My name is Nahani Johnson. I am 45 years old and have 22q11/ADULT ADHD. Up until recently, I struggled reading. I could read, but if there was a ‘’due’’ date on a book, I usually couldn’t finish it in time. This is mostly because of ADHD. The medication Strattera (for ADHD) has changed so much for me.
Rewinding a bit, I was a shy, sad, and VERY introverted child. I didn’t understand why I was the way I was... I was bullied very much in my elementary school after I was held back in grade 5, and it continued into Junior High. High School was not as much but it was still happening.
I felt a lot of self-hate, shame, and misunderstanding about myself. I was also very depressed and very lonely. I really just didn’t understand why I had so many ‘’issues.’’ Having s-curve scoliosis, low muscle tone and a small hole in my heart- EVERYTHING was difficult for me. I got tired very easily.
I started smoking when I was in Junior high,(boredom & other reasons) and quit officially when my daughter was two! It was an off-and-on thing, and I smoked more heavily when younger, than as I got older. The program Quitcore in Rimbey really helped me. My daughter really helps motivate me in every goal I have.
I am finally in a good place where I can share my experience, my struggles, and my successes. I have family that is supportive, but I also have my own family friends, church friends and other friends that I call on when in need. I had to get back to Red Deer, (from Rimbey, Alberta) because of the general atmosphere and friendliness and acceptance of people with disabilities. The support that is here for disabilities is amazing. As I have grown into my mid-40’s, my life is re-starting again. I am finally figuring out who I am in different areas.
I am more and more proud of myself every day! That dark cloud that was around me as a child is now gone, and I can move forward- not only for me but for my daughter. The key to surviving & conquering 22q11- I feel is knowing your SUPPORT. Doing what you love, your spark-joy. You can never have too much support. Covid has helped me to come out of my shell even more. I have learnt what I like in different areas, and am no longer settling for less than myself or my daughter deserve.