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The author reflects on her rocky relationship with her father, who struggled with depression and was later diagnosed with ADHD. She recalls feeling like a nuisance to her father during her childhood and not understanding why she was often rejected by her peers at school. Despite seeking therapy and trying to improve her self-awareness as an adult, she continued to struggle with her emotions and self-esteem. She embarked on a journey of wandering and longing, hoping to find happiness in different cities and relationships.

As the author delves into therapy in her 30s, she begins to understand more about her father’s struggles with depression and ADHD. Through conversations with her mother and ultimately with her father, she uncovers the missing pieces to the puzzle of his mental health challenges. She learns that her father’s depression started at a young age and was exacerbated by the undiagnosed ADHD that made it difficult for him to manage his emotions and relationships. This revelation sheds light on the complexities of mental health and how generational trauma can impact a family for years.

The author’s father struggled with depression and ADHD throughout his life, often feeling frustrated and regretful about the impact of these conditions on his relationships and accomplishments. Only later in life did he come to terms with his ADHD diagnosis and recognize how it had affected his ability to navigate the world. The author also reflects on her own struggles with emotions, forgetfulness, and self-esteem, realizing that she too may have inherited some of these challenges from her father.

With a late-in-life diagnosis of ADHD at the age of 51, the author gains a new understanding of herself and her father. She realizes how their shared neurodevelopmental disorder may have influenced their interactions and miscommunications over the years. Armed with this new perspective, she looks back on moments of connection and understanding with her father, seeing them in a new light and appreciating the magic of those fleeting moments. She understands the frustrations and regrets her father expressed and wonders how their relationship might have been different with earlier recognition and treatment.

The author’s journey of self-discovery and understanding of her father’s mental health challenges leads her to a place of compassion and forgiveness. She acknowledges the impact of generational trauma and the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health issues early on. By sharing her story and reflecting on her experiences, she aims to raise awareness about ADHD and depression, particularly in adults who may have gone undiagnosed for years. The author emphasizes the importance of seeking help and support for mental health concerns and breaking the cycle of shame and self-blame that can accompany these conditions.

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