Laura Mears-Reynolds: Activism, awareness, and ADHDAF

Apr 15, 2024


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“This isn’t just a new chapter; it really does feel like a new life. My diagnosis not only changed but actually saved my life.”

Laura is an ADHD activist and the host of the popular ADHDAF podcast. Laura's life was not only transformed but saved by her ADHD diagnosis at the age of 38. She wants all people with ADHD to be treated both medically and with the respect they deserve.

We talk about Laura’s activist, as well as the new ADHDAF+ charity and its mission to educate and overcome the barriers to diagnosis and treatment in the UK healthcare system. 

We also talk about the Leopard Print Army and Laura’s upcoming Alien Nation tour where she brings her own flavor of community building and activism with a side of bingo and karaoke. This will be her final tour of this kind, so if you’re in or around the UK in the next few months, make sure to get tickets at


Instagram: @adhdafpodcast



Laura Mears-Reynolds 0:00
When you discover that we have this thing that's been staring us in the face, it's really obvious all this time. We have to find ways to support ourselves, right? We have to accept that we have it, and that there's no amount of effort. You cannot try it away. We cannot wish it away, but it's always going to be there.

Katy Weber 0:23
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. Okay, we are going to get started right away with Episode 183, in which I interviewed Laura Mears Reynolds. Laura is an ADHD activist and the host of the popular ADHD A F podcast, her life was not only transformed, but saved by her ADHD diagnosis at the age of 38. And she wants all people with ADHD to be treated both medically and with the respect they deserve. We talked about Laura's journey from lying on the couch to her unstoppable activism, as well as the brand new ADHD a f plus charity and its mission to educate and overcome the barriers to diagnosis and treatment in the UK healthcare system. We also talked about the leopard print army and Laura's upcoming alienation tour where she brings her own flavor of community building and activism with a site of bingo and karaoke. Now this will be Laura's final tour of this kind. So if you are in around the UK in the next few months, make sure to get tickets over at ADHD as And of course that link is in the show notes. If you've listened to her podcast or follow her on Instagram, you know, Laura is quite a character. So you are in for a real treat today. Enjoy. Welcome, Laura. I am so glad we finally could meet and I have been looking forward to interviewing you for ages basically, since I discovered your awesome podcast. How long has it been now? Has it been two years? Yep,

Laura Mears-Reynolds 2:29
it will be two years at the beginning of May. Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be on your podcast is amazing. So I'm super grateful to be honest, thank you,

Katy Weber 2:37
you are just I mean a whirlwind. It's It's so amazing. And I love I've loved watching you and John, as you started this journey. And then that moment of the just transition with Donna had to make this decision. It's like, I feel like you're kind of the soap opera that we're following.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 2:56
I know. That's why I started doing the little tidbits because as I can we just give people some information because there's much bigger things going on in our lives. So let's actually talk about ADHD and nevermind us for a second.

Katy Weber 3:11
But I think it's a testament I mean, as weird as it must be, to have so many people kind of invested in your life online, it must be. I mean, it's a testament, I think, to not only ADHD, but just the power of your vulnerability in this podcast and in this sphere and how you've talked about this so much on your podcast, this, how a diagnosis can be so transformative in terms of how we view our capabilities and our you know, limitlessness a lot of the time and while you know the the the term superpower is so problematic. I just feel like, I just love when it's when a diagnosis feels, you know, so clearly is like this blooming of our true essence. And I feel like you are that personified. Oh,

Laura Mears-Reynolds 3:59
that's so lovely. I think it's definitely like, I see it as a very interesting, it's not just a plot twist or a second act or a new chapter, it really does feel like a new life like literally, trigger warning not to be bleak on a Friday. But you know, it's like, I always say that ADHD diagnosis not only changed, but actually saved my life. You know, I am lucky to be here. And I do feel like with the treatment that I've used and managing my symptoms and getting to grips with all of this and really finding out that I wasn't alone in my struggles has completely changed my life. I've got a new one. And that's and that's really why I do what I do. Because I just I want that for everybody. I want everybody to have that opportunity.

Katy Weber 4:48
I know right? I feel the same way. I feel like you know because I joke about the fact that nobody ever gets diagnosed with ADHD because they're like, my life is going great. What is the name for this one? Wonderful superpower, right? Like most of us are in the shit, right? Like we've hit rock bottom. And that's why this feels like such an opportunity to rebuild. And I used to say like, when I first got my diagnosis, I felt like a fucking Phoenix, you know, I was just like it was, you know, and then I got burnt out and had, like, we'll get to that later

Laura Mears-Reynolds 5:23
on zero, phoenix rising from the ashes bursting into flames and chaos. Yeah, yeah.

Katy Weber 5:31
Okay, so So let's backtrack a little bit, because I do want to hear about what was happening in your life. I know you've shared this story many times. But you know, for the sake of my listeners, what was happening in your own life that you started to put two and two together and think this could be ADHD?

Laura Mears-Reynolds 5:49
Well, chase for me, my life has always just been so chaotic, so extreme. And it's like I've constantly tripped up every step of the way. I've always felt very outside of everything. So like, a really good example. I mean, that the American English office is a bit different. But you've got Jim and we've got Tim. But Tim, from the office looks is always looking for the camera. It's almost like the Candid Camera of like, can you hear this? Like, is this really happening? Is everyone else alright with this, because I don't really get this as how it's felt. I'm literally going Why is everyone so weird, but they're not weird, because they're all in it together. I'm weird, like what is happening here. And it just things just got worse and worse and worse. So I kind of had kind of, it would always be sort of one step forward, two steps back. So there would be relationship issues, financial issues, employment. From my teenage years, I accumulated really horrendous eating disorder, depression, all the rest of it. And I kept every step of the way, trying to get better trying to get help. I went to the doctors many times, I've had hypnotherapy psychotherapy, all of the all of the things tried absolutely everything short of iOS Oscar, but I was very tempted at one point, and and literally nothing, nothing made it better. And then things got worse. And when I started this podcast, I started to say by saying that I felt that I had a nervous breakdown at 35. And what I can now identify is that was extreme burnout. And I interviewed a wonderful doctor on ADHD F called Dr. nega Aris, and she talked about, and of course, I forgot what it's called, but the research, multi hormone, something, therapies, something. So basically, that our ADHD symptoms are exacerbated in the different stages of our lives due to our hormone hormonal fluctuations. So that's throughout the month, but then also in those big moments like perimenopause, etc. And I realized that I started going into perimenopause early. And that was when I fell down, I fell down hard, and I basically couldn't get back up. But just before I fell, I had a conversation with a friend who told me that they had just been diagnosed with ADHD. And to my mind, as I looked at this person who I've always held on a pedestal successful, happy gentleman, as I Well, you're not a hyperactive little boy in a classroom. You can't have ADHD, the same stereotype that everybody has, right? She's like I said, Don't explain it to me, how could you possibly have it? What does this look like for you? And she told me what she was experiencing talked about the different symptoms, and I literally said, Oh, Christ, what have you got it? I've definitely got it. And then I was just like, Yes, Laura? Yes, I think so. That's why we're talking about it. Even at that point, I didn't, I didn't tie together, the anxiety, the depression, the eating disorder, and this thing, I saw them as separate things. So even though I could see that I struggled with a lot of the things that are the symptoms, I still took the weight of the shame of it. All of that stuff that Yeah, but I know, it looks like I've got this thing, but I'm still really rubbish. And then this other stuff is separate to that I never kind of put it together as a package because I didn't do the education. And obviously there wasn't as much information online about the condition as there is now and then I feel like I've been talking for 50,000 years should I carry on? My answer the question. Anyway, in the end, as as as it's as it says, in the podcast, I basically moved to Scotland. I was incredibly depressed. It was during the pandemic, I joke that I sat down on the sofa and I didn't get back up for two years and that is basically the truth. I was not myself at all, and I didn't want to be here anymore. And I met a neighbor Dawn we moved to the same street at the same time etc. And It was the first time we were allowed to socialize outdoors from the pandemic. And I had a barbecue. And she said to me, I'm sorry, if I talk too much, I think I have ADHD. And I said, No way. Me too. And I'd already at that point before moving to Scotland, saris side questi, I'd put myself down on a waiting list for the NHS, the national health care system in England, which is so broken, because it's underfunded. And basically, that I never came up with anything from that list, I didn't understand that diagnosing ADHD was any different to diagnosing any condition. You know, if you've got to think I've been to doctor's appointments all my life for depression, anxiety and sorts, and they go, tick, tick tick pot of pills, I thought it was gonna be the same thing. I had no idea what lay ahead of me. So there I was on this waiting list nearly wasn't here anymore. And then, when Dawn said that she was going to go for diagnosis, my husband pointed out that this new job that we've moved to Scotland for gave me access to private health care, which is something that I never would have had the money to do. I never, as I say this is one of the ways that ADHD has tripped me up is that I struggled with unemployment, and with finances, so I never would have had access to private health care. So it's not just a privilege, it's a it's a fluke. Anyway, from that point, as she was going for, I was like, Well, I look into it, then. And I feel it because it's that privilege, I only had to wait four months from that point and got diagnosed with severe combined type ADHD at the age of 38. And I'll come back for now. Sorry.

Katy Weber 11:40
It's so incredible. It's such an amazing story. And also, I feel like I love talking to guests in the UK and sort of thinking about the comparison between how ADHD is treated in the in the US versus the UK, and even Australia, because it's so different. And it's so amazing. And I'm like, there's so much more gaslighting about ADHD in the UK, especially in the UK media than I think there is in the US. Basically, this is a generally I want to I want to ask you more about activism because of, you know, how I feel like you and Don also both really quickly turned to very vocal activism. And I think a lot of us do when it's just like, for a lot of reasons, there's the whole justice sensitivity with ADHD and just like you said, like wanting to save other people from feeling so shitty about themselves, but I do feel like like, over the years, as I've been watching this, you know, this rise of, of ADHD awareness and diagnoses hand in hand. It feels like the UK in particular is really, there's such a backlash,

Laura Mears-Reynolds 12:48
just really far behind. Yeah,

Katy Weber 12:50
what it feels like, it's so dismissed. It's vicious. And it's just what's the word? I'm looking for words, like you're just put insulting,

Laura Mears-Reynolds 12:58
and dangerous and dangerous. I think the thing is, there's, there's so many things at once, right? There are so many different things at once. So what we are in right now, is a monumental moment of mass awareness. Right? Now, everything has happened at once. It's like this kind of pressure cooker. I don't, you know, for a person who struggles conceptually with some things, I do not understand how anybody can look at what is quite clearly a line, a really clear line of events that have got us here and see it as anything other than it is This is plain as day to me right? What you've got is the healthcare system in the UK has been underfunded on its knees, right? It's on its knees, that the greedy governments have broken it intentionally, at the same time. So how the system works at this moment in time, is that the GP is a gatekeeper to diagnosis right. But unfortunately, due to underfunding, etc, etc. The average GP in the UK only has one hour of very basic training, which is based on outdated and gender bias research. Right? So what you've got this stereotype My dear naughty little boys in the classroom, that's literally the very basic training that they have. And that's that just is what it is. But the issue is that they then seats it as the gatekeeper to diagnosis. So literally, what you're saying is, in order to be able to be assessed to speak to somebody who knows what they're talking about, you have to convince somebody who literally doesn't know what they're talking about. And that's not a diss to GPS, everyone is doing their best, especially the NHS, it's not their fault that they're not trained and there isn't the funding to train them. Everyone is doing their best, but it really doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Because what you're Doing is you've got, as you rightly said, you've got people that are broken, who's the wrecking ball of ADHD and identified ADHD has come in smashed their life to bid the 20,000 negative things before the age of 10 sitting on our shoulders steeped in that shame, we have to go and fight with somebody to tell them that we have something which our imposter syndrome is telling us that we don't even have because actually, we're just really shit and useless. And all of that negative stuff that we're holding on to speak to someone who's gonna turn around, say to you, Well, you can't have ADHD because you have a job, because you're married, because you went to university, because you've never been arrested. Because you're not a child, you know, because you're not male, like any of these things that these, these GPs are spouting that I hear day in and day out from people in my community. It's horrendous. So language is powerful, but it's also personal, right? So a lot of people don't like to think of ADHD as a disability or a disorder. And I understand that, and I respect that. And we all have to have respect that we can speak about our own experiences and the language that best suits us, right. But ADHD is a registered disability in the UK under the Equality Act 2010. Okay. Now, if the mainstream media in the UK knew that, there is no way in how they would attack a group of disabled people, and this is the problem, they don't have the awareness, they don't understand that is a disability. And in being what is classed language aside, but legally classed as a disabled group of people, it means that we are a protected group of people. And that means it is effectively illegal to attack and abuse was illegal to attack and abuse anybody base, you know, to to be accusation re be dismissive, be awful to a person based on the symptoms of their disability. So when you're saying, Don't be lazy, don't do this, just do that. But it's literally an angle, what's happening in the press. And the only reason why it's happening is because people don't know. And it goes across the board. And with regards to the, the labor, the trend, etc. As I said, it makes perfect sense to me. You have these GPS here, none of us know, society isn't aware, the GPS don't even know. And all of a sudden, we're all locked in our houses, away from our coping strategies away from our jobs, careers, wherever children don't have to go to school, all of the rest of it. And we're sat here going, Well, why can't I wash my hair? And why can't I find the spoons to make the dinner? Quite literally, and all the rest of it right? We're all hate going up because we're faced with it. All of our coping strategies, all of our lives, all of the essential deadlines of everything just taken away. And at exactly the same time. You've got tick tock, and podcast culture boom. Right? Where they'll let me alter like me tell you their life story, and it gets broadcast all over the world. And we're all talking to each other. We're all talking to each other. And this is happening. Whilst we sat at home, whilst we sat at home had nothing to do and nowhere to be wondering what the hell's wrong with us. All of the information is going round and round around. It makes sense. It all makes sense. It's not a trend. We didn't know. Now we know and we can communicate it. That's it. The end I cracked Okay, somebody give me a medal. That's ridiculous.

Katy Weber 18:50
I know. It's been quite a few years. And you know, that was me. I was absolutely at a pandemic diagnosis at 45. And you know, people always talk about Oh, everybody thinks they have ADHD on Tik Tok. I'm like, of course, everybody on Tiktok has ADHD. We're moths to a flame. So of course, we all have ADHD,

Laura Mears-Reynolds 19:07
and engineered that way and engineered that way. Yeah. Right. It's Sorry, I just took a no hypermobility is my is my is it?

Katy Weber 19:17
I think you really articulated how complex and complicated the last couple of years have been with the surge in diagnoses. But I think it's all you know, because I have ADHD, and I'm used to being gaslighted my whole life there. You know, I'm always asking that question of like, well, wait a minute, did we get this wrong? Is there something else happening? Is this the trauma of the pandemic, that we're all sort of having ADHD, like symptoms? And what I think when we talk about how this has shown up in our lives over the years and masking and that this is something that has happened, you know, that this isn't just something that came about in the last couple of years for us? No,

Laura Mears-Reynolds 19:57
absolutely. And as you were saying about out the kind of activism side of it. Like, for me, that is quite literally what I came here to do. So during and I like, as you pointed out, like the podcast started as a duo, and now it's just me solo. And that's because despite spending every second of every day with each other and living in each other's pockets, sometimes sad, he is not the best communicators. And so I came in and I bulldozed in with a plan of like, this is what I want to do, and didn't quite realize, communicate or possibly even hear that that wasn't exactly what John was there to do as well. And she came to raise awareness, and she wanted to share her story, and help people through her own experiences. But the next line, which was my bit was kind of the bit that we didn't share. And activism isn't a path. Even though what we were doing was activism in action. It wasn't really what dawn came in to do. And we just had to run so fast that we miss we miss communicated, we miss understood, and the rules and the boundaries. And it all just got really, really confused. So what Dawn has done has has been an enormous help to so many people. And I'm here to fuck shit up. Basically. I came here with a plan, an actual plan, I read a book called How to be an activist by Amaka. George, and she spells out what you do, you literally go right, you've got I came in with an idea. I had solved it. I knew how to fix the diagnosis crisis, right? And of course I didn't, there were two holes in my plan. And that's what the book says is like, you're gonna have an idea. But you're only looking at it one way. And you don't understand the complexities of all the different parts of the problem. So what you need to do is speak to a load of people. So you rally the troops, you get everybody in and you listen to every which side of the argument. That's why I asked the question. In the podcast, what would you do? What would you do to change the system? What would you do? I'm literally researching. And then as you're doing that, you rally up all the troops behind you. And you make all these connections, and you find out from every which way. And when you've got it sorted, you stick your campaign out, and everyone's there to sign it. And everyone's in agreement and all the holes are filled. That is I literally came in with a strategic plan, which I did convey, but apparently didn't convey it clearly enough. And we were, ironically, when you look at the logo of ADHD, AF we are literally looking in different directions I designed it didn't even see it. Today, we are looking in different directions. But hey, go, we've done a lot of good and we had a lot of fun.

Katy Weber 22:43
I felt very emotional when Don just made her decision. I think it was one of the bravest things I've seen in the ADHD sphere. Because I often say the hardest thing about ADHD is saying no to ourselves, right saying no, to our own desire to do all the things all at once. The you've also talked about the golden ticket, right, which is I felt that way with this podcast. Like I didn't know what I was doing, I leave first and think later. And so I don't really I didn't know if this was gonna be a one week thing or what you know. And so there's a lot of that, like, there's a lot where you can't even predict. And so I don't imagine that you had any idea how huge the podcast was gonna be or how big the platform was gonna be like, there's just too many variables that are unknown in the beginning where you're like, I don't know, I'm just doing this thing for fun. And the next thing you know, people are writing you from around the world. And you're like what's happening. And so that momentum is amazing. But I think there's also like, when her it's darkest before the dawn episode, but she was talking about how like, I suddenly realized I was being shit at everything. And I like felt that to my core, because I'm, you know, I was like, I'm the same way where I'm like, I've taken on too much, I have to figure out how to pull back, I take on too much. I have to figure out how to pull that like that's the ADHD dilemma is that like, always at the edge of burnout, always needing to kind of operate on this higher frequency in order to keep ourselves stimulated and motivated and excited about things but at the same time, taking on so much that I ended up burned out and I ended up like overwhelmed. And I end up dropping the ball and doing all these things and the fact that I think that she was like no, I'm in school and this is something I need to do right now I thought was like God that that is ADHD awareness and a diagnosis inaction because being able to reframe that as like a responsible decision with a plan as opposed to I'm shit and I just dropped one more thing that I could have been successful at right like, I felt like it was the most adult mature thing and I was like really inspired by it because I'm I was at this point in my career where I was like, Oh, God, I don't want to give up the podcast, but I'm in school right now and I want to do this thing. And I have this long term plan to become, you know, like I I'm in school right now to become an ADHD therapist, but I also knew that But that was going to be two or three years of my life that I had to pull back from other stuff. And it's been horrible. Like, it's horrible to have to pull back from things when you're not ready. And so I think it was tremendous that she made that decision. I love the fact that you've moved forward to and kept up with it. And also weren't, you weren't like, oh, I can't do this by myself, right like that you have, you are a Phoenix in a lot of ways.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 25:23
Oh, thank you. We did, we didn't, you know, we didn't know how far it was gonna go and how quickly it was gonna go and how far it was gonna spread. But I absolutely did not come in here for fun. I came in here with a plan. And truthfully had the podcasts have not taken off, I would have found another means to move forward with my plan. I came in here as an activist, it is my life's mission to help even a tiny bit and the push for change. And Dawn did come in for fun to a degree she wanted to help. But she thought she saw it as a summer project a bit of fun, for a good cause in the break between her semesters at uni. So it was just always coming in from a different angle. And you know, that was one of the main points of the podcast was always showing the two sides of ADHD is that yes, that is one side of it is that you know, the stimulation and taking on too much and blah, blah, blah. But the other side of that coin is, is me. Just keeping going and fasting and fasting and never kind of getting to that point of going, I need to focus on myself because I'm so driven to do this thing. And actually, at points have just felt like a vessel through which to it should pass through instead of you know, being a person. So, yeah, it says the two sides. Absolutely.

Katy Weber 26:49
Oh, my goodness, when you you've amassed your leopard print RV. And so and so congratulations on the announcement this week of the ADHD a f plus charity. So what is the future of the charity? And kind of what is what do you envision the charity being?

Laura Mears-Reynolds 27:14
So as it stands, so since the episode went out, we since passed the initial screening. So that's apparently the hardest part. So it's very, very exciting. So we've tried to be a charity in England, Scotland and Wales. And we are a charity for ADHD adults of marginalized genders to unite and empower through peer support and education. Now, pardon me what that looks like. I can't, at this point, give the finer, finer details. But I've got an amazing board of trustees. And it's such a funny thing, because I know that we, I know that we can't go wrong. It's really one. It's a weird thing, because I've done a lot of like radio and different interviews lately. And it feels so different. Because I don't care. Like I can say what I need to say, and there aren't any big repercussions. And now I've got these wonderful people behind me believing in me and trusting me to not say the wrong thing. And I'll just say like, suddenly there's this pressure, but I know that we can do a lot of good work. And it's really like everything from the charity has been informed by my experiences of doing this podcast. So through the podcast, we created a community called Planet ADHD AF. And within that, that is like the peer support, not guidelines, what's the word I'm looking for? Like, that's what I've seen is how we support each other and where we fall down, you know, and through the live events that I'm doing. So I'm about to do the third and final tour in the UK. And like, it's in seeing the live events and seeing that people were coming on their own or feeling that they're on their own, in seeing how much people benefit from not just online but in person peer support. There's so many topics that come up time and time again, you know, from personal relationships to family struggles to managing the household to in the world of work telling their employer. All of this stuff, the amount of us that are brilliant at will have entrepreneurial leanings are brilliant ideas and things and then we're stifled by systems. How do we apply for things? How do we do you know what I mean? All of this stuff that I've just watched play out time and time and time again. Now as a charity, I know that I can do really good work there because it's not just like me coming to a city and playing ADHD or fingo. As much as that is incredibly fun and incredibly useful. It means that as a charity with proper funding, it means that I can get proper expertise to come to leave something behind in local communities, so rather than like running around the country, I can go to one city for a number of days and actually leave something solid behind and support local communities that way.

Katy Weber 30:13
Ah, yeah, I remember there was one interview you did where you were talking about the expat community when you were in was a Thailand

Laura Mears-Reynolds 30:21
in a visa. Oh, both times on a visa. Yeah. But you were

Katy Weber 30:24
talking about the expat community and how helpful everybody was right? And how there was always like a ride somewhere or so you know, if you needed to fill something out, there was always and it felt like the perfect sort of small microcosm community for ADHD. And we need like, where did we lose that? You know, and it gives you said, when you return to London, you would just you felt so alone, you felt so isolated. I'm like, where it how do we create those communities? Because I feel like I've, you know, the online communities do amazing things, but I feel like there's something about like that. Yeah, it's almost like we need to start creating communes.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 31:01
I'm 100%. Now for it. So I'm, yeah. Right.

Katy Weber 31:06
Well, Kathleen, a doe, when she was interviewing her recently about, she was talking about, you know, aging and ADHD. And she was talking about how like, retirement communities are not financially accessible to a lot of people with ADHD because we're short with money. And so she was talking about like, getting roommates and sort of bringing back this idea of like, not being alone, having the support, creating chosen family. And part of, you know, the introverted me was like, Oh, I don't know if I get to share my kitchen again. But also fig like, it's so true. Like, we need that communal element.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 31:38
Community is everything is everything. And for me that that's part of why I've always ended up working in pubs, for example, but actually, like, the downside to that is alcohol. So not so good. But it was that community that drew me to it, you know, you know, the plumber, you know, the butcher, you know, the baker, you know, everybody and we were like, Oh, you need something out there. The person who asked is that idea of community, I've always been drawn to it, we are stronger together. And for anybody to just feel that they're not alone. That is everything. Because especially for those of us that do live in our own heads so much. It can be such a lonely place. And we need to know that we're not alone in it. So yeah, community peer support absolutely everything.

Katy Weber 32:23
Oh, yeah. So okay, well, that's fantastic. So this is the last tour, I want to make sure we promoted or, you know, people can find out the dates and everything on is it still ADHD as Are you changing the website

Laura Mears-Reynolds 32:39
is ADHD is At the moment, add the Instagram is ADHD, A F podcast. And yeah, it's very exciting. It's called Alien Nation because it explores the different ways in which I personally felt alienated by society. But these are the themes, as I said, that I've witnessed throughout the community of ways in which we feel alienated. And within that it will be the same concept of the previous tours where I play bingo, because it's basically where a seminar meets bingo, because it helps with that reward system. And that's the thing is, I just want to say, like, as I said, ADHD presents differently in every single person. But if ADHD presents in people the way it presents in me, then it means that like, I might get bored. So I'd rather play a game and I might win a prize. And, you know, it's just a really fun way of doing it. But within it, I'm also, you know, have some actually useful people not just telling jokes and being silly, but you know, talking about how we can do better on both sides of the coin. So for example, in education at my Birmingham show, I have a group of teachers there who have got a podcast past podcast called The teacher experience. And they're talking about like, not only how teachers can better support children are spotted or support the neurodivergent kids in their classrooms, but also, teachers that are discovering their own neurodiversity later in life, how do they get support and things like that? So it's a really, it's, like I said, it's about connection validation, like humor, but useful information as well. It's just done in my own weird and wonderful way, because that's what I've learned. And I think it has to represent that as a whole is how do we get things done? How do we get things done, we get them done together, and we get them done our way. You have to support yourself in it. And so I know how to throw a party and I know how to organize silly events and, and make things fun. So that's how I've delivered however many seminars is now is in their footprint, with a ladle in my hand pulling bingo balls and telling jokes basically. This is the last hurrah because No more nonsense I'm getting serious and starting the charity and being a bit more useful. So

Katy Weber 34:59
you're not but you You're not necessarily not touring anymore, it's just it will look a little different. Well,

Laura Mears-Reynolds 35:06
it will look very different, very, very different. So there will never be these kind of one off events like this that are parties, there'll be different different things. I will go to cities, but it'll be more tangible work with with more left behind. Does that make sense?

Katy Weber 35:24
Yeah, I mean, in the US, there's the, you know, they call it the international ADHD conference. But I think it's only because there's like a couple of Canadians. But I'm like, is there something similar in the UK or Europe, like an annual conference, or

Laura Mears-Reynolds 35:42
there's lots of different things, there's lots of different things that are on and, you know, a lot of the different charities in the UK, they they will put on different conferences at different times of the year. But I think, really, for me, the main focus is on the experience of the of the people, rather than the expertise of this is how you do X, Y, and Zed. It's actually sort of flipping it around experientially, and learning from that and finding ways to support ourselves with that, rather than this is the textbook of what we do and how we do it. You see what I mean? Yeah, no, I

Katy Weber 36:21
did. It's like, it's like, you know, the seminar versus the rave?

Laura Mears-Reynolds 36:31
Ba alien leopard print raise? Yeah, absolutely.

Katy Weber 36:35
I think there's validity of both right? Like, because like you said, I think, you know, really, you can tell who are the people who come to the conference for the information and who have their pens and paper. And then there's the people who only come for the talent show and the parties and just seeing each other, right, like, it's, you know, seeing everybody every year, and it's such a wonderful social gathering.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 36:55
I, I also think that there can be in this country anyway, there can be an awful lot of corporate box ticking to right. Yeah. So you know, it's, yeah, just want to make sure that things have value, and that the help and support that's left behind, and that people genuinely feel supported, rather than necessarily ticking their box, if that makes sense.

Katy Weber 37:21
What about the podcast? Are you taking applications for another co host? Are you going to bring in so I know your husband has been doing some work with you? Are you what do you what do you think of what do you think of the next year or two, he's

Laura Mears-Reynolds 37:36
he only comes on for the most ADHD thing. So the most ADHD thing is just about trying to take the stigma out of the symptoms and the ridiculousness that we throw ourselves or fat or the ridiculous situations we can often find ourselves in. And I do it to raise awareness to make people feel that they're not alone. And so that we can talk to each other about it and be like, Oh, my God, you know, I've had people say to me, I did something so ridiculous. And normally I would have cried, but I'd said, I thought this is the most ADHD thing I've done this week. And I'm gonna go and write it on ADHD of podcast page. And that makes me so happy. And it means that people can talk to each other and support each other on Instagram, but he's been helping me with that. But really, no, I will never have another co host. I think I think, you know, it was sarin to so serendipitous our meeting, it was meant to happen. And I've learned a lot, I've learned a lot from it. And I really have to focus on myself. And I think so often, I will always focus on the other person and that people pleaser element is still there. I always feel responsible for people. And we can all do that thing where we think we're alright until we're not, you know, say like, you can just give er give er give er give er give er give er give er give er give her then suddenly, you're left with sweet furcal. And so I think it's, it's really important that I try and put my energy into myself, to best support myself to do my job, if that makes sense. And if I have a co host, and I'm going to constantly worry of their will, right? I'm going to try and help them as best I can. I'm going to pick up the slack, I'm going to put their needs before my own, I'm gonna let you know that will happen till the cows come home. And it's I work too hard for that. And I've got to clear a vision for that. I better just crack on and ask for support whenever I need. It is the best thing to do. But I have got regular people that come back, you know, really build a good community. I have a lot of support and season three. Well, this is a funny thing. This is the most ADHD thing I've done this week, right? So I've said that season three is going to come out on the ninth of April. However, I haven't finished the jingle. And the person who's done the jingle is on holiday, I think or has ghosted me because I'm a massive pain in the ass of changing my mind. So I'm no jingle I don't know, like, I literally don't know how I'm going to do it. And I don't know, maybe I should take another week. And just like, give myself a break and get all my ducks in a row properly and give it another week. And then the other part of me is like, No, you should definitely just get so I don't know, I've either got Season Three out on Tuesday, or I haven't. But I've got really good guests. And he's

Katy Weber 40:22
I definitely know that feel like, well, this, this episode will come out after the ninth. So we'll see. Well, we'll have to see what happens. Sorry.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 40:33
We'll see what happens. He's fine.

Katy Weber 40:36
I love that. And I think that also just knowing yourself in that way, I think is also similar to kind of the decision that Don made such a benefit of the ADHD reframing right, and being able to sort of see this is where I work best and not saying, I'm terrible, because I can't do X but really saying no, that just doesn't work for me, move on, right, like wasting no time, feeling bad. And everybody, when you were talking about the people pleasing, it reminded me of that quote, of like, the irony of people pleasing is that usually everybody ends up on happy in the end.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 41:07
Exactly. I saw a really good quote the other day, and it was like, know your limits, because the takers won't don't have any. And that's the issue, isn't it? It's like, if you keep giving, and you keep giving you keep doing and keep providing, I mean, that phrase is particularly negative, and it doesn't sit in this context, but I'm gonna have to think of a new one. But it's like, you know, you're not showing anybody that you need help. You're not showing anybody that you're struggling, you're showing everybody that you can take whatever they throw at you that there's nothing that can knock you down. And it's always going to be alright, you're always going to hold it, it's always going to actually like you end up just completely rundown, unable to do anything and quite high, quite resentful, and ticked feeling taken advantage of, even though you're the person who's been there saying, no problem, absolutely. Keep coming. You're not actually communicating that you're not all right. And it's and it's Well, ironically, too much. Yeah.

Katy Weber 42:02
Well, it reminds me, you know, one of the things I think, I have always been able to do, and I think this is an ADHD quality is like no matter how many times I would do something and completely fuck up and feel like a failure, I would pick myself up and I was like, maybe it's just the fact that I have tissue, really terrible memory. But I was always able to, like, move on, and start over, right. And so I'm like, there's that sense of just like, pick yourself up by the bootstraps over and over and over again, that I always have done where I'm like, Oh, that feels like a really nice quality to have. Because now I don't have you know, I make mistakes all the time. I fuck up all the time. But I'm like, now I look at that as information. I look at that as research. Like, I'm like, this is all kind of helping me move forward, as opposed to how I used to look at it, which was, oh, here's more evidence of what a terrible human I am. And now I'm kind of like, it's it is what it is, right? Like, I've learned something, what can I learn from this experience? You know, I feel like that makes it so much less painful to fail over and over and over again.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 43:09
Because the point is, as well, right is when you discover that we have this thing that's been staring us in the face for many of years, or this time, is that we have to find ways to support ourselves, right, we have to accept that we have it, and that there's no amount of effort, you cannot try it away, we cannot wish it away, but it's always going to be there. So really, it's our responsibilities to best support ourselves, and to have the best life that we can have with relationships with people in our lives. In order to do that we have to identify the ways in which we fall down. Accept that those same things are going to trip us up tomorrow and think of ways to best support ourselves to hopefully trip up less or when we do how we get over it because this isn't going anywhere. And it's and it's not going to be It can't just be the first time every time she says knowing full well that every single month my period is a complete surprise Why is the world ending? Oh no, I'm just

Katy Weber 44:20
every time it's so true yeah, oh my goodness. Well, I think you know it really I do sometimes I feel like you know that video of the very like serious news anchor or no he was being interviewed by the by a new station and his little daughter burst into the room and like comes in behind him and he's trying to stay all Syria. That little girl every time that's me bursting into every room just big like all right, I'll think about the I'll think about this later. Like she could be an ADHD mascot. Michelle OH 100% OH enough it? Well, I I'm so excited just to watch everything you're doing from afar. And and I'm just congratulations on the last couple of years and just everything that is moving forward and all the impact you are having on the world and so many women, it's just phenomenal. So thank you, Laura. And thank you for sharing this time with me.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 45:30
I'm the same to you. Thank you for having me. And you have to come on, you have to come on my podcast was sorted out because I'd love to have you on. And we've got to stick together. We really have communities everything. Yeah,

Katy Weber 45:43
I feel like the more of us the better. And I don't know if it's an ADHD community thing, or what? Or if it's just people who are drawn to this line of work? I don't know. But I'm like, I can't believe how incredibly supportive this community has always been. I feel like just when I'm expecting somebody to be an asshole, they're so wonderful.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 46:09
Oh, I see my reputation has

Katy Weber 46:14
there ideas? That's not sure there are I think there are probably a few people who I avoid in a crowded room, but never you. But if I do like to ask if you could have you ever heard another name for ADHD that you liked? Or is there anything that you would call it if you could rename ADHD?

Laura Mears-Reynolds 46:32
Oh, that's such a good question. It's such a good question. And my mind has gone blank. But I love this. Because I actually did this with RSD. So rejection sensitive dysphoria, plagues my life, it plagues my life. And especially when done left, and I did have to stand at the helm on my own. I was so worried the RSD was out off the scale nearly to the point of not doing it, but I knew I had to do it. So I was like, right, let me try and reframe this, what can I call it and I started saying all these different words. And then it just came to me that they're just really shit daydreams. And that's it. That's all it is. It's really shit, daydreams. And when are and it has helped me so much. Because when I think about it, and I think, Oh, well, this is gonna be terrible. And this is gonna happen and dinner and I'm like, and I can feel it. Don't get me wrong, it's not gone. But I can identify it. And I say, Well, it hasn't happened. So that really is just a really short daydream. So yeah, that's all I got ADHD. I don't know, I should have.

Katy Weber 47:36
I referenced that the other day. Like, I've started using your relationship daydreams as an alternate explanation for RSD. I think it's great. And honestly, you know, now that I think about it, just adding a F to the end of ADHD is pretty baller. I mean, that's what I was. That's a great way to rename it.

Laura Mears-Reynolds 47:54
You'll never guess what happened the other day. So So I was so obviously, it was called ADHD as females so that we could say yes, but it is as females because it was our experience as females that we were sharing. Anyway, I went on the I was on BBC Radio Oxford the other morning, and it was live. And I'm waiting to go in. And I think what must have happened is that the penny dropped for them at the last minute. I'm just about to go on air live on air on the BBC. And this woman goes, Laura, I just want say as much I appreciate that your name is ADHD as please do not swear you're on the BBC. And then I was live. And I was literally like that. I felt like I had just been told off like a kid in school. And I was just suddenly talking. Grown up trying to talk in a deep voice to not get in trouble taking this thing, so yeah, I have to run it in a bit. Here we are.

Katy Weber 48:54
No, I love it. I guess it's almost like it is kind of like, you know, you're just giving the middle finger or I guess it's two fingers. But it is a bit of like, yeah,

Laura Mears-Reynolds 49:05
you know what? The ACE is exactly that. And also just when I got diagnosed, and the psychiatrist is I literally, I took a breath. And I didn't come up for air for an hour, literally. And then this happened. And then this happened. I'm sitting there on my feet tapping on my fingers are bleeding in evidence you said you absolutely have severe combined type ADHD and it impacts every aspect of your life from when you were a child. So it's like she just said she ran and you are ADHD as back. Yeah.

Katy Weber 49:40
Oh god. I love it. I love it. I think it's the perfect day. And this has been so lovely. Thank you, Laura. I'm so glad we got to do this. Yeah, I feel like it lovely to meet you too. And hopefully, you know, we'll i i look forward to watching everything that's gonna happen for you and for your charity and the community you've built. So, congrats. Thank you. Thank you so much.

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 care till then