Cristina Medina was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Hospitality Management at the Art Institute of Houston. Like many women with ADHD, she was diagnosed as an adult. In this interview she shares her diagnosis experience and how a spontaneous move to San Antonio changed her life.
Name: Cristina Medina
City: Houston Texas
Occupation: Enrollment Processor, The Art Institute of Houston
Age of ADHD Diagnosis: 23
I had no idea I had ADHD until I was about 23. I knew that I was dyslexic at the age 5 but no one caught it until I graduated from The Art Institute of Houston. I started school at The University of Houston, and my first semester there was tough. I decided to go to their learning disability center so I could get some help. I brought my paper work in from high school that my mom had kept for me.
They tested me for ADHD and Dyslexia and it came out that I was both. The psychologist was surprised that they didn’t see this back then because every single thing on my paper work said attention problems. Now I knew why I always felt like everything was happening all at once, like my mind was always going 100 miles an hour. Why I couldn’t keep up with note taking in class. I knew why it was hard for to prioritize, why I was incapable of waiting in lines, why I always acted before thinking, doing crazy things that normal people don’t do. Why when I read something it was like I am saying words but nothing was registering in my brain.
My mom told me once, “Cristina you know that song by the country band Alabama?” It was called I’m in a hurry to get things done. I think that’s the name of the song. She said “that song reminds me of you.” It’s true, that song was and is still me.
What is one of your ADHD superpowers?
One of my strengths is that I am very creative and hands on. I enjoy figuring out things on my own and coming up with solutions to any problem. I am really good at party planning, and making my own jewelry.
What is one challenging moment you had with ADHD?
One day I was walking out of my house and going to get into my car to leave. That day we had workers around the house and they were parked in the drive way. Walking to my car I saw the vehicle parked behind me and as I got into my car backing up I had totally forgot that the workers truck were there. So I ended up hitting their vehicle and messing up mine. With in a split second I had forgotten that this truck was right behind me. I ran to my room and started crying, upset with myself because how does a person forget something like this. It’s funny now but back then it was devastating.
What is one thing you are proud of?
My family. I never imagined that I would be married and have a child. I am proud of us and the obstacles that we overcome everyday with me having ADHD.
Since I am impulsive, I had my dad sell a house he had bought for me and packed my things to move to San Antonio for a boyfriend. I had never been on my own before so it was life changing experience. That boyfriend is now my Husband, and we have been married for 5 year going on 6. We have a beautiful 5 year daughter name Genevieve.
What advice you would give to your younger self?
You are a smart, intelligent person, who is creative, beautiful, fun, spontaneous, loving, and caring. You are going to have difficulties in school with behavior, attention, math, spelling, remembering & forgetting things and you are going to struggle with motivation, self esteem, some days you are not going to want to anything. You might have to work extra hard than other and you are going to be a horrible relationship 4 years of high school and it’s going to impact you tremendously. Please know that is not what love is about. You are going to be caught up in fantasies on how a relationship should look like and how those people make you feel right then. You are not going to notice the real person because you are so distracted by how they make you feel. The reason behind all of this is you are ADHD. You need stimulation and have chemical imbalance in your brain.
But please do not feel discouraged, alone, stupid, or embarrassed because there are tons of little girls like you and become successful in all aspects in life. I want you to remember this… always love yourself no matter how down you are feeling. You are worth more than you know and deserve the best in life.