets lambasted in our media, constantly for its failings. But it's, it's not being looked after as though it's having its funding cut at every turn, little sections are being sold off. One by one, for example, one of the first parts of the NHS that was sold off in my local area was children's mental health services was sold to Virgin about four years ago
Katy Weber 32:22
for j as in Richard Branson's
Kerry Mead 32:27
Virgin health care. So, I mean, we still don't have to pay for it. But it's been managed by a private company now, which is separate from the NHS. It's, I mean, the NHS is one of the best things about the UK. It's amazing. But it's also one of the least nurtured things in the UK at the moment. And obviously, the pandemic. And the way that it's being handled in the UK at the moment, which is very similar to how it was being handled by Trump is a massive worry at the moment that the NHS isn't going to survive it. And we're going to be in the same position as North Americans in a couple of years time and having to pay for our health care. It's a real worry. So part of me feels like I'm angry that I've got to wait four years. But the other part of me, I can't blame the NHS, because I know what they're up against. And I know people who work for them as well. And I know how difficult it is to be a part of the NHS at the moment. But one thing I'm pursuing at the moment is trying to get private diagnosis, but funded by the NHS, which is a possibility. But it all depends on what the current funding stream for your local authority area is looking like. So I've got a conversation next week of my GP to see if they'll consider applying for funding for me to have a private diagnosis because I'm planning on returning to work University in September to study a master's in creative writing. And I feel I've got a good case because I'm going to need some support around my disability by then, which I won't be able to access without a diagnosis. So yeah, fingers crossed. Yeah.
Katy Weber 34:23
All right. I'm still reeling from the fact that you're going back for a master just for you. All right, so more
Kerry Mead 34:34
mad, actually, I'm wondering why I'm doing it a bit. I feel like I've got to do it. It's my time to do it.
Katy Weber 34:41
Well, no, that's a great explainer for that ADHD sense of like, I call it building my empire. Like, you know, I can every week I'm like, What crazy scheme Am I fully 100% invested in this week that I've never even heard of last week. So speaking of how prolific you are online, you run your blog. But you also tell me about 19 stories I'm very fascinated with this project seems like such a passion project seems so heartfelt and so lovely. What was the idea for that? And how has it been? How has it been kind of evolving over the past year? Well,
Kerry Mead 35:26
it's good. It's a good example of how my brain works, actually, this. So, I'm an editor for a magazine called the every day, I'm a music editor for them, but I also write opinion pieces for them. And I pitched that I was going to write a piece about relationships under lockdown. So this is back in kind of a cool time. So I put a little call out on Facebook just does anybody wants to talk to me about how they're getting on being single, or being coupled up in lockdown, or whether they're struggling with missing somebody, which is the situation I was in in the time. So just come out of the relationship shortly before I got ill. So at the end of 2019, and I had so many responses, but not just from people who had had a story that was relevant to my article that people just messaging me because they just really wanted to say, what was happening for them at the time. And that night, I let him bed with my brainwaves in a show, you know, that worm, because I had this amazing new idea that I wanted to set up an archive, an online archive where people could tell their stories about what's going on for them at the moment, because everybody, that's just like, everybody's got a story. And everyone's got a really, really valid story and a really interesting story. This is affecting us all, in such different ways. And our, you know, everyone's going through it. So literally, I hyper focused for about fortnight on setting up this website on pushing it on getting people to get in touch with me, I interviewed people, I spent hours writing up the interviews, I had people getting in touch with me just with photography projects, artworks they were working on, some people just emailed me like a paragraph, like heartbreaking paragraphs. And so I started putting together this website, and telling people's stories. And they could be anonymous if they wanted as well didn't want people to feel embarrassed about what they were saying. So I've actually had quite a few anonymous ones, and then it got picked up on the local newspaper, have quite a lot of interest. And then it just stopped. People, people didn't really want to tell him the stories anymore, I was really struggling with getting people to actually submit stuff where they said they would, and they wouldn't follow up on it. And I've never been very good at pushing people, you know, to say, Come on, come on. You said I'm going to put in some lighting, can I have it please?
Katy Weber 38:28
the boring part.
Kerry Mead 38:30
I know. So it's been quite quiet on 19 stories recently, I've still got it there, I still think it's really, really valid. And there's some beautiful pieces on there. And there's some really interesting things that have happened to people and they've shared. And it's one of those things at the moment that you know, my ADHD brain is that I really need to sit down and get this and nurture and love and attention. But there's always a new shiny spangly project lurking around the corner. And I feel really bad about it. And I feel like I need to really push it but it's almost like I've kind of reached a point with it, where I know that it could really take off if I marketed it more and I played some money into it. But at the moment I feel quite stuck at it. Although I know so many more people out there have got a story to tell about the pandemic. So, if anybody anybody at all wants to drop me an email
Katy Weber 39:30
or LinkedIn Yeah, I will put a link to it just because I think people should read the stories. I think it's such a lovely project even if it just sort of has come to an end it's still I think it's such a lovely thing to have out there. It's been such an incredible 2020 was such a crazy year. And I think it's interesting to me how something as universal as grief can be so isolating at the same time. You know, I remember when my mother passed away it was like the first time you know I where I really felt how low lonely grief can be and I found it interesting to just on where I was like it's something we all go through. I mean, we all lose somebody we love who's close to us. And yet, how can something that we all have experienced make you feel completely isolated from everybody else. And I think we experienced that a lot through the COVID locked down and all of the stuff that has gone on in that in his best year.
Kerry Mead 40:28
It's forced us all into a corner, hasn't it? It's in we have to face ourselves. Whatever's going on for us, I remember, I remember that we had a really in the UK, we had an unseasonably hot spring. So even in March, when we first went into lockdown, I was able to sit out in a deck chair in my back garden, and enjoy the sun. I remember sat there, and it was so silent, no planes, I live in a large city, there's usually planes going over all the time. And I remember thinking, I really, really should be learning more about myself now. And take that go inside. But I don't want to I don't like being forced to do that. We were we were all forced to take this big, deep breath and really do a lot of work on ourselves. And I think it's brought up so many different things to so many different people. I mean, luckily for me, it's brought up the fact that I've got ADHD, which seems to be going okay, at the moment. So
Katy Weber 41:30
in the grand scheme of things, I do feel like I have gratitude for a lot of kind of dominoes that fell into place that led to this diagnosis. But yeah,
Kerry Mead 41:39
yeah, definitely. I just wish I'd got it earlier. I wish I'd known. I really do. That's my biggest regret is I and my biggest grief is that I wish that I had known. Because I feel like I would have been a lot, a lot kinder to myself and make different decisions. And I would be in a lot better place than I am now. You know?
Katy Weber 42:02
Yeah, yeah. I feel like a lot of women I have interviewed, we do talk about that element of that the grief and the resentment, and just kind of what to do with all of that to feel like this life that you're now looking back with this new lens and thinking sort of what could have been? Yeah. On a more positive note, what do you what do you love about your ADHD? Where you look back? And you think, Oh, yes, of course, that was ADHD.
Kerry Mead 42:28
What do I love? What do I love, I really, really love how I think differently and view life differently. And I've kind of like haven't settled down, I don't intend to ever. You know, I feel like I've got quite a young head on my shoulders. And I think that that's possibly got quite a lot to do with curiosity and stitching out new things, new sources of dopamine, possibly. But I think it's a really positive thing. For me anyway, it was not so much positive thing at school because I it was felt different. I couldn't put my finger on it. But I think it's driven me to rebel. It's driven me to examine the world and looking at the world in a different way to not stay static. Even though as a mother, especially with young children, you have to kind of hold fast for quite some time. And I did struggle with that. I feel like I'm always going to keep on looking for new things. I think that's great. And I really liked the flow I get into when I'm hyper focused on something. I like my talent, it's, I do feel lucky to have them even though I've squandered them or still feel lucky to have them. I've still got enough time left as well to actually make some use of them. And it's almost like quite a few of the things I love about ADHD they've got their negative side, but they've also got the kind of silver lining the silver lining around the cloud, like the intensity of my emotions. I mean, it's been a real struggle throughout my life, but that has had a positive as well because I feel like I've when I experienced happiness, I've really experienced happiness. You know, none of my feelings are ever dulled.
Katy Weber 44:26
Yes, I feel as though one thing that has changed for me when we were talking about kind of the self talk and the grace with which you look at the grace with which I look at how why I'm doing the things I'm doing. I am now able to be much kinder with myself when I need to just relax. It's much easier for me to relax because I think I used to have so much trouble relaxing because I felt like there were all these things I was supposed to be doing. And now I'm like no, I need to kind of unwind because I was just hyper focusing for three days. And so I'm much easier on myself when I spend a day Doom scrolling or lying on my phone, you know, lying on my couch on my phone or at least one these days, like incredibly unproductive. I'm sort of like, No, this is unnecessary kind of re reboot.
Kerry Mead 45:17
Yeah, I haven't quite got to that stage yet. I still beat myself up, I still beat myself up about being glued to my phone, I've still got, I've got a huge, huge Twitter problem at the moment. I spent hours on Twitter used to be Facebook, but I've, I've Facebook was becoming really negative for me, especially politics. So I've kind of pulled myself off of Facebook now, although I still need it for work. But I still beat myself up about spending too much time on social media, I still beat myself up about my house been a mess, I still find it difficult to relax. So that's that's my next project is to get to point the
Katy Weber 45:57
one of the links at the bottom of your article that you the essay that we've been talking about the wood written for the everyday magazine, you had mentioned neuro tribes, the book neuro tribe. So you had recommended that and it looks really fascinating. And it's not one that I often see on sort of the top 10 lists and recommended books. Can you tell me a bit more about that book. It's called the legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity, which just sounds so awesome.
Kerry Mead 46:24
It's such an amazing book. So I was recommended it years ago, when I first realized that my son may be neurodiverse, that he may have autism. And I won't spend ages going into that process now and what it's like, but never parent of a autistic child said you need to read this book. It's just come out. It's fantastic. And it's by a guy called Steve Silberman. He's American. He's a journalist, and he spent years researching the history of autism doesn't mention ADHD much in it. It's more focused on neurodiversity, and autistic people's experience of it. He looks at history of it, the social and cultural history and moves into why it's good to celebrate neurodiversity. And about a lot of the famous based online support there is now for neurodiverse people from their peers, and actually raising themselves up and being proud of it, rather than it being medicalized and seen as being something that needed to be trained out of them, all hidden away. And it was, it was so inspiring. It was so inspiring, because at this time, you know, autism, neurodiversity, they were all very new to me, I felt that everybody who was autistic was like the rain man. That's what I thought, you know, like, like the rest of the population, before I was plunged into a world where I had to learn more about it, because it might all of a sudden, and my child may be autistic. So I can look back now. And I can see what I did. I hyper focused on autism for ages, I learned everything I could about it, but that book in particular, it for me, it really, really represents how people should see it as a positive, and not all negative. I mean, obviously, there's negative things, there are negative sides to being neurodiverse. You know, we've we've touched on them haven't made today, you know, with a lot of mental health issues and self esteem issues, but there are also a lot of positives. And I think people need to remember that. Yeah,
Speaker 3 48:54
whether they're neurodiverse itself or whether they love someone who is that is such a great
Katy Weber 48:59
point. One thing I have a lot of gratitude for in my own kind of research journey since since being diagnosed. And the more I understand about ADHD, and the more I realize it's not the sort of isolated, neuro divergent, whatever the word is, I'm looking for tick. That it's, it's, it's on this much larger spectrum of neuro divergence, and, and how we are, you know, how fluid that spectrum is. And so it's really sort of, like, it's so much more of my own understanding about autism, because I hadn't really had the inclination to do much research, you know, I hadn't been personally hadn't been personally affected by it. And so I didn't really take the time to understand it. And so it's sort of a nice byproduct of my own research into ADHD is really sort of understanding autism as sort of, like, you know, the gender spectrum, which is like, you know, yeah, we sort of used to operate in these very, like ContainerD, male, female, you know, gay straight and now it's like, why is everybody queer? Well as everybody's gone, it's not like, it's not like it's just happening. It's that we sort of opened up this the spectrum. And everybody falls in some spot, you know, in this much larger spectrum. And so I really appreciate how much my own understanding of this immense, incredibly amazing community, and where you know, where we all fall in it and how supportive everybody seems to be for now. Yeah.
Kerry Mead 50:28
I mean, I haven't got my article up. And I can't remember the exact phrasing I use, but I kind of sort of like all of the sort of neurological conditions like autism, dyspraxia, ADHD, I kind of liken it to that all huddled under the same umbrella, you know, and I actually ended up lecturing my daughter's GP, doctor about it, by self diagnose, people have done a lot more research than quite a few general practitioners, you know, because he was going through a questionnaire with me about the B sentence before he was put through a request for her to be assessed. And I said, and yeah, and she's got terrible sensory processing problems. She's really sensitive to live signs and like, well, that's autism, not ADHD. So I ended up going into this huge Spiel with him about they're all so intrinsically linked. You can't turn around and say that it's not a sign that she may be neurodiverse. Yeah, because it doesn't. It's not. It is a spectrum. It is a spectrum. You know, it's not these little boxes, like, oh, yeah, your dyspraxia IQ. You your ADHD, your autistic, quite a few people will actually find that they have got, yeah, using the term again, comorbidities, or dual diagnosis, or even just being able to relate that. Yeah, I'm ADHD, but I can really relate to some of the things that come into the autism umbrella,
Katy Weber 52:13
you know, yeah. And I'm glad you brought up auditory and sensory issues as well, because I never would have thought I had sensory, any sort of sensory issues or any sort of auditory processing issues until I really started looking over my life. And it was sort of like, oh, right, I can't brush my teeth with my eyes open. Like, you know, noticing these things that I'm like, Oh, right. Yeah, I do have quite an interesting reaction to certain sensory lottery. auditory issues. Yeah, yeah.
Kerry Mead 52:45
I mean, I'm sure that a lot of I'm sure there's a lot of neurotypical people who will say, Oh, yeah, yeah, but everybody has that. But it's how often you have it and how many examples you can come up with, you know, like, I don't really suffer from sensory stuff, but one thing I can't start I cannot stand anybody putting anything in front of my face. Yeah. I feel claustrophobic if you know, I can do that. But if somebody else does that, to me, I just freak you know, it's Yeah, horrible. That's not That's not just the only thing it's the same. I'm beginning to realize now that there's quite a few things that mean maybe I have got sensory stuff going on, you know, all right. Fascinating. Yeah.
Katy Weber 53:30
Well, I I'm so enjoying talking to you. I was really looking forward to this conversation and you did not disappoint.
Kerry Mead 53:36
Oh, thank you. Thank you. I feel like I could talk all day and I was worried how was going to fill the hour actually.
Katy Weber 53:44
So how can people find you online? And how can people more importantly support you online and in your journey?
Kerry Mead 53:52
Okay, so I've got a blog, which I is unloved occasionally, but I do put quite a lot of my writing up on there. And that is cool. It's on WordPress. And that is called all at life less ordinary. So you can find it all life less ordinary.wordpress.com will come and have a look and have a follow I still haven't got a medium page that's on my my huge long list of things to do. I look at and feel sick every time I look at it. Now I'm on Twitter. My handle is Carrie underscore 689 is not very snappy, but I wasn't feeling very snappy when I decided that I was gonna have a quick look on Twitter, you know about a decade ago and then didn't use it for three or four years. So you can follow me on there. One of the things that I am doing at the moment and if you follow me on Twitter or follow me on WordPress is on I'm planning on writing a book actually telling the stories in more of a kind of in depth sort of creative way of women who are neurodiverse, and how their lives have been affected by that, especially if they didn't find out until later, or especially if they were told that they had mental health disorders instead. So that's something I'm really excited about. And yeah, basically, what's your space?
Katy Weber 55:32
I find it really interesting how some of the most interesting and elevated voices within the ADHD community are coming from people who often are not elevated voices in a lie. I
Kerry Mead 55:43
agree. I agree. I mean, I'm white. I'm privileged, you know, although, you know, obviously, pepper struggles, like a lot of people. But that's one of the things I want to do really, with writing my book, I'm privileged that I can write as well. And I can express myself in that way. I want to be able to tell people's stories and tell people's stories, that I've had a very different experience to me, but there are those common threads as well. So yeah, I'm, I'm just casting around doing my research and finding them in at the moment who's, who won't want their stories told. So.
Katy Weber 56:26
Awesome. Well, I'll make sure to include that. Yeah. I mean, this is really, this entire podcast is an excuse for me to reach out to women who I think are cool, and and have an intentional conversation.
Kerry Mead 56:38
Oh, well, great.
Katy Weber 56:42
So thank you again, for your time. Been so lovely talking to you. Thank you so much. It has
Kerry Mead 56:46
you. Oh, it's been lovely.
Katy Weber 56:52
So can you believe it's been two and a half years since we spoke? That boggles my mind.
Kerry Mead 56:57
No, no. And in fact, I had listened back to that podcast this morning, for the first time in probably about two years, three or four months. Yeah, I just couldn't believe how much has changed. I couldn't believe how much time has gone by.
Katy Weber 57:13
Well, that's kind of what I wanted to do this. So really, I mean, I, after 150 episodes, I thought I'd really like to revisit some of the episodes that have stuck with me over the over since this beginning, right. And I was like, I can't call them my favorites, because literally every episode is my favorite. But I do feel like there were some episodes that have stayed with me in a way that I think about a lot or referenced a lot. And yours was definitely one of those episodes that I feel like really was pivotal for me. Just, you know, I was, I was still very newly diagnosed that episode. You know, it was only I don't remember what number the episode was, but it was fairly new. You know, I had not been diagnosed that long. And, yeah, so I just wanted to kind of come and get a little ketchup and see how you're doing and what has changed over over the last two years and change. And when we talked you had mentioned that your daughter was about to get assessed. So that happened.
Kerry Mead 58:14
Eight dates, and she was refused a diagnosis. Yeah, yeah. Because they they said they didn't have enough proof in school because she hadn't been in school because of lockdowns. Right, so she went back to the start of the queue, which she's still on. Wow. So and, yeah, she's unlikely to get assessed. Now, the key, I mean, the keys shut it shut down. They can't actually add any more children to it. So we're looking at probably another three or four years. And that's I can get the money together to get her a private diagnosis. So yeah, it's pretty depressing.
Katy Weber 58:56
But I also feel like I don't know about you, but I feel like my understanding of ADHD and how we operate has so radically transformed how I parent diagnosis or not right official diagnosis or not, it's just the conversation at home has changed so much about what motivates us and how we approach things. And I do feel like self diagnosis is so much more important than official.
Kerry Mead 59:23
Yeah, that that's completely true. You know, we are a neurodivergent household, and my parents like that, and I run the household like that. And luckily, like my daughter's my 12 and our school system, slightly different. She's now gone up to what we call secondary school, where she'll be until she's 16. And, you know, they have implemented and put everything in place as if she had a diagnosis. You know, she's still getting support as if she had a diagnosis. So, you know, it's all there but I've been Writing a lot about diagnosis and the pros and cons of how important it is. But I feel like for my daughter, at least it would be really beneficial to her for herself, you know, to know. I think it's like this limbo for her. And for me as well as a parent, you know? Right.
Katy Weber 1:00:21
Yeah. And I know we originally did talk a lot about the NHS. And do you feel like much has changed in the last two years? Or is it gotten worse? Because I know, there's been quite a few articles that have gotten a lot of attention about this kind of I Rowley, everybody's getting diagnosed nowadays. dismissal of of neuro divergent awareness, I'm curious what your thoughts are, if you sum them up, if you sum them up in five minutes or less?
Kerry Mead 1:00:52
Oh, my God. I mean, yeah, I mean, I feel it quite strongly. By the way, I got my diagnosis, shortly after we had our combat original conversation. So I was diagnosed in March 2021. Started medication in September. And then it just blew up in the UK around men, so many people deciding that, as adults that they want it to be assessed. I mean, the NHS in my local area, can't speak for anywhere else. But now, I know that my friend is trying to get a diagnosis for her adult son at the moment, he's a young adult, they've closed the books, you can't even go on a waiting list. Now, for adult diagnosis, even for private diagnosis, the keys are huge. And yet, there is a lot of mistrust, I think, in the private diagnosis in the UK at the moment, because of the bad press, it's been getting because of the amount of people who have all of a sudden through what I think is more to do with increased understanding of neurodivergent. See, and it being brought out into the light. Rather than it being everybody's just decided on maths, there's a really, really good way to get some really nice medication. You know, and to get support and have an excuse for what could be considered divergent and problematic behavior. That does seem to be this kind of like, and I don't see it in one to one I don't think many people think this, that I come in contact with. But there's does seem to be this kind of mistrust of the process of people self diagnosing the amount of people who are now saying they've got it, you know, especially the media think of feeding that, which, you know, I think I was lucky in a way I got in there in time. But I feel even I feel sometimes like, Am I really? Am I really? Do I really have ADHD, do I have a right to this medication? Do I have a right to the support that I'm getting, especially at university? It's changed a lot, but not much, both at the same time, here in the UK, you know,
Katy Weber 1:03:27
right. I feel like given the amount of people who have been diagnosed in adulthood, you recently and this explosion and awareness, there is a part of me that often wonders, are we talking about something else? Do we all share in these qualities that aren't necessarily under the ADHD umbrella, but are just part of the anxiety of life? Right. And I think that's a question I explore a lot in the podcast to which is like, what are we talking about? And then I often then come back down to like, well, this whole conversation is very neurodiverse. Just having that constant questioning. It does feel like in the UK that way that they've dealt with it has just been to shut everything down. Right? It's like we don't know how to deal with this number of people who are seeking assessments. So we're just going to turn it everybody away. And I'm like, is there anything in legislation that is giving hope to providing more resources for diagnosis?
Kerry Mead 1:04:25
So I think it goes beyond neurodivergent people, it goes into the hole of psychiatry, adult psychiatry, I think in the UK, and again, I probably sound like a broken record, especially if somebody's listening to this now, it's just listen to my original podcast, but it's under funding. It's happened funding cut, you know, it's on the NHS. There's very, very little resources and sadly, there isn't the legislation to say that I mean, I don't know a lot about the law office, but we don't really have any way of demanding resources that aren't there anymore unless you can pay for them. It's just the way it is, you know, like, for example, just trying to get CBT. Now, for your GP, you'd be facing maybe a year or an 18 month waiting list. So if you're not in a position where you can pay, then you have got a very long wait, if you do get any help at all, if you have any kind of neurological condition or mental ill health.
Katy Weber 1:05:40
Yeah, it just seems like a catch 22 And also just massive gaslighting, because it feels like not only if you do have the resources to pay for it privately, then you're told well, of course, they'll tell you whatever you want to hear. And so then you feel as though you've bought the diagnosis, so to speak.
Kerry Mead 1:05:58
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, it's, yeah, I mean, so what are we meant to do? What we're meant to do? Are we meant to just sell? Are we meant to self diagnose and not seek a diagnosis? And then we get told that self diagnosis is not enough? Are we meant to pay for it and get told that it's not a true diagnosis? Because we paid for it. We meant to feel guilty about spending the money on getting the support. You know, well, what else are we meant to do if it's not available on the NHS?
Katy Weber 1:06:32
When we had spoken, you had gotten you were you were back in university getting your masters? Is that what's the update on that? Did you complete it?
Kerry Mead 1:06:41
Yeah. So I think I think when we spoke, I was thinking about it. And I started it in September 2009, October 2021, Master's in creative and critical writing, and I am nearly at the finish line. So I did it part time over two years. So my dissertation is due in a few weeks, how's that going? It's tough. I knew it was gonna be tough. I knew it was gonna be a hard hard summer. There's no fun this summer. no fun at all. It's a lot of graft. But doing my doing my Masters has just been amazing. It's one of the best decisions I've made. I've absolutely loved it. And I'm really glad that I got my diagnosis before I did it. Because I've had a lot of support. And I've done the best I can think it's great. It's great. It's just, and it's been really interesting. And I feel like I've found something that I want to carry on doing. So for once, rather than being bored of it. By the time I've even finished studying it. That's amazing. She used to happen.
Katy Weber 1:07:54
Yeah, you know, it was funny, listening back to the original conversation, I think I was like, Wow, that's so brave of you to go back to school. And now I'm going back to get my masters as well. And I really do credit. Yeah, I really do credit the diagnosis, like I never in a million years would have had the faith in myself to go back to school, if it wasn't for this diagnosis. And also, like you said, Now I know how to advocate and ask for the right support. And I know how what kind of strategies to look for. And so yay, yay for for tackling those mountains.
Kerry Mead 1:08:30
Yeah, it's the best thing I've done for myself. It's been amazing. It's been hard at times, don't get me wrong. It's been really tough. I had really steep learning curve. And my first assignment, my literally, pastime, put stress. But, you know, I've learned a lot about myself. And I've learned a lot by writing and I've had a lot of success, I've been doing really well. It's great. It's a great feeling, after years of thinking that I couldn't cut it. And I wasn't really that intelligent. And I've discovered that I used to say to people, I don't have any ambition, but I've discovered that I do.
Katy Weber 1:09:11
Write and that was a something we've talked a lot about was just like that feeling of being, you know, when you tell gifted children that they have a lot of potential, what you're basically telling them is that they're squandering their gifts, right. And that and, and that feeling of just the depression that ends up defining who we are into adulthood. And why I reached out to you was that wonderful piece that you had written for everyday magazine, which rip write every day? Yeah, sadly, but I'll put the link to that episode to that article, because I think it's still so relevant and speaks you know, one of the one of the reasons why our conversation has stuck with me all of over the years has been, how vulnerable it was to talk about believing that we were fault, you know, just believing that we were so not living up to our potential right or you know, what's just the depression that comes so deeply with being a gifted child or a gifted underachiever as I always called myself. And really just like you articulated so well, that feeling of hopelessness that we end up having in ourselves. And so it's so wonderful to to see how this diagnosis has really just opened up so many opportunities isn't like you said, like, feeling like, Oh, my potential is limitless at this point.
Kerry Mead 1:10:35
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And again, I just wish it happened earlier in life. But, you know, still Chris got up to make the most of the time you have left and get as much out of that as you can, haven't you. And we're also just be a bit kinder on yourself, if you do need a bit of downtime, because at the end of the day, we are neurodivergent people trying to negotiate a neurotypical world, it's still tougher, even even with the drugs, you know?
Katy Weber 1:11:03
Oh, even with all of it. Absolutely. Right. And then, you know, and then back to this idea of like the gaslighting and the constant questioning, do I deserve this help? Or am I just a lazy piece of shit? Right? I think it's still there. It's I don't know if it's ever gonna go away. But it's at least you could recognize where that voice was coming from.
Kerry Mead 1:11:23
Yeah, yeah, definitely.
Katy Weber 1:11:25
Awesome. So I'll have I noticed that you have a new website carry meet.uk. So love that. It's got links to all of your writing. And yeah, what else are you up to? Are you
Kerry Mead 1:11:36
well, I'm the dissertation is the thing at the moment. Try not to do much else. The dissertation. The dissertation, I'm writing Do you remember as mentioned in a book? Yeah. I shelved. Yeah, I shelve the book idea. When I started the masters. The idea of the Masters was I in my head, before I started it, it was going to be a way of writing the book, in a structured way with deadlines. But soon as I started my masters, I realized I didn't want to use it for that. I want to use it to learn how to use it to learn how to write more how to get new ideas, how to write well, how to write better, and I've loved doing that. Just experimenting. And you know, I've been writing fiction, and doing really well with that. But so the dissertation is the start of the book, the book has changed a lot. But it is about neuro divergence. And it's been nearby ADHD experience of the world.
Katy Weber 1:12:34
We'll keep you posted. I'll definitely love to follow you. I feel like we need more literary characters with ADHD proper neuro divergent experience, as I experienced it, because I feel like I've, I've always so let down by the neurodivergent characters in, in literature most of the time.
Kerry Mead 1:12:52
Yeah. I mean, it's, it's not fiction, but neither is it self help. I want to move away from that placing the blame on the individual. Yeah, it's, you know, like, a lot of the books that we read are self help books at the end of the day saying that you need to change in order to fit in and Isn't life going to be great once you have. And I don't want it to be like that. So I'm going to carry on writing this book, as long as I do in other writing, which has nothing to do ADHD, which I've really been enjoying doing as well. Oh, yeah. And catch up. So I'm not a student anymore.
Katy Weber 1:13:32
Well, I'm just grateful for the chance that I have to do thank you for being so vulnerable in our conversation and just let you know what a influence you had on me and my own journey and how much I appreciated your, your wisdom and look forward to more amazing things in the world from you, Carrie.
Kerry Mead 1:13:51
Thank you so much, Katy. And thank you as well. Similar, you know, I remember our conversation as well. And it's just a really great reminder that people can have very different lives on different continents, but we have we basically share the same stuff as ADHD women running like a thread through our lives, you know, and it, yeah, it's to community and it's, it's a good feeling. And you know, you're one of the first people that made me realize that so, oh, yeah.
Katy Weber 1:14:30
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 adhd.com 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 adhd.com/podcast 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 care till then